It has been great to see the return of Year 12 to the school premises, and even though we would far rather teach Year 13 in the building, we have been reminded by some families that even most unfortunate occasions such as these do sometimes still have the vague silver lining of preparing some students for the kind of learning they may one day face at university. Nevertheless, we are desperate to have our entire Sixth Form in school over the coming weeks and are doing all in our power to facilitate this. The decision for bubbles to self-isolate lies solely with TTP and we are bound by law to enforce these. We are all hopeful of a day in the not too distant future when things are very different again.
Year 10 English Literature
Year 10 students will no longer be sitting their English Literature examination in January, and we eagerly await word from Welsh Government and the WJEC about an alternate plan for this qualification. We will let you know when we have further information. So called Non Examination Assessments (NEAs) will continue to take place in school and we are told will contribute towards the final grade awarded to students where this form of testing currently constitutes part of a course of study.
You may be aware that Welsh Government have made further announcements this week. If you do come on to the school premises and get out of your vehicles, please be so good as to wear a face covering. All of our students wear masks in communal areas inside the building, unless they have a medical exemption of course, and we are now asked to encourage students to wear masks when outside on the premises also, although natural ventilation obviously plays a key role in that context which we will also take into consideration.
Encouraging Religious and Cultural Awareness and Tolerant Understanding of All Views
Year 8 have recently been studying The Five Pillars of Islam in their Religious Studies lessons. As well as studying what the Pillars are and their significance to the Muslim faith, they have also been examining what happens during Hajj and the pilgrimage to Mecca. As part of their work students have been producing diaries of their ‘journey to Mecca’, and have been making their own Zakat boxes too. Some of the students who have produced some particularly good pieces of work include Cheryl in 8M, Esme and Evie in 8U and Emlyn and Ava in 8R.
Year 9 RS students, as part of their Prejudice and Discrimination unit, have been studying examples of non-violent protest and have been looking at the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Students have been producing some really impressive pieces of work, which have reflected their interest in the topic and the research they have been carrying out as part of their independent studies. Work of particular note comes from Dewi in 9M who has produced a really good mind map on Gandhi, as have Ruby, Evie W and Megan R also in 9M.
Really well done to everyone!
CAFA Virtual Christmas Market
Unable to hold their traditional Festive Gathering this year, our Castell Alun Friends Association, CAFA, are holding instead a virtual Christmas market. This will be done via an online Christmas Catalogue which will be available to access for the entire festive season. The catalogue can be accessed via the school website, and will contain the links to take you directly to the website or social media pages of the individual sellers.
Alongside the catalogue and the raffle mentioned in previous Blogs, CAFA will also be running a ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ campaign, where their advertisers will be split into twelve groups. On each of the twelve nights running up to Christmas, a different group will be promoted, leading up to the thirteenth night where a virtual event will be held.
If anyone is interested in advertising in the catalogue, please follow the link attached. The catalogue will go live on the website on 1st December, so please be quick if you want to feature.
As always, both CAFA and the school appreciate your continued support and how your involvement will directly benefit the school community.
We will provide further feedback on our new build soon. Thank you once again for your kindness and support of everyone in the school community over recent weeks. It is only together that we find an appropriate route through such circumstances, and now a Christmas break of some kind is just about in sight for all!
I hope you all enjoy a pleasant weekend.