Friday 20th December 2019

Our Main Assembly this morning was, of course, on the theme of Christmas and was led by the Senior Team. We all loved the musical item which was brought by LIES, our incredibly talented Year 9 band. The lads rocked us out to ‘Christmas Time – Don’t Let the Bells End’ in their own inimitable style.

Last Friday our Year 11 Girls’ Netball Team narrowly lost in their next round of the President’s Cup – hard luck on this occasion girls!

The Christmas Market run by Year 10 as part of their Welsh Bacc Enterprise Challenge on Tuesday was simply fantastic. All proceeds were given to Hope House, and I’m ecstatic to report that the sum raised for this most worthy of charities was in the region of a whopping £4500 in total! Our Year 10 student teams devised all kinds of ingenious ways in which to market their products and indeed attract the attention of on-lookers, and it is rumoured that some staff actually devoured at least 3 toasties each, plus numerous milk shakes, before moving on to a main course of cake and sweets…..all in the name of a good cause of course! Thank you so much to all parents / carers / friends who helped students produce goods and also donated all kinds of things to bring to the market. Everybody had a fantastic time and the atmosphere was great throughout the day. Thanks to everyone who popped in to see us. Well done to all in Year 10, all our Group Tutors, and Mr O Connell and Mr Swale. Cracking job!

Our Year 7 students went to Hope Parish Church for a Christmas service yesterday and what a lovely time we had. As always, we were really made to feel most welcome and Rev. Pauley’s message hit the mark once again. Chloe, Hollie, Finlay, Phoenix, Morgan and Luca certainly made a joyful sound ringing the bells, and well done and thank you to Adam, Ivy and Si’bella for their beautiful readings, and of course, Mr Searson, Miss Gittins and all members of our school choir – and Adam for accompanying them!

Well done and great thinking to Miss Pearn’s Tutor Group 7O, who recently came up with the concept of a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ in support of people sleeping rough in the local area. It’s incredibly touching to see how much our students care about others, and we’re already working on further ideas to assist those less fortunate than ourselves in the future.

On Wednesday evening a group of Years 11, 12 and 13 students had a great time at Peter Pan at the Storyhouse Theatre, Chester, and yesterday we held our Sixth Form Christmas Lunch and festivities…..truly a colourful and spirited high-point of the year! Following a lovely meal provided by our canteen team, Mr Davies and Miss Cronin dreamed-up the most interesting forms of entertainment, with the help of our Sixth Form Group Tutors, and the Awards Ceremony went off with great hilarity also. Well done and thanks to everyone who made this wonderful occasion possible. We love the Stormtrooper outfit Mr Davies!

I was thrilled to meet with a number of top performers from all year groups this week. These students have performed really well, worked extremely hard and been rewarded with correspondingly high grades from their teachers in our recent STR trawl. I loved congratulating them and discussing ways to support students further in their school life. Our Year 10 and 11 students shared some interesting thoughts on their GCSE work and how we can assist them further as they seek exam success in the future. Well done everybody – you should be really proud of yourselves!

I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone (students especially!) that Monday 6th January is a staff training day and so we open our doors again for lessons to all on Tuesday 7th January 2020. Later during that week all of our Year 11 students will attend a Sixth Form Launch Assembly, during which advice and guidance will be given with regard to opportunities for continuing studies in the School Sixth Form. All students will then have the opportunity to attend talks on subjects of their choice for the following September.

Well, it’s now time to take a well-earned rest and enjoy all that this time of year can bring. One final special mention – Mr Stephen Potter moves into a well-earned retirement this Christmas, after a phenomenal 38 years of service to Castell Alun. We were all so touched by his leaving speech and Mr Potter will always be regarded as a true school legend. I know you all join with me in wishing him all the very best for the next chapter of his life. Mr Potter – you will always be a special colleague and we’re going to miss you! Please keep in touch!

Thank-you so much for all of your support and faith in us, our traditions and values. Have a wonderful Christmas and we’ll see you again in January 2020.