Friday 9th February 2018

Today’s Whole School Assembly was on the theme of ‘Safer Internet Day’ and featured readings from Rhiannon Daly and Charlotte Haden.  Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for young people.

The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community.

Castell Alun has supported Safer Internet Day and its underpinning principles through a variety of year group assemblies and specific input in lessons and tutor periods.

Due to its popularity, the Safer Internet Meme competition is back, with students creating their own Memes to spread the message of safer online use than ever before.

Deserving of special mention was our Main Assembly’s musical item this week.  Laura Wilson of the Sixth Form performed an amazing version of KT Tunstall’s ‘Big Black Horse in a Cherry Tree’, using a loop pedal (à la Ed Sheeran) to a most appreciative, fully engaged audience.  Well done Laura – impressive stuff!

Our Sixth Form promotion is now in full flow and we receive phone calls daily from students who are interested in learning more about how our Sixth Form operates.  In a similar fashion, Year 9 students are now considering their options, and year group assemblies will be held to provide all necessary information about possibilities, along with advice and guidance being given by subject teachers in lessons and at Parents’ Evening.  Our Year 9 Parents’ (Options) Evening will start at 4pm on Thursday 1st March.  Appointment sheets will be available straight after half term.

Last weekend 10 Year 12 and 13 AS and A Level Welsh students were selected, along with other students from across Wales, to travel to Cardiff and attend a weekend hosted by the Urdd.

During the weekend our students participated in a number of cultural activities, ranging from folk dancing to clog fitness… and of course watching the mighty Wales’ victory over Scotland.  Students also had the opportunity to watch a new and upcoming Welsh indie band – Wigwam.

They engaged in discussions with Vice President of the Urdd on the theme of the importance of the use of the Welsh language in modern society.  Some of the activities from the weekend were recorded and shown on S4C news.

Two students, Emma Pryce and Tomos Edwards, were interviewed in Welsh on S4C. As well as this, a group of the students have been invited to a Welsh Language Conference during the Easter holidays to represent Welsh learners’ opinions about the Welsh language and its promotion.

Da iawn myfyrwyr Lefel-A Castell Alun!

Some Year 9 and 13 students have attended workshops this week, based upon the theme of ‘Work’.  The workshops were facilitated by Beth Goddard from Future First and her colleagues who are currently undertaking a Logistics Degree Apprenticeship with Morrisons.

Our students were finding out about how the skills and knowledge acquired in school can be transferred to the world of work and assist with future career planning.

Students have developed skills in ‘Building my Brand’, undertaking activities to help them in application writing and job interview technique.

Well done to Anna Bethel, Nia Edwards, Katy Humphreys, Elin Farragher, Hollie Davies, Alesha Williams and Maisy Dodd, all from Year 9, who completed a Netball umpiring course this week.  The girls have subsequently had the the chance to put their new found skills into action during a Dragon Sport Schools’ Tournament.

A number of our Years 10 to 13 students are really excited about their trip to Iceland, which departs on Sunday 11th February.  I’ll tell you all about their activities and learning upon their return, but my advice to them would be to have a fantastic time and take plenty of warm clothes!  As always I am thankful to our incredibly committed team of staff at Castell Alun, who give so readily of their own time in order to make such excursions possible.

I wish everybody a really happy half term and hope you all get the opportunity to take just a little time off.