Friday 5th April 2019

I am both exceptionally proud and truly humbled to have accepted the position of permanent Headteacher at Castell Alun.  I cannot begin to explain how much this means to me and I would like to thank everyone for all of the support you have given, and continue to provide, to our school community.  A letter will follow from the Chair of Governors Mr. Idris Williams, to this effect early next week.

We were delighted to hear this week that our very own ex-student Catrin Pugh has been awarded ‘Welsh Woman of the Year’.  This is an amazing achievement and we congratulate Catrin and her lovely family, who like us, must be so proud of her.

Catrin is a regular visitor to school, and we are all inspired by her story and the phenomenal resilience and positivity she shows to overcome whatever challenge comes her way.  You can read more about this fantastic news here.

We have had an incredibly busy week in school, and, due to the Headship interviews, were not able to hold a whole school assembly.

A large number of examination class students in Years 10 to 13 have undertaken practical and oral assessments, and the signs are looking most positive from students’ immediate feedback.  On Wednesday we hosted a ‘Talk the Talk’ event for Year 6 students as part of the primary transition process, and it was lovely to see so many youngsters having a great time whilst further developing essential communication skills.  Thanks very much to all parents and carers of students in Year 7 who joined us at Parents’ Evening last night.  We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with each of you.  Today, our entire Year 8 attended an Easter Service at Hope Parish Church and our sincere thanks go to our friends in the local fellowship for making such poignant events possible.

Perhaps worthy of a special mention this week is our Year 9 highly gifted linguists’ trip to Oxford.  Four talented students from Year 9 – Abi, Sophie, Chris and Archie had a fantastic visit to Oxford University as part of the Seren Network activities. Castell Alun was one of eleven schools in Wales to be chosen for the project and students took part in a range of language challenges while sampling life as a student in one of the Oxford colleges. Our students were outstanding in their contributions to the residential visit and will take away many fond memories from the trip. Well done to all those involved!

In further news, congratulations to Elin of Year 10 who has been selected to play Hockey for Wales at Under 16s level.  Elin has quite a sporting CV already!  She has played in national Welsh Club Finals, captained the Under 12s at National Club level and is already playing for Deeside Ramblers Ladies in Cheshire Division 1, not to mention her regular outings for North Wales and Flintshire Under 16s Hockey teams.  Following in her brother’s footsteps, she will soon play at National level in a three match test series with Scotland.

CAFA  are joining with our Eco-Council to hold a fundraising recycling day on Saturday 11th May between 11am and 1pm.  Please bring along any ink cartridges, mobile phones, CDs, DVDs, batteries, old gadgets, old coins, spectacles, toys and books, if you are able.  Also, as I mentioned last week, our friends at CAFA are keen to support school further through a new lottery – please follow this link for further information.  Thank you again CAFA for all of your hard work.

This weekend Mr. Alan Butterworth will be leading a mindfulness session on Saturday between 2pm and 4pm in the Public Library.  Please feel free to pop along and experience a time of calm in amongst the frantic nature of modern day life.  Refreshments will be provided.

So, looking to next week on Monday our Year 7 students will pop along to the Parish Church for an Easter Service, and oral examinations will also continue for a number of students in Year 11 in school.  It would be lovely to see you at our Spring Concert on Thursday evening, beginning at 7pm.  During the evening we will be showcasing the stunning talents of a number of students across our school.  Tickets are available from Mrs. Jan Southwell at a cost of £3.50 per person. It promises to be a great time, and we would like to thank all of the students and staff who participate in these events, and their families who support us so readily.  Also on Thursday we host a visit from an Estyn Inspector, who will be looking at our good practice on the general theme of links with employers.  Then, on Friday, students in Years 8 and 9 will run a charity event in the Sports Hall during the afternoon, which promises to be great fun and a fitting end to the term.

The weather looks like it’s picking up again now.  Have a great weekend.


– Paula Williams