Bore da! As week 2 of school closure draws to an end we can report that the main means of learning experience delivery, Google Classroom, is serving us well, and a number of initial issues have been resolved. We have tried hard to listen to parental concerns with regard to both too much and too little work, and we have both resolved a number of technical issues and apprised school colleagues of best practice recommendations in order to continue delivery as best we can. Please do remember that we can provide hard copies of work if necessary, and in cases where technical issues prevent a piece of completed work being submitted electronically, it may be worth printing off a copy and at least keeping it in a folder at home for the time being. We are truly grateful for the understanding we have received from so many members of the school community, especially in cases where colleagues are ill and thus temporarily unable to set work for classes.
A number of Year 7 students have been developing their artistic techniques this week at home. We have some remarkably talented young artists among us as you can tell from some of the unique cactus designs below. We would like to showcase further pieces of work, so please don’t be afraid of sending something you’re proud of through to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Castell Alun Friends Association continues to work hard behind the scenes to raise monies to provide extra opportunities for our students. Alongside the usual regular CAFA lottery draw prizes, this month supporters are also able to win boxes of mixed fruit and vegetables, delivered directly to your door. For further information, please click here.
We would like to bring to your attention a ‘Wales-wide chat’, which is being provided by Careers Wales for the next few weeks. For anyone (parent / carer / student) who is concerned about options or potential future jobs and similar opportunities, Careers Wales can help. You can access their new chat facility 9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 4:30pm Friday at www.careerswales.gov.wales.
Students in our Year 11 and indeed those seeking to join us for Sixth Form studies from other schools will soon be able to access guidance for AS Level Preparations for all subjects offered at Castell Alun. This document will be available on our website after the Easter break, and will also provide some helpful links to other platforms and resources so that these students are well placed to bridge the gap between GCSE and AS Levels and ‘hit the ground running’ in September after an inordinately long time away from school. In further Sixth Form news, a number of Year 13 students have enrolled on the ‘Confident Learner Programme’ in preparation for university. We are extremely grateful to Glyndwr University for this on-line programme, and the opportunity it provides for so many of our students who are currently preparing to move into tertiary education.
The end of today sees the beginning of our Easter holidays. We feel that it is really important that staff and students alike have the opportunity to rest and recuperate over the holiday period. The past few weeks have been very stressful, and this has resulted in significant anxiety for everyone across our country. ‘Teaching’ will not continue over the break, and we would recommend that families enjoy time together and do everything possible to make this fortnight different (as far as you are able) from a standard learning week, as would be the case at this time in all previous years. There are plenty of ideas to assist with this online and Castell Alun staff have also made suggestions on Google Classroom.
We have as yet no further idea how long the current school closure will last, but our top priority remains the wellbeing of each member of our school family. We will seek to monitor and support this is various ways over the coming weeks, but feel it is important that everyone connects with their loved ones, their friends and colleagues, and other perhaps local or indeed online communities regularly. Being part of a group or community of any kind provides an opportunity to share experience, thoughts, support and encouragement with others who may really need it! As the old African proverb says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” At Castell Alun we want to go together!
Keep in touch and keep well.