From school ties to our school crest, from holidays to homework, these are the things you need to know about life at Ysgol Sant Baruc.
Welsh Medium Education
Welsh medium education is for all. If you’re interested in giving your child an educational edge, as well as advantages later in life, then giving your child a bilingual life sounds like something you should consider. In fact, worldwide, it’s pretty normal to be able to speak at least one language. Put simply, a bilingual education enhances opportunities – it doesn’t limit them.
From the ages of 3 to 7, children are totally immersed in Welsh. Every aspect of their school day is conducted in Welsh. This total immersion leads to total fluency. It begins with words and phrases between the ages of 3 and 5 and usually, by the age of 7, we aim for children to be fluent in Welsh - reading, writing, and speaking Welsh.
If your child is older and you’re considering transition, the Vale of Glamorgan has developed a Language Centre specifically for children who want to acquire Welsh quickly at an older age.
Perfect Welsh is for books and museums; we’re a community – a family. Rest assured, there’s no judgement around the standard of your Welsh – we love to hear any Welsh, any time, as much or as little as you know. After all, communication is preferable to perfection.
There are innumerable language courses – both in person and online – available. Many of our parents have refreshed their skills with apps such as Say Something in Welsh and Duolingo.
For further information from different organisations, click these links
Over 90% of parents who send their children to Welsh medium schools in the Vale don’t speak Welsh themselves. This is why Welsh medium schools in the Vale of Glamorgan always communicate with parents in both Welsh and English.
You’ll never feel alienated at Ysgol Sant Baruc – we all speak Welsh, but we all speak English too! Whenever parents, carers, relatives and friends visit the school, bilingualism is the norm. This means that teachers and pupils will speak Welsh or English depending on who is in the conversation.
Don’t forget either, your child will be bilingual, switching between the two languages with ease and confidence.
Getting In Touch
This section will be really helpful. But in truth, it’s often best to e-mail or call the central office
Being approachable and communicating clearly is important to us. In school hours, teachers are occupied with their work – you can imagine that working with 30 children at a time makes it tricky to get to the phone quickly!
E-mailing the office, or phoning is a great way to get in touch if there’s something urgent, or to make an appointment.
There are two Parents’ Evenings scheduled over the school year. These are opportunities to discuss how your child is getting on in school, or to ask questions.
Teachers write annual reports once a year, sharing your child’s progress with you. Following the report, there is a further opportunity to discuss the report with your child’s teacher.
Please inform the school as early as possible – so that we can reassure your child that you’re alright, and what the plan is. It’s rare, but these things happen. Many of us are parents ourselves, and we know how stressful it can be. The key is to inform us quickly.
We take the care of your children seriously. The first thing that happens is trained staff make sure your child is ok – that is of primary importance.
If your child required minor first aid (e.g. a plaster, cleaning a cut, a small bruise), you should expect a short incident report form – part of our accident recording logs – at the end of the day. It will note what happened, and how your child was cared for.
If there has been a bump to the head, parents and carers are informed through text message as a matter of course. You might decide you’d like to check-in with us at this point, and you are welcome to do so.
On the rare occasion that an injury is more serious, parents and carers receive a phone call and are asked to collect their child so that they can receive the attention they need.
For all these reasons, it is vital that your contact details are up-to-date in our records. To update your contact details, please e-mail or phone the school.
Yes! We want to rent our facilities out to groups large and small. We have football fields, neuaddau (halls) and a state-of-the-art MUGA available for hire throughout the year. All the details are in our Facilities Hire section, here.
Children develop at different rates. It’s important that learning is fun – and that can be hard when children sense pressure or expectation; they don’t want to let you down.
Your first port of call is the class teacher. You should speak to them and ask them what their professional opinion is on your child’s progress relative to their age.
If you’re concerned about something specific, it’s best to be really clear about what that is. You might want to work your way through this framework:
What is it?
When do you notice it?
What impact is it having?
Emailing us at email@example.com will ensure that your concerns are dealt with confidentially and sensitively.
Homework is set on Google Classroom through the secure HWB platform. The frequency and challenge of homework is different according to ages. Its purpose is to reinforce the learning that’s happened in the class and develop the link between the home and the school.
Children receive a new reading book once a week. Book bags are really useful to carry these back and forth to school.
Children look to adults for their role models. The best thing you can do for your child is to be enthusiastic about school, encourage them to build good relationships and – most importantly – celebrate their effort with them.
Emotionally, children benefit from great relationships with their parents or carers. Play with them; enjoy them – tell them what you like and admire about them, shower them with praise and affection.
Set and maintain firm, fair, clear boundaries.
When they’re having big feelings (which is normal), recognise the temptation to meet their big feelings with your own. It’s as harmful as it is easy to use shame, anger, and endless belittling to achieve the presentation of a desired behaviour. Instead, as big as their feelings are, as much as your are able, make your love, compassion and patience for them bigger.
You can do this by maintaining a playfulness and lightness before:
tune into the way they’re feeling: “I can see you are so, so frustrated. Have I got that right?” recognise and accept their real emotions: “Yeah, not being able to do that right now is super frustrating - that’s ok to feel.”
Be curious and try to give them the language to express with words what their body feels and communicates: “I wonder if the only thing in the world you want to do right now is the one thing I’ve told you we can’t. I wonder if you feel like I’m not listening to you? I wonder if you feel like I’m never listening to you?
Be empathic: “Oh, I see. You thought no-one ever listens to you - that is a horrible feeling; to feel so alone and so ignored. I’m so sorry you feel that way.”
This is hard work, and in the short term, you might feel like it’s having no effect. But, in the future, they will thank you for your gentle, constant love and you’ll be proud of your children that recognise their feelings and are able to ask for help.
Reading to and with your child has an impact on their enjoyment of reading. It’s also beneficial for them to see you reading for pleasure.
When children speak, it’s ok to gently correct them so that their spoken language is as accurate as possible. For instance if they say “I see’d my friend,”, you can remind them “I saw my friend – you saw your friend”. Getting it right in English will help them get it right in Welsh too.
Modelling good language skills – listening and speaking – makes a big difference. When they’re talking to you, as much as is possible, give them good eye contact, be present with them and let them talk before you respond.
As the old adage goes, comparison is the thief of joy! It’s hard, but try to avoid the temptation to notice what other children are doing and feel like your child is behind or ahead.
Where their health needs allow, we do expect children to be able to use the toilet independently.
If your child is between 2 and a half and 3 and a half, this questionnaire might be of interest.
If your child is between 4 and a half and 5 and a half, you might be interested in this questionnaire.
There is a strong, clear correlation between good attendance and good progress. We ask you to carefully consider requesting a holiday during term time.
Holidays during term time are at the headteacher’s discretion.
Please complete the holiday request form.
No. We’re very clear that both the old and new school crests are very welcome at Ysgol Sant Baruc – not least because some families will have more than one child moving through our school at any one time. Many of our staff are parents themselves, and we know how valuable hand-me-downs can be.
There are three school houses (your children will probably call them a Llys): Buddug, Glyndŵr and Llywelyn
Buddug: The early Celtic name for Boudica, the warrior queen who led an uprising against the forces of the Roman Empire
Glyndŵr: A 15th century Welsh leader who sought to end English rule
Llywelyn: The last Tywysog (Great Chief) of Wales
Pupils are placed into a llys once they’re registered with our school, and parents are notified as part of the welcome pack.
Siblings aren’t always placed in the same llys - it’s good for them to have independence!
Llysoedd are a way of promoting healthy, friendly competition within the school and of getting to know different children, of different ages.
They compete against each other on a weekly basis by collecting pwyntiau clôd (merit points) during the week, and annually in our school Eisteddfod or in our Mabolgampau (sports day).
Children wear the colours of their llys during their P.E. lessons.
Put it this way, the official name of Nepal is the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, but it’s a bit long-winded! Our full, official title is Ysgol Gymraeg Sant Baruc (Sant Baruc Welsh-medium School), but we call it Ysgol Sant Baruc – or, if we’re feeling particularly cavalier, Sant Baruc!
The question is actually “Who was Sant Baruc?” A man? A myth? We may never truly know. But in the 6th century, there was certainly an individual of religious renown residing in the Barry area by that name – someone pilgrims travelled from afar to seek out. Part of this man’s story is his sacrificial kindness and friendship. He was latterly canonised, and it’s he who lends his name to our town, and his name and nature to our school.
There are two entry points: Meithrin (Nursery) and Derbyn (Reception).
Meithrin is available for children in the term after they turn three-years-old usually for 5 mornings or 5 afternoons a week.
Starting dates can be a bit confusing for new parents, so let’s break it down:
- If your child’s birthday falls between September and December 31, they begin in the following January.If your child’s birthday falls between January 1 and the Easter holidays, they begin after Easter.
- If your child’s birthday falls between Easter and August 31, they begin Meithrin in the September of that year.
This means that, your child could access nursery for 5 terms depending on their birthday.
Meithrin (Nursery) is not statutory, but it does provide a great start to school life, and early immersion to the Welsh language.
Derbyn (reception) is statutory – all reception-age children must be enrolled in school from the September after their fourth birthday.
Admissions are controlled by the local authority, and the school has no say or control about who is allocated a place.
Starting Nursery or School - Vale of Glamorgan Council
Applications for Meithrin and Derbyn are different, separate processes, and a place in Meithrin does not guarantee a place in Derbyn.
The Local Authority – not the school or the governors.
Most parents can claim funds towards childcare costs.
More detail can be found on the Vale of Glamorgan council website:
he Ysgol Sant Baruc campus is located on Barry’s rapidly-growing new Waterfront district. You’ll find us on the main arterial road between the Waterfront Retail Park and Barry Island – Ffordd y Mileniwm. Our campus entrance is adjacent to Asda, while our playing fields back onto the Goodsheds shopping and eating destination.
Drivers: please note that parking is not available on-campus.
Please be considerate when parking on residential streets adjacent to the campus.
When hiring facilities, parking on-site is made available.
Vale of Glamorgan Council is working to promote and improve opportunities for active travel within the local authority area.
We love to see children arriving at school on foot, by pedal power or on scooters. There are covered facilities for the safekeeping of bikes and scooters on-campus.
The 94 and 95 Cardiff Bus routes stop very close to the campus: Cardiff Bus Services
If you’d like to map out your journey, this website can help: Travel Planning - Vale of Glamorgan Council