Friday 18th June 2021

The weeks are racing by and it seems that the summer break is not far off now. School is nevertheless an incredibly busy place, even without Years 11 and 13 in the building. Our new build continues to be on track for completion on time and we remain most grateful for the extremely positive working relationship we have with Wilmot Dixon. We are mindful of the adaptations that students, colleagues and neighbours of the school make on a daily basis in order to accommodate the works and we wish once again to thank everyone for your patience and support in this matter.

Last night’s Year 8 virtual Parents’ Evening went very well and a great many positive conversations took place informing parents of progress and attainment. Thank you to everyone involved, on either side of the computer screen. In the near future we will review our approach to Parents’ Evening and consider the benefits of the virtual event further before informing you of our intentions for next academic year.

Our CAFA Pets Photo Competition has been a real success and the Senior Leadership Team thoroughly enjoyed judging all entries. It is most certainly true to say that pets and animals, in general, can have a very therapeutic effect on each of us! So, firstly thank you very much to everybody who took the time to enter and we are pleased to announce the following results:-

The cutest pet prize went to Emily in Year 8 for her picture of a calf, and the funniest pet went to Ben in Year 7 for his picture of his dog – both students won a £25 Amazon voucher. A special £10 prize was awarded to Iwan in Year 9 for being the first to enter the competition and for sending in a lovely story about his cat.

Well done everybody, thank you so much to CAFA and we hope to run similar events in future also.

We cover so many of our students’ successes via social media feeds but it always lovely to be able to celebrate these in the Blog also. This week a particular congratulations to Sasha (Year 7), who has recently been offered a place in the North Wales Girls’ Football Academy. Well done Sasha!

When you get a moment please do take a look at Twitter in particular as we have put on there a variety of photos of our Year 7 and 8 students thoroughly enjoying our current extra-curricular programme of sporting activities. We hope to be able to continue to enhance this programme early next academic year as it has been tremendously difficult to offer students the opportunities we would have wished during Covid times.

Throughout June and until the end of September we have been informed that Castell Alun will receive 10% of all purchases from WH Smith in the form of digital achievement reward vouchers. We would be most grateful if parents/carers would follow the link below in order to facilitate this, and anyone buying something from WH Smiths would indicate that they wish the 10% to go to Castell Alun High School. Thank you very much indeed.

Today our Year 8 students have had their vaccinations for HPV. We are pleased to report that this has gone very well and we are most keen to continue to support such vaccination programmes, even during Covid times, as we believe this is certainly in the best interests of our students.

On Wednesday next week, our Year 9 students will be sitting their Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) during the morning. Please be aware that there are no preparations required for these tests and students should be discouraged from any anxiety on this front.

May we again remind any parents/carers who have an interest in our Year 6 into Year 7 Induction Programme that a library of information is now available on our website as we are unable to host the usual large-scale Transition Evening and subsequent Transition Day en-masse this year.

We have now added an overview video to this provision, and are most grateful for the skill and expertise of Mr Adam Southwell, who has assisted us with this.

Also on Wednesday 23rd June, a number of potential Sixth Form students from other schools will spend some time with us at Castell Alun as they have registered to join our Year 12 from September 2021. All necessary Covid mitigations will, of course, remain in place as ever. We really look forward to meeting everyone and ensuring a happy and successful transition into the Castell Alun Sixth Form.

Although the landscape is constantly altering, single-person tent occupancy allows us to run overnight Duke of Edinburgh trips again as things stand. Mr Jack Evans now has the leadership of our highly successful Duke of Edinburgh scheme and with all Covid mitigations in place, a Silver Expedition is currently planned for 25th to 27th June. We will report back on this in the near future.

Provisional Centre Determined Grades have now been allocated to all examination class students who were due to complete a qualification this academic year. These provisional results are being sent to students in Year 11 and 13 via their Gmail account today, and to parents via Intouch. They will be given out to Years 10 and 12 during tutor periods. If your child believes an error has been made in the process of determining the grade they are entitled to request a Decision Making Record for the affected subject by 22nd June at 12 pm. After receipt of the Decision Making Record, they then have five days to request a Centre Review and Appeals Form. The form needs to be completed and returned by no later than 5th July 2021 at 12 pm.

I am sure a great many of us were thrilled with the Wales Football Team performance on Wednesday. Long may it continue!

Have a lovely weekend.