Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn Head Teacher Personal Statement

Welcome to the Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn website. Our aim is to provide existing and prospective parents with useful information, as well as conveying an impression of the positive atmosphere within the school. There is a friendly and purposeful relationship between the pupils and staff in the school, which is reflected in the social interaction as well as in the academic achievements of our pupils.

We aim to bring out the best in our pupils at all times and we hope that every new pupil will take a full part in the life of the school: in its social, cultural, academic and recreational activities. This is well expressed in the school motto – ‘Gorau oll y gorau ellir’, which means ‘The best of all is your very best’.

We will be very pleased to welcome your child as a pupil to Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn. We look forward to a happy association with you and to a successful school career for your child at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn.

The English Department aims to provide pupils with a varied and stimulating programme of study.  This consists of three key areas:  reading, writing and speaking and listening.

Pupils are given the opportunity to read and experience a wide range of texts.  These include non-fiction, such as newspaper or Internet reports and articles, and fiction, such as novels, short stories, plays and poetry.  All pupils will study Anglo-Welsh literature, texts from different cultures and pre-1914 literature, including a Shakespeare play in each of the key stages.  We explore many different issues throughout the literature we study, including homelessness, global issues such as Fair Trade and child slavery, and the holocaust of World War 2.

Texts are often used as a model and a stimulus for pupils to write for a range of purposes.  Preparatory work usually includes multi-sensory resources, as well as an emphasis on pair-work and group discussion, in order for pupils to develop their own ideas and thinking skills.  This links in with our aim to produce independent learners who are able to utilise strategies that facilitate their own progression.

In this current academic year we have had a visiting author, Joseph Delaney, talking to all Year 7 pupils about his books.  The many and varied questions they put to Mr. Delaney were testament to the fact that they thoroughly enjoyed this experience.

A group of Year 9 Pupils were involved in the Dylan Thomas Educational Project.  This entailed Aberaeron author, Cynan Jones, visiting us on three occasions and spending time with the pupils, discussing the process of writing from having the first inkling of an idea to publishing a text.  A fourth session was taken by Lucy Caldwell, the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2011 and Annabel Pitcher, one of the shortlisted authors.  The pupils were inspired by these visits and have written some extremely good narratives as a result.

For several years some of our pupils have participated in a Writing Squad, run by Academi in conjunction with Carmarthenshire L.E.A., giving pupils the chance to meet authors and poets such as Francesca Kay.  We have always received excellent feedback on our pupils’ contributions.

A number of pupils are also given the opportunity to enter Public Speaking competitions and have a very good track record in this area.

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