Letter from Headteacher – Estyn

Dear Parents/Guardians

I am able to announce, with great pleasure, that the report following the recent inspection of Ysgol Craig y Don by Estyn, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education in Wales, has been published on their website, and is available here. http://www.estyn.llyw.cymru/darparwr/6622121

The team from Estyn was extremely thorough and professional and I welcome their findings and thank them for the way in which the inspection was conducted.

In all respects the process was a confirmation of what I’ve always known: Ysgol Craig y Don is a good school with some exemplary elements; that the teaching and learning is consistently good and that we provide effectively for all pupils, including those of higher ability and those who require extra support. We should all be extremely proud of everything that the staff and pupils have achieved.

The inspection team summarised as follows:

The school’s current performance is GOOD because:

  • Nearly all pupils, including those with additional learning needs, make good progress in their learning during their time at the school
  • Pupils’ literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) skills are good
  • Standards of behaviour and self-discipline are exemplary
  • Nearly all pupils show high levels of engagement in their work and are keen to learn
  • Teaching across the school is consistently good
  • Teachers provide an effective range of varied learning experiences that meet the needs of nearly all pupils successfully
  • The good quality of care, support and guidance has a very positive effect on pupils’ standards and wellbeing
  • The school is an inclusive and welcoming community, in which pupils feel safe and happy

The school’s prospects for improvement are GOOD because:

  • The headteacher and senior management team have a strong vision for the future development of the school, based appropriately on raising standards and ensuring the wellbeing of all pupils
  • The vision is conveyed successfully to staff, pupils, parents and governors
  • Senior leaders have high expectations and challenge and support staff purposefully to improve their practice
  • Members of staff work together effectively as a team
  • Governors have developed a clear understanding of their role as strategic leaders
  • The self-evaluation report is used well to move the school forward
  • The school works effectively with a range of partners to extend learning experiences and improve pupils’ standards and wellbeing.

Other areas of particular note, amongst many, are as follows:

  • (pupils’) performance at the higher level in all subjects usually places the school above the average for similar schools.
  • planning for the literacy and numeracy framework is well embedded and is having positive impact on standards throughout the school, particularly the performance of more able pupils
  • pupils show high levels of engagement in their work and are keen to learn. They enjoy school, work hard and take pride in what they do
  • Behaviour is exemplary in lessons and around the school
  • pupils are courteous, polite and well-mannered
  • Provision for developing the Welsh language is of a high standard. Staff create an extremely positive Welsh ethos
  • Provision for personal and social education is of high quality and means that pupils develop a sound understanding of values such as honesty, fairness and respect for others. This is demonstrated clearly in the caring way in which pupils treat each other
  • Provision for pupils who have additional learning needs is a strong feature of the school’s work
  • Standards of cleanliness are high and the school building and grounds are maintained appropriately.
  • The headteacher and the effective newly-established leadership team provide strong strategic direction for the school.

There are many more highlights in this very positive report. Please visit http://www.estyn.llyw.cymru/darparwr/6622121 and read the complete document.

On a personal note, I would like to say thank you in particular to all the staff and governors at Ysgol Craig y Don. We have been through some challenging times recently in Education and here at Ysgol Craig y Don, we have had to overcome some significant challenges of our own over recent years. However, we have done so positively and succesfully and always with the best interests of our pupils as our priority. We have also been able to so because we work as an effective team. I thank you all for your hard work and dedication.

Yours sincerely

Iwan Lloyd Jones, Headteacher