Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Getting ready for the new term...

I hope that you have all had a magical Christmas and are also looking forward to the start of a new year.  I just wanted to take the opportunity to share with you a couple of important pieces of information for the start of the new term.

School starts on Tuesday 6th January 2016 for all learners.  We look forward to welcoming them all back to school and ready to continue with the great progress that was made last term.  If any of you haven't read my letter to parents or the school news letter please have a look on the website for these.  They give a really good idea of the great work going on in the school.

I also just wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate the schools Eco Committee who achieved Green Flag status at the end of the last term.  This is a great achievement and something the learners can be very proud of.

Also, after our successful Adult Numeracy and Literacy classes we will be launching the next group after the holidays.  There will be more details at the start of term but  just wanted to give you some advance notice.

v We will help you develop strategies to support your child with literacy and / or numeracy.

v You will gain confidence so that you can help with homework!

v You will learn the methods currently used at schools

v This will help you support your child in

preparation for the literacy and

numeracy tests that they will sit in May

v Everything is provided and the course is FREE!


At the same time you will get a qualification!



These free programmes will be at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan for 8 weeks starting:

Monday January 18th  9:30am – 11:30am focussing on Literacy .

Tuesday January 19th  6:00pm – 7:30pm focussing on Literacy.

Thursday January 21st 6:00pm – 7:30pm focussing on Numeracy.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Latest news...

Teams4U Shoebox Appeal

Year 7 and 8 learners showed that they care with their fantastic effort in collecting contributions for the Teams4U Shoebox appeal.

Teams4U is a charity set up in North Wales by Dave Cooke, who has over 20 years’ experience working within international relief and development. In 1990 Dave was moved by the needs of the of the Romania children on the TV screen so he put teams together and took aid to the Romanian orphanages. In 2006 Dave founded Teams4U to enable many others to be able to have the opportunity and experience of working with and supporting vulnerable children and their families.

Year 7 and 8 put together decorated shoeboxes each containing gifts and messages from the children at the school. The boxes left Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan on the 24th of November destined for underprivileged children in Romania. For most of the children who will receive a shoebox this will be the only Christmas present they receive. 

Homework Update 

At Emrys ap Iwan we are committed to ensuring that learners are given every opportunity to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.  We are excited to announce a homework competition that is currently running within school.   Learners are being asked to submit their best piece of homework by 18th December; the winning pieces of work will then be used to create a portfolio of excellence. The portfolio will be shared with parents, learners and staff and will be used as an example of best practice. Prizes will be given to learners whose homework appears in the portfolio.

In addition to the homework competition I would like to make you aware of homework club which runs every day before school from 8.30 and after school until 4.30 in the library.  Homework club is an ideal opportunity for learners to complete homework in a quiet environment with access to resources and help from staff. 

Music Pioneers Day

The Music Department recently held another successful Young Pioneers Day, with musicians from Ysgol Sant Elfod, Ysgol Saint George, Ysgol Y Castell and Ysgol Maes Owen. Over 60 learners attended and joined forces with the Emrys Vocal ensemble. The massed choir were given a challenge of learning two new songs and recording them in under 4 hours.

Year 10  GCSE Music student Chloe Wain and Celyn Roberts report:
“We thought the young pioneer’s day was a good experience as we were able to share and improve our skills with younger children. With our encouragement, the primary school children were able to become more confident in showing off their singing abilities. We also enjoyed singing two part harmonies and working in smaller groups. Each  small group then had the opportunity to take solo section.
We thought it was an almost impossible challenge to complete the group recordings for ‘Do they know it’s Christmas time’ by Band Aid in the time allowed. It was hard to get everyone to learn the words, timings and stay in the right pitch throughout the full song but after a few pre-recorded practices the whole group were able to sing the song successfully.
The second song ‘Where ever you are’ by the Military Wives was much easier to perform and we did all of this song in under an hour! This didn’t include any harmonies and it was much easier to stay in pitch. We would like to be further involved with one of these events next time, possibly to help run the day. We are really proud of the recordings too!”

A recording of “Wherever You Are” can be found on


We have had some more great news this week.  Bethan from Year 9 is a Young Carer.  She has also exceptionally set up her own Karate Club and has also achieved a Black Belt.  As a reward for all her hard work she was invited to the House of Commons for a private tour.  She really is an exceptional young lady and has achieved so much.

We look forward to sharing her progress and we will share it with you.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

International Visit

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan is leading the launch and planning of the Erasmus+ project, with delegates from Europe attending last week.  It was great to catch up with international partners we have not met before and those who we have worked with before.

Staff were involved in a range of planning activities and also observed lessons from across the school and looked at the quality of learning and teaching across the school.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Learner Voice

The School Council.

The school Council are
Year 7 Sam Hansen and Samantha Cassidy
Year 8 Alex Jones and Harrison Evans
Year 9 Jack Lea and Billie Bennett
Year 10 Tegan Pilkington and Leon Best
Year 11 Scott Jones, James Hill and Annie-Rose Williams
Sixth Form Naomi Winterbottom Harry Hansen Iwan Coghlan, Katie Salle
The aims for 2015-16  are to continue to act as the learner voice on a whole range of issues that affect the daily lives of learners at Emrys. The aim is to devote more time to teaching and learning related topics during this year. The first half term saw a whole school debate on the issue of homework. Information gathered will be used to influence the future of homework setting and completion.

Aim of The BoBs Group is to:

·         Enhance opportunities for learners to access a healthy diet and to develop a positive attitude towards food and health
·         Create a sense or responsibility and ownership amongst learners regarding food in school.
·         Promote sound nutrition knowledge and cooking skills amongst the Learners.
·         Trail and test the healthy eating dishes in the school menu and collate feedback.
·         Make recommendations for change.
·         Generate partnership working between relevant parties.
·         Supports and promote the development of a School Food and Fitness Policy.
·         Support the recommendations set in the Welsh Assembly Government document Appetite for Life Action Plan (2008).

Benefits of being a BOB’s member:
·         Empowers learners; enabling school learners to give their views on the food available in school.
·         Partnership building; bringing people from all aspects of education together towards a common goal.
·         Educates learners about nutrition and the importance of healthy eating.
·         Develops young learners cooking skills.
·         Provides extra curricular activities for young learners to be involved with.
·         Promotes self confidence /self esteem in young learners.
·         Provides a framework to support the development of a live Food and Fitness Policy

·         Teach primary schools at the Conwy Food Festival about healthy eating and pass on new cooking skills
·         Bob’s from local primary schools cook every Thursday after school. The Bob’s group help support in the activities
·         Take part in taster days to promote different dishes in the school restaurant, collect data and analyse the results
·         Take their level 1 award in food safety awareness in catering and receive a certificate when they pass


At Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan we have our own eCadetts groups.  This has 26 learners from across Year 8, 9 and 10.
eCadets – “Our vision is to help kids and parents to understand how to be safe online.”
The eCadet scheme is the 1st structured peer empowerment eSafety scheme which trains and supports a team of learners to be able to help classmates to stay safe online.
The scheme enables learners to log into the website and complete activities that will inform and empower them, over time, to act as a first contact to their peers if they have any minor concerns. Issues or questions regarding eSafety.
Aims for this year are simply:-
·         To learn about eSafety
·         To promote eSafety
·         To participate in Safer Internet Day

We also have the Eco Committee.  Below shows some of the priorities that they will be working on in this year.


Parental Engagement

As a school we are highly committed to ensuring that all our learners gain the best possible education, not only academically but in all areas of life. We believe that in order for this to be achieved we have to work very closely with parents and carers, offering every opportunity to involve you as closely as possible.
As a result, the school has recently embarked on a national project – The Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA). The LPPA provides a challenging framework to enable schools to strengthen their partnership with parents and carers. In order to gain the award, the school will undertake a rigorous self evaluation process and undergo quality assurance by Prospects (The award provider). 

There are numerous benefits for everyone connected with the school through gaining LPPA and these are as follows:
·         Improved learner attendance, punctuality, behaviour and progress.
·         Increased parental participation and involvement.
·         Enhanced parental support for children’s learning.
·         Improved home-school communications.
·         Evidence of improvement and success.
Please keep and eye on the school website, especially the parents section. It is on this section that we would like to keep you informed of developments, including links to adult learning opportunities. All letters are available on the school website, also you have access to our school policies and helpful guidance on how to support your child's learning. You will also find feedback about events that parents have attended and how we act upon this information. As a school we would also be keen to hear your views on any developments that you would find beneficial in improving the links between school and home. Should you have any ideas please do not hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to keeping you informed of developments on this project over the future months. Should you have any questions or comments regarding this information, please do not hesitate to contact me Mrs Kelly-Roberts, the Parental Engagement Co-ordinator

Sunday, 8 November 2015

More news from Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan

More news from Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan

Conwy Food Festival

In the last week of the half term we had a small number of learners who helped deliver some of the sessions at the Conwy Food festival.  This is what the staff at the festival said about our learners.

'Thank you very much for all your loyal support and participation at the Conwy School Food Festival. Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan's BoBs members/pupils were so professional and so capable of delivering 6 one hour workshops to a total of 96 primary pupils during the 2 day event. They confidently delivered the nutrition and practical cooking workshops to all ages and they certainly made a very good impression on the younger pupils participating in the event.'

What a great review for all involved.

Parent Partnership

This week has seen the launch of a further opportunity for us to work in partnership with parents.  A number of parents have signed up to learn more about Literacy and Numeracy and how they can support their own child.  We are delighted to have started this programme and look forward to expanding this further to include other exciting groups during and after school.  Further details are available below.

Awards Evening

Finally I want to share with you a picture of our learners who won the main awards from our Awards Evening.

Next weeks news.

Next week I will be sharing some of the work that our learners have been doing as part of the Learner Leadership programme in the school.  I will also be letting you know how our European visitors have enjoyed their time in Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan as part of our European Partnership programme.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The end of the first half term.

As we approach the end of the term there is so much to celebrate.  Some of the highlights are shown below.

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan is the first school in Wales to be recognised as a TEEP Ambassador School.  This means that we are a school that has focussed on the quality of learning and teaching and have looked to develop it using the TEEP methodology.  This status recognises the  hard work of the staff and our collective desire to ensure that every single learner in the school receives the best quality learning and teaching.  We will now be able to share this excellence with other schools.  This will start with a delegation of European teachers during the week beginning the 9th November 2015.  

Learners have been up to some great fundraising this half term.

Chloe in the Sixth Form has been raising monies for MacMillan. She’s counted it today & it’s currently £182.81.  

Lainey Johnson & Georgia Baxter have also been fundraising.  They have raised over £100 in the community for Breast Cancer Awareness.  This is a fantastic achievement.

We are also able to report another successful Pink Week in support of Breast Cancer.
The learners throughout the Key stages have helped to raise over £1000 (finance are still counting!)
A special thanks to the YR10 option PE group who raised over £371.50 and a special mention for the following who raised over £20.
Leah Tulsie, Maddie, Freddie Stanton, Kacey Groves, Christina Costea, Chloe Flemming, Lainey Johnson, Georgia Baxter, Laura Fox, Luke Stanley, Vikki Harris, Kieran Kearns, Connor Salisbury, Matthew Hingeley, Lucy Grocott, Sammi Casidy, Kate Bryce, Katie Cooke, Libby Williams, Charlotte Grayson and Louise Baker.

This week also saw over 350 learners and 600 parents share in the schools Annual Awards Evening.  This was a great success and was supported by Martin Daws the Welsh Children's Poet Laureate.   It was a fantastic evening.  

Six learners from Year 8 participated in the first ever Conwy Slam Poetry event in Theatre Colwyn last night. The learners performed two poems that were written during last week’s Enrichment Day; The  Key – about the effects of bullying and This World is Flawed – a poem about the state of the environment. The learners received some fantastic feedback from the judges about their performances and the message the poems were conveying and all six were a real credit to Emrys. The learners performed alongside four other schools from the county and all participants did a fantastic job of bringing their words to life.

The learners lost out on the winning title to a team from Ysgol Eirias but all enjoyed the experience of creating their own slam poetry and performing it to a very supportive audience. We are hoping that this is just the beginning of Emrys’ adventures in the slam poetry world. Watch this space…

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Enrichment Week

This week we had one of six planned enrichment days.  The day provided the opportunity for learners to spend longer 'chunks' of time on specific activities to support their learning.  They are fantastic to see and its a great opportunity to see the whole school focusing on different areas of learning.

Year 11 spent their time working on GCSE studies.  Having such a large block of time means that learners were able to really focus on one area of their learning and make a great job of it.

It was wonderful to see how well they were working and how determined they all are to make the best of the opportunities given to them.

Year Seven went off on a team building event to Chester Zoo.  The visit gives them a real opportunity to bond as a year group as well as make the most of all the educational opportunities that the zoo
provides.  There is a competition for the best completed booklet by a Year Seven learner.  The winner will be decided in assembly tomorrow I think!  Good luck to all learners.

Year Nine were focusing on Health and Well Being looking at important issues such as pregnancy, alcohol and drug miss use.  The end of the day brought them an opportunity to be entertained by a group of musicians focusing on the messages they had received throughout the day.

Some Year 8 learners wrote this poem.  They worked with a Poet who visited the school.  Learners will be presenting this poem in public on Thursday 22nd October 2015 at Colwyn Bay Theatre as part of a Poetry Slam.

My life is like darkness
No one around
Just black and dark nothing to see
I’m drowning in my own social nightmares
I’m stressed
I feel self obsessed
You’ve messed up my life
Left me guessing what’s next
I’m scared I cry you make me want to die inside
Hiding behind your lies – living them out on me

I’m being told I’m useless
Raggy cheap stupid
I’m fat  ugly, nerdy weird
Loser you’re a nobody
Even you’re parents don’t want you
 the world would be better without you
it’s time you disappeared
You’re breaking me making me emotionally dead
I’m living through the nightmare of your words
The things you’ve said echo echo echo
It feels like you’re right here beside me
Like your voice is inside me controlling my head

How am I drowning when I’m surrounded by air?
We both breathe we both bleed
We both need the same things
Someone to listen
Someone to care
I’m trapped in a body
In a prison of your despair
there’s a volcano building up inside
All the kicking the hitting the spitting I’ve had enough
I need to find the key to open the prison door
I can’t take it any more STOP!

I need to find a shoulder to cry on
Someone to rely on
A cushion to fall back on
A friend to carry me
Let me know I’m not alone
Help me stand up from the crowd
You can help
you know can together we can do this
help me find the words
let my voice be heard
finally a friend
a light to guide me out of this dark abyss
together let’s do this
Make it through the pain
break through this barrier
One day we’ll find a way to break the chain

Unlock the door and take these words out of my brain

The same poet will be presenting the Awards at our Awards Evening on Monday Evening  at the Rhyl Pavilion. 

This week we also hosted our first Year Seven Parent's Assembly of the term.  This was a huge success.  Many parents have also signed up to work with the school on supporting their child with English and Maths.  This is a great opportunity and we are pleased so many parents are keen to take part.  We look forward to the start of these groups after the half term.  If you require any more information please contact the main office and ask to speak to Miss Kelly.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

To celebrate National Poetry Day on 8th October, learners at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan created their own poems. They began cutting out shapes from the pages of old books and highlighting interesting words within these shapes to inspire their poems. Examples of completed work included ‘Criminal Offence’ by Paige Roberts (Y10), The Darkness Awakening by Lara Smith (Y10), ‘I love Wintertime’ by Alisha Tilley (Y9), ‘Father’ by Mikey Bonny,  ‘The Newspaper’ by Deanna Rollinson (Y8)and ‘Rattle’ by Charlie Sass-Davies.

This week we have also been reflecting on the wide range of activities that are available to learners before, during and after school.  Its great to see how many learners are involved but always good to see even more joining in.  The programme for the current term is below.

Schedule:  Autumn Term  2015

Saturday, 3 October 2015

What a week...

This week we have had a great week.  There have been so many activities going on in the school that I am sure I will miss some out.  I will just share some of the highlights with you.

MAT Learners in Year Seven.
More Able and Talented Learners in Year Seven have started work on a special project which will culminate in them writing sections of their own book!  The club launched this week and it was great to see the enthusiasm from all the learners.

Year Seven Parents experienced a lesson in school this week.  Parents were invited into the school to focus on;
1.  How to help your child with Maths
2.  How to help your child with English and
3.  What do lessons look like in Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan.

It was great to see the parents joining in with the very practical activities and getting a really good understanding of the way we teach their children in our school.  The feedback from parents was stunning and we look forward to continuing to offer great opportunities in school to help parents help their child.  Further information regarding opportunities will be available before the half term. 

Open Evening :  Last week we had our Open Evening and it was very well attended.  We have since 
had a number of visits to the school which has been great and we have already received applications for next year.  We welcome visits to the school at any time.  Please feel free to contact the school on 01745 832287 or email the school on info@emrysapiwan.conwy.sch.uk

Last night (Friday) almost 50 Year 8 learners went to watch the Sale Sharks play rugby.  This was part of a reward for the Numeracy work that learners had been doing with the Sale Sharks education team before the holiday.   Learners had a great time and watched the Sale Sharks complete a comprehensive win!