Friday 6th September 2019

I really hope you have all had a lovely summer and everyone feels rested.  I am thrilled to be back and truly looking forward to the challenges and successes that this year will inevitably bring.  You should all be very proud of the examination results which students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 received recently, as are we.  This has been the most successful year on record for top end (A*) performances at both GCSE and A-Level and results days were very special occasions for all of us.  It’s never nice saying goodbye to students who are moving on, but that is always counterbalanced by the knowledge that these students are moving on to new chapters and have been well prepared for the next steps in their respective journeys.

We would like to welcome back all students, and a special welcome to those in Year 7 and, of course, students who are new to us in Year 12.  The first few days have gone very well and school feels very full once again.  It’s wonderful to see more experienced members of the school family in all year groups helping those who are new to us as they begin to orientate themselves.  We welcome also Mr. Jordan Rowlands, teacher of Business and Economics, Mrs. Lynn McDonald, teacher of English and Mrs. Angharad Evans who returns to us in the English Department after her travels around the world.

The teaching team had a presentation from ‘Time to Change Wales’ on mental health this week, and colleagues on the Support Team will have the same opportunity next week.  We would like to thank Lotte Chitty for coming to join us and sharing her story in such a candid and helpful manner.  We are keen to embrace the ‘Time to Change Wales’ campaign which seeks to enlighten staff and students on issues connected with mental health and, more specifically, make a stand against stigma often attached to this theme.  Indeed, wellbeing in general, including mental-wellbeing, will be an area of specific focus in pastoral time in school this year.

Our first main assembly of the year is scheduled for Tuesday, and following that, during P1 we will hold a floating pastoral period, which is a new school initiative.  The floating pastoral period will occur 20 times during the school year, on a different period of the week each time, and will replace the standard curriculum lesson at that time.  A detailed programme is already in place to help us ensure that we further develop robust resilient and healthy students, capable of pursuing their goals during this time.

For this academic year study club busses will run on Mondays and Tuesdays (therefore not on Thursdays), as we continue to provide extra-curricular activities in various areas of the curriculum in creative ways to support the learning and development of students of all ages.  Study club buses will begin to run next week.  Also, as we look to next week, Tempest Photos will be in school to take photos of students in Year 7, 9 and 12 for our school system.  This is likely to happen on Thursday.

Have a lovely weekend.