Skip to main content

Update Letter from Kirsty Williams

Please see update letter from Kirsty Williams.

Dear Headteacher

Wishing you a better new year in the hope you found some time to rest during the break.

Inevitably, and as I noted in my letter to you on 16 December, we have seen a difficult start to 2021 with Wales at alert level 4, and schools moving to remote learning, due to increased transmission of the new COVID-19 strain.

The First Minister will confirm today that we will bring the decision-making on schools and colleges into line with the Welsh Government’s three-week review timetable of 29 January.  This means that learners will continue to learn remotely and vulnerable children and children of critical workers will have access to on-site provision, until then.

At that point, unless the rates of community transmission in Wales reduce significantly by 29 January, most students in schools and colleges will continue working remotely until the February half term.

I want to stress – guided by the TAG report, to be published ahead of the First Minister’s announcement – that this is not a simple binary choice between closing schools now and reopening them in February. The TAG report is clear on education’s contribution to our efforts to deal with this, not because schools are now more unsafe or pose a higher risk for teachers and children.

We are taking this action because the new variant is far more infections and is leading to increased numbers of people falling ill and being hospitalised.

We will use the coming weeks to work with local authorities, unions and head teachers  to plan for the future.  We want to work together creatively to look at all the possibilities for a phased, and safe, return of some pupils during this period.  We have achieved this in every new term since the Summer and that’s down to our collective mission to prioritise our children’s growth, learning and well-being.


Colleagues will know that the new variance does not mean schools have suddenly become unsafe. They do not pose an increased risk to teachers or students.

However, keeping schools open does encourage children and adults to mix – inside and outside the school gates – at a time when cases of coronavirus are high in the community and we have a very infectious strain spreading quickly.

Our invitation to you is to keep working with us so we can use this time to tackle instances of digital exclusion, undertake fresh risk assessments and renew guidance, in line with issues raised by the workforce.



2021-01-08 – Letter to primary

Covid-19 Recovery Plan and Risk assessment



Saint Joseph’s Catholic Infant School

Recovery Plan and Risk Assessment Version 3 for November 2020



Recovery Plan

Appendix 1 Keep Education Safe- Operational Guidance for School Settings

Appendix 2 Neath Port Talbot Check in, Catch Up and Prepare for Summer and September Arrangements

Appendix 3 School Risk Assessments for reducing the risk of Covid-19

Appendix 4 Operational guidance for schools and settings from autumn term

Appendix 5 Managing Movement Around Schools

Appendix 6 PPE Information Poster

Appendix 7 Disease Outbreak Plan for Wales (2020) Public Health Wales

Appendix 8 CIBSE COVID -19 Ventilation Guidance



Saint Joseph’s Catholic Infant School

Recovery Plan and Risk Assessment Version 3 for November 2020

This recovery plan has been developed in line with the guidance provided by the Welsh Government document, ‘Keep Education Safe (Operational Guidance for Schools and settings (Covid-19)’ (See Appendix 1)


Guidance provided by NPT Council, ‘Neath Port Talbot Check in, Catch Up and Prepare for Summer and September Arrangements’ has also supported the development of the plan. (See Appendix 2)

This plan should be read in conjunction with the school’s risk assessments for reducing the risk of Covid-19. (See Appendix 3) and Operational guidance for schools and settings from the autumn term (See Appendix 4), Managing Movement Around School (see Appendix 5), PPE Information Poster (see Appendix 6), Disease Outbreak Plan for Wales (2020) Public Heralth Wales (see Appendix 7) and 8 CIBSE COVID -19 Ventilation Guidance (see Appendix 8).

Our aims and decision making will be guided by two clear questions:

  1. What is the best support that we can provide for our school community?
  2. How do we ensure the highest standards of safety?

As we move forwards these simple questions will guide and inform all our decision making. We will not implement any plan unless we are convinced that it is the right thing to do and we can do it safely.



This plan has been developed using the following 5 key principles set out by the Education Minister:

  1. The safety and mental, emotional and physical well-being of staff and students
  2. Continuing contribution to the national effort and strategy to fight the spread of COVID- 19
  3. Having the confidence of parents, staff and students – based on evidence and information – so that they can plan ahead
  4. Ability to prioritise learners at key points, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds
  5. Consistency with the Welsh Government’s framework for decision making, to have guidance in place to support measures such as distancing, managing attendance and wider protective actions.


Overarching Guidance for leaders and governors.

  1. Principles outlined above must be evident in all decision making. Our overall aim is to ensure that our decision making is calm and informed.
  2. We will be decisive in our decision making. Our community must expect us to respond clearly and with urgency to any safety issues raised.
  3. Senior leaders and governors must consider all the advice made available to them. Includes updated guidance for schools from Welsh Government.
  4. Excellent communication must be evident throughout the planning and implementation of our safety plans. We will work with all teams of staff and welcome input from trade associations, pupils and parents. We will share advice that informs our decision making.
  5. We will open and transparent at all times.


Recovery Plan and Risk Assessment for 3rd Phase of School Re-Opening November 2020


This plan will aim to ensure that we safeguard our community by:

  • Always being alert to risk
  • Reducing risk through effective organisation and controls.
  • Reducing transmission risk by limiting interactions within the school community.

Simple plan is:

  • Our classes will be put into 6 groups. They will spend their school day in their pod with a nominated teacher. They will see other children and staff but they will live and learn in their pod. Pod will be a ‘safety bubble’ approach.
  • Their pod will have allocated staff for teaching and lunchtime supervision. This will reduce the possibility of contraction and transmission.
  • In their pod, everybody will apply the best standards of care that we can.
  • We will follow a rigorous cleaning routine.
  • We have a simple model with four clear messages that our children can apply.

Stay Clean. We wash our hands regularly and use the hand sanitisers provided.

Be Hygienic:

  • put tissues in bin.
  • keep hands off each other and your face
  • cough into sleeve or tissue etc.
  1. Keep a Safe Distance
  2. Ventilate


In all education, childcare and social care settings, preventing the spread of coronavirus involves dealing with direct transmission (for instance, when in close contact with those sneezing and coughing) and indirect transmission (via touching contaminated surfaces). A range of approaches and actions must be employed to control transmissions.

These can be seen as a hierarchy of controls that, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system, where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. These include:

1) Prevention- Minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend schools. They should remain at home and self-isolate and arrange a COVID-19 TEST. Those showing symptoms in school, should be in a separate room, supervised at a distance of 2 metres where possible until collected.


In yard. Children will line up keeping 2 m distance between class bubbles and collected by Teacher/ Teaching Assistant and accompanied to class.

Start time will be staggered for Year/Class Groups.

End of Day – Y2 Children will be released from front ramp to -parents who will be asked to wait, keeping socially distant in the yard between the main gate and the entrance to the school. Y1 (Mrs Turner’s Class) children will be released from the ramp exit 10 minutes later.

Release at end of Day – will be staggered.

Lunchtimes – will be staggered and food eaten in classrooms, tables to be cleaned before and after lunch, or eaten outside if weather permits.


Organisation of School Day


Staggered Approach

We will as far as possible keep them in their class bubbles. To do this we will stagger the start, lunch, end of the school day.


Class Arrival AM Break Lunch PM Break Pick Up
Y2 AW 8:45 10:15-10:30 11:55-12:25

(Dinner Ladies 11:40-12:40)

1:30-1:45 2:45
Y1 ST 8:55 2:55
Y1/R JJ 8:55 9:45-10:00 11:35-12:05

(Dinner Ladies 11:20-12:20)

Reception EM/KT 8:55 2:55
Nursery AM 9:00 11:30
Nursery PM 12:15 2:45


*For those children with siblings we will be flexible

Minimising Adult Interaction

We will stagger entrance and leaving times to the school to promote essential adult social distancing.

Drop off to both sides of  yard. (Only exception to this will be if a child is ill). They will then be collected by a Class Teacher/ Teaching Assistant.

At the end of the day Year 2 (then 10  mins later Y1/ Mrs Turner) pupils will be released from the side ramp to the front of the school. Reception and Year 1 pupils from the main playground.


Simple Guidance Principles for Staff

  1. Do not come to work if you have coronavirus symptoms or go home as soon as these develop (informing your line-manager) and access a test as soon as possible. If you are unwell and able to do this, we can assist. If you are very unwell seek medical support as soon as possible through NHS 111.
  2. If somebody in your house has symptoms, you must not come to work and arrange to have tests.
  3. Make your well-being a priority. Through the staff Teams page we have highlighted the range of well-being services and support that we can offer.
  4. Practise really good hygiene. You have soap and cleaning materials in your classroom. We have also provided wipes for keyboards, phones etc.
  • Clean your hands and wrists more often than usual – with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered. Must use sanitiser or wash your hands on entry to the building and when you leave.
  • Use the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces often using standard products.
  • Open windows to ensure improved ventilation


  1. Think about ways to modify your teaching approach to keep a distance from children in your class as much as possible. Avoid close face to face support (noting that it’s understood that this is not possible at all times, which is why hygiene and hand cleaning is so important). Staff should try and maintain a standing distance and communicate from ‘side on’ position when possible.


  1. Ensure that cleanliness and hygiene is excellent in your pod. Ensure that our children practise our 3 simple steps.


  1. Try and maximise ventilation. Keep your classroom door and windows open if possible, for air flow (Appendix 8).


  1. Teach outdoors when you can and maintain social distancing in these spaces.


  1. Model social distancing. Staff must demonstrate this. Limit your contact with other staff members, and don’t congregate in shared spaces, especially if they are small rooms. No more than 6 members of staff in the staffroom. A second staff area to be set up in Dining Hall, no more than 10 at a time.


Saint Joseph’s Infant School Recovery Plan Checklist


What needs to happen? Before returning On return Ongoing Actions needed and who is doing it Completed
SLT and governors should ensure transparency in relation to guidance. Follow and recheck the appropriate government Covid guidance and updates on all issues.

Produce plan, share with governors and sign-off plan


· · ·         WG guidance is checked daily.

·         New information will be shared with staff and Governors

·         Risk assessment will be continually updated. It is a working document.



Updated daily

Risk assessments need to be carried out as required and adapted:

·         COVID19 Secure Risk Assessment

·         Classroom Risk Assessment

·         Vulnerable Staff Risk Assessment

·         Cleaning

· · SLT/ Bursar/ Teachers review/ carry out RA To be completed by Friday 29th June. Reviewed Sept 2020.Reviewed Oct 2020. Reviewed 9th November 2020.


 Staff, Governors and Wider Community


Checklist Before returning On return Ongoing Actions needed/ thoughts Completed
Plan for the phased return of pupils. Organisation (classroom, staffing, year groups, pods, siblings, etc.) ü        
Ensure strategic and wellbeing meetings are held with all staff.

Make time for all staff to talk to senior leaders about their personal situation if required:

·         Thoughts on returning, fears, concerns about returning,

·         what will be easy to accomplish, what will be hard,

·         fatigue (Staff have continued to work),

·         changes in circumstance, retirement, pregnancy, bereavement.

·         additional worries about members of their family and friends.

·         Remind them of any internal support plan/system that is in place

·         Discuss ability to return to work.

· · · ·         Team meetings continue via Microsoft Teams.

·         SLT ensure meetings with staff  and regular contact

·         Maintain focus on signposting to essential well-being services.

·         Well-Being services highlighted in staff update on Teams.


All staff consulted

By Tuesday 1st September 2020.

Check with latest WG guidance Identify staff who can’t return to school at this point those with shielding letters or those who have been identified as high Risk in the All Wales Covid 19 Workforce Risk assessment Tool and consider if they can work from home. · · ·         SLT review staffing weekly.

·         Checked on self-declarations and current screening advice.

·         HT contacted all staff on 25th May.

·         Seeking advice from LA on security/clarity for different groups of staff shielding.

Completed before staffing rotas compiled.
Consider options if necessary staffing levels can’t be maintained (including school leaders and key staff like designated safeguarding leads and first aid providers). · · ·         Have ‘stand-by’ staff and protocol for support for a pod if required. Staffing rotas planned and agreed by Wednesday 3rd September 2020


Staff, Governors and Wider Community


Checklist Before returning On return Ongoing Actions needed/ thoughts Completed

A record of all visitors- discuss need to include mobile number/email

Set up School Internal Covid Tracking to ensure safe return to school for those isolating/ Positive result

· · · JBR/CJ review existing system
Review SEN – learners with special educational needs. Specific help for the changes in routine, plan for changes eg. Social stories (JBE/CL/JJ) HB- Social story?


Management of Confirmed cases of COVID-19 – Follow Positive COVID 19 Case Protocol Version 4 30th October 2020


Cluster- is defined as 2 or more cases among learners or staff within 14 days or an increased rate of absence due to suspected or confirmed cases of COVBID –19


A potential incident is defined as two or more confirmed cases of COVID –19 among learners or staff who are direct close contacts, proximity contacts or in the same “contact group*” in the school, within 14 days. * same class


· See Disease Outbreak Plan for Wales (2020)


Wellbeing of Head teacher, staff and SLT safeguarded. · · ·          Regular meetings.

·         Signposting to services.

·         Regular contact with CoG and HT.


Reassure and consult with staff about expectations for planning on return to work · · · ·         Expectations around how to plan for the class- See resources from ED P

·         Tuesday and Wednesday will be Preparation for return of whole school

·         Lunch Time supervisors informed of return to work, they will be allocated to one pod

Ensure all teams have accessed training for new ways of working. Includes:

e.g. Catering team and safety protocols.

Cleaning staff and use of PPE/safe working practice

Health and Safety management for SLT

Briefings led with staff on ‘safer’ teaching practices.

· · · ·         SLT lead all teams and arrange training. Checked by HT on 22nd June. Completed by 22nd June
Letter to Parents


· · ·         Shared on web/ Teacher to Parents August 2020

Update September 1st 2020.October Update. November Update.

The risk assessments and recovery plan will be monitored and reviewed on a weekly basis.




Appendix 1 Keep Education Safe- Operational Guidance for School Settings

Appendix 2 Neath Port Talbot Check in, Catch Up and Prepare for Summer and September Arrangements

Appendix 3 School Risk Assessments for reducing the risk of Covid-19

Appendix 4 Operational Guidance for schools and settings from the autumn term

Appendix 5 Managing Movement Around Schools

Appendix 6 PPE Information Poster

Appendix 7 Disease Outbreak Plan for Wales (2020) Public Heralth Wales

Appendix 8 CIBSE COVID -19 Ventilation Guidance







Saint Joseph’s Infant School PDG Statement

Saint Joseph’s Infant School PDG Statement



The Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG) is allocated to schools with pupils who come from low-income families and are currently known to be eligible for free school meals

(e-FSM) and pupils who have been looked after continuously for more than six months (LAC).

Schools are expected to make the best use of this funding to implement sustainable strategies that will quickly bring about changes for learners eligible for frees school meals or who are LAC.

As a school we have agreed the following three steps:


  1. To identify the target group of pupils, its characteristics and needs
  2. To plan interventions which make the most effective use of resources
  3. To monitor and evaluate the impact of resources


2020 -21 Saint Joseph’s Infant School has been provided with a PDG (35 children) allocation of £26,450


At Saint Joseph’s we have a comprehensive plan, agreed and monitored by Neath Port Talbot Local Authority and ERW, to promote progress and remove barriers to learning for students eligible for this funding.


We are using the funding available to implement:

  • Wellcomm (Nursery)
  • Nursery POPAT
  • Speechlink
  • Languagelink
  • Foundation Phase POPAT
  • Relationship Bases Play/ELSA


Saint Joseph’s Infant School PDG Statement




Saint Joseph’s Infant School PDG Spending Plan


Pupil Deprivation Grant Staff Timescale Cost
Pupil Deprivation Grant = £26,450

(35 pupils)

•      Small Intervention Groups

Listening Groups, Speech Link / Wellcom follow on activities, POPAT

27.5hrs per week@ TA L2


15hrs per week@TA L3



April 2020- March 2021 £16,295




Education Improvement Grant Staff Timescale Cost
EI Grant = £6,208
Staff cover for Courses, cluster meetings, area leader release days,

Performance Management, monitoring

Update from Director of Education Aled Evans

Dear Parents,

To help keep everyone safe KEY  messages include –

  • Please DO NOT congregate in or  around the school premises.
  • NEW REQUEST – we request that all adults wear face coverings in the lanes, on the school yard.
  • We request that only ONE adult per family for drop off and pick up

The letter goes on…

We would emphasise strongly that hand washing, surface cleaning and social distancing
remain the most effective and beneficial ways of protecting yourself, your family, your
friends and your community.
We request that parents / carers avoid congregating around school settings and to observe
the school’s advice regarding children’s dropping off and picking up arrangements.
Furthermore, we expect parents / carers and other visitors to wear face coverings on the
school site (whether entering the building or otherwise), including at drop-off and pick-up
Christmas remains an important part of a school’s calendar and we wish to make every
effort to ensure that it is celebrated in as normal a way as possible. We all have a
responsibility to take actions now that should impact positively on children and young
people’s experiences over the coming months. ease click in link to letter from Head of Services NPT.

Please click on the link to read full letter.

Letter Parents 091120

Food Bank and Harvest Celebrations

How can we be like Ajay and develop the good habit of taking care of ourselves and others?

Curious and Active- Catholic Pupil Profile

Children have been invited  to dress in harvest colours or their favourite dressing up costume to celebrate Harvest. Please support our local community of Port Talbot. Tomorrow  we will collect for the Port Talbot Food Bank, we will be walking in Jesus’ footsteps, and living out his message. Help us to role model how we can give back something to those in need and like Pope Francis suggests develop the habit of taking care of ourselves and others. Send in your FOOD BANK DONATIONS tomorrow Friday 23rd October. We will of course leave the items 72 hours during half term before we handle them.

In school we have been helping our children to be curious about everything: active in their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better.

This advice comes from the Trussell Trust

What’s in a food parcel?


Food banks provide a minimum of three-days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable tinned and dried foods that have been donated people in the local community

Lady volunteer packs a food parcel

We’ve worked with nutritionists to develop a food parcel that contains sufficient nutrition for adults and children, for at least three days of healthy, balanced meals for individuals and families.

A typical food parcel includes:

  • Cereal
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
  • Lentils, beans and pulses
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tea/coffee
  • Tinned fruit
  • Biscuits
  • UHT milk
  • Fruit juice

Many food banks also provide essential non-food items such as toiletries and hygiene products.

If you’re organising a collection for your local food bank, please check with them first to see which items they are currently in need of.

What to do should your child or anyone in your household present with symptoms

Please seek a test, remain at home until the test result. Then share result with school using the generic email address

If negative then your child can return to school. If positive then follow the guidance below.

Symptom Checker


Information for parents and carers