COVID-19 Testing

The Welsh Government are making Covid-19 testing available to people with a wider range of symptoms such as fatigue, muscle ache or pain, a sore throat, a headache, a runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. This is because some variants and young children do not display the classic three Covid-19 symptoms initially.

The request therefore is for people (including children) to get a test if they are feeling unwell in any way. Further detail on how to apply for a test is provided at https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or simply call the free number 119 between the hours of 7am to 11pm.

Individuals and their households who take a test because of these other wider symptoms are not required to isolate while they await their test result. This includes learners, who can continue to attend their school or setting while they await a test result.

If individuals then receive a positive Covid-19 result, they and their household must then isolate. Households must also isolate if anyone develops any of the three classic Covid-19 symptoms while waiting for a test result taken on wider symptoms to come back.

Clearly, children and adults with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should not attend their school/setting until they are symptom-free for 48 hours, even if their Covid-19 test result is negative.

The FAQs on the Council’s website have been updated to reflect this latest advice – www.rctcbc.gov.uk/schoolfaqs

In Memoriam, Mr Cary Owens

I regret to announce the passing of Mr Cary Owens, following his long battle with illness. During his 33 years of teaching History at Hawthorn, Cary worked tirelessly to support pupils, staff and families in our community.

As a past pupil myself, I recollect many memories of great wars  lifting off the page, as he marched us through the battle; of his cupboard telephone conversations that used to amuse us during lessons, and his kindness in preparing us for examinations.  He was a true legend!

He held many roles within the school, one of which was the gatekeeper of examinations, where he enabled every pupil to achieve, ensuring that we were ready to succeed.  He laid the foundations of success that many of us have built upon.

I know that he will be sorely missed by all of our Hawthorn community having touched so many lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

C Crockett

Headteacher

The world is a much poorer place with the loss of Cary Owens.

I often talk about Cary at parents’ evenings with former pupils he taught and who are now parents. When they speak of him the same words are said time and time again – kind, dedicated, amazing, a true gentleman, their favourite teacher. The word ‘legend’ is often mentioned too and in this case it very much deserves to be used, he was a true Hawthorn legend.

I arrived at Hawthorn in 1995 straight out of teacher training into Cary’s History Department. I am the teacher and Head of Humanities I am today because of him. From the very beginning he guided me with patience, support and understanding. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and showed me what was truly important about our role as teachers. His principles were those of good humour, fairness and absolute dedication to our pupils so that they could be successful. He had a passion for History that he transferred to many of our pupils, encouraging a lifelong interest and enjoyment of the subject. His contribution was not limited to the department either. He coached football teams and joined many residential trips, working hard to educate the whole child and not just the academic side.

Cary made a huge impression on any young teacher who arrived in school. He would lend an ear at any time to someone in need of help and guidance, often giving you just the right piece of advice to build genuine and long-lasting relationships with classes. For over 30 years at Hawthorn he was a trusted colleague who built a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect with both his colleagues and his pupils.

He was a mentor, a cheerleader, and a friend and he will be greatly missed.

Nic Chapman

We’re open for key workers and High Priority learners

The school is open for key workers and High Priority learners, whilst learning from home continues for the majority of our learners.

Eligible children include those:

  • that have additional learning needs;
  • are looked after;
  • are young carers;
  • are in need of care and support; or
  • with child protection needs.

Critical worker provision will be made available for families by appointment:

  • Blue light workers, including NHS, Police, Ambulance and Fire Service staff;
  • Social care workers (including care homes); and
  • Childcare or education staff.

Parents/carers wishing to access our Critical Worker provision

email alison.lambert@hawthornhs.co.uk. Please only apply for this provision if you clearly meet eligibility and are scheduled to work and have exhausted all possible childcare avenues.

As stated in the LA letter, we will be open for school hours between 8.30am and 2.50pm.

All other learning will be on-line via Hwb Google Classrooms.Pupil briefing HWB (Powerpoint)

Currently, all school clubs and our on-site Swimming Pool are shut until further notice.

School Website and Pupil Engagement

I am very pleased to share that our school website is fully functioning and live; an additional avenue for our communications.  All of our home/school correspondence will be available on this platform, as well as our Twitter page and email.

Thank you for the parental responses to our Digital Survey.  Families who require a device for distance learning will be contacted by our pastoral team throughout this week.

Pupil engagement with school and learning remains our priority.  Please could I ask that your child is encouraged to submit work on their google classroom platform.  Lessons are following the normal timetable of three sessions per day, and during this time our teachers are available in the session to provide feedback, answer questions and model responses.  We have adopted a synchronous approach to ensure pupils are supported throughout each session.  If your child is accessing work outside of the session time and requires help, please email the class teacher and/or their progress lead and they will ensure appropriate support is put in place.

A reminder that if you wish to contact the school our telephone number is 01443 841228, our switchboard is available between 8am and 4pm daily (Mon-Fri).

I want to reiterate that we are here to support our families throughout the lockdown period, please get in touch if you need us.

We will continue to work in partnership during these challenging times and remain committed to ensuring the very best for our pupils.

C Crockett

Headteacher

Using Xbox or PlayStation to Access Hwb

One of our learners, William in Birchgrove Comprehensive School in Swansea, has created the following guide for using a games console to access applications and resources on Hwb.

Using Xbox or Play Station to access Hwb

Accessing your remote learning. An alternative method of accessing remote learning during times of lockdown.

Xbox

  1. Plug a keyboard in to the Xbox USB slot
  2. Go in to my games and apps
  3. Find Microsoft Edge and select
  4. Type in: Hwb and log in as you would in school
  5. You can then access your work through Google Classroom or OneDrive and use key packages including:
  • Word
  • Teams
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Your emails
  1. To move around you use the Xbox controller or plug in a mouse

PlayStation

  1. Identify the PlayStation internet browser icon (it is WWW with dots around it)
  2. Press the PlayStation logo on the controller
  3. Go to the library and find options for games and applications
  4. Go in to applications and you will find the internet browser
  5. Type Hwb into the browser and log in as you would in school
  6. You can then access your work through Google Classroom or OneDrive and use key packages including:
  • Word
  • Teams
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Your emails

Blended Learning

I understand that this is a difficult time, and that we all want to minimise the impact this period has on your child’s learning.  In light of this, I would like to take the opportunity to thank both you and our pupils for the tremendous effort there has been this week engaging in the online learning we have provided as a school.

In order to continue to maximise this learning from home, please continue to encourage your son/daughter to do the following:

  • Every morning at 8.30am, they need to log onto their year group Google Classroom and follow a link to a Google Form register.
  • They then need to follow their normal school timetable. At the beginning of each of the three lesson sessions, they will again be asked to register (following a link from their classroom teacher). It is important that they do this every day so that we, as a school, know that they are engaging in their online learning. A video explaining how to do this in more detail can be found following this link
  • At the end of every lesson (or when the work has been completed) their work should be uploaded back to their Google Classroom for their teacher to provide feedback to them.
  • All other learning will be on-line via Hwb Google Classrooms

I do understand that individual family circumstances vary, which might mean it is difficult for siblings to all adhere to the same school timetable. If this is the case, and your son/daughter is completing their work outside of their normal timetable, they still need to register at 8.30am and complete their Session 1 register. On this register, they will find an option to tick: I am completing the work after the timetabled session. This will then notify us in school that they are engaging, but at a different time.

If your son/daughter is not engaging in their home learning, or has not registered for their lessons, a member of our Engagement Team will be in contact to offer any support that might be needed. Our Engagement Team are also on hand at the school if you have any questions about the Blended Learning your son/daughter is receiving. Please do not hesitate to call if this is the case.

Once again, thank you for your ongoing support with your child’s online learning.

Kind Regards

Mrs R. Stephens

Assistant Head