Information

"Y Byd i'n Disgyblion a Disgyblion i'n Byd"

If a pupil is absent for any period of time it is expected that a note explaining the nature of the absence is brought to the form teacher on his/her return. A phone call to the school on the first morning of the absence would be a big help. The school implements a system for tackling truancy. Parents should refrain from taking
their child/children away on holidays during the school term, especially during external examinations. If it is absolutely unavoidable, the school will agree to an authorised absence of up to one week in total for family holidays during any school year. Any absence longer than one week for family holidays will not be authorised
by the school.

 

Fixed Penalty Notices for unauthorised absence from school - click here

Every pupil who attends a primary school within Ysgol Brynrefail's catchment is given access to the school. The admission number is 142. Parents are contacted early in the final year of primary school. The Director of Education will listen to appeals. Parents who move into the area should contact the Headteacher in the first instance.

School Aim
The main aim is to ensure that every pupil is treated and respected as a complete person and is assisted and nurtured to develop as a person in every respect.

Academic Aims
Teach the National Curriculum Subjects in Key Stage 3 and 4 and offer suitable post 16 courses.
Prepare suitable and interesting courses and use suitable teaching methods to develop every pupil to the best of his/her ability.
Develop courses which reflect knowledge and culture so that pupils will develop as
enlightened members of the community.
Encourage the pupil's personal interests so that he/she may choose a suitable career.
Develop every pupil to become confidently bilingual so that he/she may become a full member of the bilingual community in which he/she lives.
Ensure an education which strengthens the understanding of the national and global environment.
Ensure that pupils with special needs are given every opportunity and support to develop.

Pastoral Aims
Fostering self-discipline within pupils in a homely and friendly atmosphere.
Being constructive when reprimanding, placing emphasis on reasoning rather than
punishment.
Treating pupils with respect and sympathy to foster healthy relationships between teachers and pupils. No pupil should be belittled in any way.
Being aware of any sign of unhappiness in pupils manifested by poor effort, poor
behaviour, lateness or absenteeism.

Social Aims
To create a civilised environment where pupils and staff respect each other and co-operate fully to enhance the education process.
To create an atmosphere of diligence and friendliness.
Fostering formal and informal extra-curricular activities that will enrich the social
experiences of the pupils.


The local Education Authority in accordance with the legal requirements, has established a procedure by which governing bodies of the LEA Schools should act in cases of complaints. The Governing Body has adopted the procedure.
The procedure is outlined in a document at school. Free copies can be made available.


However, it should be pointed out that most complaints can be dealt with quickly and efficiently by discussing the matter with the Head of Year or the Headteacher. This should be the reasonable first step and the Governing Body would expect this to have been undertaken before conveying a formal complaint.


You should make an appointment through the Secretary to see the Head of Year or the Headteacher.

Contact with the Education Authority

It is possible that parents might wish to contact some element of the support services such as the School's Education Welfare Service, the Police Liaison Service, the Social Services, the School Meals Service, School Transport or the Support Grants Department.
If any parent wishes to contact the Local Education Authority they should do so through the Head of Schools’ Services, Mr Dewi R. Jones, Education Department, Castle Street, Caernarfon. The telephone number of the Schools Department is Caernarfon (01286) 679162.


Contact with the world of business and industry
The school promotes many links in this sphere through various schemes as well as placing teachers in industry, visits to industry and work experience for every pupil. Every pupil in years 10 and 11 take part in the Compact Award Scheme which is supported by employers whereby a more favourable consideration is given to pupils who have gained the Compact Award by completing targets for punctuality, attendance, the completion of coursework and work experience.

Contact with parents
Close links between school and parents are very important and parents are encouraged to take advantage of every formal opportunity such as the visit to school when pupils are transferring from primary school or parents' evenings when discussions with staff allow you to discuss your child's progress, or informally at
concerts, eisteddfod or at PTA functions.
If necessary the school will contact parents whenever there is a substantial problem involving a pupil which may be academic or pastoral in nature. I believe that it is only through co-operation and discussion with parents that an answer to any matter of substance will be reached. The Home Link Book is used by the pupils
to record homework, important dates, activities, etc. It is also used to convey messages between school and the home.

Contact with school
You are welcome to contact school to discuss any matter. However, you should in the first instance, direct your enquiry via the School Office. In order to avoid a wasted journey the School Secretary will make an appointment for you with the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or the relevant Head of Year.


The school telephone number is: (01286) 672381.


The school’s e-mail address is: swyddfa@brynrefail.gwynedd.sch.uk

Curriculum of the school
The school prepares a broad, balanced curriculum based upon the requirements of the subjects of the National Curriculum and the cross-curricular themes associated with it. The following is an outline of the curricular provision for Key Stages 3 an 4.

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Languages: Welsh, English, Modern Language - French
Mathematics
Science
Technology: Design, Art
Humanities: Geography, History, Religious Education
Music
Physical Education
Personal and Social Education
Information Technology

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Languages: Welsh Language and Literature, English Language and Literature
Modern Language - French and Spanish
Mathematics
Science
Technology Design and Technology
Child Care
Catering
Art
Information Technology
Traffic Education
Construction
Engineering

Humanities: Geography, History, Religious Education

Music
Hairdresssing
Life Skills
Outdoor Education
Physical Education
Music Technology
Personal and Social Education
Interactive Media
Rural Skills
Health and Social Care
Business Studies
Law
The Welsh Baccalaureate—Intermediate and Foundation levels

 

The Sixth Form Curriculum
It is important that the work done during Key Stage 3 and 4 provides a foundation for the work that is chosen by pupils in the sixth form. The great majority of our pupils choose to return to school to study subjects at A and AS. level. They also receive a common core and tutorial periods as well as studying for the Welsh
Baccalaureate Advanced Level.
Over the last few years some pupils have taken advantage of the practice of studying some subjects in a consortium of Arfon schools and more recently at Coleg Menai. There are more than 30 courses available to the Sixth Form.


Religious Education
Religious Education is presented in every school year. Regular morning assemblies are arranged by Key Stages or by class. A parent may exclude a pupil from Religious Education lessons and assemblies and arrangements for their supervision will be made during these periods

Careers Education

The careers education programme is a means of developing an individual’s general knowledge, understanding and experience of education and training and employment opportunities. Also the programme aims to help young people develop the skills necessary to obtain and handle information, be realistic (but ambitious) about personal capabilities and aspirations and make informed decisions regarding their future.

The careers guidance is a means of helping individuals apply their knowledge, skills and information to make realistic choices and appropriate decisions about future options. It also offers opportunities to review learning, set new goals and record achievements in a variety of areas. Effective guidance is generally characterised by impartiality, confidentiality and accessibility – we like to think that we achieve these important goals.

Careers education is generally provided through a progressive programme within PSE as well as contributing to the school’s wider curriculum. As part of the provision it is intended that each pupil at the appropriate times between years 9 and 13 will have the opportunity of receiving guidance about making decisions, at least a week’s work experience, a mock interview with a local employer, attending an options meeting and an interview with a careers adviser. The school works closely with outside agencies and industry such as the Careers Wales, Further and Higher education institutions, the Assembly‘s Education Department, Gwynedd Council and numerous local employers.

The Careers department and Careers Wales strive to inform parents/guardians about current developments. They are always available during parents evenings or any other pre arranged times to answer any relevant questions or issues which may be of concern.

Sex Education

Sex education is a core element of every pupil's curriculum and the way in which it is taught fosters pupils to discuss the subject within a moral and social context.
Science lessons in Key Stage 3 are used to teach the biological facts and Health Education lessons in Key Stage Four's Personal and Social Education are used to deal with social matters, abuse, attitude to sex, creating relationships, infections such as AIDS and family planning.

Experts from the health education field are invited to school to contribute to this programme. Parents may exclude their child from part or all of the sex education programme.

Equal Opportunities Policy - Click here for more.


Every pupil at the school is given a teacher assessment at 14 years old in every subject. The majority of the pupils will sit the Welsh Joint Education Committee's GCSE examinations at 16 years of age. A small number, depending on their academic ability, will sit the Entry Level Certificate examination. Pupils will then be given the opportunity to sit A and AS examinations if they return to the Sixth Form.
The results of the subject examinations sat by pupils. Examination results are only one aspect of a school's success and there is evidence that parents also place emphasis on other aspects such as extra-curricular activities, discipline and the school's appearance and resources. The examination results often reflect the variety in the nature of the catchment areas rather than an individual school's success. It is imperative that pupils are not absent for external examinations.

 

Extra-curricular activities within the school

A wide variety of activities and experiences are provided for our pupils. Amongst the most frequent are:
The Urdd activities including visits to Glanllyn .
Games and sports tournaments including hockey, soccer, netball, athletics,
swimming, basketball and rugby.
Theatre visits.
Speakers are invited together with travelling drama, dance and other performing groups.
There is a successful school eisteddfod together with other competitions.
There is usually a journey abroad during Easter or at the end of the Summer Term
Visits to industries and other places of work.
Cross-curricular week – Yr.7 to 9 – summer term – a week of extended curricular
experiences for pupils to enrich their education. Each pupil is expected to take a full and active part in all of these activities.


The establishment of Clwb 'Refail which meets after school between 4 and 6 p.m.to provide a variety of leisure activities such as basketball, netball, gymnastics, football, cricket and dance, to primary pupils and the younger pupils of Ysgol Brynrefail.

Homework is set regularly in every subject. Homework is used to measure a pupil's effort and to develop the ability to work independently, regularly and orderly.


Homework will be recorded in the pupil's Home Link Book

Curricular records which are updated annually are kept on pupils. Parents wishing to discuss the record of any child should, in the first instance contact the Headteacher.

Photographs/videos – the school will take still and/or moving pictures of the pupils as a record of the school’s work and may sometimes, according to the Headteacher’s discretion, invite persons from the public media to the school to photograph and/or film. It will be taken for granted that parents/guardians do not object to this. If you do, could you please confirm this by letter to the Headteacher.

 

The school supports the Instrument Scheme organised by the Local Authority which develops pupils’ aptitude in playing musical instruments. The scheme is reviewed annually.

The school is located in a naturally Welsh environment with only a minority of learners and with over 600 pupils therefore, it has been placed into the B(i) category according to the Gwynedd Language Policy.

The main aim of that policy is to ensure that every pupil develops to become fluently bilingual therefore, both Welsh and English is taught to every pupil to the end of year 11. The medium of learning and language balance is determined by the pupil's individual needs.

Welsh is the usual language of communication within the school.

Parents are expected to inform the school of any medical or clinical condition which might affect a pupil's ability to follow any element of the curriculum.


If a pupil is sill in school every effort will be made to get him/ her home after contacting a parent or relative.

Tablets or medication are not given in school unless requested in writing by parents.

The school nurse holds a weekly surgery at the school. Pupils are invited to make an appointment with the school doctor if required

The Local Education Authority has adopted a policy of receiving payment from pupils for:

*the cost of accommodation and meals on school visits.
*activities outside school hours.
*external examinations when the school does not prepare pupils for the subject
during that year.
*examination costs when the pupil fails to complete the requirements or fails to
attend the examination without an adequate reason.
*damage to or loss of school property.
*takes part in the County Music Scheme.

A request for voluntary contributions is made to parents when it is not possible to raise money for an activity but it is ensured that no pupil will be refused participation when parents cannot pay. It is possible that some activities cannot be held if there are insufficient voluntary contributions available.

Rules aim to ensure order within school. If these are not followed then order is lost.
• Walk orderly on the right on corridors and on stairs. Do not run.
• Punctuality to lessons and school is expected.
• A pupil's name should appear on all clothing and possessions.
• If it is necessary to bring a sum of money to school it should be given to the Secretary for safe keeping. The school will not be responsible for losses.
• School uniform should always be worn. See Appendix 3.
• The building should be cleared at lunchtime. The Hall is used for shelter during bad weather.
• Nobody should leave the school grounds.
• Parental consent and a lunch pass is required to leave school during the lunch hour – Llanrug pupils only
• Pupils should remain on the school yard to await school transport at the end of the day.


This list may be amended as necessary

Records of Achievement will be awarded to all pupils in year 11 Its intention is to provide a resume of many personal attributes which pupils possess but which are not recorded through formal external examinations and from work within the classroom.

The school is rightly very proud of its resources library which occupies three adjacent rooms. One is a traditional library with a selection of the latest computer equipment supervised by a librarian who can assist pupils with their work. The other two rooms contain thirty computers each for class work whereby every pupil is given the opportunity to develop information technology skills. All classrooms in the school have been linked to the academic computer network which provides access to the internet. Two further IT rooms became available in January 2003 upon completion of the new Technology block. There are about 300 computers on the school ITC network, all with a broadband link to the Internet.

8:45 - 9:00 Registration and assembly
9:00 - 10:40 Lessons 1 & 2
10:40 - 11:00 Morning break
11:00 - 12:40 Lessons 3 & 4
12:40 - 13:40 Lunch
13.40 - 13.45 Registration
13.45 - 15.25 Lessons 5 & 6

The day is divided into six lessons each being 50 minutes long. A bell is rung between lessons and the pupils have to move from one specialist room to another. Whilst moving around the school between lessons pupils should remember to do so in an orderly manner keeping to the right in the corridors and stairs.

 

Lunchtime arrangements
For safety reasons pupils should inform the form teacher of their intent to :
Either a) take lunch at home provided they live close enough to walk home during
the lunch hour
or b) take school lunch. Free lunch is available to those who are eligible.
or c) bring a packed lunch to eat in the canteen.


The form teacher should be informed if these arrangements are changed at any time during the year. A pass should be obtained by those leaving school at lunchtime only after supplying the school with the special form signed by a parent.

Pupils are allocated to one of four houses; Eilian, Elidir, Eryri or Gwyrfai. Competitions are arranged between them in hockey, soccer, athletics and of course at the school eisteddfod.

School Inspection
The school was inspected in November 2006. The life and work of the school was highly praised across all aspects. The Report is available on the ESTYN website or via the school’s website.
Assessment and reporting
Assessment is an essential and continuous process within the school, it forms part of every department's scheme of work. Apart from regular assessment that takes place throughout the year to obtain evidence to support judgements on levels of achievement in every subject, tests and examinations are held to report to parents at formal parents' evenings when you can discuss your child's progress with the teachers.

It is expected that the pupils wear the prescribed uniform. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being to indicate that the pupils belong to Ysgol Brynrefail and are proud of the School. The Governing Body supports the
school uniform. Parents who experience financial difficulties can apply to the Local Education Authority for a clothing grant. The school uniform has been chosen to represent what is believed to be non-expensive items of clothing which
can be obtained locally. The interpretation of conforming with the school uniform will be subject to the Headteacher’s discretion.

Suppliers of items of the uniform include shops in Caernarfon and Bangor:
Go for It Sports - Bangor
Na Nog - Caernarfon,
Trefor Jones’ - Caernarfon
or via the company Brodwaith (Embroidery), Pentrefoelas – www.brodwaithdirect.co.uk


It is imperative that each item of clothing has the pupil’s name clearly marked on it.

 

Click here for a copy of the school uniform information

The Headmaster has the right to suspend a pupil from school for any reason he sees fit for a period of up to fifteen school days after consulting with the Chairman of the Governors. Parents have the right to appeal against a suspension to the Chairman. If the Headmaster feels it necessary to extend the suspension the Chairman can authorise this for a period of forty-five school days. However, during this time, a meeting of the Governors must be called to consider the matter.Under the 1993 Education Act it is possible to appeal to an independent Appeal Panel if the Local Education Authority uphold the decision to expel the pupil.
The following offences are considered as serious misbehaviour;
*threatening, fighting with or attacking another pupil or member of staff,
*being rude or disobedient to a member of staff;
*stealing;
*vandalism;
*leaving school without permission;
*involved in drugs, alcohol misuse or smoking;
* bringing dangerous weapons to school.
Seldom do examples of this kind of behaviour take place but if they do the punishment is severe and decisive.

Over the years the school has had many very successful sports individuals and teams who have gained recognition at regional and national level in athletics, team sports and outdoor activities. A new sports hall was opened in Spring 2006.

Pupils with special needs are supported either by support teachers or classroom assistants within normal classes or by withdrawing pupils from some classes for support in core subjects.

Generally, class sizes are relatively small with about 25 in KS3 and smaller classes in KS4. A variety of teaching methods are used to mee the needs of mixed ability classes. There are examples of classes in some subjects which are banded or streamed according to ability. The most common practice is one of mixed ability
classes. However, setting and banding does occur in some subjects. A variety of teaching methods including whole class, group and individual work, provide suitable individual challenge for every pupil.

Regular tests are set in every department as one means of measuring a pupil's effort, progress and determination in his/her work. The result may be used as one measure to place pupils in groups or sets.


Half term assessments are undertaken and reports presented to parents.

The school has a structured policy which is integrated to the curriculum to ensure a programme of study of industry and the world of work. As an element of this programme, work experience is provided for all pupils in Year 11 and 12.

Before arranging the location discussion takes place with the pupil outlining the aims and objectives of the placement. Careers Wales provides links with the world of work and with employers.

The school has been awarded two Recognition of Quality Awards for pre-16 Work Experience and for Work Related Education and Guidance across the school.

Year 10 Handbook - click here

Year 12 Handbook - click here

A collection of school and LEA statements and policies are kept in school as well as schemes of work, syllabi and the Inspection report on the school conducted in November 2006.

Parents may make arrangements to visit the school in order to gain access to the documents.

If changes or additions occur to the information presented in the Prospectus the Annual Governors' and Parents' meeting will be notified.