A very warm welcome to our Winter edition of The Mitre for 2017/18. A special thanks to the team of staff and students who work so hard to put our content together. I hope you enjoy reading about events at the school.
During the season of Advent, Christians are challenged to “prepare the way of The Lord”. In an increasingly secular society we are all challenged to think about what Christmas actually means to us today. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas while there are pressures of spending, grabbing a deal (whether on Black Friday or Cyber Monday) or waiting in anticipation for the latest high street Christmas adverts! However, all of these things potentially dilute the true meaning of Christmas. This Christmas season, I hope, regardless of any religious beliefs or backgrounds, each member of our community is able to feel the appreciation of their friends, family and loved ones at a time when we are called to stop and listen to the “Good News”. This has been a wonderful term for the school (albeit it has flown by!) and I hope you enjoy reading about the many examples of “Good News” events and activities in our newsletter.
In the summer, we were delighted to see our students achieve so well in their examinations. At GCSE, student outcomes were exceptional against the reformed qualifications and our current Year 11s have set a wonderful platform for future success, having achieved incredibly well in numerous modular and linear papers. At A level, again our students did themselves, their families and the school proud with record-breaking performance, particularly at A*-A with nearly 40% of grades at the highest levels. I should like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of our students on these remarkable outcomes. Also, I wish to thank our incredible staff, who yet again, have helped secure some of the best results in Wales. They are unstinting in their support of all our students and I am sure you share my thanks to them all.
The new school year has started incredibly well. Our Year 7 students (and new students in other years) have settled well, with many already helping at key events, such as open evening. We are very grateful to all our families for supporting us with uniform, as always. Our students look smart and are fine ambassadors for the school. Whenever we host visitors, they universally comment on how our students are both articulate, friendly and welcoming. This is a credit to the students themselves, and to you, their families.
During the term we said goodbye to a number of staff. Aimee Miles (PE) left to take up a post at St Teilo’s; and Michelle Dawkins (Science), relocated. We wish them well in their new careers. We are thankful to Laura Jones (PE) who stood in for the PE department this half term but leaves us at the end of the month. We welcome Miss Jones (Science Technician) to her new role and hope she has settled in well this term. We also look forward to welcoming back Mrs Sully (PE) after the break, who will return to her role as Head of Year 8. Thank you to Miss Owen for filling in while Mrs Sully was on maternity leave. Miss Cowley (Mathematics); and Ms Dolan (Head of Inclusion) have left us to begin their maternity leave. We wish them well. If you wish to contact the Inclusion team in Ms Dolan’s absence, please contact Mrs Bird, Acting Head of Inclusion.
A key factor in our success as school is the strong relationships we seek to maintain with families. With around 1300 students, it is not possible to get things right all of the time. However, as always, we welcome feedback from families as to how we can improve further. Also, a reminder that if you have a concern which relates to classroom learning, in the first instance I would ask you contact individual teachers, through to subject leaders; while pastoral concerns are initially addressed by form tutors and then heads of year. This is designed to help address issues as quickly as possible. For details of staff contact details please visit the staff list section of our website.
Finally, a reminder to keep an eye on our website and twitter feed @bishop_llandaff for information about key events. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to another successful year together.
Marc Belli (Headteacher)