Friday 13th September 2019

School is in full swing after our first complete week back, and our new students have definitely settled in very nicely. It wasn’t difficult to get big smiles on faces as we took our Year 7 photographs yesterday, and parents/carers of Year 7 students will have the opportunity to purchase these photos in the next few days.

On Tuesday we held our main assembly and, as is our custom the first main assembly of the year, the gathering was led by the

Senior Team on the theme of ‘New Beginnings’. The musical item was brought by Jai Crutwell-Jones, who brilliantly performed the self-accompanied vocal solo ‘Hallelujah’. We do like to give all students the opportunity to perform at such events, however, we fully understand that this is a daunting prospect for the majority of us, even if already accomplished musicians.

I would like to bring to your attention the recent Welsh Government announcement that all schools in Wales are to hold an additional training day each year for the next three years in order to prepare for the implementation of the New Curriculum for Wales. We are told that this training day must be held in the third term, and therefore we have set the date for staff at Castell Alun to receive their training on Thursday 16th July 2020. School will now close to students for the summer holidays on Wednesday 15th July this academic year.

As I mentioned last week, school study club buses will run on Mondays and Tuesdays this year and we would encourage all students to make the most of the fantastic opportunities available through our extra-curricular programme in many different subject areas. However, there may be other activities/classes available to students on other evenings also at times, and staff will give specific classes prior notice of these.

Sixth Form students took part in a Mock UN COP conference at Caernarfon Arfon Chamber on Thursday. Year 12 students represented Mozambique and opened the proceedings with a speech about the effects of Climate Change on the African state. Year 13 students enjoyed and embraced the challenge of representing China and making points that differ from their own. Everyone had a fantastic experience and we are seriously considering sending some of our students to assist with Brexit negotiations!

Individual and group successes are beginning to roll in again across the school and we will endeavour to keep you across these through the Blog, website and social media in general over the coming weeks. Please do let us know if you feel there is a particular success worthy of mention. Many thanks.

As we look to next week, on Tuesday we will hold a UCAS (university applications) evening at 6.30pm in the School Hall. Also on Tuesday at 6.30pm in the school Conference Room I would invite all interested friends of the school to the CAFA (Castell Alun Friends’ Association) AGM. We are truly grateful for the fantastic work which CAFA undertakes to support our school and I know for a fact that new members will be welcomed with open arms. On the Friday evening a large number of Year 11 students will go on a Duke of Edinburgh Silver practice expedition for the weekend. We remain very proud of the fact that Castell Alun is the largest school centre which runs Duke of Edinbugh expeditions across the whole of Flintshire.

And finally, staff attire may appear somewhat casual on Friday 20th September. Colleagues will be supporting ‘Jeans for Genes’ day and contributing in some small way to the tremendous work undertaken by this charity.

The forecast for the weekend is good. Have a great one!