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welcome

croeso i ysgol uwchradd y fflint

This prospectus is designed to give you a flavour of what makes our school unique. We believe Flint High School provides an education that combines academic and vocational success with very strong pastoral challenge and support. Flint High School is small enough for us to know your child, yet large enough to offer a broad and balanced curriculum and a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities. We are a very welcoming school, with every member of staff contributing to that warm welcome. We value all of our students, we know our students well, we know their potential to succeed and we quickly get to know their families, which is something we cherish. We know how vital it is that students are happy here, that they learn to flourish and develop in skills and confidence during their time with us. Personal development is high on the agenda; our new house system will help foster leadership skills and team building as well as motivation. Our students grow into caring members of society; Ysgol Maes Hyfryd students share our campus for some lessons and both our school communities benefit. On a personal level, I am delighted that the school’s reputation in the community has changed for the better. Since 2008, examination results have improved significantly, and we have set ourselves challenging targets for the years ahead. We are confident we will achieve those targets. Our motto ‘Believe, Achieve, Succeed’ truly is one we aspire to realise. Governors, staff and students have worked exceptionally hard to show the community that our school is successful and proud of its success. Every visitor comments on the calm, purposeful learning atmosphere in the school and on the politeness of the students. The school building and facilities have undergone a scheme of improvement to provide your son or daughter with an attractive and stimulating environment in which to learn. We are a rapidly improving school on every level. You are most welcome to visit to see us in action. Pamela McClean Headteacher 2


our vision

• To be the school of choice for students and their families in the local community.

our mission

• To provide a high-quality, inclusive education that challenges and develops our students, enabling them to realise their full academic potential and enhance their skills and talents • To provide a welcoming, safe and supportive environment in which students feel happy and confident • To ensure that each student is valued and treated as an individual • To create a community within a community that includes an active partnership with families.

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our values

We aim to promote and encourage … • Creativity and innovation • Pride and confidence • Responsibility and ambition • Self-esteem and mutual respect • Tolerance and understanding • Belief in achieving success.

your local school We are a popular 11–18 mixed comprehensive serving the local community of Flint and the surrounding villages. We have strong links with local primary schools, including Gwynedd Primary, Cornist Park School, Ysgol Merllyn and Ysgol Maes Edwin. The number of students on roll at the school continues to rise. Our recent successes in examination results reflect our high expectations and the hard work, skill and dedication of our staff. On joining our school students will experience a positive, encouraging and friendly learning environment, where an individual’s personal qualities and capabilities can flourish and where support and guidance are always on hand.

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learning for life All students are taught the full range of National Curriculum subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Welsh, French, Music, Art, ICT, Design Technology, Physical Education, History, Geography, Religious Education, Essential Skills, and Drama.

key stage 3: fundamental skills After careful analysis of primary school performance and the results of Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs), taken at the start of the school year, students are placed in banded teaching groups for most subjects, which enables each student to maximise his or her potential. Maths and Science are taught in sets. Some children need extra support when they first start secondary school. Our innovative Essential Skills Programme delivers literacy and numeracy skills through structured lessons that are designed to support learning in all subjects. Each student has a staff mentor who supervises completion of their learning log, a unique method of home learning. This programme enables students to improve their skills, gain confidence and develop an important regular homework routine.

that all students make their option choices via the Internet. The majority of students follow courses that lead to their gaining at least nine qualifications at GCSE and equivalent.

sixth form: the next step After success in Year 11, many of our students choose to continue their studies in the Sixth Form. We have an open entry policy to match courses to ability and future career options. Our Sixth Formers take AS, A2 and Welsh Baccalaureate Qualifications (WBQ) in a consortium; they are based at Flint High School and may have lessons in the other consortium schools, depending on their choice of subject. This is excellent preparation for future independence. In recent years, all students wishing to go to university have secured a place.

key stage 4: a comprehensive choice At this stage, after undergoing a comprehensive options process, students choose three subjects which they then study alongside the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, ICT, Welsh, Religious Education, Physical Education and Welsh Baccalaureate. Collaboration between six local high schools and Deeside College enables us to offer a wide menu of subjects, including vocational qualifications such as Business Studies, Public Services, Photography and Engineering. Careers Wales operates an online service so 7


religious education: moral values All students follow courses in Religious Education. Personal and Social Education is delivered in specially designed thematic days, tutor time and in a variety of lessons. Assemblies fall within the broad Christian tradition and play an important role in our school, fostering a strong sense of community spirit, instilling moral and social values and providing time for reflection.

our welsh heritage We are an English medium school, proud of our Welsh location and traditions. Welsh is taught as a second language and we strive to use Welsh as often as possible in the life of the school. An annual school Eisteddfod with recitations and performances celebrates our Welsh culture. A growing number of our staff are first language Welsh speakers, while many others are improving their vocabulary. Some of our students speak Welsh fluently and wear their Siarad Cymraeg badges proudly.

the arts Our annual art exhibition showcases BTec Art and Technology coursework, demonstrating the diversity and high standards achieved. Artwork is displayed throughout the school to inspire students and visitors alike.

Many students learn an instrument or have regular singing lessons. Choirs, orchestras and soloists perform throughout the year in assemblies, at the Parish Church of St Mary and St David and during the Flint Festival. Some students sing in the prestigious County Choir and Three Counties Choir to critical acclaim.

cutting-edge technology Our school is at the forefront of ICT in education. Flint High School teams have won the prestigious UK Toyota Technology Challenge for two consecutive years as well as the Welsh Finals. We currently have over 200 PCs and laptops—a ratio of one computer to every three students. Our students have access to: • A suite of professional multi-media software for the creation of sound and video, including podcasts • Apple iMacs in the Learning Zone for sound, animation and video • Video cameras, including green screen technology • A state-of-the-art laser cutter • A dedicated CADCAM studio delivering City and Guilds training and qualifications.

itslearning —our new virtual learning environment Flint High School is the first school in Wales to adopt itslearning, one of the world’s leading providers of learning platforms specially designed for the educational sector, with over two million users worldwide. Students can access activities, upload assessments, receive teacher feedback and complete homework all online.

reporting on progress Student progress information is provided by a tracker card issued three times a year and an annual written report. All students plan their pathways to 8


improvement with their Form Tutor and teachers. Parents’ Review Days are held for Years 7–9 and Parents’ Evenings for Years 10–11. Parents are always welcome to contact the Headteacher, Learning Managers or Curriculum Co-ordinators to enquire about their child’s performance and progress.

achievements and rewards We are keen to recognise success in learning, attendance, extra-curricular activities, and contributions to their form, house, school and community. Students are rewarded with achievement points, praise postcards, phone calls home and special events. Our newsletter, website and local press regularly reports and celebrates our students’ excellent achievements.

parent portal We are the first school in Flintshire to offer this service. With a secure password, parents can access their child’s reports, and keep track of progress, attendance, achievement and behaviour records. This facility has strengthened communications and is highly valued by parents.

home-school partnership All students have a learning journal to record their timetable, homework, clubs, activities and special events. The journal contains useful tips on improving literacy and numeracy, includes the school rules and expectations and is a vital means of communication between home and school. Parents can easily communicate with the Form Tutor or teacher via the planner, e-mail or telephone.

learning zone Our Learning Zone, based in the centre of the school, is run by our Librarian. Our refurbished

library has multimedia facilities such as iMacs, lap tops and PCs, reprographic facilities and, of course, magazines and books. Lunchtime clubs are very popular; the Friday Film Club features thoughtprovoking films, and the Chess Club has a growing membership. After school, the Learning Zone offers its services to all students to complete homework, research and coursework.

beyond the classroom: extra-curricular activities All students have access to a diverse and abundant range of facilities and activities, which give an added dimension to their school life, such as: • Trips abroad to France, Belgium (Ypres) and Poland • Extensive playing fields, tennis and netball courts • All-weather pitch • Gymnasium, and sports hall with climbing wall • Individual and team successes at county, national and international level including: skiing, athletics, swimming and Taekwondo • Adventurous activities including a kayak and a mountain bike club • 5x60 programme to encourage students to take part in regular exercise • A widely recognised Performing Arts department • Day trips and residentials at activity centres • Charity and fundraising activities.

careers education Our careers education begins in Year 9 with a carefully structured guidance programme within Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). Year 10 students have access to a Careers Advisor and our in-house Learning Coach. They undertake a week’s work experience which they find extremely beneficial in making important choices. 9


Year 11 students benefit from mock interviews, delivered by mentors from local businesses, which boosts their confidence and prepares them for the future.

plas seren Plas Seren is a specially designed multi-purpose area for learning support, parents’ meetings, counselling, multi-agency provision, tutoring and internal seclusion. It is the home base for our team of Teaching Assistants which offers: • Pastoral care • Additional needs support/extra help for students and families • Student supervision and internal seclusion • Directed learning and behaviour programmes • Learning support • English as an Additional Language (EAL) service for those students whose English needs improving.

more able and talented More Able and Talented (MAT) students are provided with opportunities to challenge their capabilities and extend their learning. Our dedicated MAT co-ordinator initiates opportunities within school for specific challenges and projects, for example university visits and a Forensics Trail at Glyndŵr University. Students can also access MAT provision on offer in Flintshire.

ysgol maes hyfryd Our relationship with the specialist school Ysgol Maes Hyfryd is well established and flourishing. We, and our primary equivalents at The Gwynedd and Ysgol Pen Coch, are the only schools in Wales to have a specialist school running alongside a mainstream school with the mutual benefits of shared facilities and expertise. 10

personal conduct Effective learning can only take place within an ordered and purposeful atmosphere, and we expect courtesy, respect and consideration from all members of the school community.

house system The school has a house system. Every student belongs to a form and year group and also to one of four houses; these are Tŷ Cryf (strong), Tŷ Dewr (brave), Tŷ Ffydd (faith) and Tŷ Gwir (truth). The house system enables us to create a caring but competitive ethos. Our motto ‘Believe, Achieve, Succeed’ is supported by the four house captains who are senior prefects. The house system enhances events such as sports day, sponsored events and inter-form quizzes.

healthy eating; cashless catering We want our students to eat and drink healthily. A wide variety of nutritious meals and drinks are available to all students at break and lunchtimes from our refurbished cafeteria. This includes a meal deal of a hot main meal, a small drink and a biscuit or cake at a special price. Students can also eat their own packed lunches in the dining area. There is a supervised Breakfast Club every morning from 8:20 onwards. To pay for their meals, students put money into a machine at school. Students on free school meals have a set amount automatically credited to their account every day, which can be supplemented if desired. Sweets and oversalted snacks are not encouraged. Buying and eating sweets before school, especially those with excess colourants, does not help student’s teeth or concentration. Students may go home for lunch by arrangement with the school and with parents’ permission.


personal, social and health education We accept a responsibility to inform young people in these areas. Our programme, incorporated into the work of Science and Personal, Social and Health Education, seeks to provide a sound factual basis on matters relating to sex, diet, smoking, alcohol, drugs and parenthood, taking moral and social issues into account. We offer individual counselling through Form Tutors, Learning Managers, our Inclusion Welfare Officer and School Counsellor, and all students have access to the School Nurse. We also liaise closely with outside agencies who provide support for individual students.

an anti-bullying school The school has a simple but comprehensive policy for dealing with bullying, which has been developed in consultation with parents and students. The policy is shared with students at the beginning of Year 7 and parents can request a copy at any time. Incidents, though they occur, are infrequent and students should feel confident that any such situation will always be dealt with promptly and effectively. Any student who feels they are being bullied should inform a teacher or member of staff immediately.

transition and induction: starting at flint high school We take great care in preparing an extensive Induction Programme to ensure that students transfer easily and confidently from primary schools. The Learning Manager for Year 7 and the Additional Needs Co-ordinator (ANCO) visit each primary school to talk to teachers about the new children and their particular capabilities and needs. During the summer term Year 6 children attend taster days at Flint High School. Specially created lessons and activities enable them to get to know their new surroundings and to meet their new teachers. Other events are organised for Year 5 children so that they can familiarise themselves with our school. We also organise a special parents’ evening for the parents of new entrants. This provides an opportunity to meet Form Tutors and during the first half term, parents attend a short meeting to find out how their child is settling in. We also operate a ‘Buddies’ system where Year 8 students are chosen to befriend the new Year 7s. The ‘Buddies’ meet the Year 6 children during the two taster days and help them to settle into their new environment in September.

flint link action group Flint Link Action Group (FLAG) provides a forum for parents to have a say about what goes on at Flint High School. Unlike a formal committee, people get involved as much or as little as they want. FLAG is a registered charity and can fundraise for the school. The group meets every half-term and discusses issues raised by both teachers and parents, which helps the Headteacher and Governors make wellinformed decisions to improve school life. 11



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