Friday 4th December 2020

This week we saw the much welcomed return of our Year 13 students, which means that we currently have every year group in school…… fantastic news! On that note please remember that if any student should feel ill they must stay at home. As the winter months set in it is inevitable that more people will fall ill with seasonal coughs and colds. Whereas we would normally encourage students to push through with milder ailments, in the current climate, if there is any doubt at all, we respectfully require everyone to be cautious and help protect our school community by staying at home. If anyone should show symptoms of COVID, or knows that they have come into close personal sustained contact with someone who has COVID, they must, without exception, stay at home. The school has in place a Blended Learning Programme so that those students who are off can continue their learning at home with as little disruption as possible. Thank you so much for your kind understanding.

It certainly is getting much colder now and all students need a coat with them in school. At some point during the day, students will have to go outside and now, with windows open to ensure ventilation, some students may even wish to wear them in class. Face masks also remain an essential part of school kit. Both staff and students wear masks in and around the corridors when moving around the building for the safety of everyone else. We continue to be impressed by the efforts of the vast majority of our students, the majority of whom don’t even need reminding to wear theirs, but for the few who do, please make sure you arrive in school with a mask and that you wear it.

Year 11 Employability Sessions

On Thursday 3rd December Castell Alun welcomed two guest speakers who came to talk to some of our Year 11 students, during their PHSE lessons, about careers and employability. Davinder Lotay, from Altimex and Liam Rogers, from ITAS Solutions, kindly gave their time and experience to talk to our students. The talks are part of a series of employability-based sessions that Year 11 are taking part in during the PHSE course to help them to structure their career aspirations and develop ‘soft’ employability skills. The sessions went really well, with lots of information and guidance being passed on. The Year 11 students taking part took a lot away from their session and we’d like to thank both Davinder and Liam for their valuable time and expertise.

We are also extremely grateful to our new build company, Willmott Dixon, for the specialist construction sessions they hosted for interested students in Years 9-11 this week. We are privileged to have opportunities such as these on-site at present, and further input is planned on matters such as career interviews with our older students in weeks to come.

The Apprentice with Year 10

The Business Studies Department is launching a series of ‘The Apprentice’ style sessions with their Year 10 students this year. The aim of the sessions is to develop quick, snappy decision making and organisational skills.

In true Apprentice style, the brief for the task will be kept a secret until I formally launch it in the near future. We’re really looking forward to seeing how this goes in the next few weeks and, in particular, finding out who gets ‘hired’!

Christmas Fitness Advent Calendar

In the run up to Christmas the PE department is running a ‘Fitmas Advent Calendar’. Each day, between now and the end of term, the department will post a different exercise to be completed. Group tutors will be encouraging their groups to take part in the mornings and the activities will also be posted on the PE department’s Google Classroom pages so that students can also follow this at home. So far this week we have had 50 jumping Jacks, a one minute plank and Santa’s mini yoga routine. Well done to everyone taking part, let’s see how many can get to the end of term completing every day! Parents / carers are most welcome to join in too of course!

Headship Appointment

The Governing Body will hold interviews for the school Headship position later next week and these will be conducted off-site, in keeping with the mitigations defined in our COVID Risk Assessment.

And finally

We now have 2 weeks to go before we break for the festive period. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” Thankfully as a Castell Alun School family we look to the future with confidence, steadfast in the principles which define us, even through troubled times of genuine uncertainty.

Enjoy putting your lights up!