As we all now know, the Education Minister for Wales has signalled a return to school for students from Monday 29th June. The detail of the return is as yet unclear, but I can assure you that we are very busy making plans and working out how best to translate this planning into reality in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of students and staff alike. We will, of course, provide you with more detail to this end in the near future.
At this time of year we’d normally be supporting and encouraging our examination class students (Years 10 – 13) through their many sittings in the school Sports Hall. We miss you all dearly and look forward so much to seeing you again.
Student engagement with work set is generally very pleasing indeed, so thank you once again for your support and assistance with this vital aspect of our students’ development. Please may I ask that you would be so good as to remind all students that the work they receive for their subjects will not necessarily always come from their usual class teacher, but that should not mean of course that students should not attempt to complete the activities set and communicate with the teacher setting them via Google Classroom.
Our RS Department recently asked Year 9 students to find their own way to remember the Holocaust. Many used art, music, videos and other media and the result was deeply thought provoking. Maddie produced an outstanding piece of work, along with may of her peers, and you can view Maddie’s endeavours here.
The wonderful work keeps coming in from students of all ages. Well done to all our creative Year 7 students who have tried their hand at some origami recently. They were set the task of using the right side of their brain to be innovative, creative and design unique characters, and, as you can see, many have surely risen to the challenge. Great stuff Alicia, Jacob, Jess, Joshua, Megan, Harley, Isobel, Luke, Lucy, Rhys, Ollie, Lucy and Evan.
In English, Year 8 were asked to come up with an imaginative way to revise techniques which can be used when drafting and improving a piece of descriptive writing. A lot of students created impressive glossaries of terms, and the following students were really rather inventive: Archie (with a lovely illustrated poster), Dewi (a fantastic acronym to remember important language features), Daniel (two poems), Samuel (wrote a guide) and Georgia (composed a song): https://www.bandlab.com/revisions/1a68f317-699b-ea11-96d2-0003ffd1fc09
In Science, some Year 8 students were tasked with making a model atom. A number of students used their artistic skills or computer aided design, and others actually used food items located around the house. Congratulations to everyone who participated, and especially well done to Lily, Harri, Holly, Hayden, Freya and Sali.
Also in Science, some Year 9 and 10 students undertook an optional engineering challenge over half term. It’s probably fair to say that certain students went above and beyond in their efforts! Isabelle (Year 10) is currently restoring an old Ferguson tractor, and Haydn has taken inspiration from a display he saw at Chester zoo, making a giant robotic insect. The insect’s pincers even move and the creature squirts water! Haydn has put his creation on display in his garden and he hopes to raise money for charity by making more in the future.
Many of you will recall the story of Tyler, our Year 7 student who ‘swam the channel’ in his back garden. Well here’s the update – Tyler has now raised over £2500 for charity! Superb stuff Tyler. Thank you so much for all you are doing.
Mr Davies, Asst. Head and Director of Sixth Form Studies, and his assistant Miss Cronin are available for advice with regard to all matters related to Sixth Form studies and admission. As universities are now once again accepting applications for courses, it might well be helpful for interested students to check out the following page which has meaningful advice on many relevant topics: www.ucas.com
In conjunction with North Wales Police, Castell Alun is participating in a national initiative, known as ‘Encompass’, to support children and young people who have been involved in or witness to a domestic abuse incident. Encompass aims for a school to be alerted of a child’s exposure to domestic abuse as early as possible so to enable immediate support. We are more than happy to support this valuable initiative as it means that we can help pupils and families when they need us most. You can find out more information on the Encompass website – https://www.operationencompass.org/
So, as we look to a return to the school building in a restricted sense, indeed a form of education which has not previously been seen in living memory, we will seek to work together to ensure that the challenges of the road ahead are overcome as a school family. We eagerly await the next governmental advice document expected next week and will be in contact soon after that with an update on our plans to give students an opportunity to check-in with us before the Summer. I hope you all keep well.