Friday 24th January 2020

Our Main Assembly on the theme of ‘Resolutions’ was led very well by Year 10 this week, and Sophie and Ewan read with real poise. Indeed we encouraged all students to make the most of opportunities presented to them in school this year, including joining in with Study Club and extra-curricular activities, perhaps as one of their resolutions.

Our Chair of Governors, Mr Idris Williams, has recently taken the decision to step down from the leadership of the Governing Body. Mr Williams served the school community with great distinction as Chair and will continue to sit on the Governing Body, contributing his vast experience, as ever, to school life. We are truly thankful to Mr Williams for his tireless work and cheerful approach to his guidance of the school family. We are delighted that the Vice Chair of Governors, Mrs Helen Williams, has recently accepted the position of Chair upon the request of her peers, and wish Mrs Williams every success as she continues to work with us to lead our school community.

Our Year 11 students have acquitted themselves admirably in their trial examinations to date and the signs are most positive for the summer.

Really well done to all of our Year 7 and 8 students who have taken up the challenge to read 1 million words by 30th March. I’m not sure how many books that will mean, but I hope you really enjoy every one of them as part of your ‘Millionaire’s Challenge’. This term we are placing an emphasis on building resilience in all of our learners as part of our Praise and Rewards Strategy, and anyone who has a good crack at reading a million words will certainly be recognised for their resilient qualities!

On Thursday this week we were visited by an Estyn Inspector in order to consider our progress in planning as we approach the introduction of the New Curriculum for Wales (beginning with Year 7) in September 2022. Mr Sion Peters-Flynn was very pleased with the work of the Castell Alun team and will now share our good practice nationally with leaders of other schools over the coming months.

Congratulations to our Year 7 Boys’ Football Team, who are through to the Welsh Schools quarter finals after beating Sir Hugh Owen, Caernarfon, on penalties. The finals are calling you boys! In cross – country last week, our teams and each individual did themselves proud and gave everything they had. Well done to everyone who participated – you are all stars! We are also delighted with the news that 3 of our talented netballers were part of the NE Wales team who played their hearts out to become the overall winners across Wales – da iawn to Lily, Catrin and Becca (Years 12 & 13)!

Llongyfarchiadau also to Oak and Annabel (Year 9), Amelie (Year 10) and Ieuan (Year 11) who went to Techniquest Glyndwr on Wednesday for the RSC’s Top of the Bench competition. They took part in a general knowledge Chemistry quiz and came in the top 7 of teams from schools across North Wales.

On Thursday 30th January we will open our doors wide for our Sixth Form Open Evening, from 6.30pm. This is always a really enjoyable and uplifting event, during which both our own and indeed multiple students from other schools visit different subject areas at Castell Alun in order to discuss potential courses of study in our Sixth Form. Every year we are thrilled by the number of students who decide that Castell Alun is the place for them to continue their studies, making our Sixth Form the most vibrant and successful stepping stone to University, Higher Apprenticeships and future employment.

We have been asked to mention the agency ‘Your Space’ ( as worthy of consideration for certain support services. Your Space provides social opportunities, activities and clubs for children and young people who are on the Autistic Spectrum. Whether you require a support worker who could come to the home of a child over the age of 5 and assist them for a 2 hour period, or perhaps help for a young person in a community activity of their choosing, it could be worth making contact with this organisation.

Finally, last night I spent a very enjoyable evening at the Flintshire Duke of Edinburgh Awards Ceremony which this year was held at Theatr Clwyd.  It was brilliant to see so many of our students receive their Gold, Silver or Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards following all their hard work.  The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is widely recognized by employers as mark of achievement in terms of developing essential skills for life and work and so it was lovely to be able to congratulate students and their families, and I was especially proud to see Castell Alun so well represented.  Many thanks to Mr Duffy and staff involved for providing a life changing experience and the opportunity to discover new interests and talents – as well as a fun time with friends along the way!

Have a lovely weekend.