Excellence for all and excellence from all

Ysgol y Grango AUTUMN TERM 2014

(Posted on 19/12/14)





Once again, it has been an extremely rewarding and successful term.

Grango students and staff have been extremely busy taking part in a huge variety of community and extra-curricular events. I hope you enjoy the latest newsletter which will give you a small taste of some of the activities enjoyed by students.

Year Seven have settled in well, taking advantage of the opportunities a new curriculum offers and enjoying the challenge of new subjects. Every student in Key Stages 3 and 4 is hard at work ensuring that they achieve excellent results in external examinations. Ysgol y Grango makes an enormous effort to ensure that the students who attend our school receive an education which is balanced, broad, enriching and equips them with the necessary skills to become useful and productive citizens of the future.

The recent Open Evening was a big success when prospective students and their parents visited us to enjoy a taste of life here at school and take part in the activities on offer. We were very proud of the contribution made by our current students during the evening; they exemplify the values we promote here at Grango.

The annual Prize Giving ceremony took place in November. Its purpose is to recognise and reward students for their efforts both academically and in a wider community sense. The recipients of this year’s awards are exemplary individuals and true ambassadors for their school and their community. Many friends of the school attended a Cheese and Wine reception beforehand, presenting a valuable opportunity to build on and extend our links with the local community. We were delighted to welcome Mr Ken Skates, AM, as our guest speaker and distinguished guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham, governors and representatives of local community councils. Ysgol y Grango would like to thank local industry, including Kraft and Protech, governors and local councillors for sponsoring prizes.

Our students have always been eager to support those less fortunate and have raised an enormous amount of money for charity in recent years. Ysgol y Grango students were happy to be able to support ‘Operation Christmas Child’ once again this year. Collections for shoe boxes took place in KS3 tutor groups. In addition, Ysgol y Grango was also invited to produce a chapel service to publicise and promote ‘Operation Christmas Child’. Senior colleagues and I, along with the choir and student prefects, attended the combined chapel service which was held on 12th October at Bethel Chapel in Rhos. We would like to thank everybody for their kind words and warm welcome.

Ysgol y Grango was represented by staff and students at Remembrance Services in Johnstown, Rhos and Wrexham. All the students involved were a credit to both their school and the local community.

On the 12th November, Year 11 participated in a ‘Stockbroker Challenge’, where students experienced the world of finance for the day buying stocks and shares. The workshop was part of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification.

Senior students supported Hope House Hospice on the 5th December with a charity ‘bag pack’ at Morrison’s Supermarket. Many thanks to Megan Price, Year 11 Charity Captain, for helping to organise this event.

Saturday school arrived at Grango during November. Year 11 attended for a whole morning to prepare for their Maths GCSE examination. All students received a GCSE ‘goody bag’, containing all the vital equipment needed for written examinations. This initiative is part of a planned programme of events and revision sessions to prepare all students for their final examinations. Can I take this opportunity to remind Years 10 and 11 that there are GCSE examinations scheduled for January. A copy of the timetable is attached and all students involved need to prepare and revise thoroughly in readiness for these exams in the post-Christmas Period.

Several events have taken place for the More Able and Talented student group, including a science and mathematics day for KS3 and a STEM (Science, Technology, English, and Mathematics) challenge for Year 9 girls. Year 9 girls are also mentoring Year 7 students in their mathematics every Thursday lunchtime.

The ICT department invited a photographer, Peter Wynne, in to school recently to talk to students in years 10 and 11 in preparation for their GCSE exam. Mrs Angela Hughes also spoke to these classes about Diary management software, which is another component of their exam. Both sessions were very informative and made the exam scenario so much more real to the students.

 The choir and band have been rehearsing hard and have participated in a number of events during this term. In the final week of term, we were thrilled to welcome the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir to school for a joint Christmas concert with Grango choir, band and the Performing Arts group. The evening was truly spectacular and raised money which will enable us to purchase vital resources for use by all students.

 The school netball teams are playing regular fixtures. Results have been favourable and there have been a number of outstanding contributions from individual students. Congratulations to Abbie Baker, a Year 11 student, who represented Wales in the recent Commonwealth Youth Games in Glasgow. She met Mr Ken Skates during his recent visit to the school. He was very keen to speak to Abbie about her experience at Glasgow as he is the AM minister for Sport and Culture. We are certain we have a future Olympic Champion here at Grango!

 The school cross country was a great success with individual winners going on to represent Grango in the Wrexham schools Cross Country. Yasmin Baker came 3rd overall in the Year 8/9 category. Lewis Parry in Year 8 also performed really well. Da Iawn!!

 Mr Ken Skates, AM, visited school on the 12th December. He addressed Year 10, giving them a valuable insight into his work as an AM. This event will contribute to the Politics module of the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification. Mr Skates also toured the school and was extremely interested in the recent innovations in Engineering Design.

 Over 200 staff and students will be visiting the Stiwt to see the pantomime ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’. The star of the show is Geraint Evans, the opera singer of ‘Go Compare’ fame. Everyone is looking forward to the trip and will be enthusiastically booing the ‘baddies’ and cheering the ‘goodies’!

 It is with great regret that we bid farewell to Mr Dyfed Roberts at the end of this term. He will be leaving us to take up a new position in Prestatyn High School. I would like to thank Dyfed for his hard work and the contribution he has made to the school during his time here at Ysgol y Grango. On behalf of all the staff, students and governors, I wish Dyfed every success in his new role. Pob lwc yn y dyfodol. We welcome Miss Laura Jones to the Welsh department and hope she enjoys her time with us.

 Wrexham authority have now published guidelines and documentation for schools and parents explaining their intention to levy a fixed penalty notice /fine on those students whose attendance or punctuality falls consistently below the required standards. These fines range from £60 pounds upwards and will be enforced with effect from January 1st. In common with all Wrexham schools, Ysgol y Grango will follow the new legal procedures as outlined by the local authority to combat poor attendance or punctuality. Students with a low percentage of attendance, whose absence cannot be explained by a long period of illness or accident, are likely to be served with a fixed penalty notice. If you are concerned about your child’s attendance, please contact Mrs Sarah Gray, Education Social Worker at Ysgol y Grango, for help and advice.

 Term ends for students on Friday, 19th December at 3.20 pm and re-opens on Tuesday 6th January, 2015 at 8.50 am.

 May I take this opportunity to wish all parents and students a peaceful Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda I Chwi Oll.


 Mr Stephen Garthwaite

Headteacher / Prifathro