Rhondda Cynon Taf


Name of school or partnership: Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Schemes (WNHSS) National Quality Schools: Cwmaman Infants School; Blaengwawr Primary School; Dolau Primary School; Llwynypia Primary School; Penygraig Infants School; Penygraig Junior School Name of lead person: Ann Quirke Role of lead person: Healthy Education Settings Coordinator, Cwm Taf Healthy Schools Schemes Lead person […]

Personal Development and Relationships Education: a Cwm Taf Healthy Schools Scheme National Quality Award PLC



School name: Williamstown Primary School Name of lead person: Mrs Alison Hall Role of lead person: Headteacher Lead person e-mail address: Alison.Hall@rctcbc.gov.uk Lead person telephone number: 01443 432186 Local Authority: Rhondda Cynon Taf Phase:Foundation Phase to key stage 2 Context and background to case study: Our project was developed as […]

Williamstown Primary School – Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative: “Drawn to the Past”



At Y Pant Comprehensive School, teaching and learning has improved through an emphasis on reflective practice. The school has implemented a number of mechanisms for colleagues to share and reflect on what they do well. Number of learners: 1,271 Age range: 11-18 Date of inspection: January 2017 Information about the […]

Estyn: Improving Teaching through an Emphasis on Professional Learning –



Context of Research The senior leadership team and staff were keen to expand the opportunities for pupils from both schools to work together to create a framework for successfully achieving Digital Competence whilst maximising the use of Hwb+. It was agreed that such opportunities should be relevant, challenging and exciting […]

Using Hwb+ to Engage Learners – Cwmclydach Primary and Ysgol y Ddraig





Context of Research Developing effective assessment for learning was the primary purpose of the project. In January, SIG 27 organised a two day conference focused on embedding formative assessment - ‘Leadership for Teacher Learning’ delivered by an external consultant. Teachers across the six schools worked in teaching triads to evaluate […]

Embedding Formative Assessment – SIG 27







Context of Research Aims Deepen professional understanding of effective feedback and marking Create a shared, consistent approach to feedback and marking Create a school policy that promotes effective feedback strategies Create a portfolio of examples of effective feedback to support marking policy Training A SIG focus on effective feedback inspired […]

Deepening Professional Understanding of Effective Feedback and Marking – SIG 14



Name of Lead Contact: Sêra Evans-Fear Role of Lead Contact: Chair of Governors Contact details: seramevans@aol.com   Context and background of case study:  Whilst conducting a review of the effectiveness of the Governing Body by conducting a self-evaluation, it was identified that the Governing Body felt it was not having sufficient input […]

Parc Primary School – The Effective Co-operation of the Governing Body, Senior Leadership Team and Wider Staff



Context of Research Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen was partnered with Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Santes Tudful to further develop the upward trend and enhance the work taking place. The main focus of the work was to improve learning and teaching with a specific focus on developing excellence and the lead school’s […]

Improving Learning and Teaching – Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Santes Tudful and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen



Context of Research Tref-y-Rhyg Primary was supported by Ffynnon Taf Primary. The main focus of the work was on Foundation Phase and literacy leadership. Leaders from the Foundation Phase in both schools worked together to look at best practice provision, organisation of accommodation, topic planning, phonics approaches and data tracking. […]

Improving Foundation Phase Provision and Developing Subject Leadership – Ffynon Taf Primary and Tref-y-Rhyg Primary





At KS2 our students experience topic based lessons every day that enable them to use and apply key Literacy and Numeracy skills in a variety of contexts. At KS3 we should take advantage of this and give our pupils the chance to build on the successes they have had in […]

Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School – ‘LINKS’ Thematic Curriculum



Context and background The project outlines examples of the whole school use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. It also exhibits the use of technology within the English department and Literacy, and also the Mathematics department and Numeracy to enhance teaching and learning. The project also looks at learner […]

Cardinal Newman Catholic Comprehensive School – Improving the Quality of Teaching by Using Technology



Key Question   Can the explicit development of emotional literacy have a direct impact on closing the gap between closing the gap between Free School Meal and Non Free School Meal pupils at the end of Key Stage 2?    Summary  The purpose of this action research project is to […]

Llanharan Primary School – Closing the Gap Action Research Project



Context Maerdy Community Primary School caters for children aged three to eleven and includes a local authority specialist class for pupils with special educational needs. There are currently 244 children in full-time education. Forty two per cent of pupils are eligible for free school meals. The area is recognised as […]

Estyn: Maerdy Community Primary School – After School Provision to Develop Pupils’ Skills



Context Tonyrefail Comprehensive School is a secondary school for pupils aged 11-18 and has 931 pupils on roll. Around a quarter of pupils are eligible to free school meals. This is slightly higher than the national average. Across the school, there are 14 children who are looked after. Strategy The […]

Estyn: Tonyrefail Comprehensive School – Additional support for children who are looked after to improve their confidence and successes in literacy and numeracy



Porth County Community School is an English-medium school for 11 to 18-year-old pupils in Rhondda Cynon Taf local authority. The percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is around 27%, which is well above the average of 17.4% for Wales. The school has 32.6% of pupils on the special […]

Estyn – Porth County Community School: Effective Use of Internet and Social Media to Promote Language Learning



Area(s) of focus: Improve attendance School(s) or partnership name: Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda Name of lead person: Mrs Emma Harris Role of lead person: Attendance Lead and Key Stage 3 Progress Manager Lead person e-mail address: eharris@ysgolcymer.co.uk Lead person telephone number: 01443 680800 Local Authority(ies): Rhondda Cynon Taf Phase(s): Secondary […]

Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda – Improving Attendance Initiative



Context and background to Case Study Bodringallt Primary School serves the Ystrad Rhondda area of RCT. There are currently 86 mainstream pupils on roll (including pupils under statutory school age), with an additional 8 pupils attending the learning support unit (SEBD), making a total of 94 NOR. 50% of pupils […]

Bodringallt Primary School – Improving Attendance



Context and background to case study Our school had the lowest attendance figures in RCT and sat in Q3 when compared to similar schools. The data reflected significant improvement over 4 years (87% - 91%) but there was a cohort of students for whom existing strategies had little effect. The eFSM […]

Ferndale Community School & Maerdy Primary School – Attendance Cirlces



The pupils and staff of Darran Park Primary School are celebrating after becoming the first primary school in Wales to become a Microsoft Showcase School. Microsoft Showcase Schools are schools who can show how Microsoft technology has been effectively deployed and used to help support and transform teaching and learning.  Over the last four […]

Darran Park Primary Celebrates Microsoft Showcase School Status



With an ever increasing demand for their services, Ysgol Hen Felin managed to maintain a happy learning environment for pupils with severe behavioural and sensory difficulties. Recognising the specialism of one of their partners, they developed a new approach to manage pupils’ behaviours. This led to higher pupil wellbeing and […]

Estyn: Developing partnerships paves way to greater pupil engagement – Ysgol Hen Felin



School context and key issues Ferndale is the smallest comprehensive secondary school in Rhondda Cynon Taff, (RCT) with 670 pupils. The school is situated in a valley with high levels of unemployment, following the closure of three mines in the area. Some 38% of pupils are eligible for free school […]

Ipsos MORI – Closing the Gap: Ferndale Community School



Who was involved? Headteachers Teachers Numeracy leaders Convenor Jonathon Cooper, YGG Abercynon, RCT Focus Use of NIPPERS to improve target setting and standards Use  of NIPPERS, Rhifau Rhagorol, CAME and Dewch i Feddwl to improve number skills Share good practice and teaching approaches to develop number skills. Actions SIG 29 […]

School Improvement Group Twenty Nine B – Use of NIPPERS to improve target setting and standards



Who was involved? Headteachers Deputy headteachers Numeracy leaders Teachers Convenor Caroline Wright, Oaklands Primary, RCT Focus Improve standards of teaching and learning in numeracy using Big and Little Maths, Rhifo Rhagorol (English and Welsh medium) Actions Developing numeracy was the SIG 19 focus. Big Maths methodology was the agreed vehicle […]

School Improvement Group Nineteen – Improve standards of teaching and learning in numeracy using Big and Little Maths, Rhifo Rhagorol (English and Welsh medium)



Who was involved? Headteachers Teachers Convenor Gareth Dacey, Cwmclydach Primary, RCT Focus Moving teaching from good to excellent using Continua. Actions SIG 16 agreed a focus of improving standards of teaching using Continua. SIG 16 schools participated in two days of training which included ‘Single Steps’, A4L and Continua. Two […]

School Improvement Group Sixteen – Moving teaching from good to excellent using Continua.



Who was involved? Headteachers Teachers & LSAs Convenor Claire Matthews Aberdare Town CIW Primary, RCT Focus Improve the quality of teaching and learning in literacy and numeracy using Continua. Actions SIG 13 agreed a focus of improving teaching and learning. To ensure a shared language and consistency of approach the […]

School Improvement Group Thirteen – Improve the quality of teaching and learning in literacy and numeracy using Continua.



In this series of case studies you can find out how schools in Wales are using results from the National Reading and Numeracy Tests to provide targeted support to their learners and drive up standards of literacy and numeracy. View the full Welsh Government case study here

Welsh Government- Using results from the National Reading and Numeracy Tests



Schools participating: Bridgend: Cynffig Comprehensive School Cardiff: Bryn y Deryn, Cardiff High School, Fitzalan High School Merthyr: Pen y Dre High RCT: Mountain Ash Comprehensive School Focus: The SIG is operating in eleven smaller groups known as SIGLETS, each with a different area of responsibility:   SIG steering group Quality […]

Secondary School Improvement Group 2 – SIGLETS



Severn Primary, Cardiff Llanedeyrn Primary, Cardiff Rumney Primary, Cardiff Grangetown Nursery, Cardiff Coryton Primary, Cardiff Parc Lewis Primary, RCT Focus: To improve family engagement All schools from SIG 32 identified improving family engagement as a priority in their school improvement plans (SIPs) and therefore this became the focus of the […]

School Improvement Group 32 – Improving Family Engagement



Bryn Deri Primary, Cardiff Coety Primary, Bridgend Grangetown Primary, Pentre Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf St. Cadoc’s RC Primary, Cardiff YGG Pont Sion Norton, Rhondda Cynon Taf YGG Castellau, Rhondda Cynon Taf YG Dewi Sant, Vale of Glamorgan Ysgol Maes Dyfan, Vale of Glamorgan Focus: To develop the leadership and management […]

School Improvement Group 30 – Developing the Leadership and Management Skills of Middle Leaders and Aspiring Middle Leaders



Springwood Primary, Cardiff Bryn Celyn Primary, Cardiff Gelli Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf Llanhari Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf Ysgol Yr Eos, Rhondda Cynon Taf Marlborough Primary, Cardiff Ysgol y Ferch O’r Sger, Bridgend Focus: All SIG 27 schools identified improving teaching and learning through the use of Continua as a priority […]

School Improvement Group 27 – Improving Teaching and Learning through the use of Continua



Cadoxton Primary, Vale Brynnau Primary, RCT St. Joseph’s RC , Vale Archdeacon John Lewis, Bridgend Blaengarw Primary, RCT Coedylan Primary, RCT Croesty Primary, Bridgend Cwmfelin Primary, Bridgend Llantrisant Primary, RCT Nantymoel, RCT St. Andrew’s Major, Vale Focus: To improve provision for, pupil skills in, and assessment of numerical reasoning. The […]

School Improvement Group 24 – To improve provision for, pupil skills in, and assessment of numerical reasoning.



Darran Park, RCT Hawthorn Primary, Cardiff Holy Family RC Primary, Cardiff Llandough Primary, Vale Porth Juniors, RCT St. John Lloyd RC Primary, Cardiff Ysgol Pen Y Pil, Cardiff Focus: To improve provision for and teaching of numerical reasoning skills Seven schools from SIG 23 were involved in the collaborative work […]

School Improvement Group 23 – Improving Provision for Teaching Numerical Reasoning Skills



Alaw Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf Trehopcyn Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf YG Llyn y Forwyn, Rhondda Cynon Taf YG Gwaelod y Garth, Cardiff Hafod Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf All Saints CIW Primary, Vale of Glamorgan Focus: To explore the impact of pupils’ preferred learning styles on attainment Leaders visited each others’ settings in […]

School Improvement Group 22 B – Pupil’s Wellbeing as a Focus for Improvement



Alaw Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf Trehopcyn Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf YG Llyn y Forwyn, Rhondda Cynon Taf YG Gwaelod y Garth, Cardiff Hafod Primary, Rhondda Cynon Taf All Saints CIW Primary, Vale of Glamorgan Focus: To explore the impact of pupils’ preferred learning styles on attainment Leaders visited each others’ settings in […]

School Improvement Group 22 A – Exploring the Impact of Pupils’ Preferred Learning Styles on Attainment



Cilfynydd Primary (RCT) Gellifaelog Primary (RCT) Pontrhondda Primary (RCT) St. Helen’s RC Primary (VOG) Trealaw Primary (RCT) Trowbridge Primary (Cardiff) Ysgol Gynradd Coed Y Dderwen (Bridgend) Heronsbridge Special (Bridgend). Focus: To improve classroom and behaviour management Leaders began the collaborative work by visiting schools within the SIG. From this they identified inclusion […]

School Improvement Group 12 – Improving Classroom and Behaviour Management



Llysfaen Primary - Cardiff Evenlode Primary – Vale of Glamorgan Penrhys Primary - RCT St. Peter’s RC Primary - Cardiff Lansdowne Primary – Cardiff Christ the King RC – Cardiff. Focus: to improve teaching standards using ‘Excellence in Teaching’ framework. All SIG 8 schools involved identified improving teaching and learning as a priority […]

School Improvement Group 8 – To improve teaching standards using ‘Excellence in Teaching’ framework.



The brief: Capcoch primary and Ignite UP worked together to create an innovative pilot program designed to develop a full cohort of year 6 children's’ independent learning to promote engagement with their local natural environment whilst also developing literacy, numeracy, social, physical and emotional skills and wellbeing.   The program: Using the John Muir Award, an […]

Capcoch Primary – John Muir Award



Vision Statement A Happy friendly, welcoming community where the ethos of mutual trust and respect between pupils, staff, parents, and visitors produces a nurturing environment which ensures individuals can fulfil their potential. A Forward Thinking school where professionals share and extend their expertise and equality of opportunity is facilitated by […]

Wales Centre for Equity in Education: Ysgol Hen Felin – Reducing the impact of poverty



Context and background Ysgol Llanhari was established as a middle school (3-19) in September 2012, with new pupils from the areas of Llanhari, Pontyclun and Talbot Green starting in our primary department. The school has one headteacher with an assistant headteacher responsible for establishing and managing the primary department. We […]

Ysgol Llanhari – Foundation Phase



Title of case study: Our ICT Journey Area(s) of focus: Improve pupil outcomes in ICT School(s) or partnership name: Darran Park Primary School Name of lead person: James Protheroe Role of lead person: ICT Coordinator Lead person e-mail address: jamesprotheroe@hotmail.com Lead person telephone number: 01443 730450 Local authority(ies): Rhondda Cynon […]

Darran Park Primary School – Our ICT Journey



Area(s) of focus: Improve pupil outcomes in KS2 Improve pupil outcomes in KS3 Reduce the gap – vulnerable pupils School(s) or partnership name: Ferndale Community School (Tylorstown, Maerdy, Darran Park & Penrhys Primary). Name of lead person: Heather Nicholas & Nicole Jones Role of lead person: Head teacher; Achievement Leader […]

Ferndale Community School – Transition Fortnight



Title of case study: Raising Standards in English and Maths Area(s) of focus: Improve pupil outcomes in KS3 Improve pupil outcomes in L2+ School(s) or partnership name: Ferndale Community School Name of lead person: Richard Owen Role of lead person: Assistant Head – line Manager Maths/ English Lead person e-mail […]

Ferndale Community School: Raising Standards in English and Maths





Title of case study: Improving family engagement Area(s) of focus: Improve pupil outcomes in foundation phase Improve pupil outcomes in KS2 Reduce the FSM gap Reduce the gap – vulnerable pupils Improve pupil behaviour Improve attendance School(s) or partnership name: Darran Park Primary School Name of lead person: Mrs Claire […]

Darran Park Primary School – Improving family engagement



Treorchy Comprehensive School fast-tracks learners’ progress in subjects such as French, Mathematics and Welsh second language provision. The school’s flexible and balanced curriculum ensures it meets the needs of all learners, including identifying, on entry, more able and talented pupils. The fast-track opportunities have made a significant contribution to outstanding […]

Estyn: Treorchy Comprehensive School – The fast-track to success



Treorchy Comprehensive School works closely with its feeder primary schools to ensure pupils’ transition between key stage 2 and key stage 3 is consistent, including development Welsh language skills. Staff from the comprehensive school teach Welsh lessons to Year 6 pupils in their cluster primary schools and prepare resources and […]

Estyn: Treorchy Comprehensive School – Pride in the Welsh language brings success





Activity: in 2006-2007, a group of Year 7 more able and talented pupils were identified and withdrawn for one hour a fortnight for mathematics, English and science in 2007-2008, the school set up a successful more able and talented working party to work alongside the school’s teaching and learning forums […]

Estyn: Y Pant Comprehensive School – Identification, assessment, tracking and improving provision for a group of Year 7 more able and talented pupils from 2006 to 2011



Strategy: Senior managers place a very strong emphasis on the professional development of all staff. They ensure that staff have access to a wide range of training opportunities, including INSET, external courses, peer observation and departmental review. As a result, there are very good opportunities for staff to develop their […]

Estyn: Y Pant Comprehensive School – Statutory INSET in schools



At Ysgol Ty Coch, techniques for the assessment for learning and thinking skills programme have been adapted to suit the needs of pupils with a range of special educational needs.  Staff have developed a ‘traffic light’ system using two colours for pupils to talk about their learning. This programme has had […]

Estyn: Ysgol Ty Coch – Strong focus on pupils’ learning needs



This case study shows how teachers in a boys’ secondary school used continuing professional development funding to improve their knowledge of innovative approaches to promoting learners’ critical thinking skills. The teachers attended a leading-edge conference on innovative learning. The teachers benefitted from first-hand experience of discussing with colleagues their whole-school […]

Estyn: Aberdare High School – Monitoring the development of learners’ critical thinking skills



Trerobart Primary School, Rhondda Cynon Taff, provides many opportunities for pupils to develop their reading, writing and oracy skills. The school links studies of particular topics with genre such as science fiction, fantasy, historical novels and graphic novels to enhance reading skills and engage pupils’ interest. Over time, the school has […]

Estyn: Trerobart Primary School – Achieving results in literacy



Capcoch Primary School, Rhondda Cynon Taf, identified that there was a need to break down barriers between the school and families. The school developed a strategy to build relations and trust with parents. They offered courses such as healthy living, cooking and internet safety, which combined with a breakfast club, […]

Estyn: Capcoch Primary School – Parents play an important role in school life



Strategy: The school and the school’s aims and values reflect the development of the whole child. The school ethos is based on the wellbeing of all learners and staff, and the school motto, “We all believe, we all achieve!” is evident throughout the school. To ensure effective support for its […]

Estyn: Llwynypia Primary School – Data collection and tracking learners’ progress in wellbeing and academic performance



Strategy The school took a whole-family approach to tackling disadvantage. Senior managers developed a strategy that included: establishing multi-agency partnerships; a training programme for staff; and a plan for family support and learning A key part of this strategy was to use Canopi to coordinate multi-agency working to support disadvantaged […]

Estyn: Treorchy Primary School – Multi-agency work



Nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice: In order to improve wellbeing and community cohesion an ‘open door policy’ was introduced. Weekly family learning sessions were established for parents to attend with pupils. Termly ‘Bring a Parent’ afternoons were introduced where all parents or grandparents attend with their […]

Estyn: Miskin Primary School – Family Learning



Five secondary schools, one from each local authority within Central South Consortium Joint Education Service, were invited to take part in the pilot. The selected schools were: Brynteg Comprehensive School – Bridgend Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School - Vale of Glamorgan Eastern High School – Cardiff Pen Y Dre High School – Merthyr […]

Central South Consortium Physical Literacy Team: Learner Voice



Owning the Physical Literacy Journey describes how an innovative, self-directed learning approach enables children and young people to take responsibility for their own physical literacy journey. Empowering children and young people to take ownership for their learning and the learning of their peers impacted positively on both academic and health related outcomes. This case […]

Central South Consortium Physical Literacy Team: Darran Park Primary School and Whitchurch High School – Developing Leadership Skills: Taking Responsibility and Enhancing Wellbeing



Pontypridd High School’s construction department began life as an after-school construction club, launched with the hope of offering a knowledge and skills base that would appeal to future employers, in order to address the construction industry’s skill gap. Since its creation, the department has been supported by a number of […]

Pontypridd High School Construction Department Partnership Working



Ferndale Community School has been working in partnership with local garages, after identifying a local need for students to become skilled in motor vehicle maintenance, as one of the very few employment opportunities in the Rhondda Fach. They liaised with local garages to identify the qualification required for employment within […]

Ferndale Community School – Partnership Working with Local Garages