Sunday, January 31, 2010

New look website has undergone a facelift. There is not only a new design using some of the techniques I picked up on a recent training course, but also simpler navigation and hopefully more content and a link to our Moodle Calendar, Blog, Newsletters, Prospectus and other pdf documents for your information. At present ther are some bugs in the system which will be edited by half term. Please can you report any broken links or give any other feedback to me by e-mailing me at

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our New Wet Weather Gear

The new wet weather gear purchased from the proceeds of the Ugly Bug Ball has arrived in school. The children are really excited at the thought of donning their new kit and exploring outside. . A big thank you to all who contributed to raising the funds to purchase these. Key Stage 2 teachers have decided to buy a set of mini video cameras so that the children can use them to record their work and put them on their blogs.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Newsletter published today

A newsletter has been published Friday 22nd January with updated information about arrangements for the beginning of term. If you have not received this you can follow this link to download an electronic version. In addition the school calendar will be updated from our Moodle site.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Arrangements for Friday 15th January 2010

Check out this video which show the conditions in and around school.

Arrangements for school for Friday 15th January 2010 are as follows. The relief caretaker has cleared a pathway from the lane enterance on TyIsaf Road so that it is possible for parents to have aceess from the Gelli end of our school site. In addition, the majority of snow that fell on the pathways has been cleared all the way around school so that walking in the school grounds is now possible safely. The surrounding areas and pavements were still under several inches of snow this afternoon and were slippery, but were improving and will no doubt continue to do so by the morning.
As you can see a great deal of effort has been made to prepare the school for the children's return.
Can I suggest that we observe the following safety arrangements for tomorrow morning.
  • Children in Nursery should be brought to the nursery door as usual NO EARLIER THAN 8.50 a.m.
  • Children in Reception class, Year 1 and Year 2 must be accompanied by an adult and brought to the main entrance under the clock NO EARLIER THAN 8.50 a.m.. They will be taken to their classes immediately.
  • Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 should also come in to school via the main entrance NO EARLIER THAN 8.50 a.m.
I hope that you will make every effort to bring the children to school.



Further details of opening arrangements will be posted on this site later this evening when I get home as I am experiencing technical difficulties posting from school at present.
Please will parents circulate this message.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I have just completed a site visit and the Chair of Governors and I have decided to close the school on Thursday 14th January 2010. The main road is clear, but the snow ploughs that were used to clear the road overnight have sprayed slush on to the pavements which has already frozen.and the surrounding streets are still under inches of snow. RCT have withdrawn their home to school transport tomorrow. The school will be open for staff in the morning, unless conditions deteriorate overnight. We plan to reopen school on Friday as usual as conditions are due to improve throughout the day, I will confirm this tomorrow on this site.
My thanks go to our relief caretaker who has begun clearning the snow from paths and will continue to make improvements to the site tomorrow to make sure that we are open on Friday. I would like to thank everybody for their patience this week in what must be the most difficult of times in recent years, Thank you for your co-operation. I have been in touch colleagues and our cluster schools have also made a similar decision. Please will parents circulate this information to others. We will also post this link to our facebook page.


It is still snowing in the village and my sources report that there is between 8 - 10 inches of snow on the ground.
RCT has advised staff to take extreme care and not to put themselves or others in danger by attempting to access areas affected by heavy snow. However, I plan to make a site visit later today to see if it will be practical for us to make the pathway from Ystrad Road safe enough to open the school tomorrow. The Chair of Governors and I will discuss a number of possibilities from closing the school to opening with reduced a timetable. I also need to contact staff members to assess their local circumstances and to see if we have an adequate complement off staff. I will make a decision later in the day and post an update on this site and our facebook page.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The Chair of Governors and Relief Caretaker conducted a site visit at 8.30. p.m. and have reported that it will be impossible to guarentee that the conditions in and around the school will allow us to open the school tomorrow. We have decided to take this decision now in order to make sure that parents can inform each other and there be no confusion in the morning.
The snow is due to last throughout the night and into the early morning but conditions will improve by late morning. The relief caretaker and I are planning to meet mid morning and endeavour to clear the pathway as we did yesterday. I am sure that we will be able to make the school safe for the children to return to school on Thursday.
Updates will be posted on this sight when available and on the facebook page.
Thank you for your patience during these difficult times.

Monday, January 11, 2010


RCT issued the following weather warning at 3.30 p.m. this afternoon.

"This is a weather forecast, prepared by the Met Office specifically for Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC, which we have received within the last 30 minutes. You may, therefore, wish to make contingency plans for tomorrow, to send pupils home early if the forecast materialises, "

On Tuesday afternoon, a band of persistent sleet and snow will push in slowly from the south-west. This is expected to continue into Tuesday evening and right through until Wednesday morning. Some of the snow will be heavy, threatening widespread and very significant accumulations (especially, but not exclusively over the high roads) with greater than 15cm possible. RSTs below zero with widespread ice. Fog developing over the high routes too. On Wednesday daytime, outbreaks of sleet and snow will become lighter and more patchy, but may persist for much of the day, with further slight accumulations. Widespread ice. The rest of the week is expected to remain cold, although milder conditions will attempt to move in off the Atlantic. As a result, there is low confidence in forecast cloud amounts and RSTs through the week but they are likely to be below zero at times with ice. Snow is possible at times, but this threat will mainly become confined to the high roads where it will also be very foggy.

As a result of this advice schools in the area are closing at lunchtime tomorrow. Please will you organise that your child is picked up after they have had their lunch. Packed lunch children can be picked up at 12 noon.
Nursery and Reception children to be collected at 12 noon.
Year 1 and 2 children at 12.15 p.m.
Junior children will be picked up at 12.30 p.m.



I am delighted to announce that school will be open on Tuesday 12th January for all pupils. As you can see, the relief caretaker has cleared a path from the gate at Ystrad Road to the main entrance and the nursery door. Please can we observe the following safety precautions.
  • Children in Nursery should be brought to the nursery door as usual NO EARLIER THAN 8.50 a.m.
  • Children in Reception class, Year 1 and Year 2 must be accompanied by an adult and brought to the main entrance under the clock NO EARLIER THAN 8.50 a.m.. They will be taken to their classes immediately.
  • Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 should also come in to school via the main entrance NO EARLIER THAN 8.50 a.m.

The surrounding streets and pavements are still very icy and I would warn you to take extreme care when walking to school or from your car. This situation may continue around the school for some time as the LA have no plans to grit schools and their environs and we do not have any stocks of grit in school or are likely to source some for s considerable length of time..
In addition PLEASE DO NOT USE THE SCHOOL CAR PARK as we have been unable to clear it of the snow that fell last Wednesday morning.
I apologise for the disruption to your children's education and hope that the coming days will see a return to normal.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I have just completed a site visit and as you can see from these pictures taken at 4pm today conditions around the school grounds continue to be too dangerous for us to open school for pupils tomorrow MONDAY 11th JANUARY 2010. The pathways are still under a few inches of snow and ice. I have been unable to source any rock salt from any local DIY stores and there is no likelihood of sourcing some in the near future.

I have arranged that a relief caretaker will be in school at 9.30 tomorrow to clear paths to the school main door and nursery entrance from the front entrance from the gate on Ystrad Road. This should enable the children to walk safely into the school building so that school can be open on Tuesday. I still await clarification from my professional association and the LA if we can open on a reduced timetable from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I also need to clarify what arrangements if any can be made for Breakfast Club.

The main road is extremely icy and I would advise extreme caution when walking across this area to the school. It is very unlikely that this area will be treated in the near future and will remain a high risk area to those who use it. I will update the status throughout tomorrow and inform parents of the likelihood of school resuming on Tuesday and any safety warnings that will need to be observed.

Update on arrangements for MONDAY 11th JANUARY 2010

The Chair of Governors and I are planning to make a site visit this afternoon to assess if it will be possible to open the school for pupils tomorrow Monday 11th January.

At present there is still a significant area around the school which is under snow and ice. We will need to assess if there has been any change in circumstances since Friday and then make a judgement to inform parents as soon as possible for child care arrangements to be made and to avoid any unnecessary journeys if the forecast of snow for the morning arrives.
My feeling at the moment is that once we have made sure that the pathways from the front of the school to the main door are clear I will open the school. The chair and I have discussed the possibility of opening with restricted hours 10 to 2 (I will need to check with the LEA to see if this is ok). If it snows this afternoon and this evening or overnight then I will have to reconsider. If the snow is heavy and the area around the school is unsafe then the school will remain closed.
The relief caretaker and I will attempt to ensure that the pathway from the front of the school to the nursery entrance is clear and the pathway to the main entrance is clear. When this has been achieved we will notify you by posting a message on this site and the face book page.
My professional association the National Association of Head teachers (NAHT) has sent an e-mail to RCT requesting that the roads and pavements around schools be made a priority. We still await a reply. Although staff may be able to get into school it is another decision whether it is safe for children to approach or enter the premises. The County Borough Council Highways Division are now only able to deal with keeping major roads, and emergency routes open, and they are unable to agree to any requests to clear school access roads, driveways, car parks or playgrounds. They also cannot supply any schools with rock salt, and grit bins are not being replenished either. The Council's Procurement Unit has a negotiated contract with Robert Price Ltd to supply establishments with rock salt, but due to a country-wide shortage, they cannot meet demand at the current time.
I hope that you will see from my comment that we are making every effort to ensure that the school will be open as soon as it is possible, but I must reiterate that unless the site is completely safe for the pupils then the school will remain closed.
Please continue to check this page for updates.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


After a site survey I am sorry that I will again be closing the school on Health and Safety grounds on FRIDAY 8th JANUARY 2010. The areas surrounding the school are still very dangerous and although the main road is accessible, several of the adjoining streets are still under inches of snow. In addition the school grounds are also still frozen and the pathways and car park are still under saveral inches of snow which has turned to ice. The staff are coming in to school tomorrow morning in order to prepare the school for reopening as soon as the weather allows. Please keep referring to this website for updated information over the weekend and arrangememts for next week.


I am monitoring the weather situation to see whether we can open the school tomorrow. This is the latest
advice from the authority. I plan to make a site visit this afternoon and issue an update on this site after consultation with colleagues and the Chair of Governors. A link will also be posted on the facebook page of the Friends of Gelli Primary School.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


After consulting with colleagues in the cluster we have decided to close the schools on health and safety grounds. The surrounding areas and pavements have already frozen and the Met Office are forecasting hazardous driving conditions in the morning. Please keep referring to this site and the friends of gelli Primaey School facebook page for details for the remainder of the week.


In view of the continuing inclement weather, and the poor forecast for tonight, it is unlikely that any of the schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf that closed today will be able to open in the morning. Details will be confirmed, and posted on this website tomorrow at 7 a.m., placed on the Friends of Gelli Primary School facebook page, the Rhondda Cynon Taff School Closure website and communicated to the media (Radio Wales, Real Radio and the Rhondda Leader.) The pavements around the school had several inches of snow on them today and it is very unlikely that conditions will improve sufficiently to allow us to open in the morning. Every effort will be made to open the school on Friday. Please keep referring to this site for updates.


Gelli Primary School is closed today WEDNESDAY 6th January 2010 due to heavy overnight snow making conditions around the school dangerous. Please keep looking on this site for details of arrangements for school tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Met Office Severe Weather Warning

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for heavy overnight snow on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th January 2010.
In the event that the weather forces the closure of the school due to health and safety reasons, we will issue a bulletin on this web page. In addition, there will be a message placed on the Friends of Gelli Primary School facebook page, a message sent to Real Radio and the BBC Radio Wales. The caretaker and I will make every effort to inform parents and staff in order to minimise the risk of any unnecessary journeys.


Due to the inclement weather we will be closing the school this afternoon. Please will all parents collect their chidlren as soon as possible.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I regret to inform you that there will be no school for Reception class on TUESDAY 5th January 2010. We have had some building work undertaken in the classroom that was delayed due to the snow and unfortunately the class is unfit for children at present. I have arranged that the classroom will be deep cleaned tomorrow and school will reopen as normal an Wednesday. We have left messages on contact numbers provided informing parents of this infoce closure, but would be grateful if you can spread the word around to confirm that every parent is aware of this circumstance. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year new term

School recommences for children on TUESDAY JANUARY 5th 2010. Breakfast Club will be open at 8.10 a.m.
Mrs Carly's class will be working with the Candoco Dance Company as part of a Cluster PESS initiative on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will need their PE kit for these sessions. so please will you ensure that it is returned to school if it was taken home over the Christmas vacation.
Monday 4th January is an INSET day for teachers.