Friday 15th September 2023


P’nawn da,

Welcome back to Castell Alun for all students and parents/carers alike! We have now completed our first full teaching week, and our Year 7 students and those who have transferred from other schools into our Year 12, appear to have settled in very well. You may well have seen some of the media headlines about Castell Alun later in August. We are thrilled to be able to say that our results at A and AS Level and also GCSE level were amongst the very best in the whole of the country and shone locally also. We wish, once again, to record our very grateful thanks to all families who have worked so closely with us to ensure that examination class students achieve the best that they can achieve, based upon their own personal ability and skill set. We do not believe that one size fits all and there was a wonderful feeling amongst students with differing aspirations around the school on results days.

This morning we held our first main school assembly and would like to say a big diolch to Sibella, Ava and Celyn (all Year 11) for their lovely readings as we explored the topic of new beginnings and perseverance.

There is tangible excitement around the campus and we hope that you will be able to sense something of this through our weekly blog, social media feeds, website and other communications. If you haven’t already downloaded the new Sims parent app, please be so good as to do this at your earliest convenience. All parents/carers should have received an invitation to join the app over recent weeks via email. However, if this email has not landed or has gone astray, you can contact the school office for further information on the app. We intend to use the app so that parents/carers can receive information about attendance, behaviour and achievement and you can also use the app to change our details and add relevant medical information. We appreciate that it may take a little time to iron out any teething problems but we remain committed to harnessing the strengths of this app as we move forward.

Yesterday we carried out our statutory school lockdown practice as part of our standard wellbeing and safety procedure. All students responded exceptionally well and any causes for concern were avoided as each individual was walked through the event, even though a real life scenario which may necessitate lockdown is, of course, exceedingly unlikely. Di iawn and diolch pawb.

Although we are currently unable to run extra study buses, it is wonderful to be able to report that our extra-curricular sessions are already being well attended. The extra curricular timetable for September to October half term can be found here, with a number of varied, fun clubs on offer. We really want everyone to remember that school is not simply about the classroom and there is a rich variety of activity available to all beyond the daily timetable! It is vital that students pursue their own hobbies and passions alongside their studies.

Next Tuesday we have a representative coming into school from Only Boys Aloud, a famous Welsh Boys’ choir, to deliver a one-off singing workshop to boys in the lower school. We are really fortunate to have been able to book this exciting experience, predominantly for boys in Year 7 to 9. The session will take place in the Music department, and we ask students who enjoy singing and would like to be involved to sign up on their music Google Classroom, and come along on Period 1 on Tuesday.

On Wednesday next week, most of our Year 7 students will participate in Cognitive Ability Testing (CATS). Please join us in assuring each student that this is nothing to be concerned about and no preparation is necessary whatsoever for these tests. All students will be briefed on and assisted with the entire process.

On the horizon already is our New Intake Open Evening on Thursday the 28th of September, aimed mainly at students who wish to join Castell Alun in Year 7, September 2024. The evening begins at 6.30pm and we would ask parents/carers to park on the rear car park. A talk will be delivered by the Headteacher and Mrs. Lisa Allen, Student Development Manager for Year 7, on two occasions during the evening, 6.30pm and 7.15pm. Parents/carers and their children will have lots of opportunities to visit all areas and subjects in the school and get involved with different activities. This is always a fun, informative occasion and mini-tours of the school campus will be hosted by current Year 8 and 9 students… just so you can all get the unfiltered low-down on school life! Every year we are told that our students are wonderful ambassadors for Castell Alun and they are a credit to you, their parents/carers. If you are unable to attend this open

evening, a smaller open morning is available on the next day Friday, 29th September. Please be so good as to book a place on this in advance via the school office, if you would like to attend this event and were unable to come along to the Open Evening.

We already have some successes to announce – our Year 11 boys’ football team played St David’s and Hawarden in the first round of the Flintshire cup this week. The lads won the group on goal difference and now progress to the next round. Di iawn! Photo on twitter

And how about this one…… Emily (Year 8) participated in the British Ju Jitsu National Championships in Walsall last week. Having trained incredibly hard over the entire summer holiday for the competition, she qualified for Random Attacks, Open Hand Kata, Continuous Fighting and Pairs Demonstration. Emily did unbelievably well and actually earned a gold medal in each of these categories! Incredible job Emily! Ardderchog!

Many of you will be enjoying the Rugby World Cup. C’mon Cymru!

Have a good weekend! Mwynhewch y penwythnos!