Ceiriog Valley federation schools Ysgol Cynddelw (dual stream Welsh and English), and Ysgol Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog (Welsh stream) were visited by school inspectors in July of this year and have received extremely positive feedback in the report, including:
- The school is a caring and inclusive community that promotes the well-being of pupils and staff highly successfully.
- With the enthusiastic support of the staff, the headteacher has created a clear and robust vision.
- Leaders are extremely active in ensuring that all members of staff work together effectively to improve the quality of provision for pupils.
- Pupils enjoy the range of stimulating and engaging experiences that are provided for them.
- In both streams, many pupils, including those with additional learning needs (ALN) and those who are eligible for free school meals, make sound progress during their time at the school.
- Pupils in both streams read intelligently in various contexts
- In both streams, the early writing skills of many of the youngest pupils develop well.
- Across the school, most pupils develop sound mathematics skills and use simple number strategies correctly.
- Across the school, the creative skills of nearly all pupils develop skilfully. For example, the youngest pupils develop their skills effectively by using a range of equipment and materials when creating pieces of art and craft to present at the Ceiriog Eisteddfod.
- Teachers promote pupils’ learning beneficially by capturing their ideas and interests.
Inspectors also noted the important work being done around Welsh language and cultures:
- The school curriculum is rooted firmly in the pupils’ local area or cynefin. Staff plan beneficial opportunities for pupils to learn about the history and traditions of Wales, while also promoting their awareness that Welsh is part of the lively and modern culture of their local area.
- Through stimulating themes, teachers develop pupils’ understanding of their identity, heritage and Welsh culture successfully.
- Staff promote pupils’ Welshness highly effectively in all aspects of school life. For example, pupils enjoy competing in the school eisteddfod and Eisteddfod Glyn Ceiriog. Valuable opportunities are also provided for pupils at both schools to compete as a federation in the Urdd Eisteddfod, locally, regionally and nationally.
- The school provides a range of appealing clubs and activities that enrich the curriculum and provide social and purposeful opportunities for pupils.
- Staff provide a rich range of experiences that encourage pupils to use their imagination creatively. For example, following their work on the poet Hedd Wyn, they designed and created eisteddfod chairs out of clay.
- Parents have recently attended a ‘cuppa and cake afternoon’ with the aim of promoting their Welsh language skills so that they can support the development of their children’s language at home.
School headteacher Lora Sockett said: They are excellent inspection reports, we are all very proud. It reflects the hard work of staff, pupils, parents/carers and governors not only during the inspection but also over the last few years. We are very pleased that the inspectors noted the fantastic unique characteristics of both schools and also how successfully we work as a federation
Chair of governors at Ysgol Cynddelw Carys Davies said: “These reports evidence the consistently high quality of education and care provided at both Ysgol Cynddelw and Ysgol Llanarmon. Children attending the Federation schools engage in rich learning experiences and have the individual support they need to help them succeed in both Welsh and English. The Ceiriog Valley is very fortunate to have schools of such high calibre
Cllr Phil Wynn, lead member for education, said: “I’m extremely pleased with this report. A school team effort has ensured a positive inspection by Estyn, and it’s also great to see so much care and attention paid to developing the pupil’s awareness and knowledge of Welsh language and our culture. Da iawn pawb.”