Science, dance, drama and crafts were among subjects on display at an Abergele school for parents planning the next step in their child’s education.
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan threw open its doors and invited the community inside for an open evening where families could see and hear what the school could offer.
Year 6 pupils, who will move into secondary education in September 2017, were able to take part in a wide range of workshops.
Rachel Stone of Rhuddlan took her 11-year-old daughter Charlotte, who attends Ysgol Y Castell, along to the open evening.
She said: “Charlotte has a choice of three schools that we can apply for. I wanted to come along to see for myself what Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan has to offer.
“I know a lot of friends and some family members who attended here so I’m drawn to it when it comes to Charlotte’s secondary education.
“I wanted to see what the school is like and I have to say there is a lot to see. They seem to have put so much on as part of this opening evening.
“I also wanted to hear what the school’s examination results are like. I have to say I’m impressed with all I have seen and heard.”
Former Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan pupil Alison Jones also from Rhuddlan, came with her daughter Alice, 10, to the opening evening to see what was on offer, and what had changed since her schooldays.
She said: “We have a preference for Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan as we both attended here. But I wanted to see what technologies the school is now using and what facilities are now like.
“I also felt it important for me and Alice to chat to current pupils and to see what they have to say about the school and the opportunities that are available.”
Alice, who also currently attends Ysgol Y Castell, said: “The open evening is really well organised and I have enjoyed seeing some of the activities.
“I quite like the idea of woodwork and I do like maths. I want to look after children with special needs when I leave school.”
Christina Perry from Abergele, said although her 10-year-old son Isaac won’t move to secondary school until 2018, she wanted to get an early feel for the school.
She said: “Isaac attends Ysgol Sant Elfod, which is just around the corner from Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan. Isaac, due to his birthday being in September has another year at primary school yet but I wanted to get him comfortable with the idea of coming to Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan.
“It’s a chance to see what the school has to offer. The examination results are good and I’m aware the school has a growing reputation for being an excellent school.”
Terri Probert from Towyn went along to the opening evening with her daughter, Stevie-Leigh, 10, and says her daughter has her heart set on attending Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan.
She said: “She has had a lot of dealings with the school through the transition phase, which will make things easier. She has always said she wants to come to Emrys ap Iwan right from Year 3.
“She knows a lot of pupils who attend here through swimming and karate. I have thought of other potential schools but to be honest Emrys ap Iwan ticks all the boxes for both Stevie-Leigh and myself.”
Stevie-Leigh, a current Ysgol Maes Owen pupil, said: “I want to come here. I know a lot of other pupils through sport and things and I’ve never wanted to go anywhere else.
“The open evening has been brilliant there’s so much to see and do. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan head teacher Lee Cummins addressed parents and pupils who packed into the school’s Prys Jones Theatre to explain his vision for the school.
He said: “As a school we are on a journey, a journey to success. Our motto is Dare to Achieve, that motto doesn’t just apply to learners but staff too. It’s about all of us working hard and doing our very best every single day.
“As a head teacher my passion is all about learning. I want to ensure every learner gets the very best teaching they possibly can.
“As a school we were the first Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme (TEEP) trained school in Wales and that means we share our good practices.
“We were also the first to receive TEEP Ambassador Status in recognition of the improvements made in our quality of learning and teaching. I want to see teaching that motivates. We want pupils to be challenged in each and every lesson.”
He added: “We are the only school I know to have our own hair and beauty salon and we also have our own construction area. We want to specialise in what children want to learn.
“We want also want to challenge the most able and talented as well as giving additional support to those that need it. It’s vital we give pupils the skills they need when they leave Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan to make their way in the world.
“That means making sure learners are offered the right courses and that means they won’t be lost in the system.”
Mr Cummins also told parents and their children that Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan isn’t all about lessons.
He said: “While academic work is important it’s vital we offer a wide range of opportunities and activities children can enjoy. We have computer clubs, sailing and skiing, drama and a range of other activities so children are engaged.
“Each learner is given targets on their first day in school. We set the ceiling high but it’s not necessarily about achieving those targets but more about trying hard and doing our best.
“We continually review those targets and pupils meet regularly with mentors to ensure progress.”
He added: “Our GCSE and A level results have been excellent. Almost every learner has achieved five or more GCSE passes and we have just celebrated our best every A Level results.
“I think of the school as a community. We work with governors and other agencies in building a 21st century school that is at the heart of the community. We aim to achieve good academic results while having a great deal of fun along the way.”