Connor Parry, a student in year 11, met up with chef Bryn Williams last week at his restaurant in Porth Eirias in Colwyn Bay.
He contacted Bryn to ask if he would be willing to be interviewed by him, which Bryn was happy to do. Connor has chosen to speak about Bryn’s life and career – he grew up in North Wales - as a part of his Individual Presentation controlled assessment for his GCSE Welsh first language. Well done Connor and thank you to Bryn!
Sixth Form students from Ysgol Aberconwy have had the opportunity to direct and star in their own professionally filmed LGBTQ+ film. A group of 15 students spent two days working with a professional film crew, as a result of coming first in the Iris prize script writing competition selected from schools across Wales. The short film will premiere in January 2020 at Cineworld, Llandudno Junction.
The students, who are all studying media and film related courses, attended an Education Day in January 2019 where they learned about the Iris Prize script writing competition. Working in collaboration over a number of months, they came up with a script called ‘Our Souls’. It is an ‘Educating Essex’ style documentary/drama centring around one of the students in the group and the shocking ways in which homophobia has affected him.
Student Freddie Triggs who plays the central character said, “I decided to audition for Ryan as I thought the role would be quite challenging and it’s different to anything I’ve ever done before. Playing the role was fun but more importantly it gave me an understanding of the difficulties and also the hostility that the LBGTQ+ community may face and how it feels to be on the receiving end of bullying.”
Student Joshua Baxter said, “I play the film’s antagonist, who is initially homophobic and derogatory towards Ryan, but then becomes more aware and accepting of people’s sexual orientation. I hope that when people see the film they understand the message and realise that being prejudiced and bullying people is not OK and learn, like Ben, to become more accepting and tolerant of others.”
Iris Education/Outreach is a project funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales which allows the Iris team to work with students from schools across Wales to tackle homophobic bullying and other LGBTQ+ issues.
Teachers Mrs Jenny Ohlsson and Miss Amy Grimward said, “We’re so proud to have such talented students to work with. It's been such a fun experience and we feel lucky to be a part of it. We’re really excited about the premiere, albeit a little nervous about seeing ourselves projected on a massive cinema screen! Keira Knightly – watch out!”
We are proud to announce that four of the original 10 script writers, Ryan Mackale, Anna-Lyssa Roberts, Faye Thomas and Caitlin Hughes, have successfully gone on to university studying media, film and fashion related degrees. The remaining students originally involved in the project, continued on with the monumental task of planning, casting, directing, staging, rehearsing and then producing the film itself.
Student Kieran Roberts, who plays his namesake in the film, said, “It’s opened many doors to me in the future, by doing this I’ve met great people and it has been a real opportunity. I feel like this could be the start of something great.”
Hollie Owen agreed saying, “I have been involved with ‘Our Souls’ from the beginning. It’s been a great opportunity for us, as a whole group, and has allowed us to get an insight to the hard work needed to create a film. I'm very grateful for the whole experience.”
'Our Souls’ will premier in January at Cineworld, Llandudno Junction and will be entered into another Iris Prize competition that could see them win a £250 prize to make further films. In addition to this, Ysgol Aberconwy will welcome the Iris Outreach film crew back to the school in January as we host the Iris Outreach Education Day 2020, welcoming students from other schools to join us in workshops and to network with industry professionals. Mark Williams, Iris Outreach and Education Manager said, “We’ve had an amazing couple of days filming. We are very impressed with the pupils, their patience and how hard they have worked. I can’t wait to see the finished film in January.”
Ysgol Aberconwy proudly invites you to come and see the film and show your support for the LGBTQ+ community and our fantastic students, past and present. It will premiere on the 22nd January 2020 at Cineworld, Llandudno Junction, alongside other competition entries. Free entry for friends and family of Ysgol Aberconwy students.
Ysgol Aberconwy is proud to present Billy Elliot The Musical.
Our students have been working hard to prepare for this fantastic show which is now just around the corner!
Performances are taking place on the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th November.
Doors open at 6.45 pm with performances starting at 7 pm.
Call 01492 593243 to book tickets. £8 pp for adults and £5 pp for Children, Students and OAPs.
Ysgol Aberconwy students have achieved the best GCSE results in the school’s history, with over 75% of them achieving at least five GCSEs at A*-C and more than a quarter achieving five or more A*/A grades.
Special congratulations go to Libby Bond, Marnie Cockrill, Nathan Cuthbert, Thomas Kiddell, Ewan Marshall, Louis Morris, Ella Owen, Hannah Partington, Lois Porter, Elin Watson and Mabli Watson-Jones all of whom achieved at least 9 A*/A grades.
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, Welsh, French and German, as well as in vocational subjects such as Product Design, P.E., Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Hair Dressing.
It is so important that we provide a curriculum that meets the needs and interests of all and we are delighted that students benefit so much from their experiences here. The school has improved its academic performance in all of the performance measures used by Welsh government and we are extremely pleased with the progress we and our students are making.”
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.
Ysgol Aberconwy students and staff are celebrating the school’s best ever A Level results: every student successfully gained entry into their choice university and the school’s performance places it in the top 25% of Sixth forms in Wales and England.
Special congratulations go to Ruth Dean [A*, A*, A] who has moved a step closer to achieving her ambition of becoming a Doctor. Ruth will go to the University of Cardiff to study Medicine, following a gap year volunteering with a medical charity in Israel. We are also very proud of Tom Rushton who achieved an amazing 5 A levels [A*, A, A, B, C].
Other outstanding performances were made by Charlotte McNabb [Sport and Exercise Science – Worcester], Miriam Allardyce [Natural Sciences – Durham], Elizabeth Morgan [Maths – Aberystwyth], Shona Roberts [Sport Rehabilitation – Salford], Alex Miller-Smith [Business and Accountancy – University of Manchester] and Luca Hughes [Quanity Surveying – Oxford Brookes]. Special congratulations go to Spencer Ward who will receive a scholarship from Aberystwyth University to study Human Geography.
The school is especially proud to report that all the students who applied to Universities are now looking forward to going on to study a wide variety of exciting degree courses including English and Media, Aerospece Engineering, Civil and |Environmental Engineering, Drama and Theatre studies.
Headteacher Ian Gerrard congratulated all students and staff on their results and wished them all the very best for their future. He stated, “I’m delighted in the achievements of our students this year and I’m encouraged to see that such a wide and varied selection of courses are being followed by our young people across the UK. We wish them well for the future and look forward to hearing of their continued success in the years to come.”
Ysgol Aberconwy are proud to announce that, after an appraisal visit from CReSTeD (Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils), the school has been awarded CReSTeD status, once again, for the eleventh year.
Ysgol Aberconwy is only one of two secondary schools in Wales to feature on the CReSTeD schools register and, following the visit, the CReSTeD Board has approved the school for another three years.
CReSTeD status recognises that, Ysgol Aberconwy, as a whole school, meets specific criteria for providing support to students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD as well as ASD.
Headteacher Mr Gerrard, Helen Samuel Dyslexia Specialist teacher for ABCD (Conwy’s Local Authority dyslexia resource within Ysgol Aberconwy) and Clare Hodgson ALNCo, are pleased that the school has maintained its CReSTeD status.
The visit entailed a rigorous scrutiny of records, discussions with parents and students, as well as lesson observations, and took into account all areas and aspects of the school, not just the ABCD resource. The CReSTeD representative commended, amongst other things, on the school’s provision for all students to read for 20 minutes in school every day, and this policy has inspired other CReSTeD headteachers to look at introducing this policy within their own schools.
Mr Gerrard stated, “As a school we are incredibly proud to host the ABCD resource as part of the support we are able to offer to students studying at Ysgol Aberconwy. It is important to give students additional support where it’s needed, whilst at the same time allowing them to continue in mainstream education - this is something we’re fortunate to have.”