Friday 17th January 2020

This week we held a Lower School Assembly on the theme of ‘making a positive start to the year’ and this was led by members of our staff team. We are all grateful for fresh beginnings at times, and having a healthy positive perspective as we look to embrace all that 2020 brings is a really valuable way of getting the most out of the year.

It was truly lovely to see so many former students when they popped in before Christmas to collect certificates and catch-up with teachers. As members of the family move on we take great pride in hearing about your successes and adventures and it’s genuinely heart-warming to know that Castell Alun has played a role in giving you such a great introduction to further study and employment.

Over the last few days many of our Year 11 students have sat their external English Language Unit 1 Group Oral assessments, and also Science Practical examinations. I am pleased to report that feedback was positive and our students felt sufficiently well-prepared and, in some cases, confident. These students have also been attending talks all week on courses available in our Sixth Form from September, in order that our successful partnership with families, and care and provision for your children, may continue seamlessly. Year 11 students are very much in the spotlight at present and have their internal trial examinations in all subjects between 20th – 29th January. At this point we want to make it clear to all students that we will do everything possible to support and help you in your preparations, and should you have any concerns whatsoever, please do speak to your teacher / group tutor / Student Development Manager as soon as you are able, so we can work out any worries together.

Our Literacy Buddies scheme started again on Monday when our Sixth Form team met their allocated buddies, having undertaken weeks of training in how to support other students. Everything went really well and we’ve had lots of lovely feedback about the energy and buzz in the room. This scheme will now continue until May.

Thank you to all parents / carers who came along to our Year 10 Parents’ Evening on Thursday. The event was a great success and clearly testified to the way in which our students have settled into their examination class courses. Also, yesterday evening, a number of Year 11 English students went to the Lowry Theatre to see ‘ An Inspector Calls’ and thoroughly enjoyed the production. This morning, a number of our Expressive Arts students performed their way to success in their Trinity exams in the school hall. Well done to all of you!

Last week the illustrious publishing house, Pearson, announced the winners of its prestigious ‘Twist on a Tale’ competition, and our very own Thea (Year 7) was both surprised and thrilled to learn that she had been crowned national winner for Wales in the Key Stage 3 category. ‘Twist on a Tale’ is a nationwide competition, open to students from Key Stages 1 to 4, and is an annual quest for Britain’s most talented young writers. This year’s challenge was to craft a short story of 750 words with a modern day twist on a traditional fairy-tale. Thea’s story, entitled ‘Cinder-media’, impressed the judges and earned her the coveted first place prize. Thea’s work will now be published and we look forward to seeing the end result when it is sent to us hot off the press later this month. Thea – that’s just incredible! Really well done and please don’t ever stop writing – it’s a wonderful gift.

We’re also really proud to tell you that Regan (Year 9) has been selected to take a trip down to France from the south coast of England on one of the country’s finest traditional working ‘tall ships’. He’ll take the dream trip later this year and will have the amazing opportunity to visit all kinds of wonderful places en-route. Have a tremendous time Regan, and let us know all about it please.

Congratulations to Lily (Year 12), who is in the North East Wales Under 18 Netball Squad and will represent our school and this area of Wales in the finals of an inter-counties tournament on Sunday in Bangor. Go for it Lily!

Our Sixth Form Football Team, comprising lads from Years 12 and 13, has won through to the last 16 of the Welsh Cup. They recently beat Prestatyn 6-1 with a great team performance. Next week the boys will play Bryn Refail on the next step of their march into the final 8!

We eagerly await the results of an area cross-country competition and will report on these next week.

Have a lovely weekend.