I am writing to let you know that students in Years 7, 8 & 9 will be taking National Reading and Numeracy tests in the first two weeks of the summer term. These are diagnostic tests and we will use the information from them to further support your child’s learning.
We will inform you of the results of the tests before the summer holiday. The test timetable is available on the school website https://www.aberconwy.conwy.sch.uk/2015-12-09-11-41-37/examinations
If you would like to discuss any aspects of the tests please do not hesitate to contact me.
Assistant Head teacher
21st February 2019
Dear Parent / Guardian,
As we approach a crucial time in your Son's/Daughter's education with the GCSE exams only 8 school weeks away, we would like to share with you the following updates and opportunities.
Mock Exams 4th March – 11th March 2019
The week after half term is mock week for all year 11 students, this is a very important time for them in terms of their preparation for the exams they are due to sit in May & June. We have placed the mock exam timetable on the website for you to have at home and discuss as a family.
In school your son/daughter has been provided with a revision timetable template for them to fill in a personalised plan for them to effectively prepare for these exams. They have been encouraged to block out time for hobbies, sports, family time and other commitments first and we have discussed with them all the importance of finding a balance as the pressure increases. Using the timetable of revision sessions on the school website, they are then able to fill in sessions that they would like to attend in school and then allocate some time each week for their independent revision - to give them the best chance we recommend two hours per evening in the week, two hours each day on a weekend and four hours a day during this half term break.
Extended school day
In order to further support students we are offering an optional ‘Extended school day’ for all year 11 students, which will run until 4:30pm every day. There will be a study base, which will be somewhere they can work quietly, do homework, complete coursework and do an hour of their allocated revision time. This will run instead of breakfast club as we know the afternoon is a better time for the students. Students will also have the opportunity to attend revision sessions that are relevant to them or arrange to complete work in departments according to their priorities. The revision session timetable is on the school website under the ‘supporting year 11’ section.
The Extended school day will run on a three tier basis:
- Tier 1 Voluntary – This is for all students. All are welcome to attend to get a big chunk of revision done before they even leave school.
- Tier 2 Recommended - This is where a subject teacher has raised a concern with your son/daughter’s progress and feels that they would like them to attend in order to help them get back on track. You will receive a phone call from myself, Mrs Wigzell or from subject teachers asking for your support in this.
- Tier 3 Expected - This is where the student has outstanding coursework OR requires intervention and extra support in order to give them the best possible chance of achieving their potential. You will be notified of this via a letter or email.
I apologise that we will not be able to issue bus passes to students attending these sessions, unless they fall into tier 3 and are expected to attend.
Learning performance training – Monday 18th March 2019
Learning Performance is the UK’s leading study skills company, they are joining us in to school on the above date, to run a workshop with all our year 11 students focusing on creative effective learning strategies.
We are delighted to invite you to a Parent forum will run from 3:30pm until 4:15pm on the same day. You will be able to work with your son/daughter to take part in a relaxed fun and practical workshop where you will experience first-hand some of the exciting strategies they have learned during the day to enable you to help and support them at home.
Research shows equipping students with such learning strategies can improve progress by an average of 8 months. For more information about learning performance and the work they do with schools, please visit www.learningperformance.com
We look forward to seeing you at the parents’ forum!
Miss Clare Freeman
Head of Year 11
Dear Parents and Carers
You may have heard about the continuing challenges headteachers are facing on school funding; this year alone the real term cut to school budgets is between 3.6% and 4%. This equates to a figure of over £200,000 for some of our secondary schools. As a joint response from all the secondary headteachers in Conwy we want parents to be fully informed about the challenges we continue to face and to encourage you to support us. With increased pressures on school budgets and cuts to services that support our most vulnerable young people and their families, it is make-or-break time for our schools. The financial situation has become critical. We are now in a position where many Conwy schools must make redundancies with a great many other schools being in a deficit budget over the next few years. Schools have an ever-increasing part to play in supporting children and their wider families, but this is being expected whilst our resources are reducing. In the end, it is the children within our communities who will suffer – they deserve better.
We are all having to consider decisions that would result in: -
- Larger class sizes and fewer teachers and senior staff
- School buildings falling into disrepair
- Reduction in support for ALN and wellbeing needs at a time when these are key drivers for curriculum reform and local social contexts
- Cuts to pastoral services including teaching assistants and support staff in general
- Outdated computer equipment
- Fewer trips and after school activities that have previously been subsidised or offered free
- Significant challenge to the growth of Welsh medium education and meeting the ‘Million Welsh Speakers’ and WESP targets
- Additional funding streams such as grants to support enhanced projects are now being used to support the core provision of our schools
As a group of headteachers we have tried to shield parents from the difficulties but because the situation is not sustainable, we are working together to make parents fully aware. There simply are not the savings to be made that can make up for the huge shortfall in our funding. It feels very unfair to our children and to our staff.
Representatives from Conwy headteachers have already met with local councillors to raise their awareness about the impact the cuts are having. We would like to ask you to join us and write to your AM and local councillors and/or add you name to the following petition on school funding:
This will all add strength to our concerns on the impact the cuts are going to have on the long term educational provision for your children.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Conwy Secondary Headteachers
Ian Gerrard, Ysgol Aberconwy
Trefor Jones, Ysgol y Creuddyn
Sarah Sutton, Ysgol Eirias
Ann Webb, Ysgol John Bright
Dave Humphreys, Ysgol Bryn Elian
Elan Davies, Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy
Lee Cummins, Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan
It is timely to remind all parents of the procedures in the event of the school being closed due to bad weather.
When a decision is taken to close the school we will make the information available as soon as possible in the following ways. Unless communication is received through these means, then please assume that the school remains open :
- School website
- Text and email message to primary contact numbers
(please therefore keep us informed of any changes to mobile phone numbers or email addresses)
- Conwy County Council website
- Local Radio
(Capital FM/eartHeartHeart Radio/Radio Cymru/Radio Wales)
The decision to close the school is never taken lightly and rests with the Head Teacher and the Governors. Throughout the decision making process, our primary concern is always the safety of all our students and staff.