Friday 31st January 2020

Our Main Assembly this week was on the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day and was well led by Louis from our Sixth Form and various members of the Humanities Learning Area team. The wonderfully played and most fitting musical item was brought by Hannah (Sixth Form), who performed the theme tune from the film ‘Schindler’s List’ as a violin solo. Messages about such evil periods of history are often difficult to hear, but we are all keen to learn lessons from the past and indeed pay tribute to those who have suffered and died under oppressive regimes.

On Thursday we held our Sixth Form Open Evening and what an evening it was! We were thrilled to host visits from our current Year 11 students and their families, alongside many interested parties from a host of other local (and some not so local) secondary schools. News of the traditions and successes of the Castell Alun Sixth Form have certainly travelled well and we are hopeful of another great intake of our older students. Please do pass the word around amongst your own contacts – we are always happy to arrange guided tours and meetings with relevant staff to help advise on courses of interest at mutually convenient times. Diolch!

In further Sixth Form news, earlier this week our Castell Alun Criminology Department hosted a lecturer from the Chester University Police Course to assist with a whole day of crime scene investigation! This involved the exploration of mock crime scenes, in which students had to apply their learning on their course to date. Our students considered the importance of each stage within the investigation process, and a problem based learning approach allowed the students to develop both their knowledge and skills in dealing with complex crime scenes. The students evaluated and learned about the contribution that different professional roles bring to the criminal investigation process, and many students commented that they had both learned about possible career routes within the judiciary, and also thoroughly enjoyed such an interactive and eventful day. No real crimes were committed – but Mr Owen did get well and truly soaked on one occasion!

We’re really pleased with the way in which our Year 11 students have undertaken their trial examinations over the past couple of weeks. Working together and supporting each other are both fundamental aspects which are conducive to success for all in the summer examinations, and it’s essential that you allow us to help you and your children through any difficulties you may experience as our exam class students continue to develop good habits and access focussed and thorough revision sessions, both personally and collectively, in the near future.

Congratulations to our ‘Top of the Bench’ team, who recently competed at Techniquest Glyndwr, in the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry competition. Our students narrowly missed victory in a general knowledge Chemistry quiz featuring entrants from schools across North Wales. Brilliant job Oak and Annabel (both Year 9), Amelie (Year 10) and Ieuan (Year 11).

Our Sixth Form Football Team narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Welsh Quarter Finals last week, but our Year 7 lads still carry the flag in the Quarter Finals of the All Wales Cup against Rhyl next week. Go for it boys! Our Year 7&8 Girls Badminton Team came 2nd in the first round of the 5×60 Badminton competition and now progress into the next round of the tournament. Congratulations girls, and also great effort to our Boys’ Year 7&8 team, who came 5th in the competition. Good luck to the U18 President’s Cup Netball Team who will be competing against Coleg Cambria (Wrexham) and Ysgol Glan Clwyd (Denbighshire) in the next round of their competition on Tuesday. In further sporting news, we’re really proud of Luca and Milo who will be representing North East Wales in the next round of the Welsh Schools Cross Country championships in Brecon in the near future.

The Castell Alun History department recently ran an essay competition for their Sixth Form students. The competition was open to those in Year 13 interested in taking the opportunity to further develop their essay writing skills in an academic format. Students had to choose their own title and base their study on something outside of the curriculum. The process enabled students to bridge the gap further between A Level and graduate level, giving them a taste for University life. An amazing selection of essays was submitted and the quality of work was superb. Many congratulations to Emily, who took first place with ‘How did Joseph Stalin rise to power in the Soviet Union?’ Really well done also to Tom and Will, who came in second and third respectively, with their essays – ‘Who is Kosovo?’ and ‘Will Bosnia and Herzegovina ever truly be united?’

On Tuesday next week our Year 11 PE students will have a mock moderation in order to prepare them fully for their PE Practical Exam in the near future. We are hopeful of great things!

It’s not long now until ‘Safer Internet Day’ – 11th February. Safer Internet Day aims to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.  Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. As a faithful supporter of this event and the vital message it carries, we will be celebrating the occasion with themed ICT lessons, registration activities and the return of the infamous MEME competition! Over the next few Blogs I’ll remind you of some of our award winning MEMEs from last year. Parents and carers are invited to find out more about Safer Internet Day as well as tips, advice and guidance using the link below:

by Lilly (9T)

by Archie (10M)

Time flies….it’s now Six Nations time again! C’mon Cymru!  Have a lovely weekend.