Teaching Awards Cymru
Whole School Award for Promoting Relationships with Parents and the Community.
Winners: Pen y Dre High School Merthyr Tydfil
Pen y Dre High School in Merthyr Tydfil has won the inaugural Professional Teaching Award Cymru in the category of Whole School Award for Promoting Relationships with Parents and the Community.
The Headteacher Mr Keith Maher, Senior Leaders and Governors were presented with the Griffith Jones Award at a prestigious ceremony at the City Hall, Cardiff on Sunday 7th May 2017.
The judging panel said the following about the school:
‘Pen y Dre High School is at the heart of its community. The Senior Leadership Team and its staff, along with the governing body, provides strong leadership and recognise the responsibility they have beyond the school gates.
The positive atmosphere is palpable and there is a strong sense of self-belief instilled in the pupils. An encouraging and inclusive ethos promotes strong values of care and respect which permeates all areas of school life.
Collaboration with numerous organisations and community groups has offered additional enrichment activities outside of the classroom, which has impacted positively on learner confidence, helping improve standards.
Many parents praise the transition arrangements and the level of involvement with the primary feeder schools, which provides both parents and children with confidence and high expectations as they plan their move to the high school.
Parents reflect on the work that goes on at Pen y Dre and comment enthusiastically about how well the staff know their children and go above and beyond to ensure their individual needs are met.’
Keith Maher, Headteacher, reflected on being the first school in Wales to win the award in this category: “It’s lovely to win this award, particularly because it reflects the work of the whole school team and how we work with our community. We are passionate about what we do, and the pupils take enormous pride in saying they are a pupil at Pen y Dre. One of the keys to our work is trying to engage as much as we can with our parents and carers, because understanding their needs and drivers is often the key to success for their children. We feel we have developed some good strategies over the years, and we really enjoyed and profited from being part of Schools Challenge Cymru programme. We are always willing to learn from others and we are so proud of our pupils and the community we serve.
One of the comments that really captures what we are about was actually made by Estyn in their Inspection report published 2016: ‘ The school works relentlessly to improve the life chances of all pupils, and its motto of “Aspire Achieve Believe” permeates all aspects of its work. There is a very positive and inclusive ethos, which promotes strong values of care and respect. There is a relationship of trust between pupils and staff, which contributes significantly to the overall atmosphere in the school.’
Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education, said “These prestigious new awards are an opportunity to say thank you to our teachers and educational professionals and formally recognise the best leadership and teaching from across Wales.”