Friday 1st May 2020

School is a strange place without all members of our family present. Indeed, we need to remember that when we talk about ‘school’, we actually mean the people really, and not as much the physical premises. In that context, in caring for each other and encouraging each other through these times, we strengthen each other and, in effect, build our school. We are Castell Alun, whether in session in the building or not.

There has been a great deal of wonderful student engagement over the past week, and some fantastic pieces of work have been submitted across all subjects and ages. We launched our Continuation of Learning Plan and are grateful for the many positive comments we have received about it and how it is working well for so many families.

Where parents / carers have expressed concerns about learning, we will, of course, continue to monitor provision and do our very best to meet the needs of all students. As I mentioned last week, teething problems are inevitable with all new ways of working, and this week our Learning Managers have been discussing with senior staff and their teams the ways in which we can most effectively continue to support students in Year 10 in particular, who are now half way through their examination courses. Our unswerving commitment to look after all students will not change as we seek to provide Year 10 students especially with extension tasks and further options of helpful and interesting, relevant external websites. Please do remember that this work is optional however, and that your child’s mental and physical wellbeing should serve as a guide to the volume of school activity undertaken.

Examples of work from Alannah, Matthew and Seren from Year 9

As with all parents / carers of students who are already in the process of taking different examination courses, we are very keen to ensure that Castell Alun students are well placed to succeed and meet their potential upon their return to ‘standard schooling’. Using all means appropriate, we are petitioning examination boards to ask them to understand the position of students who will have missed sections of learning and lost vital time when they are able to resume normal studies, and we eagerly await further news on this matter in due course.

Our pastoral and teaching teams have been working on further developing effective methods of monitoring student wellbeing and engagement at present. In addition to the Google Classroom communications which your son / daughter receives from teachers, our Student Development Managers will email students who may be struggling to engage with some of their schoolwork. If a concern is great, then families will also be contacted by telephone by an appropriate or indeed senior member of school staff. All such communications will be supportive in nature, because we really need to know that all of our students are well and that they have everything needed. Please be so good as to check your emails on a regular basis.

This week many of our Year 9 Design and Technology students have been working hard on their perspective drawing skills. Students were asked to ‘prototype’ and test a phone stand, which could go into production. So many of the pieces produced were outstanding! Congratulations to everyone who participated in this particular challenge. We could well have quite a few design entrepreneurs amongst our number!

Don’t forget, we’d love you to send us something your son / daughter is proud of. We might well be able to showcase it in this Blog or elsewhere on our website or social media feeds.

You can contact us at or by phone on 01978 760238 as ever.

Keep in touch and keep well.