Hello again

The school year draws to a close and plans are already far advanced in preparation for the academic year 2017-18. Teachers have had their timetables, form tutor teams have been finalised and pupil setting arrangements are close to completion. Upon returning in September our pupils and students will see a few changes to our lesson structures, banding arrangements, the way we track progress and how we manage behaviour. There will also be, of course, a slight amendment to the school day. We are confident that these changes will help evolve the school into becoming what we know it can be: one of the best value-added schools in Wales.

Last week we held our school Eisteddfod with Years 7 & 8. The pupils fully embraced the opportunity to celebrate our Welsh culture through music, dance and literature and many were awarded certificates in recognition of their efforts and talents. They all deserve to feel really proud of their participation but I would like to particularly note the achievements of the following pupils:

  • Year 7

    Katie Edmunds – winner of Chairing of the Bard, Individual Vocal Performance and Blue Riband Musician of the Eisteddfod.

    Grace Rees-Whippey – winner of Instrumental Performance

  • Year 8

    Joel Awad – Blue Riband Musician of the Eisteddfod

    Katie Morgan – Instrumental Performance

    Sophia Harvey – Vocal Performance

    Katie Morgan – Chairing of the Bard

I would like to thank my colleagues in the Welsh, Performing Arts, Music, English, Art and D&T departments for their work in preparation, performance and display. It was also lovely to meet with the parents and grandparents who joined us for the evening performance. Please look out in the future for this annual event.

We have been delighted to welcome our local primary school Year 5 pupils into the school recently. They have enjoyed a full days’ worth of activities based around the theme of Welshness which has included Welsh language work, art, drama and music. We have all been incredibly impressed with the way that these pupils have conducted themselves around the school; they have been a credit to their families, their primary schools and, of course, to themselves.

Linked to that last paragraph, I have continued to enjoy my visits to our local primary schools. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to meet the pupils and their teachers and to see the broad spectrum of our valley community. I will have visited them all by the end of term and look forward to continuing to develop our excellent relationships with our partner primary schools.

We have been awarded the Eco Schools Green Flag recently as well as the latest Healthy Schools Award. This is a reflection of our commitment as a school community to good citizenship in terms of the pride and care we take in our environment, on a personal, local and global level. Many thanks must go to Mr Keeble and the School Council for the exceptionally hard work they have put into the successful bids for these well-deserved accolades. Congratulations must also go to Mr Keeble for his recognition as Pearson Silver Award Young Teacher of the Year, a fantastic achievement indeed.

You will all be receiving a newsletter this week from me to mark the end of the school year. It will contain information about – amongst other things – staffing changes which are due to take place, a reminder of school uniform rules, examination results days and forthcoming INSET days.

Finally, I would like to thank everybody, once again, for their support and warm welcome. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first term here in Aberdare Community School and am truly optimistic for the future. I wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer.

Kind regards,

Mark Powell