STANWELL SCHOOL’S GCSE RESULTS ARE 7% UP ON LAST YEAR

How did I do - the question every Year 11 Stanwell student was asking as they deciphered their  results

How did I do? – The question every Year 11 Stanwell student was asking this morning as they deciphered their results

Stanwell School Penarth – now the largest secondary school in the town – has chalked up another top-performance in the GCSE examination results announced this morning .

Detailed statistics are due to be released later but the teachers said the results this year were “fantastic” and were 7% ahead of last year’s

As with St Cyres School and other schools in the Vale of Glamorgan, the Welsh Government’s official benchmark for comparing school with school is the so-called “Level 2 Plus”. This is the percentage of pupils in each school who have achieved at least five GCSE passes including English and Mathematics.

Annabel, Emily and Lucy will all be going up to the sixth form in September

Annabel, Emily and Lucy and their classmates will all be going up to the sixth form in September

Stanwell School’s Level 2 Plus rating for last year was almost 75% – but this year’s results revealed today show the school rating is a remarkable 82% – an increase of 7% on last year (In comparison St Cyres School’s much improved rating released today was 61%)     .

Jack, Brian, James Chris and Ed were all pleased with their GCSEs

Jack, Brian, James Chris and Ed were all pleased with their GCSEs

Three top-performing Stanwell students have their picture taken by teacher Mark Lewis

A day to remember: Three top Stanwell students Harry,Sarah and Katie have their photo taken by teacher Mark Lewis

Teachers say there is no evidence that the GCSE’s were – as some claim – “dumbed down” – in fact more stringent marking standards were introduced in  in January. It’s understood this year’s performance by Stanwell School puts it top of the league in the Vale of Glam organ  .

Left Stanwell student Rachel Morgan-Kane who'd passed ever paper she sat with her proud parents and right Year 11 student Jordan with his mum takes in his results.

Left Stanwell student Rachel Morgan-Kane who’d passed ever paper she sat with her proud parents –  and right Year 11 student Jordan with his mum takes in his results.

All the parents who’d come along to give moral support to their children as they collected their results ended up being delighted with outcome of what’s been a long and tense wait throughout the school holidays for the examination results.

A memorable morning for everyone at Stanwell School

A memorable morning for everyone at Stanwell School

Staff also pointed out that usually on results day there are at least one or two pupils visibly upset because their results weren’t as good as had been expected.  However today in Stanwell School absolutely no one looked anything but delighted with the outcome of their GCSE exams.

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | Leave a comment

ST CYRES SCHOOL CELEBRATES “PHENOMENAL” GCSE RESULTS

Queuing in the rain for the results. They turned out to be the best the  school's ever had

St Cyres Secondaty School pupils queuing in the rain for the GCSE results. They turned out to be the best the school’s ever had

The GCSE  results released this morning show what’s being described as a “phenomenal “ turn-around in the performance of Penarth’s St Cyres Secondary School – and today the head, Dr Jonathan Hicks, has been telling PDN just how this unprecedented transformation was carried out .

Last year’s school inspection reported that St Cyres’s performance in English GCSE was  “declining” and Maths was “flat-lining”.  The 1100-pupil school was one of three secondary schools in the Vale of Glamorgan which were  sent formal warning letters in accordance with the School Standards and Organisation Act…. but now that’s all history.

Many pupils entering St Cyres looked worried - they needn't have been.

Many pupils entering St Cyres looked worried – they needn’t have been.

Today’s GCSE O Level results confirm what was already evident from last week’s A Level results; the head, Dr Jonathan Hicks, and his staff have carried out a total transformation of the fortunes of the St Cyres and the prospects of its pupils.

At 8.30 this morning Year 11 pupils were queuing in pouring rain to be admitted to the main hall where they would be receiving their results –  results which turned out to be the best-ever in the entire history of St Cyres.

The school’s benchmark “Level 2 Plus”score (which comprises the percentage of pupils getting at least 5 GCSE passes including English and Maths) has risen from only 49% last year to 61% this year – an increase which the school describes as “truly phenomenal” .

Today's results were really something to cheer about - and mark a turning point for St Cyres

They needn’t have worried. Today’s results were really something to cheer about – and mark a turning point for St Cyres

 

Headteacher Dr Jonathan Hicks with some of his many  successful pupils at St Cyres today - with above - some of the messages which create the culture of the much-improved school

Headteacher Dr Jonathan Hicks with some of his many successful pupils at St Cyres today – with above then,  some of the messages which help reinforce  the culture and the ambience of the much-improved school

A hug for the teachert

A hug for the Head of English from Year 11 pupil Ffion

The headteacher  has congratulated all the pupils and publicly thanked his “tremendously committed and skilled staff” for their hard work .

And that was something which was certainly being recognised in the hall today where many pupils went out of their way to thank the staff who had helped them  achieve their results.

 

Dr Hicks told PDN the turn-around strategy had actually been embarked upon last year – in the period leading up to the school’s controversial (and critical) inspection.

Dr Jonathan Hicks Headteacher at St Cyres Secondary School

Dr Jonathan Hicks Headteacher at St Cyres Secondary School

He had personally had face-to-face discussion with several headteachers of successful schools in the North of England and in London (including Westminster School) – to see which of their ideas and educational practices could be adopted by St Cyres.

As a result a number of different strategies have been implemented at St Cyres including “small group extraction“,  lunchtime tuition and a programme to win the support and involvement of parents by getting them into the school to “see what was happening”.

One of the novel ideas introduced at St Cyres School was to help pupils overcome their natural fear of examinations.

To familiarise them in advance with the unique experience of sitting a GCSE exam, pupils were brought into a “exam simulator”  – to sit in the room in which , in due course, they would actually be taking their exams. Here pupils were “talked through” previous examination papers which were projected on a big screen. This pre-familiarisation meant that when students came to undertake the real examination they weren’t being confronted with the unexpected.

All these young students will be in the sixth form in the new St Cyres building next year

All these young students gained impressive results and will be in the sixth form in the new St Cyres building next year

Today’s results combined with last week’s A Level and Welsh Baccalaureate results are said to be the best ever for St Cyres. Dr Hicks says “These two wonderful sets of results, plus our recent excellent Key Stage 3 results allied to the huge leap in our attendance figure all show that St Cyres School can move into its new building in November buoyed by the knowledge that we are providing an excellent education for local children.

High-fives and broad smiles were the order of the day at St Cyres

High-fives and broad smiles were the order of the day at St Cyres

After today's outstanding results the school sdays it will be"endeavouring to improve on them" in 2015

After today’s outstanding results the school says it will be”endeavouring to improve on them” in 2015

0

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 3 Comments

PENARTH POWER-PYLON PILLAGER TO PAY-BACK JUST ONE POUND

The theft left 33,000 volt cables dangling in the air.

The theft left 33,000 volt cables dangling in the air.

A Penarth man, who was one of a gang of thieves jailed for stealing  metal components worth £150,000 from electricity pylons, has – with five of his criminal colleagues – been ordered to pay back just one pound under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Liam Murphy (24) of Penarth was one of a gang of seven from South Wales  – five of whom had pleaded guilty to ‘conspiracy to steal’ in respect of only one of the thefts of which they had been  accused .

Gloucester Crown Court was  told that gang of seven had each made  £3,571.42 from the stolen scrap metal but that none of them “had any assets” . Liam Murphy was amongst the five who  were required to pay back only £1 each under the Proceeds of Crime Act – and was given 28 days to pay back the money .

In December last year Liam Murphy had been jailed for 21 months for his  involvement in the theft of several tonnes of copper cabling  belonging to Western Power Distribution – a raid which was alleged to be one of twelve similar thefts which occurred in the Stone and Lydney area in a five month period. Murphy had  also admitted to possession of an offensive weapon. Also jailed for  21 months were Paul Condick (30) and Nathan James (35) of  Cardiff.

Martyn Richards (27) of  Cardiff had refused to attend the Proceeds of Crime hearing. He and Stephen Phillips (52) were jailed. Scrap metal dealers Vijay Chohan (24)  and Umur Chohan (26) of Cardiff who had denied their charges were found guilty at trial and jailed for 24 months.

Posted in Penarth Daily News | Leave a comment

PENARTH BIZWATCH: NEW MEN’S GROOMING SALON OPENS ON WINDSOR RD

More than just a haircut - Groom for men does waxing, pedicures and spray tans

More than just a haircut – Groom for men does waxing, pedicures and spray tans

A new men’s grooming salon has set up shop on Windsor Road next door to the new Premier Carpets shop and opposite what used to be called the RAFA Club .

It’s estimated there are already almost 30 hairdressers in Penarth – but this one is aiming to provide a lot more than just a short back-and-sides and “something for the weekend”.

Called “Groom For Men” it’s a spin-off from a the “head-to-toe man-maintenance clinic” of the same name in the Cathays area of Cardiff. The interior decor with deep leather armchairs makes the new premises look more like a gentlemen’s club than a barber’s shop.  

Luxurious leather armchairs are provided for waiting customers

Luxurious leather armchairs are provided for waiting customers

The new shop will be providing everything from barbering to “contemporary styling”, hot-towel shaving, male waxing, hand-and-foot  maintenance, hair replacement therapy and even spray tanning.

In place of the all-too-familiar well-thumbed magazines common in many hairdressers, Groom for Men  will have the latest editions of man-mags like GQ, Men’s Health,  and Autotrader  for customers to browse through  – along  with freshly brewed coffee on tap.

…And, in case anyone wondered, what was called the RAFA Club (over the road from Groom for Men ) is now called “The Office Bar and Members Club”.

DSC09030

 

 

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 1 Comment

PENARTH HEIGHTS CASH TO BE USED FOR WINDSOR ROAD/PILL ST ROADWORKS

Traffic turning into Pill St  hold ups Penarth bound traffic

Traffic turning into Pill St hold ups Penarth bound traffic

The seven-strong ruling ‘cabinet’ of the Vale of Glamorgan Council has used “emergency powers” to approve the use of £10,000 of  “Section 106″ funds to pay for roadworks on the junction of Windsor Road and Pill St.

There is a proposal to streamline the traffic flow at this point by allowing Penarth-bound traffic to pass vehicles which are waiting to turn right into Pill, St Cogan. The scheme would involve a “central refuge” in Windsor Rd for vehicles turning into Pill St.

Section 106 agreements are negotiated between a developers and councils to provide cash from the developers for “community-focused” schemes. The money can be used to fund affordable housing, roads, parks and youth services. There are restrictions on the geographical area in which the money can be spent and funding is also time-limited.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council announced in the last few days it would be also using Section 106 funds to renovate the Paget Road children’s playground  – to which adult “fitness equipment” is now to be added

Section 106 money was also to be used to renovate the disused St Paul’s Church in Arcot St – but despite a local referendum held by the Vale of Glamorgan Council which voted in favour the building being developed for the use of local boxing and gym club, nothing has happened.

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 10 Comments

QUAD-BIKE STOLEN FROM PENARTH TOWN CENTRE IN DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

The "silver" Peugeot towing the stolen quad-bike through Penarth on August 8th

The “silver” Peugeot towing the stolen quad-bike through Penarth on August 8th

Penarth Police are hunting for three men wanted in  connection with a theft of a valuable quad bike from Penarth Town Centre.

The theft has only been revealed for the first time today but was committed at approximately 12.30pm on Friday August 8th on Railway Terrace in Penarth (the road that runs around the back of Monty Smith’s garage) .

Shortly afterwards the quad-bike was seen being towed through Penarth by a silver-coloured Peugeot car with a man sitting on the saddle of the bike to steer and brake it .

The three men wanted in connection with the quad-bike theft. Call the police if you know who they are.

The three men wanted in connection with the quad-bike theft. Call the police if you know who they are.

Pictures of all three wanted men have been  captured on CCTV and have been released by the police who are appealing for help from the public in tracing the trio .

Anyone who recognises them is asked to contact Penarth Police on 101 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting occurrence number 1400290968.

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 4 Comments

NEW ‘WINDPROOF’ SIGN GOES UP ON PENARTH’S KITCHENER & THOMAS

Contractors installing the new signage on the front of Kitchener & Thomas today

Contractors installing the new signage on the front of Kitchener & Thomas today

A new shop sign was being installed today on the frontage of the well-known Windsor Road electrical retailers Kitchener & Thomas whose business also includes a popular foreign exchange bureau .

The two shopfront signs were substantial fittings

The original shopfront signage –  which was torn off the building by the gale –  had comprised two substantial fittings. The  wind was so strong that day firemen had had to stand on the signs and weigh them down with sandbags to stop them taking off again 

The original sign which –  like the new one –  ran the full width of the shop, was blown down on May 10th this year when a freak gust of wind tore it off the front of the building and brought  it crashing down onto the pavement below.

On May 10th the town centre of Penarth had to be closed off after wind tore the signage off the shop front

On May 10th the town centre of Penarth had to be closed off after wind tore the signage off the shop front

Police had then had to to close-off  the town centre whilst Penarth Fire Brigade made the loose hoarding safe. It was blowing so strongly at the time that firemen had to stand on the collapsed sign sections to stop them taking-off in the high winds.

Photographs were taken of the timber framework on the shop front where the signs had been

Photographs were taken of the timber framework on the shop front where the signs had been mounted.

One of the casualties in the May incident was  store manager and company director David Taylor who was struck by part of the falling signage. He and two other people were attended  by an off-duty  doctor who happened to be shopping in the town centre until an ambulance eventually turned up a hour later.

The  new sign going up today was made by local Leckwith-based  signage specialists Taylor Made and comprises pre-painted lightweight high specification aluminium sections all of which are individually – and very firmly – secured to the building.

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 1 Comment