Congratulations to the pupils and staff on a year well lived

A dream does not become reality through magic – It takes SWEAT, DETERMINATION AND HARD WORK

WORKING HARD is important, but there is something that matters even more: BELIEVING IN YOURSELF Harry Potter

To be a classed as a truly great – a school has to treat every child as an individual and develop the whole child. This seems a strange thing to say in the month when all eyes focus on results. However, the reality is that for a student to succeed the academic results are an important part of a far bigger picture. In today’s ever changing world we have to provide our students with so many skills that they will need to succeed. They need to be creative, to be able to work with others, to be strong and resilient able to face challenge- and more than anything they need to dream big and aspire to be the best they can be. When new pupils join us they are put into houses and each of our houses –represents a characteristic that our children must have to succeed in this frenetic 21st Century world we live in. We are also delighted that 265 students have made Aberdare Community School their school of choice for September. This is our highest ever recruitment number and is testament to our growing reputation as an excellent school where we deliver skills and results for all our pupils.

We are pleased that over the course of the year our students have had excellent results and we have worked hard to give our students the chance to develop their skills and talents. At Advanced Level pupils gained a larger number of the top grades and our first entry of Welsh Baccalaureate students gained exceptional results; adding an additional equivalent of 65 A grades to the numbers of top grades attained at Aberdare Community School. More pupils were offered university scholarships this year than ever before which is an amazing achievement.

At GCSE level we also pushed to gain as many top grades as possible with 186 A* and 136 A grades awarded to our pupils. 100% of our pupils attained a qualification, 99% gaining level 1 and 88% gaining the equivalent of 5 Grades A-C. For full press releases please visit the news page on our website.

This is also a time in the year to reflect on what has gone well and what needs to change. The quotation above, about hard work was a deliberate choice- if students are to succeed and many students have succeeded – we must realise that school is a partnership. As a parent I realise that bringing up our children is a juggling act – we are trying to run a home, put food on the table and in some cases we are acting as the local taxi service taking children here, there and everywhere. However, we are a partnership and for a student to be truly successful we NEED parents and carers to work with us. Parents’ Evenings are a vital way of keeping in touch with us. Your child has to realise that success does not come from magic, it does come from hard work and a lot of it. However, once a year it is important that parents listen to how their child is doing in school you need to know what is going well and what needs to improve – one night and such a lot of information to be gained.

Every year we run an extensive number of homework clubs and revision clubs with staff giving up not just week nights but weekends. This year we also had a residential weekend paid for by the school where children who needed extra support to gain mathematics GCSE spent a weekend revising this subject as well as having fun at an outdoor pursuits’ centre.

Success comes from a partnership between school and home and we urge parents/carers to get to parents’ evenings and support their child in their quest for glory. Please bear in mind that our staff also have families and they gave of their time freely to support this residential weekend as well as our other after school clubs so that your child could succeed! Please make an effort to return this goodwill.

Many concerned parents ask whether they should pay for home tutors, at our school we are providing this service for FREE!!! All you need to do is make your child attend and make them see the value of education for themselves and their future. I am proud of the fact that so many of our children made use of these classes and reaped the rewards. I am also saddened that a few of our children did not achieve their potential and this has a possibly life changing effect on their futures, limiting their choices for the next stage of learning and cutting off job opportunities for them at such a young age.

I said at the start that we develop the whole child, I would urge you to look at the website and take a long hard look at what our school offers. During the summer months not only were we immersed in examinations but following on quickly from this our staff took students on educational trips to Spain, Italy and Germany. Our sports’ teams were active in events all over the country and our Duke of Edinburgh expeditions were taking place. Though a new school we are one of the few in the UK licensed to run our own DofE qualifications – and we already have a large number of students taking part in our Bronze and Gold Award Scheme.

An activities’ programme was organised giving students the chance to try their hand at new skills in school or take part in extra- curricular activities outside – with reward trips going to Oakwood and Leisure centres to celebrate the hard work of our motivated and engaged pupils. Whilst this was going on our children were also adding pennies to the charity funds and I hope to report that all our year groups have hit their target of raising £1,000 for their chosen charity. Year 7 have been quick off the mark and have already handed over a whopping £1,391 to the RSPCA. See the news page for the visit and handing over of the cheque.

We also had our very first Year 11 Prom in the school which was amazing and a big thank you to Mrs Alison Smith for organising this for her year group. Plans are already in hand for next year’s. Our first ever summer fete organised by our newly formed Parents and Friends Assocation took place in July and we are now planning a Christmas fete for November. Results’ days were truly celebrated when we hosted a fun event providing food and mocktails to say well done to our wonderful students.

Finally, I would like to inform you of a few changes for September. Many parents are aware that I am currently under-going chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and will not be in school in the autumn term. However, those that know me – know I am hands on. Hence the updated article here!! I have been in school during the summer organising the installation of canopies which will give us more outside covered areas. I have also been meeting regularly with the senior team. However, chemotherapy treatment means school is not an option as I have to avoid places where I may pick up infections that I will not be able to fight well. In the mean-time our very experienced team will be ably led by Mrs Pearce, as a deputy with over ten years’ experience as well as having the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) Mrs Pearce is more than capable of taking over as Acting Head-teacher, Mr Jones and Mrs Woodrow will both be Acting Deputy Head-teachers, Mr Andy Mee Head of English will join the team as an Acting Assistant Head-teacher. I will be in regular daily contact with school via e mail and I will be attending regular meetings with my senior team and the Chair of Governors after school (to avoid crowds ) when treatment and well-being permit.

I would like to take this chance to thank the pupils, parents and carers for their support and to especially thank our staff and the Governing Body for their immense efforts. I feel privileged to work in our school with such a dedicated committed staff and love our new school and all the opportunities such a building provides.

Please note that we now have a very active Parents and Friends Association and we are always looking for more volunteers. For more information please contact Mrs Alison Phillips my Personal Assistant. Mrs Phillips will pass on your information to the chair of the committee Mrs Linda de Vet who is also Vice-Chairman of the Governing Body of our school.

It remains to wish Mr Andrew Owen Senior Deputy Head-teacher good luck as he takes up his role as Head-teacher at Birchgrove Comprehensive School, Swansea and to thank him personally for the support he has given to myself and our school.