Gwent Welsh-medium school, Yysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, gets glowing report

Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw School have recently had a good Estyn report. Pictured is Headteacher Eliis Griffiths with Year 7 pupils Serenni Morgan, Anna Rhydderch-Price, Tomos Sharwood, Louis Bates, and Luca Hoale. (6740183)

Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw School have recently had a good Estyn report. Pictured is Headteacher Eliis Griffiths. (6740250)

Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw School have recently had a good Estyn report. Pictured is Headteacher Eliis Griffiths. (6740261)

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A PONTYPOOL school has been praised as an “inclusive, happy and caring community” in its most recent inspection.

Welsh-medium Yysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Trevethin was rated ‘good’ overall in a report released last week.

Estyn inspectors visited the school in Folly Road, which serves 989 pupils aged 11 to 18 years old, in March this year and judged the school’s current performance and its prospects for improvement as good.

The school serves a large area, with around 15 per cent of pupils from Welsh speaking homes but all pupils fluent by the time they arrive due to teaching in primary school, the report said.

Inspectors found the school’s performance was consistently higher than in similar schools, that pupils make good progress in most lessons, that “the outstanding inclusive and supportive Welsh ethos permeates all aspects of school”, nearly all pupils show good behaviour and a positive attitude to the Welsh language and that the school is “an inclusive, happy and caring community that promotes pupils’ health and wellbeing very successfully”.

They found the senior leadership team worked well to set a clear direction for the school, that a recent restructure and expansion of the senior management team had led to an improvement, that the school had effective systems for staff training and the governing body was effective as a “critical friend”.

Headteacher Ellis Griffiths said in a statement: “I would like to convey my sincere thanks to the staff, students, governors and parents for all their support in preparation for the inspection. The report, in my opinion, is a true and fair reflection of the school’s position at present, with relevant focus on the work needed to ensure the school’s future success.

“School ethos has achieved a judgement of ‘Excellence’ and we have been deemed as ‘sector-leading’ in this aspect of the report. This is much appreciated and a reflection of the tireless dedication of everyone involved with the school.”

Inspectors recommended the school build on strengthening self-evaluation systems and ensure all leaders have enough time to undertake their role fully.

Comments (21)

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12:17pm Tue 3 Jun 14

altom23 says...

Excellent report for an Excellent school. Da iawn Gwynllyw
Excellent report for an Excellent school. Da iawn Gwynllyw altom23
  • Score: 49

1:04pm Tue 3 Jun 14

BUDDAH WELSH says...

altom23 wrote:
Excellent report for an Excellent school. Da iawn Gwynllyw
Excellent school. Da iawn Gwynllyw.
[quote][p][bold]altom23[/bold] wrote: Excellent report for an Excellent school. Da iawn Gwynllyw[/p][/quote]Excellent school. Da iawn Gwynllyw. BUDDAH WELSH
  • Score: 47

1:21pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Ollie254 says...

It should be for all the money they throw at these schools. Think ill rush out and get the kids a welsh medium education.....not.
It should be for all the money they throw at these schools. Think ill rush out and get the kids a welsh medium education.....not. Ollie254
  • Score: -72

3:10pm Tue 3 Jun 14

BUDDAH WELSH says...

Ollie254 wrote:
It should be for all the money they throw at these schools. Think ill rush out and get the kids a welsh medium education.....not.
It did not take long for someone to be negative, the money Torfaen, Newport, Monmouth and Blaenau Gwent CBC all pay for this Welsh school. And it has no more funding per pupil than any other school in Wales, so your comment is not warranted really.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: It should be for all the money they throw at these schools. Think ill rush out and get the kids a welsh medium education.....not.[/p][/quote]It did not take long for someone to be negative, the money Torfaen, Newport, Monmouth and Blaenau Gwent CBC all pay for this Welsh school. And it has no more funding per pupil than any other school in Wales, so your comment is not warranted really. BUDDAH WELSH
  • Score: 53

3:12pm Tue 3 Jun 14

NAC123 says...

They get no more money than any other school.
Da iawn Gwynllyw!!!
They get no more money than any other school. Da iawn Gwynllyw!!! NAC123
  • Score: 34

3:40pm Tue 3 Jun 14

paddyparry says...

However it's not exactly in the most convenient place for the number of coaches that come in every day.
However it's not exactly in the most convenient place for the number of coaches that come in every day. paddyparry
  • Score: -27

5:33pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Grüngemüse says...

It's easy to be a happy caring community when you can dump the troublesome pupils into English medium schools. An Estyn score of "good" is nothing special. The extra money WM schools get is for the 3 "tran"s - training, transport and translation. This comes out of the general pot for education to the detrement of other schools.
It's easy to be a happy caring community when you can dump the troublesome pupils into English medium schools. An Estyn score of "good" is nothing special. The extra money WM schools get is for the 3 "tran"s - training, transport and translation. This comes out of the general pot for education to the detrement of other schools. Grüngemüse
  • Score: -50

10:15pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Johnofnewport says...

So many good comments is exceptional from Estyn regarding funding it is 5th place out of 7 secondary schools in Torfaen, read the report. Parents have made a commitment to Welsh education from reception and primary years so to say dump the troublesome pupils into English medium school does not hold water. It shows the commitment of the highly professional staff at the school for the pupils at the school.
llongyfarchiadau Gwynllyw.
So many good comments is exceptional from Estyn regarding funding it is 5th place out of 7 secondary schools in Torfaen, read the report. Parents have made a commitment to Welsh education from reception and primary years so to say dump the troublesome pupils into English medium school does not hold water. It shows the commitment of the highly professional staff at the school for the pupils at the school. llongyfarchiadau Gwynllyw. Johnofnewport
  • Score: 30

10:25pm Tue 3 Jun 14

altom23 says...

Grüngemüse wrote:
It's easy to be a happy caring community when you can dump the troublesome pupils into English medium schools. An Estyn score of "good" is nothing special. The extra money WM schools get is for the 3 "tran"s - training, transport and translation. This comes out of the general pot for education to the detrement of other schools.
Please Grüngemüse tell me when did this so called "dumping" happen with a pupil from Ysgol Gwynllyw? Please Please tell me?
Re funding the Report itself states that Ysgol Gwynllyw is only funded 5th place out of 7th for Torfaen schools ...so there goes your 2nd argument!
Two arguments that the anti Welsh lobby always try out on these occasions ...all dead and buried!
[quote][p][bold]Grüngemüse[/bold] wrote: It's easy to be a happy caring community when you can dump the troublesome pupils into English medium schools. An Estyn score of "good" is nothing special. The extra money WM schools get is for the 3 "tran"s - training, transport and translation. This comes out of the general pot for education to the detrement of other schools.[/p][/quote]Please Grüngemüse tell me when did this so called "dumping" happen with a pupil from Ysgol Gwynllyw? Please Please tell me? Re funding the Report itself states that Ysgol Gwynllyw is only funded 5th place out of 7th for Torfaen schools ...so there goes your 2nd argument! Two arguments that the anti Welsh lobby always try out on these occasions ...all dead and buried! altom23
  • Score: 20

11:41pm Tue 3 Jun 14

welshmumof2 says...

My children committed to Welsh Medium Education from Nursery age. They love the fact that they are fluent in two languages so far. I don't know why people jump on the anti Welsh bang wagon. As for funding when my children were in nursery it relied on fund raising etc to run it...Welsh education all the way in my opinion.
My children committed to Welsh Medium Education from Nursery age. They love the fact that they are fluent in two languages so far. I don't know why people jump on the anti Welsh bang wagon. As for funding when my children were in nursery it relied on fund raising etc to run it...Welsh education all the way in my opinion. welshmumof2
  • Score: 27

2:13pm Wed 4 Jun 14

MrBronson mkII says...

Well done Gwynllyw!

However to pick up on a few comments:
1) An Estyn rating of "Good" is not exceptional, it is well, good. Lots of schools get a "Good" rating, which is commendable but not really sure its particularly newsworthy.

2) Per pupil funding is largely dependent on the number of free school meals. Therefore schools in a deprived catchment area will have higher per pupil funding. Welsh medium schools can choose to be more selective and the majority of pupils will come from more middle class families. So they do not really have a catchment area in the traditional sense, thus the per pupil funding figure will be lower than other (English medium) schools especially in those areas deemed to be economically deprived.

3) The nature of pupils entering the school and the family support that they receive of course also makes it easier to create a "inclusive, happy and caring community" as there will be less challenging pupils than at many other schools.

4) I'm sure the staff and management team at Gwynllyw are very good but there is nothing to suggest they are any more committed or are better teachers than those at other schools.

None of the above is a dig at Gwynllyw. It really is nice to see a Torfaen secondary school doing well given other recent inspections, but, its always good to keep a balanced perspective.
Well done Gwynllyw! However to pick up on a few comments: 1) An Estyn rating of "Good" is not exceptional, it is well, good. Lots of schools get a "Good" rating, which is commendable but not really sure its particularly newsworthy. 2) Per pupil funding is largely dependent on the number of free school meals. Therefore schools in a deprived catchment area will have higher per pupil funding. Welsh medium schools can choose to be more selective and the majority of pupils will come from more middle class families. So they do not really have a catchment area in the traditional sense, thus the per pupil funding figure will be lower than other (English medium) schools especially in those areas deemed to be economically deprived. 3) The nature of pupils entering the school and the family support that they receive of course also makes it easier to create a "inclusive, happy and caring community" as there will be less challenging pupils than at many other schools. 4) I'm sure the staff and management team at Gwynllyw are very good but there is nothing to suggest they are any more committed or are better teachers than those at other schools. None of the above is a dig at Gwynllyw. It really is nice to see a Torfaen secondary school doing well given other recent inspections, but, its always good to keep a balanced perspective. MrBronson mkII
  • Score: 1

8:46pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Mwy Eira says...

South Wales Argus you have spelt 'Ysgol' incorrectly twice in this article.

This is just a story about a school getting a good inspection result. The pupils and staff work hard and deserve praise,regardless of the language spoken. This is not the place for your prejudice, bigotry and discrimination. The SWA put articles on here all the time about school inspections yet as soon as the word 'Welsh' is mentioned the trolls come out from under their stones. This about a school, it is about children so please leave your prejudice behind in the last century and move on.

Da iawn Gwynllyw
South Wales Argus you have spelt 'Ysgol' incorrectly twice in this article. This is just a story about a school getting a good inspection result. The pupils and staff work hard and deserve praise,regardless of the language spoken. This is not the place for your prejudice, bigotry and discrimination. The SWA put articles on here all the time about school inspections yet as soon as the word 'Welsh' is mentioned the trolls come out from under their stones. This about a school, it is about children so please leave your prejudice behind in the last century and move on. Da iawn Gwynllyw Mwy Eira
  • Score: 12

11:40pm Wed 4 Jun 14

I-mac says...

Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.
Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril. I-mac
  • Score: -11

1:23am Thu 5 Jun 14

Brenin says...

Well done all at Gwynllyw!
Good School, Good commitment from Headmaster, Teachers, Pupils & Parents. Long days for all & not an ideal location for getting there on dark winter mornings, despite this always fantastic GCSE & A Level results year on year. Ignore the Armchair Critics & carry on with the winning formula. :)
Well done all at Gwynllyw! Good School, Good commitment from Headmaster, Teachers, Pupils & Parents. Long days for all & not an ideal location for getting there on dark winter mornings, despite this always fantastic GCSE & A Level results year on year. Ignore the Armchair Critics & carry on with the winning formula. :) Brenin
  • Score: 13

8:32am Thu 5 Jun 14

JamieClaire says...

Well done Gwynllyw. Shows great commitment by children and staff.
Well done Gwynllyw. Shows great commitment by children and staff. JamieClaire
  • Score: 13

10:57am Thu 5 Jun 14

Grüngemüse says...

altom23 wrote:
Grüngemüse wrote:
It's easy to be a happy caring community when you can dump the troublesome pupils into English medium schools. An Estyn score of "good" is nothing special. The extra money WM schools get is for the 3 "tran"s - training, transport and translation. This comes out of the general pot for education to the detrement of other schools.
Please Grüngemüse tell me when did this so called "dumping" happen with a pupil from Ysgol Gwynllyw? Please Please tell me?
Re funding the Report itself states that Ysgol Gwynllyw is only funded 5th place out of 7th for Torfaen schools ...so there goes your 2nd argument!
Two arguments that the anti Welsh lobby always try out on these occasions ...all dead and buried!
All WM schools do this. In Caerphilly county the number is typically 50 per year. Unless Gwynllyw is truly exceptional they will have done so too.
Troublesome also includes those who cannot cope with WM education, of which there are many.
[quote][p][bold]altom23[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Grüngemüse[/bold] wrote: It's easy to be a happy caring community when you can dump the troublesome pupils into English medium schools. An Estyn score of "good" is nothing special. The extra money WM schools get is for the 3 "tran"s - training, transport and translation. This comes out of the general pot for education to the detrement of other schools.[/p][/quote]Please Grüngemüse tell me when did this so called "dumping" happen with a pupil from Ysgol Gwynllyw? Please Please tell me? Re funding the Report itself states that Ysgol Gwynllyw is only funded 5th place out of 7th for Torfaen schools ...so there goes your 2nd argument! Two arguments that the anti Welsh lobby always try out on these occasions ...all dead and buried![/p][/quote]All WM schools do this. In Caerphilly county the number is typically 50 per year. Unless Gwynllyw is truly exceptional they will have done so too. Troublesome also includes those who cannot cope with WM education, of which there are many. Grüngemüse
  • Score: -8

1:02pm Thu 5 Jun 14

mills191184 says...

I-mac wrote:
Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.
Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses.
[quote][p][bold]I-mac[/bold] wrote: Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.[/p][/quote]Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses. mills191184
  • Score: 4

1:02pm Thu 5 Jun 14

mills191184 says...

I-mac wrote:
Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.
Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses.
[quote][p][bold]I-mac[/bold] wrote: Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.[/p][/quote]Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses. mills191184
  • Score: 3

8:08pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Ollie254 says...

mills191184 wrote:
I-mac wrote:
Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.
Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses.
Whatever it is it's of little use.
[quote][p][bold]mills191184[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I-mac[/bold] wrote: Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.[/p][/quote]Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses.[/p][/quote]Whatever it is it's of little use. Ollie254
  • Score: -7

1:01pm Fri 6 Jun 14

mills191184 says...

Ollie254 wrote:
mills191184 wrote:
I-mac wrote:
Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.
Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses.
Whatever it is it's of little use.
To you maybe but not to those who use the language everyday, don't use your opinion or lack of interaction with the language as a general consensus.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mills191184[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I-mac[/bold] wrote: Welsh medium is so last, last, last century. It is also a fact that in educational settings it forms part of the MFL or Modern Foreign Languages. Hmm, modern? No. Foreign? You might well ask! We live in a fast-paced global environment where China, India and Brazil are/will be the superpowers. English is, and will always be, an international language. Wales is also the ppor man of the UK and is continuing to fall behind. The global community is not interested in Welsh. Linguistic skills are best spent on languages that will drive business forward. The reality is that Welsh is a millstone. Retain it at your peril.[/p][/quote]Its not part of the Modern Foreign Language its actually Welsh Second Language two completely separate courses.[/p][/quote]Whatever it is it's of little use.[/p][/quote]To you maybe but not to those who use the language everyday, don't use your opinion or lack of interaction with the language as a general consensus. mills191184
  • Score: 5

9:39pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Cymreigiwr says...

Anyone truly interested in progress would look at the outcomes, rather than looking through the blinkers of their personal perspective and prejudice. Really the arguments against learning through Welsh simply don't hold water. Far from being a millstone, Welsh medium pupils across South Wales outperform their English medium peers (even in English!), and their job prospects and life outcomes are excellent too. The fact is that learning through Welsh teaches you a great deal. Internationally, people do value your ability to speak your own nation's language, have the greatest respect for it, and really, expect you to be able to do so and find it weird if you cannot. I find they are very bemused by Welsh people who don't value their own nation's language and culture, rightly in my opinion: it's really a very odd and negative standpoint.
Anyone truly interested in progress would look at the outcomes, rather than looking through the blinkers of their personal perspective and prejudice. Really the arguments against learning through Welsh simply don't hold water. Far from being a millstone, Welsh medium pupils across South Wales outperform their English medium peers (even in English!), and their job prospects and life outcomes are excellent too. The fact is that learning through Welsh teaches you a great deal. Internationally, people do value your ability to speak your own nation's language, have the greatest respect for it, and really, expect you to be able to do so and find it weird if you cannot. I find they are very bemused by Welsh people who don't value their own nation's language and culture, rightly in my opinion: it's really a very odd and negative standpoint. Cymreigiwr
  • Score: 4

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