8th July 2022 / Gorffennaf 8fed 2022
Well, we have just one week to go now and therefore this will be the last Blog of the academic year. Although everyone in school is now ready for the summer break, standards remain high, both in academic and behavioural terms.
Some of our students had a wonderful start to Monday morning this week – a breakfast of sweet warm waffles with hot chocolate in order to celebrate becoming ‘Reading Millionaires’. As part of the Accelerated Reader programme, at the start of the academic year, Key stage 3 students were set a challenge – to read a million words! We’re very excited to announce that 15 students across the whole of Key stage 3 managed to rise to the challenge. To read a million words or more is an incredible challenge, but these avid readers rose to it splendidly. We’d like to congratulate every one of them for this phenomenal achievement!
The following excellent reads are recommended to you by just some of our Reading Millionaires:- Amelia :The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, Isabel : Dark Matter series by Teri Terry, Olivis: The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Ella : His dark materials by Philip Pullman, Jamie : Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Grace: Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling.
On Tuesday we were able to host out New Intake Parents’ Evening for current Year 6 students’ families to help them prepare for their child’s transition into secondary school. The evening was a great success with tremendous attendance ….. but more than anything, we’re incredibly thankful to be able to run such events once again. Thank you so much to all who attended, and please remember, if you need any further assistance at all, contact the school at your earliest convenience.
On Thursday we followed-up the New Intake Parents’ Evening event with a New Intake Day. There was a sense of excitement in the air as we greeted the Year 6 students in the Sports hall and then introduced them to their group tutors. The new students had a programme of activities throughout the day and so many of them found their feet and their voice after a few minutes with us!
We are always proud of, and eager to embrace and celebrate, our wonderful Welsh culture and language. Yesterday 40 our Year 7 students enjoyed a visit to the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen. The students had a fantastic time, using their Cymraeg with each other, the teachers and stall-holders around the field. Prizes were awarded to the winning students who participated in a scavenger hunt by using their problem solving and Welsh language skills. Everyone enjoyed watching the competitors from all over the world join together to perform in song and dance.
Our Welsh celebrations will continue into next week as on Monday all of our Year 7 students will be participating in our Eisteddfod Ysgol (School Eisteddfod). This is always an enjoyable and exciting event. Over the past couple of weeks students have been working hard on homework competitions from many subjects, including Art posters, English poems about Wales, and History profiles about important Welsh people. The students have been preparing for the on-stage competitions, including recitation, dancing, singing, rapping and the very important choir competition. In a change to the usual itinerary, this year the choirs will be singing ‘yma o hyd’ to celebrate the recent success of our tim pel-droed (football team). Pob lwc (Good luck) to all competitors on Monday. We are in for a treat as there will also be a special guest joining us for part of the morning to present some prizes.
Da iawn i bawb am gymryd rhan a dathlu ein diwylliant ac iaith. Mae’n rhywbeth rydyn ni’n falch iawn ohono yma yng Nghastell Alun. Well done to everyone for taking part and celebrating our culture and language.
Today is the last day in school for Year 12 this academic year. Many students will undertake work-experience next week and thereafter. These students have worked immensely hard through trying times and will receive their A/S and other examination results on Thursday 18th August.
Next Tuesday our current Year 7 cohort will have their annual zoo trip, and it is fair to say that lots of personal plans are being discussed for things to see and packed-lunch options! Our Year 12 Health and Social Care students also return from a field-trip to London on Monday. Indeed, it’s a busy week because our Sixth Form Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award students undertake their final expedition also. We wish them all the very best. To achieve this level says a great deal about them as people, their skills and their commitment. Employers look very favourably upon such qualifications, and Castell Alun is a centre which provides a great many students with access to all levels of D of E annually.
There’s so much to celebrate both in and out of school with our students. Recently a number of school students took part in the Anthea Bell Foreign Language Translation Competition, run by Oxford University. Students were given the task of translating a small written text to the best of their ability. They translated a poem from French or German into English. Well done to the 17 students who took part from Castell Alun. There were 14,000 students who took part throughout the UK with 3,200 entries entered into the competition. A special congratulations to Megan (Year 8) who won the Level 2 French competition for Wales and Alice (Year 8) who won the Level 1 German competition for Wales. Both of these entries were then entered into the national competition where Megan was named the runner-up for the Level 2 French competition. A very big congratulations to the winners and those who took part. The staff at Castell Alun are very proud of you all!
Anthea Bell Prize: Winners 2022 | The Queen’s College, Oxford – link to the website to see winners.
In further MFL news, our KS3 MFL club has gone from strength to strength, with participation and general enthusiasm being exceptionally strong over recent months.
Our congratulations go to Evan (Year 9), who has won the Welsh Cup with his Hawarden Park under 15’s Cricket Team. The team played knock out rounds around North Wales, followed by a semi-final against Pontarddulais and a final against Swansea Cricket Team in Aberystwyth. Evan and his team mates will now represent Wales in the ECB Nations Cup over the next few weeks. Awesome stuff Evan – brilliant job!
Charlie (Year 9) competed in the Welsh Schools Championships last weekend and came 2nd in Wales with a stunning jump of 1m 68. The winner jumped just 2 cms further. Charlie – that is so impressive – well done you! Even as we write today, more school athletics teams are involved in championships at Deeside…and then next Wednesday we all eagerly await their performances in Sportsday.
Luca (Year 9) has now been training with the Football Association of Wales for a couple of years and has competed in several games between north and south Wales. He has now been selected to play in the Cymru Cup on the 26th & 27th of July and this brings him into the final 45 players that the FAW will draw upon for international games. Luca has put in a great deal of work to get to this stage, specifically improving both his fitness and technical and mental approach to the game. Well done!
We want to give a special mention to Marc Flackett, IT Technician at Castell Alun, who this weekend will try to hold his nerve and complete a charity abseil down Liverpool Cathedral. Marc will be abseiling 150ft in aid of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital with a team of staff from the hospital and would greatly appreciate your support for this wonderful cause. If you are able to assist, please contribute by following this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Marc-Flackett-Abseil
As we look to the summer break, may we remind everyone that A and A/S level results day is 18th August and GCSE results day is 25th August. Families concerned will already have had communications about these events. All students return to school lessons on Monday 5th September 2022, although Year 12 enrolment occurs between 9am and midday on Friday 2nd September.
All that now remains to say is that we wish you all a relaxing summer and thank you for everything that you have contributed this year to enhance the lives and experiences of our students. It is each of you who make Castell Alun a special place to be.
Rydym yn dymuno cyfnod gwyliau haf haeddiannol i bawb. Diolch am bopeth.