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.


Saturday, 15 September 2018

Open Evening Special !

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan is a fantastic school which supports all learners to achieve their potential academically and provide them with a range of activities which are second to none in supporting their personal and social development.

This year we have been able to celebrate a huge range of academic achievements.   
The results our learners have achieved in Year Eleven have been fantastic over the last few years.
  • In the last three years no learners have left the school without 5 GCSE’s.  
  • The performance of learners has meant that the schools results are consistently above the average for similar schools. 
  • Learners make great progress from their starting points.
At A level, the performance of learners has been outstanding; we are delighted that our Sixth Form is a centre where learners can make great progress so they are ready for the next step on their educational journey. Added to this, the attendance of our learners is amongst the highest in Wales.  Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan is truly a school where learners are challenged to ‘Dare to Achieve’.

This vision extends to outside the classroom.  Our staff ensure the learners are given opportunities to participate in a wide range of different activities throughout the year.  Learners have been involved in: horse riding; swimming; skiing (at home and abroad); expeditions - in North Wales, Thailand and Cambodia; educational visits to churches; Coding Club; fencing; dancing and trampolining, to name but a few.  We want every learner to leave school having tried out new activities and discovered new skills and talents.  The Engage @ Emrys programme really does support this and is unique to our school.   

It is very simple really; we want to provide every young person with a high quality education that leads them onto achieving the best qualifications.  We deliver that in an environment where everyone feels valued and can be challenged to take part in activities which are going to make them more confident, focused young people ready for the challenges they will face as they move onto the next stage of their journey.

If you would like to come and see what ‘Dare to Achieve’ really means for our learners please make an appointment to look around the school at a time convenient to yourself.  There is also lots of information on the school website.  We also look forward to seeing you on Thursday, 4 October 2018 at 6.00pm for our Open Evening.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Welcome Back

Headteachers Welcome Back.

Just a quick message to welcome everyone back to school.  We really have had a great first week with learners working hard and really understanding what is expected of them.  Its been great to see the new year seven learners in the school - They have been a credit to themselves and their parents / carers.  I really do look forward to seeing them all develop throughout the year.

It has also been great to welcome a large number of other new learners to the school.  Again, we have been very impressed with the way in which they have integrated into the school and how positive they have been.

We had a great summer in terms of our results and I will share these with you in my first letter to parents, due to go out next week. 

For anyone considering joining the school in September 2019 the details of our Open Evening will be on the website in the next few days.

I look forward to the year ahead.

Saturday, 30 June 2018


The last few weeks in school have been some of the most inspiring weeks we have had in the school.  There have been so many things going on that it has at times been challenging but also amazing to see so many young people respond positively together to each event.  This week has really made me think about what young people can achieve together.

 Year 13 Record of Achievement

Last night we said goodbye to our amazing Year 13 learners.  We gathered together to remember the good times and to share with the young adults we had in front of us the amazing opportunities that they have ahead of them and the need for them to seize the day and believe in themselves.  It was a lovely evening with a final chance to chat to parents and learners before the results day in the summer.  

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan Sixth Form 2018/19
Just a reminder for any one still looking to join the Sixth Form at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan that all the details to make an application can be found on the school website.  Just follow the link from the website or the link below.

Welcoming Year Six

This week is has been a pleasure to have our new year seven learners join us ready for September.  It has been the most successful transition that we have ever had and that is absolute credit to the Year Six learners and the staff in the school.  Both have been amazing.  Already we can see what a great year group this is going to be and how they will be able to 'live' the moto of Daring to Achieve!

'Code-a-thon' Winners

We are delighted that the five learners from Ysgol Emrys ap Iwans code@emrys club who took part in the 'code-a-thon' today were the secondary school winners.  The team had learners from KS3, 4 and 5.  It was a fantastic team effort to win out over some great competition.  

Year 11 Prom 

Following the success of last weeks Year 11 Record of Achievement this week we celebrated the Year 11 Prom.  This is a more informal opportunity for the learners to get together and celebrate their first five years with us as a school.  Once again it was an amazing evening with the learners responding so positively to such a lovely evening.  

We look forward to welcoming them all back for their results in the Summer and then back to Sixth Form in September 2018.

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition

This week we have had a number of learners who have undertaken their first expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  Whilst the weather was particularly hot this did not deter the learners from doing their very best and completing the course and the over night stay.  Well done, I'm sure many will have need resilience and determination. 

Finally for now...

Learners are currently preparing for the school production at the Rhyl Pavilion on Thursday and Friday of next weeks.  Please do come and join us for what I am sure will be a fantastic evening.  Tickets can be purchased from the Rhyl Pavilion.  


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Summer Term 2018

Welcome back to a new term at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan.  We have had a lovely first week.  A member of staff came up to me at the end of the day on Friday and said how great the learners had been and what a positive atmosphere there was in the school -  It was great to hear.  We are very fortunate to work with the great learners that we do.  It made me think about the quote below

We will all be working hard this term to maintain a positive attitude so Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan is always a positive place to be.


Year 10
This week myself and Mr Williams attended the Year Ten assembly.  We have been preparing them for their examinations this term.  It is a really important time for the learners to make sure that there are well prepared for their final year.  I will be writing to all parents / carers this week so they are clear on how we will support their child at this crucial time.

Year 11
Year 11 continue to work hard in preparation for their examinations in summer.  We had a great turn out during the holidays to revision sessions and we will continue to do everything we can to help every young person achieve the qualifications that they deserve.

Skiing Trip

During the holidays we had a group of 40 learners go to Austria to take part in a week of skiing.  The learners were an absolute credit to the school and had a fantastic time.  It has been great talking to them this week.
I would like to thank all the staff who were involved in the trip for giving up their time and looking after the learners so well.  I would particularly like to thank Mr Blackford who organises this experience each year. 

The plans are in place for next years skiing trip to France and the letters are available!!

Sixth Form "Best ever results last year!"

We are still able to take application for our Sixth Form next year.  It has been great to see so many learners from year 11 express an interest in staying with us through to post 16.  We have also had a significant increase in external candidate wanting to join our school.
There is still time to apply for a place in our Sixth Form.  For external candidates please just download an application form from the website and return it to the school or email the school directly on requesting further information.  For candidates in school see Mr Seymour to discuss your options for Sixth Form.  We hope you found your recent interviews useful and we will be following up on these plans with you. 

Monday, 19 March 2018

Working Together

Over the last few days we have had learners from across Year 7 and 8 working with ASH Wales.

About ASH Wales

Our mission is to achieve a smokefree Wales by working for strong tobacco control policy. We work to raise awareness of the health, social and economic effects of smoking by working with communities, young people and partners across Wales.
We work on projects, campaigns and policy in order to achieve a reduction in, and eventual elimination of, the health problems associated with smoking and tobacco use.

Our key activities

  • We communicate the issues relating to smoking and tobacco use in Wales
  • We build effective networks of interested parties working in tobacco control in Wales
  • We provide support and advocacy to individuals and projects in the tobacco control arena, and to those who are not adequately represented in public health policy or practice
  • We lobby for public health measures to protect the health of all people in Wales from the harm caused by smoking and tobacco
  • We research and develop policy and projects in the areas of smoking and tobacco control

The feedback we received back from our visitor was great
I would like to thank you for accommodating ASH Wales over the two days.  Myself, Andrew and Khalifa really enjoyed delivering our smoking prevention workshops to all of your very well behaved young people.  The young people made the sessions; they were lively, engaging and excitable which made for a great learning environment.  Within my role over 4 years I have worked in many schools across Wales and England and I have to say the staff support provided in the sessions was fantastic.  All of the support staff, teachers and young people were a credit to the school. '

What a great piece of feedback for the whole school. 

Friday, 16 February 2018

Reflection on the Term

It is always good to be able to reflect on the half term and share with you all some of the great things that have been going on in Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan.  It is easy to forget the range of activities that our learners are involved in and the projects that we are working on.

Continued Examination Success

The term started really well for our Year 11's who received some of their GCSE results.  We were so proud of their achievements.  They are now preparing hard for their examinations in the summer and I am certain that they will do very well.  Parents should have received information about any additional support and further information will be out at the start of the new term.

Outward Bound

A group of learners took part in an outwards bound project in the last week of term.  This was a real test of their team work and resilience and I am delighted to say that the learners really did 'Dare to Achieve'.  They spent a week at Ogwen Cottage with the  Outward Bound Trust.  I have shared below the feedback we received from the centre.

' Our instructors; Steve, Dylan & Alice, have all told me that they thoroughly enjoyed working with your students, the students are a real credit to the school. As the course director for the experience it was a real pleasure to work with a school whose high expectations mirror our own. I hope the young people will remember and continue to draw on these experiences well in to the future.'

The learners planted trees as part of their work and so have created a lasting memory from their visit as well as take part in some challenging outdoor activities.


We have had lots of visits to the school from our Feeder Primary Schools this half term and have been able to meet many of the great young people who will be part of our school community in the future.  Its lovely to see them in our school and they are so used to the surroundings they feel very at home.

There have been so many extra curricula activities going on this term I couldn't possibly mention them all.  One new area we have been focussing on is Rugby Development.  The learners have had the opportunity to work with
highly qualified and experienced coaches as part of their PE lessons and also after school.  This is something we are looking to develop further and I will keep you posted.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Acts of Kindness

This week we have been focussing on the community element of the school vision in assemblies.  It has been great to see all the learners during the course of the week and their positive attitude has shone.

We watched the video below which shows an 'ordinary' young lady carry out twenty Random Acts of Kindness for her twentieth birthday.

In each assembly learners were asked to think about how being on the receiving end of these acts of kindness could make someone feel.  There were some great words, my personal favourite was 'gobsmacked'. 

We then thought about how we could make other people in our communities feel good.  Again, the learners had some great ideas.

At the end of the assemblies this week the whole school has been challenged to think about good causes we could support as a school throughout 2018.  We will let you know what the learners decide!!

Other Events

A new session of the popular after school activity 'Build Your Own Ukulele Club' with learners from Ysgol Reoledig Llansansior - St George. Before they learn how to play the instrument, they need to make it first!

This week was the Year 10 parents' evening.  It was good to see so many parents at this important event.  As we always say, the success of learners is through the partnership between the learners, parents and home.  It was good to talk to many parents and hear their positivity about the school.  I was particularly pleased to hear about 'Show My Homework' and how that is helping to make sure homework is set across the school more effectively.    


Saturday, 13 January 2018

A Great Week

It has been great to be back in school and we have had a lovely first week back.  Already there has been too much to share on my blog.  Do remember that you can follow us on Twitter where there are more great stories from the week @emrysapiwansch

The week started with learners from our Primary Schools coming into school and taking part in a range to STEM activities.  It was great to see so many Year 5 and 6 learners in school and excited about the activities and their learning.

Results 2016/17

As many of you will know, from my recent letter home to parents, we have had confirmation that our GCSE and A Level results compared very well with other schools and nationally last year.  Some of the headlines are;
  • 5A*-G at GCSE was 100% - This was exceptionally good.
  • Learners performed well on the new Numeracy GCSE with the performance of the learners in the school being in the top 50% of similar schools.
  • English performance at GCSE was also good being in the top 50% of similar schools - This was a challenge with the new GCSE but a great result.
  • Learners achievement in the Skills Challenge was exceptionally high 25% above the national average.
  • The performance in Science was in the top 25% of similar schools and Year 10 also achieved a good set of results in the summer.
  • The Capped Point Score (The measure of the performance of learners across five core areas and four other subjects) placed the school in the top 25% of all schools.
  • Attendance- Last year the school achieved its highest ever attendance. Our attendance placed us in the top 25% of similar schools and was above the county and Wales averages for the first time.
Year 11 Results

This week we were delighted with the performance of Year 11 who received their Maths and English
results from the November examinations.  The individual performances were generally very good and many learners were delighted with their results.  As with all sets of results there was some disappointment however, we have a plan and in Assembly on Monday we will be sharing with Year 11 what will happen next to make sure that every individual learner leaves having met their potential.

I was able to share with the year group that they had already achieved higher grades than the previous year 11 and that they still have some time before their Summer examinations.  It was a great message to be able to share.