Friday 15th October 2021

Bore da! We were greeted by a crisp, fresh Autumn morning and today is ‘diwrnod Shwmae Su’mae’ (a Welsh language celebration day).  Throughout the day we aim to encourage the use of Cymraeg in everyday life in Cymru. This is also a fitting launch time for our new ‘Bob Dydd’, with posters being put up in every classroom. At Castell Alun we are proud of our heritage and aim to develop bilingual, or indeed trilingual, students in every way possible.

Our Year 12 Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expedition students returned enthusiastic and unscathed from their final assessment last weekend.  Although the challenges were great, everybody raised their game to the required level and a good time was had by all.  Well done everyone and thanks to Mr. Jack Evans in particular for his organisational role in this event.

Throughout times of lockdown, it has been more challenging to develop oral skills in foreign languages in particular. However, we now seek to embark upon a new era and further develop the use of languages for real purposes as we build links with schools and other organisations, ultimately in France, Germany and Spain. We have set up a partnership project with a school in France, called Collège Louis Augustin Bosc in Saint Prix. Some Year 7 students have been asked to write an introduction about themselves. The students concerned were really excited about their involvement, and soon we will be writing about our school and sending Christmas cards etc to promote Language learning and links with France.

We have had both individual and team success once again this week.  So, a massive well done to the U13 Girls’ Football Team, who beat Ysgol Brynhyfryd in the second round of the Welsh Schools Cup with a 4-0 scoreline. Our Year 10 Boys’ team will also progress in the competition after beating Ysgol Brynhyfryd 5-2. Our Year 8 lads battled hard but were on the losing end against Rhyl.  We were also really pleased that 22 of our Year 7/8 girls attended a hockey development session locally this week….. and we really can’t wait for the completion of our new Astroturf pitch, so we can build on the enthusiasm of these students and raise the profile of hockey at Castell Alun. Really well done also to our Year 10/11 Netball Team, who won a hard-fought match against Connahs Quay, 8-6, this week.  We are tremendously proud of our students in each of these teams.

Liv (Year 8) has once again been selected to play for the Flintshire School Girl’s Football team and Oscar (also Year 8) represented Castell Alun, competing at the Welsh Schools’ Ski Championships at Llangrannog in mid-Wales. Oscar achieved a very respectable 6th place in the challenging U14s group. In fact, only 18 racers completed the course and Oscar just missed out on a podium place by 2 seconds, which highlights the incredibly high standard of racing amongst his peers. Oscar is genuinely putting skiing on the map at Castell Alun and will continue his weekly training and attend a development camp in Llandudno over half term.

Learning is our business at Castell Alun, but we don’t feel that learning is only for students!  Surely in life, we must all continue to learn in order to grow.  Therefore, we are delighted to support the Adult Community Learning Project across North East Wales and would ask you to click on the following link for further information about how adults can boost their career opportunities, learn new skills and meet new people in a supportive and fun way.

As we approach half term we ask that all parents/carers of students in Year 11 sign up to the virtual Parents’ Evening on Thursday 21st October, if they have not already done so.  We have known for many years at Castell Alun that the wellbeing and progress of our students is all down to the partnership school has with all families and effective communication upon which our collective success relies.

We will be joined next week by a small number of associate teachers in certain subject areas and on Wednesday a large number of our GCSE Geographers will attend a field trip.  There are clearly signs of a return to former times, but we must remain vigilant and mindful of the need to continue to look after ourselves and each other.

We hope you all enjoy a restful weekend.