Friday 14th July 2023


Blog 14th July 2023

As the year draws to a close, we are disappointed to have to postpone today’s Sports Day due to the poor weather. Students’ safety is always our highest priority but we do appreciate that the decision was a disappointment to a great many children. We are currently considering possibilities for a more succinct version of Sports Day next week and if this is possible we will confirm plans as soon as we are able.

Staff are students have been incredibly busy in the past couple of weeks and a variety of school trips have taken place. On Thursday 6th July, 100 Year 7 students enjoyed the experience of attending Youth Day at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. Students enjoyed taking part in circus-skills workshops and multi-cultural performances in the main tent. They made good use of their Cymraeg skills whilst purchasing souvenirs and enjoying the atmosphere on the Maes. As you may be aware we attend this event annually and see it as fundamental in our ongoing celebrations of our school heritage.

Last week, 35 students from Year 9 – Year 11 embarked on a trip to Belgium and Germany. Students visited Bruges, Cologne and Boppard and used their language skills to order food and drink. They visited the ‘Choco-Story’ in Bruges where they learnt about the history of chocolate. As you would imagine everybody enjoyed sampling the many varieties of chocolate on offer! During the visit to the Olympic Museum in Cologne, many students attempted to beat the world records, with Castell Alun playing football against a German school also. The party visited Phantasialand and were given free time in Boppard and Cologne where many were excited to use their language skills to communicate with locals and order lots of different flavoured ice-creams. On the final night, many students were recognised with awards which included the ‘Most Target Language Spoken’, ‘Most Fears Faced’, and ‘Most Involved in the German Culture’. Everybody had a fantastic time and made the most of this wonderful experience.

On the 7th July, 32 A Level History and RS students left school for Berlin, Germany. In support of their A Level studies, students visited various historical sites including the remains of the Berlin Wall, the Topography of Terror, the Jewish Museum, the Olympic Stadium and the Reichstag building. As well as visiting such sites, students also got to spend time across the capital, soaking up the culture and experiencing life in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, all whilst enduring temperatures above 30c! Having spent three days in Berlin, the party headed by coach to Krakow, Poland. In complete contrast to both the size and pace of Berlin, Krakow offered a different experience of life in a major European city, with its winding streets and Medieval square. Students visited the Galicia Museum, which is dedicated to educating about Poland’s Jewish population which was decimated during the Second World War. Here students had a talk with a Holocaust survivor. The same day they also went to Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp. Undoubtedly one of the most poignant and memorable visits of the trip, this experience will certainly stay with all participants for a considerable time to come.

You would doubtless wish us to thank all staff who have been involved in planning and leading these trips. We are truly grateful that our colleagues go above and beyond their recognised duties and give freely of their own time and energy in order to enhance the learning journeys for so many students each year.

This week nine Year 7 students attended the Aura Sport Games at Deeside Leisure Centre. They had a really good time participating in events such as dodgeball, boccia, ice skating and many experienced new activities during the day. However, students in Years 7 to 10 will also participate in our school festival on Monday and Tuesday next week, during which they will doubtless participate in further new events.

As part of our traditional school festival which brings about the close to our academic year, Year 7 will participate in our School Eisteddfod on Monday during which students will sing, dance and recite through the medium of Welsh in a friendly but competitive environment. Year 7 will also participate in interform rounders, a game-a-thon, a trip to Caergwrle Castle, various performing and creative arts (including the production of business t-shirts) and sample an introduction to Italian (Buongiorno!).

Students in Year 8 are excited about their visit to Park in the Past and this year group will also have options to engage in performing arts, a variety of team sports, an Italian language class, “comic creators”, a reading picnic and other games.

Students in Year 9 will also spend half a day at Park in the Past. During the other three sessions they will participate in team building and problem-solving activities and compete in interform activities (either a quiz, football or rugby) and the year group will also play some strategy games, undertake STEM activities or do some cooking.

For Year 10, we have sourced multiple creative and sporting opportunities, from Olympic weightlifting to strategy games and many more inbetween. We are all really hopeful of a very enjoyable close to term and both students and staff traditionally get a lot out of these last few days!

This academic year Flintshire County Council are seeking to make the process for claiming a School Essentials Grant (formerly known as Uniform Grant) more efficient. If you would like further information about these changes for the academic year 23/24 please be so good as to follow this link for further information.

CAFA (Castell Alun Friends Association) would like to say a big ‘diolch’ for all the support shown this year. As you are aware, the work of CAFA goes into helping support the students at Castell Alun and this could not be achieved without participation in the various events and fundraising efforts which have taken place. Thanks to events such as the Fashion Show, the Quiz Night and the recent Car Boot as well as the lottery, CAFA have been able to help fund various projects within the school, including the setting up of a STEM group in Science, a UCAS Fair trip for Sixth Form, the refurbishment of the school counselling room, orienteering equipment for use in the PE department, leaving photographs for Year 11 and an F1 project in Physics. The continued support of parents/carers and the wider community is much appreciated by all those students who have benefited from the opportunities provided.

As we look ahead to the new academic year, CAFA will hold its first meeting of the new year on September 12th at 6.30pm in school. New members are always welcome so if you feel that you could spare a little of your time to help continue to raise funds which then go directly back to support the students through various projects, please do come along.

All that remains to be said is that we are extremely grateful for your support and hard work over this academic year. A great deal has been achieved and much progress has been made. A Headteacher’s letter will follow in the coming days with some key information for our new term. For now, however, we wish you all a lovely summer and trust that everyone gets some rest and enjoyment with friends and family over the summer holiday in order that we may all face September with a spring in our collective step!