THE first thing you notice as you walk into Ty Sign Primary School is the buzz of energy amongst the pupils and staff.

Behind the school gates lies a special place that offers a warm welcome and an energy that is infections.

The primary school prides itself on being an inclusive place which is welcoming to the whole community, and that welcome is clear from the moment you walk in.

The school has a diverse range of pupils from different communities, including some pupils who choose to travel to the school from outside the catchment area.

Head teacher Alison Dacey has been working at the school for seven year and is passionate about the school and its values.

Having previously worked in schools in the Rhondda, she feels that the school is where she wants to be for the rest of her career and she is proud of the schools and its achievements.

The school is celebrating a historic year as it celebrates it celebrates 50 years since it first opened. Many of the children who attend the school have had parents, and even grandparents, that attended the school.

To celebrate the school held a street party to mark the occasion and parents chipped in by donating food for the event.

Children also dressed up in 1960s outfits inspired by the school’s opening year of 1967.

Mrs Dacey says that hopes to instil a sense of respect in pupils which is also replicated by teachers. At the school pupils respect teachers and teachers respect pupils.

Caring for one another is a central theme, and developing and appreciation for other cultures is paramount.

The school also embraces different abilities, supporting more able and talented pupils as well as those with extra needs. The school houses and ESBD class which caters for children with specific needs.

Mrs Dacey says that the diversity of the school only enriches the pupils and means they are able to deal with a range of social situations and feel confident.

Although all the children’s backgrounds is celebrated at the school, the school is proud of its Welsh identity. Many of the teachers are fluent Welsh speakers and Welsh as a second language is taught to all ages and ability ages.

The school encourages a love of learning and a curiosity about around to develop lifelong learners.

Good behaviour is rewarded a system is called the 5 Step Behaviour Programme where children’s behaviour is rewarded on a scale.

Mrs Dacey says that each child starts the day fresh and pupils aim to be selected to have a gold reward.

She said: “Every child starts the day on green, regardless of what has happened the day before. Every day is a new beginning,”

The system has been a success, so much so they now share their methods with other schools in the region. Pupils have embraced the system and aim to receive rewards based on their good behaviour.

As well as being influencers in education, the school is at the centre of that community.

The school aims to develop a strong school community linking to the wider world

They have an active PTA and team of parents who are always ready to help out. The board of governors also support the school, and Mrs Dacey has a close relationship with them.

Suggestions by parents are welcomed by the school and the head teacher’s door is always open. Parents also attend after school sessions which are held at the school in subjects including maths, and are well attended. They have also held a digital workshop which year 1 parents were involved in.

Links within the community are celebrated and the school has partnerships with local business and local sports clubs.

They work closely with Keep Wales Tidy and teach the importance of respecting their surroundings. They have taken part in community litter picks around the school and local area.

As well as community ties, health is a central part of the school’s curriculum and the school is only the third school in Wales to receive a prestigious Quality Mark by the Association for Physical Education.

The award recognises the high quality of the and the importance placed on its delivery, as well as the school’s ability to track pupil performance and that pupils independently identify suitable targets.

The award celebrates the findings within the inspection report, which stated: “The school provides many opportunities for pupils to take part in physical activities, such as in after school clubs that encourage pupils to participate in regular physical exercise.”

Mrs Dacey said: “I am thrilled that we are the third school in Wales to be given the award. All the staff at Ty Sign Primary School work hard to provide our pupils with a well-balanced curriculum.”

In May the school joined the daily mile initiative which gets children up an active by walking, jogging or walking for a mile.

The school grounds are a huge asset for the school with classes being taken outside, including their successful forest schools area. The school’s grounds include a sports field, woodland trail, an outdoor adventure playground, picnic areas and outdoor learning classrooms.

There are plenty of areas for children to play and enjoy being outdoors, but there are also places for children who want some quiet space.

Mrs Dacey said: “I will often be in the office and then hear the sound of voices from outside where the children are sitting together telling each other stories.”

Digital and IT skills are an important part of school life, and one of the first things Mrs Dacey did when she came to the school was get rid of the IT suites which were separate rooms within the school.

Digital learning is now a big part of school life and pupils use equipment such as tablets and Chromebooks are used as part of lessons.

Mrs Dacey added: “Children will share work using AirDrop, a method of sharing files digitally, and pupils will say to me ‘Can you have a look at my work, I sent it by AirDrop.’ and it will pop up on my screen.

“Some of them are learning coding and we are focused on developing the children’s ICT skills.”

The children get an input into their education and were involved in creating the new curriculum. This has meant that they are learning about subjects they are passionate about and they relished the opportunity of being involved.

Children’s contributions are valued at the school and are seen to make the school a better place.

The school has had a successful 50 years and looks set to carry that success into the future.

MOTTO: Aiming high for life long learning

HEAD TEACHER: Alison Dacey




LAST INSPECTION: November 2015