As many of you will know, we had a wonderful concert in school last night. We were all disappointed that the planned Christmas Concert did not take place, but last night’s audience felt for certain that the performances given yesterday more than made up for the situation before Christmas. We would like to say a really big ‘diolch yn fawr’ to everybody who participated, facilitated or attended the event. Mr. Searson’s skills as Master of Ceremonies have attracted much praise.
Our main school assembly this week was on the topic of mental health and we are grateful for the poignant readings brought by Kai and Holly (Sixth Form students). As a school we are always keen to raise awareness of mental health issues and especially support those who experience such hardship. Mental challenges often go unseen and yet can have a profound effect on the individual if the matter is kept to oneself.
Year 11 students have been attending Sixth Form introductory talks all week and these are planned to continue up until half term. We are very fortunate to have a strong and vibrant Sixth Form at Castell Alun and the ability to offer such a wide variety of subjects remains one of our key features in the senior school.
As you know, the planned industrial action has now been postponed from Tuesday the 14th February. At Castell Alun we are very hopeful about the way forward and await the conclusion of a further teacher union ballot in the coming days. We will keep you informed of all further developments. This also means that the vaccinations planned for all Year 9 students, and those who require a catch-up immunisation in Years 10 and 11, will still take place on this day.
The 31st of March this year sees the long awaited return of the Castell Alun Ski Trip. In preparation, 38 Year 10 students visited the Chill Factore in Manchester yesterday. The trip allows students to ‘find their feet’ in preparation for the real thing when they hit the snowy slopes of Austria this April. For many this was the first time they had worn boots and skis, let alone attempted a snow plough! Great fun was had by all as they practised the basics and acclimatised themselves to what will undoubtedly be a far more demanding experience out in Austria. With the first go on the slopes now complete, the excitement and anticipation for a week of the real thing is mounting.
This week all parents/carers have received communication from Castell Alun about a concerning situation which was brought to our attention by local Police recently. Police have discovered a number of vapes in the locality of a highly questionable content. In order to protect our students as thoroughly as possible we have now introduced a change to our Substance Misuse Policy. From Monday, any student in possession of a vape, or similar product, on school premises, during the school day will receive an immediate fixed term exclusion. Parents/carers of those involved will be requested to collect their child immediately. The vape will be confiscated and passed to the Police. Pastoral sessions and assemblies continue to take place to educate our students on the dangers of vapes. We are very grateful indeed for your continued support on this difficult issue.
One final mention of lost property – we have accumulated a large stock of misplaced possessions over recent weeks and these are now housed in our reception area. We highly recommend that students who have lost something in school this academic year pop along to student reception to check if it has been handed in. Please note that any unclaimed items will be donated to local charities over half term.
Winter Fuel Payment Scheme – we have been asked by Flintshire County Council to circulate details of the Winter Fuel Payment that is available to eligible households. This payment is in addition to the Energy Bill rebate being offered by the UK Government and the Winter Fuel Payment normally paid to pensioners. The payment will be available to all eligible households (one payment per household) regardless of how they pay for their fuel, whether that is, for example, on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or by paying a bill quarterly and can be claimed regardless of whether they are using on or off-grid fuel. The scheme will be open to households where an applicant, or their partner is in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits at any time between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023. For full details of the Winter Fuel Payment Scheme, along with other support available, please visit the Flintshire County Council website https://flintshire.gov.uk/costofliving.
There will undoubtedly be many more students success stories over the next week or two and we look forward to informing you about these in due course.
Diolch am ddarllen – Thanks for reading