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Headteacher's Blog Post - Saturday 27th April 2024

Following two years of highly successful Festivals of Literature in the final week of the summer term, and our three years of Festivals of Peace, which draw together so much of our work as a school and which are so very well-received by pupils (and indeed all in the school community), we are working towards, within the next year, having four festivals threaded throughout the school year.


The first new addition has been the Festival of Family, which was held on the week commencing 15th April this year, and which will take place annually from now on early in the Summer term. Family is at the very heart of our school. The Holy Family of Nazareth provides us with the very strongest example of light, hope, strength, courage, trust and faith. This festival celebrates the themes connected with the family, our school as a family and the ways in which family life can be supported by the school. As with our Festival of Peace, all departments throughout the school were involved in exploring the key themes in ways relevant to the subject area.


The creative work produced by our pupils was just inspiring! There were so many imaginative exhibition items produced, all focusing on the central theme of family in all its forms. We were delighted to welcome parents and carers to view the exhibition and it was really special to hear their lovely feedback, with comments including:

‘This festival makes me feel so emotional. I felt compelled to visit.  Family life can be challenging. It is wonderful to see family celebrated.’

Completing the group of four festivals, the Festival of Health will be introduced in Spring 2025, to build on the extensive work that is carried out in relation to promoting healthy choices and lifestyles. The four festivals are being shaped to align, broadly, with the four core purposes that underpin the Curriculum for Wales, this aiming to create learners who are:

  • Ambitious and capable, ready to learn throughout their lives

  • Enterprising and creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work

  • Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world

  • Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society

The existing Festival of Literature, which is already popular with our pupils as a great way to end the Summer term, will be broadened this year to become a Festival of Culture, and we look forward to offering some new activities and events as a result of this, for example bringing in musicians and workshop activities in addition to the now-established offering of author visits, writing workshops and the ever-popular Waterstones ‘pop-up bookshop’!

On a literary note, we continue our efforts throughout the whole of the academic year (not just within the festival weeks!) to promote reading as a fundamental pillar of academic achievement. Through initiatives such as our reading challenges, book clubs, workshops and author visits, we aim to ignite the imaginations of our students and cultivate a lifelong passion for literature. It has been gratifying to see the enthusiasm with which our students have embraced these opportunities, eagerly immersing themselves in the diverse worlds that books have to offer. One useful point of reference for parents in supporting their children in reading more frequently is the termly ‘reading recommendations newsletter’. The current issue and previous editions can be found on our First Educators’ section of the website, which is linked here:


Finally, it has been a privilege this month to welcome a range of visitors to the school! As well as the parents and carers who visited our exhibition, we also welcomed the Chief Executive of Qualifications Wales, Mr Philip Blaker, and the Chief Inspector of Schools for Wales, Mr Owen Evans, two of the most senior figures in Welsh education, for two separate and enormously valuable visits for our school. We had the opportunity to discuss the new qualifications that will be offered from September 2025 with Mr Blaker, and Mr Evans visited our exhibition and offered a thoroughly inspiring masterclass for our pupils, as part of our weekly masterclass programme.


Excitingly too, last week we welcomed judges from a national award programme following the school having been nominated for its work. We look forward to sharing more news on this with you in due course, but whatever the outcome of the awards, we truly could not be prouder of the amazing pupils with whom the judges met, of our exceptional choir who were such a key part of the visit nor of each and every person who contributes to make our school such a place in which to learn together.


As we enter the exam season next month, we hold all of our pupils preparing for those exams in our prayers. On behalf of all of your teachers, Years 10 to 13, I wish you every success. Have confidence that all of your hard work and preparation will be fruitful, and remember to keep the exams in perspective, focusing on your wellbeing and health throughout the coming weeks! Pob lwc!

Mrs Pole


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