Posted: Tue 26th Mar 2024

Ysgol Y Waun marks 50 years of education with glowing Estyn Report

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A Flintshire primary school which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year has received a glowing inspection report.

Welsh education body Estyn has published its findings following a visit to Ysgol Y Waun in Gwernaffield, near Mold, which was carried out in January.

Inspectors have praised the school’s performance after it was brought into federation with nearby Gwernymynydd C.P. School in 2018.

The arrangement sees the two schools share a single governing body, with school staff commended in the report for working together.

The inspectors said: “Leaders have brought two schools together as a safe and nurturing learning community where pupils feel valued and flourish in their development as caring citizens.

“They have focused well on developing consistency of experience for pupils across the two sites.

“This is a notable achievement, especially given the very high rates of staff turnover in recent times.

“Leaders are beginning to take advantage of the opportunities that the federation arrangements present, for example to enable staff to plan joint educational visits and topic work.

They added: “Relationships between staff and pupils are extremely beneficial and contribute positively to pupils’ well-being.

“Standards of pupils’ behaviour are excellent and they generally engage positively with the learning experiences provided for them.”

The school currently has a total of 86 pupils on its books and is marking its 50th year of opening in 2024.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, staff are hoping to have former pupil, and Coldplay guitarist, Jonny Buckland return to his old school.

Estyn officials have further complimented the school on its teaching, which inspectors said ensures that most pupils make suitable overall progress.

A small number of recommendations for improvement have also been made.

The inspectors added: “The school’s curriculum does not always include a wide enough range of learning experiences.

“For example, opportunities for physical education and expressive arts are infrequent and teaching does not ensure that pupils develop their Welsh language skills progressively as they move through school.

“Over time, leaders have not always focused their work well enough on improving teaching and learning.”

The report makes a total of three recommendations, including to improve learning experiences for pupils from nursery to year two and enhance the monitoring of teaching.

Inspectors have also asked the school to ensure youngsters can develop their Welsh language skills.

School leaders will need to draw up an action plan to address the issues raised.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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