Headteachers Blog Update

Hello again

I hope that you all had a relaxing and enjoyable summer (despite the weather!).  
This is always an exciting time for us in schools as we welcome year groups back and fully integrate Year 7 pupils into our school.  It has been a delight this week to see how well turned-out and how enthusiastic our pupils have been; I’m sure that the vast majority of them are as eager to learn as we are to teach and that they will do themselves and their families proud.  It was hugely encouraging for me to be able to meet with all year groups from Year 7-11 in assemblies on the first day of the new term and to note the respectful and well-behaved manner in which they conducted themselves.
We will all begin to see some quite significant changes to school life from this term onwards.  Amongst these will be:
•    The timings of the school day
•    the structure of teaching groups
•    how we track, assess and report on pupils’ progress
•    how we manage pupil behaviour
•    the introduction of the ACS Learning Cycle

We are confident that these changes will help to develop the most robust and personalised learning experiences that we can offer our pupils.
Many of you will have read updates on our results this year and will have noted some of the exceptional successes of individual pupils and students.  You may also have become aware through the media of some of the huge changes affecting the educational landscape in Wales from this year forward.  I will be attending meetings and discussions in the coming weeks in which school results will be contextualised within the framework of these changes and will report back to you once the picture begins to make greater sense.  What I can say at the moment is that there is much to be proud of in our 2017 results whilst there is evidence to suggest that there is still work to do; we are determined to do this work and to do it well.   
At the end of the last academic year we said farewell to esteemed colleagues who have each made major contributions to education here in the Cynon Valley over a number of years.  They are: 
Mrs Bernadette Conway-Fields
Mr David Hackett
Mr Stuart Hindle
Mr David Owens
Mr Carl Phipps
Mr Alyn Price
Mrs Kim Sanders
Mrs Tracey Evans
Ms Cora Green
Mrs Catharine Jones
Ms Heidi Jones
Mrs Caroline Williams

We thank them for their hard work and commitment and wish them all the very best for the future.
Joining the school staff in September are:Mr Jonathan Vaughan (Welsh)
Ms Charlotte Ridley (Maths)
Ms Helen Hodge (Maths)
Ms Louise Morris (SNSA) 
Ms Joanne Roberts (English)
Ms Kelsey Lewis (History)
Ms Samantha Edmunds (Science)
Mr John Lewis (Science Technician)

We welcome them warmly to Aberdare and are confident that they will themselves make a substantial contribution to the quality of education on offer here.

Please remember that we are here to listen and to help.  If you have any concerns or uncertainty regarding your child’s education please do not hesitate to contact the school.  Equally, if you are happy with what we are doing then also please let us know.

Kind regards

Mark Powell