Friday 29th November 2019

Our Main School Assembly today was on the theme of Tolerance and was ably led by Year 10. The readers, Murray and Liberty, performed their roles as if they had done it many times before and they both brought some really important messages about respect, integrity and understanding in the context of people having different views on issues.

Let me start with tonight – for those of us still looking for great Christmas bargains, or just a lovely night out, please remember that the Friends’ Festive Fair this evening in the School Hall will be an evening of luxury, pampering, entertainment and shopping from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Tickets are a bargain at £2.50 and paying on the door is no problem.

On Monday and Tuesday this week a group of Year 11 students, who were absent from school during some of our Welsh Bacc National Community Challenge last summer, worked on a project to enhance Hope Railway Station. This ‘skills challenge’ has been of real value to our local community as our students have tidied-up the flower beds and planted over £300 worth of plants and bulbs. The station should look fantastic in spring thanks to their efforts.

On Wednesday we sent two teams to the Year 9 Geography World-Wise Quiz held at Chester University. Previous years have seen our teams compete very successfully and this year was no exception. Although we didn’t take the top place, our students put in highly-commendable performances. Well done everyone!

Yesterday a large number of Year 10 RS students travelled to Liverpool to visit three different places of worship in order to develop a greater understanding of a key part of their GCSE syllabus, and, of course, glean a deeper appreciation of the views and practices of others. The respect shown by all our students was praised by leaders of the different religious communities.

Our Year 12 Parents’ Evening proved a great success this week. It is wonderful to see how so many students have maturely taken the large step from GCSE studies into Sixth Form life, and of course the greater independence that this inevitably means. Many thanks to all who were able to join us for the evening. If you weren’t able to attend, please feel free to contact specific staff at school to discuss any matters of concern.

Our school library is going plastic free this Christmas. All decorations will be produced from natural products, ie no tinsel or glitter. I am told that hanging paper snowflakes are easy to make and Mrs Mitchell will be demonstrating how best to do this in the library at lunchtimes – dates and times will be posted on the library door. Please let your children know!

We wish all the lads in our Years 7, 8 and 9 Football Teams all the very best as they represent us in the Flintshire Football Finals on Thursday next week. On Friday our Year 13 Business Studies students will be given a grilling by representatives of ‘Young Chamber’ in a set of formal interviews which will help them to prepare more fully for experiences still to come.

Next week, on the afternoons of Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd December, parents / carers of our Year 7 students will be invited into school in the afternoon session to discuss the progress of all in our new intake this year. These sessions are always a really useful touch-point in our work together to ensure that all Year 7 students have settled in well and are enjoying life at Castell Alun.

On Tuesday and Wednesday our Year 10 Welsh Bacc students will enter the infamous ‘Dragons’ Den’ in teams in order to pitch their enterprising ideas to a board of professional friends of the school. The teams will be given feedback and indeed challenged by many successful business minds from our local area. This year the North Wales School of Business will help our students to prepare for this as well as having representatives on the panel. We also have representatives from Airbus and Bentley Motors joining us for the first time in this session. The students are very excited; it’s a huge opportunity to showcase their talent and our school. All monies raised by each team at the ensuing Christmas market will be given to Hope House. The Christmas market will be held on Tuesday 17th December

and, for part of the session, members of the public will be invited to attend. Products on sale will be the most creative and diverse that we have ever seen at such an event!

On Wednesday afternoon our Year 7 students will be in full festive spirit with a visit to the Clwyd Theatr Cymru Christmas Panto, Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s hard to know who’s looking forward to it more, our Year 7 or our accompanying staff team!

Our BTEC Annual Dance Show will be held in our School Hall on Friday 6th December, from 6pm, and our Castell Alun Christmas Concert is on Tuesday 10th December, starting at 7pm. Although it will be possible to purchase tickets on the door, you may well wish to use our in-house Box Office service in advance, kindly run by Mrs Jan Southwell (01978 760238).

One final thought, we have been told of a Council Tax Reduction Scheme, through which eligible households can receive support towards some or their entire council tax bill. Please see the following website if of interest: –

It seems we cannot bury our heads in the sand any longer; it’s now time to consider getting on with some Christmas shopping! Have a nice weekend.