Monday, 13 May 2019


I just thought I would take the opportunity to share with you a few things that are going in in school at the moment.  It has been a great start to the term. 

For any of you that did not receive a copy of my letter at the end of the last term I have included a link below to this.

 Headteachers Easter Letter

Year 11 

The majority of Year 11 learners have made a really positive start to the GCSE Exams.  We know how challenging time it can be and we are doing everything we can to support the learners.  Please make sure you are looking on the school website to see the plan for each week.  All lessons are being used for revision and preparation.

Follow the link below to the Study for Success section of the website.

Study for Success

Using Time Wisely

Last week the whole school reflected on how we can use time wisely.  We identified that there are
86 000 seconds in each day.  We also talked about the fact that you can not 'bank' this time or save it for another day.  It is was money we would make sure it was spent.  As time we should use it wisely. 

A great way for learners to use their time is to get involved in the activities offered through the Engage @ Emrys programme.  Details of the current activities on offer can be found on the school website.

Inspiring Writing 

Last week learners from Year Seven took part in our 'Inspiring Writers Day'.  We had lots of great visitors who inspired our learners to undertake some amazing writing. 

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Learners as Leaders - Part 1

Giving the learners in Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan the opportunity to develop leadership skills is a really important  part of our work.

We try to ensure that all learners get the opportunity to lead teams inside and outside the classroom.  We know that the opportunity to practice and develop these skills is a really important part of the education we offer.
Some of the groups of learners who lead elements of the schools work are shown below.  We have also tried to highlight the areas of the school and the wider community that they influence.


Who:  For learners from Year 9 who volunteered, and who were willing to be elected, were chosen to act as representatives for the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, to promote young people’s rights and the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Purpose:  Inform other learners in the school about the Children’s Commissioner for Wales and her work.
Make sure other pupils know about young people’s rights under the UNCRC.

Achievements in 2018/19
Planned an assembly on their roles in the school (dates still to be finalised)
Planned and to deliver a session for Year 8 to be delivered on the Enrichment Day on the 28thMarch


Who:  A Young Ambassador is an outstanding and committed sports leader that takes on the additional responsibility of increasing participation, promoting PE and school sport and being a link between teachers and young people.

  • Be the young person's voice for PE and School Sport.
  • Promote the positive values of sport at Emrys ap Iwan and in the wider community.
  • Be a role model and PE champion at all times.
  • Increase participation opportunities and promote healthy lifestyles
  • Participate in Engage clubs on a regular basis.
  • Lead a warm up/cool down with lessons or during club.
  • Be involved with sporting events within school sport.
  • Manage and assist with the organising of sporting events in the PE calendar.
Achievements in 2018/19:
  1. Sports ambassadors’ day at Nant BH. Outdoor Education day to understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as how to develop sport in the school community with Conwy PE and sports officers.
  2. Successful meeting to highlight their peers views on curricular and extra-curricular provision, which feeds into the engage@emrys programme, self-evaluation and assist with curriculum mapping.



Purpose:  Identify opportunities to improve the school environment and enable the school to operate sustainably. Implement any actions required to improve the school environment.

Achievements in 2018/19
  • Produced a whole school audit and currently discussing actions required and the priorities for these actions.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Supporting Year 11

This time of year is really important for Year 11.  With only 10 weeks until the first GCSE Exam we need to ensure that every learner is focused on their future success.

I wanted to use my Blog this week to share with you everything that we have in place for the learners.  A newsletter will be coming out to all parents over the next few days with further information.

The STUDY FOR SUCCESS area of the website is really important.  All the information for our learners is here.

Year 11 Intervention Timetable (January - May 2019)

Computer Science
Science (Biology week A and Chemistry week B)
English Language  (+Lit focus Year 10)
Skills Challenge (Individual project)
Physics (Lunchtime)
Health and Social Care
Child Development
Welsh (5 groups- 1 session per group)
Skills Challenge (Individual project)
English Literature (Coursework)
Health and Social Care
Child Development
PE (option) plus Teamwork catch up
Skills Challenge (Individual project)
English Language (Oracy)
It is essential that all learners are participating in the after school timetable as required.  We know this makes a huge difference to the success of each learner who engages in this.

February Half Term

There will be a timetable for February Half Term revision classes.  As soon as this is available it will be posted home to you and also displayed on the website. 


The school has bought GCSE Pod for every learner in Key Stage Four.  It is an excellent tool for revision.  Please ensure that your son / daughter is starting their revision now and making use of this excellent resource.  Further information can be found below and by following the link above to the Study for Success Website. 



GCSEPod has over 3,500 audio-visual podcasts containing all the right facts, quotes, keywords, dates and annotated diagrams that learners need for GCSE success. Watch podcasts on mobile, tablet or computer and get help with learning, homework and revision.
All learners have already been registered with GCSEPod and simply need to activate their account and choose a username and password. To access GCSEPod for the first time, follow these steps:
  1. Go to and click LOGIN
  3. Enter your name, date of birth and the name of your school
  4. Create a username and password (to be used next time you login) and select the subjects you study

The GCSEPod is available on computer and a free to download app for Apple and Android devices.

Revision Event
We will be running an event for Parents and Learners after the half term holiday to focus on revision.  Further details of this even will be shared with you as soon as possible.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Sad News

As many of you will be aware this week has been a sad week for the school.  We have lost someone who was very important to our school community.

Below I have copied the letter that I sent home to parents and the press release that I shared following the tragedy.

Letter to Parents 

It is with great sadness that I write to you to inform you of the passing a of a valued member of the Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan team, Mrs Stephanie Brettle.

Mrs Brettle has been an English teacher at the school since 2001 and has always brought joy and enthusiasm to her subject.  She has taught thousands of learners over the last 17 years and made a difference to many young people’s lives. She always took her responsibility as a teacher seriously whilst ensuring that the learners had fun. The whole school community is saddened by her passing. 

I have met with each year group today to share the sad news with them.  We have extra support in school in the form of trained counselors to support learners and staff through this difficult period. We will also be sharing our memories of Mrs Brettle through a series of condolence books during the next couple of weeks. 

Our thoughts are with the family of Mrs Brettle at this sad time and we appreciate your support during this difficult time.

Press Release

The whole school community is saddened by the loss of Stephanie Brettle.

Stephanie has been a teacher at the school since 2001 and throughout her time at the school she has approached everything with absolute commitment.  She was a fantastic English teacher who cared passionately about the way every single young person in her class progressed.  She was always willing to go the extra mile and learners loved her for it.

The thoughts of our whole school community are with her family at this very sad time. 

Final Note

I would like to thank everyone who has been in touch with myself or the school to offer their support.  Your kindness has supported us all.

First Post of 2019

Welcome to my first post of the New Year.

I hope that all the learners, and their families, reading this have had a great festive season and are now ready to face the year ahead.

New Year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year.
Last year we saw so many of our learners write their own amazing stories.  We look forward to seeing even more young people doing that this year and writing their own amazing stories.

School Opening.
School reopens to all learners on Tuesday 8th January 2019.  School will open at normal time. 

It is important that all learners return to school in the correct uniform.  I have copied a reminder of the uniform expectations below.

  • Grey knitted V neck jumper *

       (with green and purple stripe on the neck and school badge)

  • Plain grey school wear trousers

       (no jeans, skin-tight trousers or leggings)

  • Grey granite stitch-down knife-pleat skirt *

       (girls may wear the trousers if they opt to)

  • White collared school wear shirt/blouse which buttons to the neck
  • School tie worn correctly to the neck *
  • Plain black shoes which can be polished

       (no expensive branded shoes)

  • Plain black accessories such as belts and hair bands
  • Tights – black or grey
  • Socks – black, grey or white 

Friday, 28 December 2018

Below I have copied a modified version of the letter sent home to all families at the end of term.  I have had a couple of messages to say that everyone didn't receive this so I am re-posting it here.
I am writing to you at the end of a very busy, and very productive first term of the academic year. As you will be aware we have had a great set of results in the summer, which started the year well and then a visit from Estyn, which again reflected very positively on the school. I am looking forward to sharing with you the Categorisation of the school by GwE once it has gone through local and regional moderation.
Whilst all of the above is really important I am most pleased that the vast majority of learners continue to work hard and make a positive contribution to the school. This is a pleasure to be part of each day.

I am always grateful for the tremendous support that parents give to their children and to the school. Could I take this opportunity to remind you that attendance right up to the last day of term is vital? We do obviously acknowledge the festive season with a range of events but I would like to emphasise that the focus remains on learning up to, and including, the end of the term. We also have our Twelve Days of Christmas attendance initiative, where learners can win prizes for being in school over these final weeks of term.
The new term will start for all learners on Tuesday 8th January 2018.
Our School App
We continue to promote the use of the school App. This can be downloaded onto all smartphones, and you will then receive push notifications and reminders for all school events and activities. It can be used to link to our Facebook and Twitter pages, website and lots of other valuable information.

Full details of how this can be downloaded can be found on the school website. By using the app you will be supporting the school in saving costs on other, more expensive means of communicating.

Wise Pay  I am sure many of you are aware of our system of electronic payments for trips, activities and school meals etc. This means payments can be made online from your phones or other electronic devices which eliminate the need for sending in cheque or cash payments with your child. Further details of this system is available on the school website.


Our first term of the engage@emrys programme has seen excellent dedication from our learners to extend their knowledge outside of curriculum time. Opportunities provided so far have included Skiing lessons, Ice Skating, Sailing, Art, Music and Science. Learners have also taken up the opportunity to go and watch a Champions League football fixture as well as a live music production from the BBC.
Next term we have more opportunities with our Outward Bound residential week based at Ogwen Cottage, our annual Ski trip to France and the launch of next year’s trip to the USA.

Our Breast Cancer awareness week in October saw learners from all Key Stages raise over £800 for ‘wear it pink’ which is run annually during PE lessons. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your continued support.

In the New Year the engage@emrys timetable will again be modified to incorporate further activities to provide challenging yet rewarding opportunities for our learners. If you wish to keep up with the activities on offer through social media please follow us on Instagram and Twitter using the handle engage@emrys.

Inclusion Quality Mark
Image result for Inclusion Quality MArk Centre of Excellence Logo
In the current term we were re-inspected against the criteria for the Inclusion Quality mark. As a Centre of Excellence for Inclusion we have agreed to be monitored on an annual basis. I am delighted that we have maintained our Centre of Excellence Status as a school.

You will have recently received a letter from the Chair of Governors informing you that we are deferring the decision on introducing the blazer until September 2020. In the meantime, I would appreciate your support in ensuring that learners follow the uniform rules and continue to look smart.

Next Term
We are already looking forward to the start of the new term. Please follow us on Twitter and visit the website regularly to see what is going on in the school.
Finally, I would again like to thank you for your support over the last term and your continuing support as we continue to make Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan a place we are all proud of.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year/Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda.

Dare to Achieve@Emrys


Thursday, 1 November 2018

End of Half Term

It is hard to believe that we have already reached the end of the first half term.  The time seems to have gone so quickly.


As many of you will be aware the school was inspected by Estyn at the very beginning of the new term.  The inspection team were very positive about the improvements they can see in the school and they were particularly positive about the improvement in results in the school (more about those later).

I was delighted that they acknowledged in their report how courteous  learners are and how well the learners engage in their learning.

I will be writing to all parents as we return to school and will also be contacting prospective parents.  I will also make sure that all letters are on the website by the end of the first week.

Key Stage Four Results

As I have already shared with parents the results as Key Stage Three and Four were particularly good this year and continue the schools trend of improvement.  Below are the headlines from the results.

·         In 2018 the results of the school were some of the highest in the local area and higher than the average in Wales.

·         In 2018 all groups of learners made good or better progress
·         In 2018 the performance of learners in Maths, English and Science was in the top 25% of similar schools in Wales.
      We are really proud of the achievement of all our learners and are already working hard with the class of 2019 to ensure that they achieve the very best that they can. 
      Admission to Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan 

      We had a fantastic Open Evening at the beginning of October where we welcomed record numbers of parents and learners to the school.  It was lovely to meet with some familiar faces and new faces all looking to join the Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan community and make sure that they are able to 'Dare to Achieve' 
      The timetable for application is shown below;
      Closing date for applications considered to be on time:  9th November 2018

Offers confirmed:                                                                            1st March 2019
Deadline for schools accepting / declining offers:              2 weeks after date.

Applications to the school must be made on the schools application form and via the Conwy / Denbighshire Admissions site.  Further information on admissions can be found on the schools website.  

The school admission form can be found by following this link.