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Ysgol Aberconwy celebrates GCSE achievements

Students at Ysgol Aberconwy celebrated their GCSE achievements this year.

They were joined by BBC Radio Wales who visited the school to share in students’ success and experience the live reactions and expressions of students discovering their grades.

Ruth Dean stated, “I was so nervous about receiving my results and to find out my grades just before going live on national radio was scary, but once I knew what I’d achieved (10 A* and 1 A) I was over the moon! In September, I’ll be returning to Ysgol Aberconwy Sixth Form where I’ll be starting my A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Welsh Baccalaureate.

Ruth wasn’t the only one pleased with her results, as she was one of a group of exceptional students celebrating their grades: Mim Allardice (7 A* and 4 A), Rhys Bailey (1 A*, 4 A and 5 B), Nicole Coulson (1 A*, 7 A and 2 B), Lana Flood (2 A*, 7 A and 1 B), Nathan Purchase (7 A, 3 B and 1 C) and Jaxon Webb-Dunn (3 A*, 4 A and 4 B).

Headteacher Ian Gerrard was delighted with the levels of success and stated, “This is a big day for our students, many of whom will be glad the wait is over as they can now see the results of their hard work and determination. As a school we’re proud of all our students and their achievements, and we’d like to say congratulations to each and every student who received their grades today.”

Ysgol Aberconwy is looking forward to welcoming students back into the school’s sixth form in September.


Wide-ranging GCSE success

Ysgol Aberconwy students have achieved some of the best GCSE results in the school’s history, with the number of students achieving five A*/ A grades almost doubling and performance in Welsh language exams being extremely strong.

Head teacher Ian Gerrard praised the hard work of students and staff. He said “ we are proud of the achievements of all of our students in a wide range of traditional academic subjects like Science, Spanish, Physical Education and German, as well as in vocational subjects such as Engineering, Motor Vehicle and Hair Dressing. It is so important that we provide a curriculum that meets the needs and interests of all.”

Special congratulations go to April Ehlke-West, Jack Jones, Charlotte Lewis, Bethan Slocombe, Isabelle Williams all of whom achieved at least 9 A/A* grades.

Ysgol Aberconwy students are now looking forward to the next steps in their journey, with record breaking numbers set to return to the school’s Sixth form.


Mathematics is compulsory at key stage 4.

All pupils will take Mathematics-Numeracy GCSE. Most pupils will also take Mathematics GCSE gaining 2 GCSE qualifications.

During this course you learn the following disciplines: Number, Algebra, Geometry and Measure and Probability and Statistics.


During the course you will be given opportunities to:

  • Develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts.
  • Acquire and use problem-solving strategies.
  • Select and apply mathematical techniques and methods in mathematical, every day and real-world situations.
  • Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions.
  • Interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

By the end of the course you will have developed your skills in:

  • Numeracy
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Planning and organisation



Examination Results

Below are the confirmed GCSE examination results for Ysgol Aberconwy from the Welsh Government for 2016.

Numbers of pupils aged 15 who were on roll in January 2016: 125

 Entered at least one qualificationAchieved the Level 1 thresholdAchieved the Level 2 thresholdAchieved the Level 2 threshold including a GCSE pass in English or Welsh first language and MathematicsCore Subject IndicatorAverage capped wider points score per pupil 
School 2015/16  100 100 89 50 47 348  
LA Area 2015/16  99 94 82 56 53 334  
Wales 2015/16  99 95 84 60 58 344  
School 14/15/16*  100 99 90  53 47 352  

* Three year average.

Numbers of boys aged 15 who were on roll in January 2016: 79

 Entered at least one qualificationAchieved the Level 1 thresholdAchieved the Level 2 thresholdAchieved the Level 2 threshold including a GCSE pass in English or Welsh first language and MathematicsCore Subject IndicatorAverage capped wider points score per pupil 
School 2015/16 100  100 87 52 49 344  
LA Area 2015/16  98 93 79 53 51 324  
Wales 2015/16  99 94 81 56 54 333  
School 14/15/16*  100 98 89 50 46 345  

* Three year average.

Numbers of girls aged 15 who were on roll in January 2016: 46

 Entered at least one qualificationAchieved the Level 1 thresholdAchieved the Level 2 thresholdAchieved the Level 2 threshold including a GCSE pass in English or Welsh first language and MathematicsCore Subject IndicatorAverage capped wider points score per pupil 
School 2015/16 100  100 91 46 44 355  
LA Area 2015/16 99  96 85 59 56 347  
Wales 2015/16 99  97 88 65 62 357  
School 14/15/16* 100  100 90 56 47 361  

* Three year average.


English is compulsory at key stage 4.

This GCSE specification in English language will enable pupils to:

  • Demonstrate oracy (speaking and listening), reading and writing skills that are instrumental in communicating with others confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately.
  • Demonstrate their proficiency in accessing and retrieving information from a wide range of written and dynamic/digital texts, forming a broad general understanding of the text, summarising and synthesising content, inferring intended meaning and evaluating its purpose.
  • Understand the patterns, structures and conventions of oral and written language.
  • Understand the impact of variations in language, selecting and adapting speech and writing to different situations, purposes and audiences.
  • Develop their skills in order to meet their own personal needs as well as the needs of employers and further education, so that they can fully participate in society and the world of work.
  • Develop their verbal reasoning and their ability to think constructively and critically in response to written and digital/dynamic texts.
  • Develop their proofreading and editing skills.
  • Acquire the necessary skills needed for further study, including the study of English at Level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework.

Oracy, reading and writing skills will be recognised in GCSE English language. Pupils should be inspired, moved and challenged by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. They will develop their ability to use English as active and informed citizens and be able to speak, listen, read and write fluently, appropriately, effectively and critically - for a wide range of personal, functional and social purposes. Pupils will be expected to respond to a wide range of written texts, including challenging and dynamic texts. They will develop the knowledge and skills required to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.



GCSE Science is compulsory at key stage 4.

What will I study on the course?

Science is an important subject in today’s complex world of innovation and technology. Without the advancements in science we would not benefit from good medical care, modern communications, enough food for our growing population and energy solutions for our increasing demand. Science makes sense of the world around us and gives us an opportunity to enquire, investigate and expand our horizons. The National Curriculum dictates that all pupils undertake a balanced course of study of the sciences at GCSE level so that we fulfil an ever growing need for a workforce to match our future. Every child will be expected to achieve at least two GCSEs in science.

This is a course that will award a double GCSE at the end of Year 11. You will study biology, chemistry and physics with subject specialist teachers and be examined on each at the end of year 10 and year 11. In addition you will be expected to carry out practical tasks in lessons and complete a practical assessment worth 10% of the final grade.


GCSE Science Triple Award - Option Subject

You will study for three SEPARATE GCSE QUALIFICATIONS: GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics. If you choose Triple science one of your GCSE option blocks will be used to teach you the extra topics to cover the three science GCSEs.

The WJEC course is structured differently from double award meaning it will no longer be possible to choose to switch between the courses at a later date. Each examined unit has two tiered papers; foundation (G-C) and higher (E-A*). Each teacher will advise their pupils of which paper would be best suited to their ability.


GCSE Biology

You will be multi-skilled and develop flexibility in the way that you think and learn. You will have the opportunity to acquire a range of practical skills. You will need to solve problems by applying knowledge of key biological principles. You will learn about the human body, how it works and how it interacts with the environment. This will necessitate an awareness of social issues. You will learn about animals, plants and their habitats and understand

about the delicate balance that exists between species and their environment. By studying Biology you are in training for a wide variety of careers from the medical profession, through agricultural and sporting to environment centred careers.

GCSE Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of substances, what they are made of, how they interact and what role they play in living things. It is the study of all materials and is vital to every aspect of life. The study of Chemistry to GCSE opens the possibility of a wide range of careers, not just confined to those related to medicine and engineering. Knowledge of chemistry is very useful when working in any sphere of industry, but especially the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It encourages organised and methodical thought, practical ability is developed and a problem solving approach is at times useful.

GCSE Physics

Physics is the study of ‘what, why and how’, covering a diverse range of subjects ranging from sub-atomic particles to how the universe was formed! The ideas, techniques and skills developed during your GCSE will be invaluable not only within the fields of engineering, but for understanding how things work in everyday life. Is Nuclear Power dangerous? Why should you turn your computer off and not leave it on stand-by? How can Physics help Wales win the 6 Nations? Employment prospects for pupils who go on to study Physics at higher level are excellent and a wide variety of career options are available, particularly in engineering - from electronic, electrical and mechanical, to aircraft, materials or medical engineering. Sound and Mining Engineers travel the globe, Rocket engineers send astrophysicists into space, Radiographers save lives and Particle Physicists will save the world!



You will join other pupils to receive five hours of tuition with an experienced teacher of History and participate in various group activities.

You will use a variety of sources of information including books, DVDs, PowerPoint presentations and the Internet. You’ll learn by asking questions and making notes, mind maps and diagrams for reference when you revise. Once the course gets underway you will have one piece of work per week, usually an investigation using a variety of different sources.


Unit 1: A Study in Depth - Depression, War and Recovery 1930 -1951. 25% of qualification. 1 hour exam

Unit 2: A Study in Depth -  Germany in Transition 1919 -1939. 1 hour exam 25% of qualification. This unit is a study of the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and what it was like to live in Germany under the Nazi regime.

Unit 3: A Thematic Study - Changes in crime and punishment, 1500 to the present day This unit is a study of the events and personalities which have shaped the causes of crime, policing and the changing methods used to combat crime and the changing methods of punishment. 30% of qualification 1 hour 15 min

Unit 4: An investigation into an issue of historical debate or controversy. This will account for 20% of the final GCSE grade (coursework).


There is no specific requirement for prior learning, although many pupils will have already gained a knowledge and understanding and will have developed a range of historical skills of selected periods of history, through their study of history at Key Stage 3.





WJEC GCSE Geography adopts an enquiry approach to the study of geographical information, issues and concepts. It is based on the principle that geographical education should enable pupils to become critical and reflective thinkers by engaging them actively in the enquiry process. Content is organised around key questions and pupils should be encouraged to pose geographical questions of their own. Fieldwork is an essential aspect of geographical education and of this qualification. It is placed at the heart of this specification and our teachers embed fieldwork within any programme of study that they create.

The enquiry approach taken by WJEC GCSE Geography, in both classroom and fieldwork contexts, should enable pupils to develop the ability to think ‘like a geographer’ if they are given opportunities to:

  • Think creatively, for example, by posing questions that relate to geographical processes and concepts that include questioning about spatial pattern and geographical change
  • Think scientifically by collecting and recording appropriate evidence from a range of sources, including fieldwork, before critically assessing the validity of this evidence and synthesising their findings to reach evidenced conclusions that relate to the initial aim of their enquiry
  • Think independently by applying geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts. In doing so they should appreciate that geography can be ‘messy’ i.e. that real geography does not always match typical or predicted outcomes

Geography graduates are among the most employable, possibly because they possess the skills employers are looking for. This may be because the subject is a combination of the facts of science and the understanding of the arts. Career options include management and administration, teaching or lecturing, work in the financial and retail sector, other professions including media, administration, architecture, the armed forces, business management, the civil service, conservation, the heritage industry, human resources, journalism, local government, the police force, politics and tourism.



Welsh is compulsory at key stage 4.

What will I study on the course?

Welsh is a core subject which is taught to all pupils up to GCSE level. It is a statutory requirement that all pupils study the Welsh language up to 16 years old.

The Welsh Department is very active in promoting the importance of learning Welsh. With all the exciting developments in Wales today, people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of the language. It can be of an enormous advantage in a wide range of careers and jobs.

There are many reasons to learn Welsh…

  • It will give you a better chance of getting a job in Wales.
  • It will allow you to communicate in Welsh.
  • It will help develop your understanding of the Welsh culture.
  • It will help you to develop a stronger Welsh identity.
  • It will ensure you can take advantage of Welsh media.

We attempt to nurture our pupils’ positive attitudes towards their Welshness through dynamic teaching and also by arranging a variety of extra-curricular activities to promote the language outside the classroom. Not only because we live in Wales and we should be able to have some grasp on our home language, but also because of the importance that is put on the ability to communicate in Welsh in the world of work.

Studying the GCSE Welsh will encourage you to:

  • Develop your confidence when communicating effectively in Welsh.
  • Develop skills to make practical use of the language in order to communicate effectively, usefully and appropriately in the bilingual society.


Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate is a compulsory qualification across key stage 4 in Wales. The central focus of the Welsh Baccalaureate is to provide a vehicle for 14-16 year olds to consolidate and develop essential and employability skills. The Welsh Baccalaureate qualification is based on a Skills Challenge Certificate alongside Supporting Qualifications.

The qualification comprises of four components, all of which are assessed on a pass, merit or distinction basis, through portfolio work. Details of each component will be given to you when you undertake each assignment. You will be taught through  a variety of activities aimed to help you develop a range of transferable skills. The skills you will develop are, literacy, numeracy, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem solving, planning and organisation, creativity and innovation, and personal effectiveness. These will be assessed through the completion of four challenges.

Each challenge will contribute to the Skills Challenge Certificate.


  • Individual Project – 50%
  • Enterprise and Employability Challenge – 20%
  • Global Citizenship Challenge – 15%
  • Community Challenge – 15%


You will need to organise your paper and electronic files and submit all work within the agreed deadlines. All materials will be provided for lessons but you will be expected to have your planner, a pen and pencil available for all lessons.

The Welsh Baccalaureate is designed to develop the skills needed to apply for and gain any job. The tasks you will complete will help you develop transferable skills that will be relevant in any type of workplace or education establishment.


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