I do hope you and your families are keeping well. As the nights get longer and the days get colder we are undoubtedly entering the time of year when coughs, colds and general illness can start to circulate more widely. Given the current circumstances, we would again ask that any student who is unwell stays off school and remains at home until they are better. Whilst in any other year we would be encouraging students to do their best to come into school if sufficiently well, unfortunately given the wide and varied symptoms of COVID 19 we must now take a most cautious approach. If your child shows any symptoms that could be related to COVID, it is vital that you keep them at home.
As we all work very hard to keep the school community safe and well, any student at home will be able to continue accessing the curriculum through our Blended Learning programme as long as they feel able to do so, but it is more important that they get well first of course! There is further detail about the setting of work for students who are unable to attend school on our website. If students are contagious when in school, TTP is likely to tell the whole year group to self-isolate upon the occurrence of a positive case. At times this is of course unavoidable as a student may be asymptomatic when in school and yet subsequently test positive in the immediate days thereafter.
We are really pleased to announce that our Careers advisor, Margaret Gladwell, has now commenced interviews with our Year 11 students. Whilst socially distanced, students are given the opportunity to discuss their options for next year, whether that be in the field of employment, apprenticeships or further education. The process gives students the opportunity to get some advice and guidance and provide details of where to look for further information, should they need it. Over the course of the next few months, all Year 11 students, plus any students in the Sixth Form who may also request one, will be given the opportunity to attend an appointment. If students are particularly keen for this to happen sooner rather than later, they should see their relevant SDM in connection.
On a similar note, we are currently coordinating some career educational opportunities with Wilmott Dixon, the contractors responsible for the new school build. For those students who are interested in a potential career in engineering or construction this is a fantastic opportunity. With the builders being on site, this offers a wonderful chance for some of our students to experience first-hand aspects of the construction industry and provide them with an invaluable insight into a potential future career. We hope very much to work further with Willmott Dixon to provide broader opportunities for our students also, especially in such fields as mock careers interviews.
In relation to the new build, the ground work is now nearing completion and within the next few weeks the steel framework for the new building will be erected. We are all excited at the prospect of seeing visible progress on the construction and at being able to see the shape of the new building taking place.
Castell Alun Friends’ Association
The Castell Alun Friends’ Association would like to thank those of you who have already purchased your raffle tickets for this year’s ‘Big PTA Raffle’ and would like to kindly remind anyone who has yet to do so that tickets are still available to buy. CAFA tirelessly raise funds which then go back into the school for the benefit of our students. Tickets cost £3 and the top prize is £5000. If you would like to show your support and potentially win a prize, then please visit www.bigptaraffle.co.uk and search for Castell Alun High School. The closing date for purchasing tickets is the 7th December 2020. Your support would be much appreciated.
Finally, we intend to simulate a fire practice – a staged school evacuation – at some point next week. One year group will evacuate the building each minute as announced on the PA system and we will assemble together in the separate designated areas (as students will have rehearsed over the past 2 weeks). We have decided to do this now, before the weather turns against us, but also because we feel that a simulated drill is extremely low risk when undertaken in this manner, and will assist everyone on site greatly in the highly unlikely event of a fire. It is also necessary as previous arrangements have changed due to our new build.
We are really looking forward to the return of Year 12 to school on Wednesday 25th November next week! Their distance learning engagement has been great…but don’t get too used to it….we’d rather have everyone in school. In the next few days all Sixth Form families will receive a letter from Mr Kevin Davies, detailing the rationale behind the forthcoming scheduled ‘mock’ examinations.
We have no further detail concerning WJEC assessments yet, but will of course let you know information as we are able.
I hope you enjoy your weekend.