As this term draws to a close we can look back on another very successful period in the history of Tonypandy Community College.

There were many prestigious occasions which celebrated the first-class learning experience enjoyed by our students; while staff were also congratulated on their commitment to providing an excellent education provision.

Senior Assistant Headteacher Mrs Luisa Martin Thomas was nominated for an “Oscar” from the Pearson Teaching Awards which recognises and celebrates outstanding teachers and teaching on a UK-wide basis. Run by the Teaching Awards Trust and supported by Pearson and the BBC, they are the UK’s most prestigious celebration of transformational teaching.

Year 11 student Stacey Baker was also recognised for her tireless efforts in the world of politics which helped her reach the shortlist to become a Youth MP for Rhondda Cynon Taf. She utilised her presentation and organisational skills as the Chair of the Rhondda Cynon Taff Youth Forum held at Pontypridd’s Council Chamber in the Municipal Buildings. Stacey also won the Principality Student of the term award.

There have been a number of notable developments on site this term, particularly as work continues to create the new school by September 2018. We look forward to working with our contractors, Dawnus on a number of joint education initiatives.

Similarly Year 9 students have recently had the opportunity to visit Costain’s construction site near Abergavenny as they continue their large-scale highway project on the Heads of the Valley Road.

We’ve been blessed with plenty of sporting prowess again this term and congratulations must go to all the players and individual teams who represent the College in the competitive arena. We were pleased to receive a signed Welsh Rugby jersey from Principality’s Business Class Partnership team recently as our joint-work with them continues to enhance the job opportunities of many of our students.

World Book Day was celebrated in style at the College with the English and Performing Arts Departments transforming themselves into a Harry Potter’s Hogwarts setting to help promote literacy amongst the students. It was also a pleasure to see so much talent perform at the St David’s Day Eisteddfod again this year with a tough job for our adjudicators to select winners from such a high standard of entries.

Transition Tuesday has been a great success as we’ve involved parents of children from the feeder primary schools into the initiative. With workshops and demonstrations available to them, many parents have spent time with us at the College to learn more about the opportunities available to their children when they join us in the next academic year.

Well done to our Eco Warriors who show so much dedication to the environment and surrounding area by taking part in a litter pick during their spare time with Keep Wales Tidy. Also this term students reached for the stars when they enjoyed a special visit from former NASA astronaut Commander Michael Foale.. A veteran of six Space Shuttle missions and extended missions on both Mir and the International Space Station he shared his fascinating tales of space travel. Congratulations to Catrin Carter for her successful role in the Mission Discovery Project.

A group of budding broadcasters from the College visited the Principality Stadium for an innovative media course. Rugby pundit Sean Holley teamed up with the Principality Business Partnership’s Aspire2Be Education Technology programme on the iBroadcast project to boost literacy, digitisation and numeracy skills in young people. Six students from the College joined groups from four other Welsh comprehensive schools to learn interview techniques, scriptwriting, filming and how to analyse rugby matches. At the culmination of the visit they used their new skills to prepare and present a mock Scrum 5 sports panel show.

One of highlights of the term was the official launch of our Rhondda Remembers World War I App which has involved over 300 students during the past year. Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education at the Welsh Government, Nigel Clubb of Heritage Lottery and Cllr Rhys Lewis, the Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf were amongst our special guests who celebrated the culmination of so much hard work by students and staff alike.

Academically we are now focusing on the forthcoming examination season ahead when we look forward to what I’m sure will be another excellent year of top results given the many promising students we have at the College. Congratulations to our Maths MAT students on achieving their UK Maths Trust Awards which bodes well for their future success.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all an enjoyable Easter holiday and look forward to seeing you in what will undoubtedly be another incredibly busy and rewarding new term ahead.