Friday 19th May 2023


Bore da,

On Monday this week some of our ex-students were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award at Buckingham Palace by the new Duke of Edinburgh.  Mr. Kevin Davies was also invited in recognition of the tremendous numbers of Castell Alun students, who have achieved the Gold Award in the last 10 years – 158 in total!  Taking place in the Palace Gardens, there were speeches by well-known personalities, who had also participated in the DofE journey – Ore Oduba (This Morning and the One Show), Levison Wood (Professional Explorer) and Aljaz Skorjanec (Strictly Come Dancing).  Mr. Davies met Will, Elin, Grace, Ayla and Abigail who are in university (Oxford, Durham and Bristol) or working.  Everybody commented that the excitement was palpable as they walked in through the main gates and it was a special time for so many reasons, not least of which the opportunity to catch up with old friends.  The Duke of Edinburgh scheme at Castell Alun continues to go from strength to strength with many students involved in the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards again this year.

As we mentioned in the Blog on 28th April, our Welsh Baccalaureate Dragons’ Den Day, which rounded-off students’ enterprise challenge, was a great success.  Winners of the Year 12 Dragons’ Den were Ella and Kirstyn with their Welsh App, “Wello”.  The judges, Simon Checketts and Deb Owen from Lloyds Bank were most impressed with the standard produced by the students and commented on the quality of presentations and students’ ability to answer the judges’ questions.  This activity is just one of the tasks which forms a final part of our students’ A-Level Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification.  In second place was Lucy with her Trax Cube idea to improve mental health and in third place was a company called Tink (Jack, Henry, Faith, Abigail and Hannah) with the concept of a water recycling toilet.  Furthermore, EYN, a business designed by Amie, Daniel, Kyle and James, was highly commended for their work.

Last weekend Lucy and Macy (Year 7) travelled to Pembrokeshire to play for Deeside Netball Club in the Welsh National Club Championship finals.  Winning every game, they got through to the final, which was an all North East Wales final against Mold.  A very close game saw Deeside win and become the Wales U12s National Champions.  Many congratulations girls… fantastic news!  We also want to give a special mention to Erin (also Year 7) who played really well for Mold too.

We have been charting Oscar’s (Year 9) progress with great interest over recent years.  He has now competed in the finals of the National Schools League skiing competition in Gloucester.  Oscar faced stiff competition with finalists from all around the UK and he did some outstanding skiing, narrowly missing out on a podium place by under 3 seconds!  Great job Oscar but there is no rest for you as you now progress on to train at the British Ski Academy at Llandudno.

We close out this half term with our Year 11 Leaving Ceremony on the afternoon of Thursday 25th May, and our Year 13 formal farewell on the afternoon of Friday 26th May.   Parents/carers of these students are most welcome to join us for these happy occasions and should let school know their intention to attend if they have not already done so.  We can’t believe how time has flown and remember so many of these students from when they joined us at the start of Year 7!

Diolch am ddarllen, mwynhewch y penwythnos.

Thanks for reading, we hope you have a lovely weekend.