Friday 21st December 2018

Our final whole school assembly of the year featured readings by Jacob, Natasha, Megan and Celyn and was, of course, of the theme of Christmas. The staff band rocked us out with the topical Elton John favourite, ‘I’m Still Standing’.

Students in Years 7 and 8 went along to Hope Parish Church for a Christmas service earlier in the week and we would like to thank all of our friends at the Church for accommodating and welcoming us in such fine style. In Year 8 our Bell Ringers – India, Joel, Abi, Isabel and Teegan did a sterling job, as did the readers Megan and Adam. Likewise well done to all of our Year 7 Bell Ringers Charlie, Caitlyn, Abdul, Holly, Ellie and Sam and congratulations to our readers Caitlin, Sam and Ali. The school choir brought a wonderful contribution which put the cherry on the cake of both events.

A really big well done to Adam of Year 12, who not only performed at the CAFA Christmas event recently, but also left the audience wanting more during our school Christmas concert with his piano solo work.

It was lovely to see the extended Castell Alun school family in the form of Darcy and Sam, two of last year’s Year 13 students, who came to visit us this week and told us about the great time that they are having at Durham and Cambridge University. It’s always a treat to see former students thriving and is, of course, lovely to hear them speak so admirably about their time with us at school.

On the Welsh Baccalaureate front thank you so much to our ‘Dragons’ who gave all Year 10 students a supportive and encouraging grilling on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week in the Dragons’ Den activity! The Year 10 students have gone on to host a tremendous Christmas Market today, in which massive amounts of money have been raised for Hope House. We are so proud of our Year 10 students for their energy and endeavour in undertaking this task, under the expert guidance of Mr. Swale, Welsh Baccalaureate KS4 Co-ordinator. At the time of writing the School Hall is buzzing with excitement and purchases are being made like it’s Black Friday! Copious amounts of chocolate are being consumed and everyone is having a simply wonderful time.

This year our Year 11 School Council has decided to support local charities and the Flintshire Food Bank. Year 11 students have been busy bringing in donations to donate to Mold High Street Charity Shops and to the Flintshire Food Bank. A group of Year 11 students delivered our donations on Thursday afternoon, and our contributions were all greatly received. Well done everyone.

Well done and thank you to our Year 11 Business Students Nia, Jack, Owen and Jack who were tasked with raising awareness for a charity and set up a lovely coffee afternoon, again at Hope Parish Church. They served tea, coffee and cakes and played the piano for the community raising an amazing £210 for Macmillan.

The highest performing students in Years 7 and 8, with regard to their school Learning Ethic, met Mrs. Williams this week and were congratulated on their commitment and progress over the course of the past four months. Tremendous effort everyone and we couldn’t ask for more engaging students as role models in the Lower School.

Our Sixth Form students finished for Christmas yesterday, but not before they had enjoyed an awesome lunch and party, brilliantly hosted by Mr. Incredible (normally known as Mr. Kevin Davies,

Director of Sixth Form). A full Christmas lunch came first and then the students….. and anyone else who could possibly make it …. thronged into the School Hall for dancing, witty repartee and the annual fun filled awards ceremony. Spirits were high and the volume of proceedings was yet higher! It’s great to see these students letting their hair down because they work so hard all year round.

It is hard to believe that we have been able to run so many tremendous trips for students in all year groups over the course of this term. Even over the last fortnight trips/big events have been in double figures, and we can only sincerely thank every single person who has had an involvement in running these marvellous experiences for our students.

One quick heads up for next term – four of our Sixth Form girls are setting up a Mental Health Wellbeing Society in January 2019 – it will be a safe place to share concerns and learn how to deal more effectively with stress. Doors will be open at lunchtime for students in Years 7 to 11 and the relaxed session will be led by Naomi, Rhianna, Lucy and Ellie. Further details to follow.

Both and staff and students return to school on Monday 7th January and a significant number of Year 11 students will undertake an English exam on Wednesday 9th January. However, for now let’s focus on finishing the current term in style – it’s been a tremendous Autumn Term and we are so thankful for the unending support that you all give to the school. Everyone at Castell Alun wishes you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas and good health in 2019.