Friday 5th November 2021

It is clear that many students have had a lovely half term break and everyone has returned to school ready to press on with their learning.  There have been noticeable developments around the campus and we hope that the vast majority of building and refurbishment work will be completed by the close of this half term. Again, it is important to recognise how flexible staff have been in coping with the demands of the current circumstances, and we must also pay testimony to the mature, sensible attitudes of our students throughout the building programme.  Well done everyone and thank you so much.

Some students in Years 11, 12 and 13 have undertaken external examinations this week, with others sitting papers next week also.  We were visited by a WJEC Examiner, who highly commended our examination practice at Castell Alun.  We are always hopeful of great results but what actually matters most is that our students have given it their best shot!

On Thursday 11th November, we will hold our virtual Year 13 Parents’ Evening and thank you to all parents/carers who have made appointments so efficiently.  We really look forward to this event and also the subsequent Year 12 Parents’ Evening, to be held on Thursday 25th November.  Bookings will soon open for the Year 12 evening.

In Modern Foreign Languages, our partnership work with the school in Saint Prix, France is going from strength to strength.  A number of our students sent over their mini-profiles to their friends abroad and were really excited to receive letters back.  Our students were asked to include information about themselves and photos of their local town or community.   We have built a display in the Languages Area to celebrate this project and we are hopeful that it will grow into yet greater things.

We are extremely grateful to Anwyl Homes, who donated £500 to us to fund resources for STEM lessons.  The money has been used to help students explore how solar energy is produced, including making their own small solar panels using smart glass and dyes made from fruits and vegetables.  Science teacher Mr. Jack Evans has taken responsibility for this project and a large number of Year 7 students are currently gaining meaningful experience, and enhancing their understanding, of solar energy.  Mr. Phil Dolan, Managing Director for Anwyl Homes Cheshire and North Wales, commented, “With everyone’s eyes on what the world’s leaders are doing about climate change, we’re so pleased to be able to support a local project that is encouraging pupil’s skills in developing sustainable technology”.  At Castell Alun, we are truly committed to educating our students in sustainable energy sources with the intention of protecting our community and the wider world.

Please be so good as to look at our website for the brand new extra-curricular timetable for this half term.  Alongside curricular study sessions, predominantly for examination class groups over the coming months, our Expressive Arts Learning Area is witnessing tremendous participation in activities outside of the school day.  In the Sixth Form our netballers played a friendly against Hawarden this week and won with a stunning score of 24-5.  In addition, the Boys’ Sixth Form Football Team successfully navigated round 1 of the Welsh Cup against Flint with a 4-1 victory.

The recent Flintshire Cross County results have now been ratified.  Congratulations to everybody who participated.  Some of the most striking performances are shown below :-

Top 10 Lower Junior Girls (Year 7) – Juliet, Imogen, Penelope and Amelia.

Top 10 Junior Girls (Year 8) – Jessica

Top 10 Junior Boys – Luca (1st place), Milo and Owain

Top 10 Middle Girls (Year 10/11) – Seren

Team Results: Lower Junior Girls – 1st Place, Junior Girls – 1st Place, Middle Girls – 3rd Place, Lower Junior Boys – 4th Place, Junior Boys – 1st Place and Middle Boys – 2nd Place.

All students who came in the top ten of each category will now proceed to represent Flintshire Schools in the next round of the competition.

Isabella (Year 7) is making a name for herself in gymnastics.  She recently competed in the North Wales Area competition and won first place in the Vault and Bars categories, with really strong performances also on the floor discipline.  She was awarded fourth place overall in the competition and contributed significantly to a team Bronze medal, along with her team mates from her Gym Club.  Brilliant stuff, Issy!

Although we are currently unable to hold main school assemblies, we will remember those fallen or injured in war in different ways next week.  This year it is not appropriate to pass out poppies but we invite you to make contributions to the British Legion via our online School Gateway.  This service is currently open.  We remain deeply grateful for the sacrifices of others as we think about people who have given so much that we may enjoy the freedom which we have today.

On Friday 19th November, we will mark Children In Need with a non-uniform day, and students will be told that they make contributions to this most worthy of causes using our School Gateway app, which will become available when the Remembrance Day collection is concluded.

Let’s hope the weather holds!  Have a lovely weekend.