Governors report to parents

Dear Parents,

Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi has faced unprecedented challenges this year due to the decision to manage RAAC differently in 2023. It made us the only secondary school in Wales compelled to remain partially closed until January 2024, making us the most affected school in Wales. In the face of these challenges, our school implemented creative measures to mitigate risks to pupils' education. We reopened on September 10th, 2023, with a face-to-face teaching timetable designed to address childcare needs and balance limited resources. Face-to-face teaching resumed for three year groups per day, adhering to their regular timetable consisting of five lessons a day and a fortnightly schedule. To accommodate the movement of teachers between online and face-to-face teaching, including commuting time to the town library for 6th form teaching, a reduction needed to be made to the learning time in some lessons.


A significant step towards creating a more stable and efficient learning environment occurred with the reopening of B Block this term. This move minimises unnecessary movement between rooms and sets the stage for further milestones, including the anticipated reopening of D Block by Easter, facilitating the return of the Humanities and English departments to their teaching rooms. The final phase involves securing the main office area, bringing us closer to a return to normalcy.

The school has collaborated closely with examination awarding bodies to ensure this summer's examination experience for our students is as fair as possible without compromising the integrity of the process. WJEC released a statement recently which stated the following:

"WJEC has taken active steps, in line with JCQ guidance, to minimise the impact of the disruption caused by RAAC. Following a meeting with our Chief Executive, Ian Morgan and discussions with our Policy and Regulation Team, we have introduced tailored solutions, including extending the submission deadlines for student coursework at Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi. We recognise the effect this has had on learning, and we will continue to work with the school to manage any wider impact.”


For our younger students concerned about the loss of learning time, the school has been working on a recovery plan to address this issue. National testing procedures and Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs) have been conducted to assess general intelligence, helping us tailor interventions to address individual learning needs. Strategies such as individualised learning plans, free access to online platforms, resetting according to diagnostic testing, and revisiting progress reporting have been implemented. Our 'Improving attendance campaign' encourages pupils to reflect on their attendance, emphasising the importance of maximising time in the classroom. Training, support, and effective practice sharing among teaching staff ensure our classroom practice meets the needs of our pupils.


As governors, we meet regularly with the senior leadership team and the director of education to ensure the strategic approach to recovery is well-organised and carefully thought out. Our role as critical friends of the school ensures that there are clear objectives, well-defined strategies, and specific actions that are closely aligned with the overall goals. By working closely with the education department, we hold the school accountable and ensure that the strategic plan outlined by the senior leadership team withstands scrutiny and challenge.


Since the introduction of the Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme (TEEP) in September, the school has witnessed a positive enhancement in teaching and learning. Notable impacts include explicit articulation of learning intentions and success criteria, diverse teaching strategies and increased student engagement. Mr Paul Woodhouse provided parents with an overview of the teaching approach that has been introduced. I am incredibly grateful for those parents who came to listen and question the approach in the evening. The feedback from this evening also provided further insight into what parents would like to see in their child's report, which has created further refinement in the school reporting systems.


This year, the school has also supported groups of learners in improving their attendance. We will soon publish the overall attendance strategy, which will emphasise learners' and parents' roles and responsibilities in ensuring good attendance.


As we reflect on the progress made, it is clear that our collective efforts have propelled us forward despite the challenges. Your continued support and understanding are invaluable, and we look forward to brighter days ahead.


Ann Kennedy

Chair of Governors