Nearly there…!

This is the last blog of the school year- it really has flown by. As always, coming to the end of something brings a mixture of joy and sadness. Of course we’re all happy to soon be on holiday, but we’re also saying goodbye to a number of people, including all our Y11 as well as three staff. I have mentioned Mrs Cooper and Mrs Regan in previous blogs; the final member of staff leaving this year is Miss Carlyle. Having completed a very successful year with our English Faculty she is moving to a new school in Newport and we wish her all the best for the future!

Things used to get less busy in schools as the year drew to its close- but not any more. We interviewed candidates for the post of teacher of PE on Wednesday. We had six outstanding candidates, and have appointed Mr Knott to join our team from September 2017, making a total of seven new teachers in total.

Later that evening we held our Sports Awards. We were joined by Welsh rugby international Cerys Hale who gave a great speech about the importance of perseverance and resilience in life as well as on the sports field.

Thursday was Sports Day. The weather was perfect and everyone had a good time. Today, Friday, a number of our pupils are competing in the CSSA Dance Finals, so good luck to them.

Thanks to Welsh Water for conducting a series of assemblies on the dangers of swimming in reservoirs. However tempting it may be in the heat of summer we should never swim anywhere where there is not adequate supervision. This isn’t about how good or confident a swimmer you are, it makes no difference at all. It is very, very, dangerous. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 09.14.40

Still to come we have  our Whole School Awards Assemblies on Monday. We’ll publish a list of the main prize winners on social media. We also have various school trips taking place. Term ends on Friday at the normal  time of 3pm. GCSE results will be out on Thursday August 24th and the new term starts on Tuesday 5th September with the Monday being an INSET day for staff only. Just a reminder that pupils may still choose to wear either the standard school tie or the Anniversary tie next term as we are still celebrating our 40th Anniversary Year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for the support we have received over the course of the year and to wish you all a very pleasant summer break.



LITERACY FOCUS: Test your knowledge

NUMERACY FOCUS: Two way tables

NUMBER OF THE WEEK:  “0 / zero / sero  / zéro / {no Roman numeral}” Zero indicates an absence of number,  and it’s sometimes referred to as nought. When you multiply something by 0 the answer is always the same: 0. An informal word for nothing is “Zilch. This is probably from Mr Zilch, who was a character in the 1930s US humorous magazine Ballyhoo .

ENGLISH WORD OF THE WEEK:  Achievementa thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.

WELSH WORD OF THE WEEK: Dathliad : Celebration

THIS WEEK’S QUOTATION:  “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” C. S. Lewis

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: Next time you hear the sound of crickets chirping on a balmy summer evening, why not try this simple trick to find out the temperature. The frequency of a cricket’s chirps is consistent with air temperature so you simply need to count how many chirps there are over 25 seconds then divide by 3 and add 4 to tell you the temperature in Celsius.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: What’s the weather like? Check out the Met Office website HERE!


Brilliant sports awards evening! Congratulations to all of our fantastic pupils @RiscaCCS. #celebratingsuccess
12 Jul 2017, 21:25


A very special concert!

On Friday 30th June we held our 40th Anniversary Concert. The Leisure Centre was packed to hear a number of pupils past and present perform, as well as community musicians including the internationally famous Risca Male Choir and local Ladies’ Choir “Singing for Pleasure.” There were some amazing solo performances, and the concert ended with a stunning finale when four choirs came together to perform two songs, ending with a very stirring rendition of “Do you hear the people sing?” from “Les Misérables.” All four headteachers of the school since its opening were there, as well as a number of former staff. A DVD of the concert will be created and should be available in the Autumn; meanwhile you can see a few photos from the evening here. Many congratulations to Mr Heron who was responsible for organising the event as well as for conducting the choirs. The event was superbly hosted by our special guest presenter, Rebecca John, from BBC Wales.


Well done to our athletes who performed so well in the national meeting recently! There were some great individual performances. Who knows? We may have another Jamie Baulch in our midst!

Last week a group of pupils enjoyed a trip to Normandy. They were involved in a number of activities in the short time they were there, including shopping in a market and preparing the lunch with the food they’d bought, rafting, a trip to the D-Day landing beaches and even an opportunity to eat snails! Many thanks to the French Department for organising the trip! You can see pictures from the visit here!

On Wednesday we welcomed DS Smith,our Careers Wales “Business Class” partner to the school to hold workshops with Y9. These went really well and gave the pupils a great insight into the world of work.

On Thursday Y10 Geography GCSE students completed some fieldwork studies on rivers and coasts. It was a hot day but they enjoyed it and completed some crucial work for the course.

That evening we held the School Prom. This was a great success from start to finish. Thank you to everyone for making it a such a great event,  especially to Mrs Coles and Caitlin and Ellie for organising everything so well. We should have some photos soon!

Today we are holding a special Wellbeing Day in school, there is also a Y7 rewards trip and a collaborative Student Curriculum Conference taking place- more about this in next week’s blog!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Mrs Cooper was retiring at the end of the year. We are also saying goodbye to another much valued member of staff. Mrs Regan has been in charge of ICT and Computer Science for many years, and has seen huge changes in how this subject has developed. Her leadership in this area has been outstanding. Mrs Regan was herself a pupil at this school, and has been an inspiration to many. We wish her the very best of luck in her new post with Qualifications Wales.

Finally a reminder that the calendar for next year has been agreed:-YAAG Calendar 201718


ASSEMBLY: Pastoral Leaders

LITERACY FOCUS: Test your knowledge

NUMERACY FOCUS: Two way tables

NUMBER OF THE WEEK:  “7 / seven / saith / sept/ VII”

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 11.07.01

SOURCE: Wikipedia

WELSH WORD OF THE WEEK: Cyflawniad :  Achievement

ENGLISH WORD OF THE WEEK: Achievement : a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.

THIS WEEK’S QUOTATION: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”  Harry Truman

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: Wimbledon is the only major tennis tournament still played on grass.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: The official site for Wimbledon


Well done to Amy 4th, Mason 4th and Charlie 5th in the Welsh Schools Athletics Champs today! Fantastic results! Ardderchog! 👏👏👏
1 Jul 2017, 18:25

Our 40th Anniversary!

On 23rd June we celebrated our 40th Anniversary in school. It was a great day, and everyone enjoyed it! There was a special report about RCCS that morning in the South Wales Argus which you can read here. During lessons one and two the pupils were able to enjoy some different lessons, some were taught about the 1970s, including looking at the Voyager space programme in Science or at fashion design in that era in Textiles. Geography lessons looked at comparing maps and the changes in tourism we’ve seen over the last 40 years. Some teachers experimented with more traditional techniques such as rote learning (what’s this?). In ICT pupils looked at how things have changed (it’s interesting that the very first apple computer came out in 1977.) English lessons looked at family life “then and now” as well as how schools have changed. I managed to visit most classrooms dressed up in my old-fashioned headmaster’s gown and mortar board and told the pupils a bit about what it was like being at school in the 70s! I was in fourth year (now called Y10) in 1977!35481845566_865d99017a_z

After break the party started! Pupils were able to participate in a number of activities including a rodeo bull, ‘sponge the teacher’ (which was very popular!), coconut shy, human fruit machine, sweets stalls, popcorn making, and beat the goalie. We also had horses and donkeys on site, and a 1970s USA police patrol car, as well as our community police officers, and Welsh Guards running teamwork games, and much more besides

The special guests started to arrive before lunch for a tour of the school and a look around the activities. Jamie Baulch was the first here and he had a great time seeing round the old school. He posted a brilliant picture on his Instagram account, clearly enjoying himself in our bright yellow corridors!


We also welcomed Chris Evans MP, Rhianon Passmore AM, both old friends of the school, local author and former student Paul Surridge, RCCS historian Nick Thomas, Woody from the Heart Wales radio breakfast show, Rob Owen, representing the South Wales Argus, Keri Cole, Caerphilly’s Chief Education Officer, as well as the leader and deputy leaders of the Council. HM Queen, who famously opened our school in 1977 was represented by the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Robert Aitken. It was also a real honour to have our first headmaster, Mr Derek McKie, and his wife in attendance.

After a buffet lunch we attended a commemorative ceremony in the Courtyard, when Jamie unveiled the special plinth which will house the time capsule when all the contents are finalised at the end of the year. The contents of the capsule are nearly all in place, including the winning essay by Megan Balmont. I was very proud to begin the ceremony with a few words, and Jamie gave an amazing speech about how much he appreciated the school and he thanked his teachers for helping him so much. To finish, Caitlin Williams, our outgoing Head Girl, gave a brilliant speech of thanks to Jamie and to the school. It was all rather emotional!34711523933_63abb4b37c_z

I was then delighted to accept cheques donated to the school by Risca Town Council and Risca East Community Council, each to the value of £1000.Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 13.31.22Following this we returned upstairs to enjoy a superb exhibition of pupils’ art work, including the special stained glass window which has been made to commemorate our anniversary and which features at the top of this page. You can see a walk through video here

It was a very full and exciting day, and you can read how it was reported in the next day’s Argus here and see the photos in our Flickr album here! We’ll have more pictures and a video to add in due course.

Thanks to everybody who made this very special day happen!

THEME FOR THE WEEK: Health and Wellbeing

ASSEMBLY: Assistant Headteacher

LITERACY FOCUS: Test your knowledge

NUMERACY FOCUS: Two way tables

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: “9 / nine / naw / neuf / IX”    Cats are generally thought of as lucky and there’s a saying they have nine lives. A “cat of nine tails” is a very unpleasant type of whip with nine strands. There’s also a link to dogs with this number! Canine means “of or related to dogs”  and “K-9” is used in some police and military departments to denote the police dog unit. K-9 was also the name of a robotic dog in the TV series, Dr Who.


K-9 from “Dr Who”

WELSH WORD OF THE WEEK: Iechyd da :  Good health

ENGLISH WORD OF THE WEEK: Well-being or Wellbeing: the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy

THIS WEEK’S QUOTATION:  “Mens sana in corpore sano”- Juvenal. (A healthy mind in a healthy body) (i.e. physical exercise is an important part of mental and psychological well-being.)

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: The emblem of the company Kelloggs, who are perhaps most famous for their cornflakes, is a cockerel. They adopted this when it was pointed out that the word for a cockerel in Welsh in ‘cilog’




Great meeting the new parents and pupils tonight- and seeing familiar faces! Looking forward to the next five years! #MakingTheDifference
27 Jun 2017, 18:17


Saying farewell

Today, Friday 23rd June, we have been celebrating our fortieth anniversary and what an amazing day it has been! There will be a full blog published next Friday with an account of this special day.

For today however, as usual, here’s all the information for next week at RCCS….

You’ll see the deputy head is taking assemblies on the theme of ‘saying farewell.’ The time has come for me to confirm that Mrs Cooper will be retiring at the end of this term. This is a great loss to RCCS and we are all going to miss her. Following a successful career in schools in England and Wales she has been an outstanding servant to our school over the last thirteen years as a teacher of Geology, Geography, PE and more recently the Welsh Bac, as well as a talented and committed netball coach, but it is in her role as deputy headteacher with a responsibility for pastoral issues and wellbeing that she has made the greatest impact, and she commands huge respect from the whole school community.

On a personal note I know I simply could not have been better supported as headteacher of our school.

We wish you a very long and a very happy retirement.

THEME FOR THE WEEK: Saying Farewell

ASSEMBLY: Deputy Headteacher

NEW! LITERACY FOCUS: Test your knowledge

NEW! NUMERACY FOCUS: Two way tables

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: “13 / thirteen/ un deg tri / treize / XIII”    Mrs Cooper has worked here for thirteen years!

WELSH WORD OF THE WEEK: Hwyl fawr a phob lwc: Good bye and good luck!

ENGLISH WORD OF THE WEEK: Cooper: a maker or repairer of barrels

THIS WEEK’S QUOTATION: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” (Dr. Seuss)

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: Mrs Cooper is an avid supporter of Leeds Utd football club!

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Especially for Mrs Cooper:


The more I reflect on our troubled world, the more I keep coming back to this quote..Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.57.21
19 Jun 2017, 22:46

Our fortieth anniversary!

Just a very brief blog this week. Next Friday we’ll be celebrating our 40th Anniversary! Pupils will be taught 1970s style or themed lessons before break and after break we have some fun activities planned. It will be a non-uniform day. The highlight will be at 2pm when our Guest of Honour, former pupil, TV personality and Olympic athlete Jamie Baulch will be placing a time capsule in the plinth we have built in the Quad especially for this occasion. Following the ceremony guests will be able to enjoy a special Art Exhibition.

So there’ll be no blog next Friday! The next edition will be published on Monday 26th June with a full report on the special day!

THEME FOR THE WEEK: Our 40th Anniversary

ASSEMBLY: No Assemblies (exams)

LITERACY FOCUS: Speech marks


NUMBER OF THE WEEK: “40 / forty / pedwar deg / quarante/ XL”    RCCS is forty years old this week!

WELSH WORD OF THE WEEK: pen-blwydd: anniversary, birthday

ENGLISH WORD OF THE WEEK: capsule: a small case or container, especially a round or cylindrical one. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTATION:  “Life begins at 40” (Well known saying)

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: RCCS is now in Caerphilly County Borough. When the school was planned it was under Monmouthshire  Council and when it was opened the administrative district was Gwent!

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Our school website!


What supports us through tragedy is our respect, gratitude & admiration for those who represent all that is good in our world. Thank you. Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 11.40.24
14 Jun 2017, 23:23

Success for our athletes!

On Monday I learnt that Oliver in Y7 had represented Wales at snooker over the half term against Ireland and he is now the Under 14 champion! What an amazing achievement, all the more so as he is only 12 years old! Very well done- another one to watch for the future, I think! Later that day I learned that all our dancers have qualified for the CCBC Dance Finals in July- well done all of you, I look forward to hearing how it all goes!

On Tuesday we observed a minute’s silence in school to remember the victims of the terrible terrorist attack in London on Saturday.

We are planning our anniversary day on 23rd June. I am delighted we have a number of very special guests visiting that day, along with the guest of honour, Jamie Baulch. We have a number of things organised, including 1970s lessons, fun activities and a special ceremony at which a time capsule will be buried Unfortunately the event is limited to pupils and guests only. Tickets are also available for our Anniversary Concert on June 30th- please contact us at school to get yours. There is no charge but there will be a raffle to help cover costs.

We heard great news on Wednesday. Our athletes did very well at the county tournament and for the first time in many years both the U16 boys and the U16 girls teams have qualified for the finals! Well done to all of you!

We are working with five other schools to hold a special conference for KS3 pupils looking at curriculum developments in Wales. Things are changing, and it is important our pupils have a voice in developments. I met with the headteachers on Thursday and the plans are shaping up well! More of this in a later blog.

We are in the thick of GCSE exams at the moment. It is a difficult time for our candidates but they are bearing up well, and will soon be able to relax and enjoy their prom. But we’re not there yet! Keep studying hard, right up until the end!

Finally, the new prefect team has been appointed. All candidates did really well in the interviews and I think we have a great team in place! You can see who is in which role here. Very well done to all of you! We’ll have a meeting and an official photograph next week.



ASSEMBLY: No Assemblies (exams)

LITERACY FOCUS: Speech marks


NUMBER OF THE WEEK: “3 / three / tri / trois / III”    Tri- is a prefix meaning three. Tricycle, triathlon, triangle, trinity, … Can you think of any others? 

WELSH WORD OF THE WEEK: cymuned (n); cymunedol (adj): community 

ENGLISH WORD OF THE WEEK:  community : (i) a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. (ii) a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

THIS WEEK’S QUOTATION:  “The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles.” (Plato)

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: June is the sixth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and one of the four months with a length of 30 days. June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Inner Drive. Some great resources to motivate and inspire


Completed prefect interviews today. I have been hugely impressed by the candidates. Hard choices. Decisions via @RiscaCCS at 6pm tomorrow.
7 Jun 2017, 21:31


Summer half term!

No blog this week as it’s half term, but here’s everything ready for when we come back on 5th June. Maybe you can work out the Maths/Darts question in the “Number of the Week” section, or challenge yourself to learn the terminology for biological classification when you have a spare moment over the holiday!

I hope everyone has a good break and Y11 make that final effort with their exam revision! You continue to impress me with your attitude… keep it up right to the end!


ASSEMBLY: No Assemblies (exams)



NUMBER OF THE WEEK: “60 / sixty / chwe deg / soixante / LX” There are sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour- we have never moved to a decimal time system, retaining what is called the ‘babylonian’ system for telling the time. Sixty is the highest score with a single dart, (treble twenty) and the best possible finish from 501 is in nine darts, one way out being 7 x treble twenties followed by a treble 19 then a double 12. Can you find other ways- and can you show this in Mathematical notation?


WELSH WORD OF THE WEEK: teulu : family

ENGLISH WORD OF THE WEEK:  family : apart from the way we normally use this word it has a precise definition in biological classification. Family sits between order and genus. For the human being, the class is mammals, the order is primates, family is hominidae, genus is homo and species is homo sapiens.


THIS WEEK’S QUOTATION: “Home is where the heart is”  – Proverb

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: Former Liberian president Charles King won the 1927 election with 234,000 votes. At the time there were only 15,000 registered voters in the country!

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: The official website of the UK Parliament.


Today we observed a minute’s silence in school to remember the victims of the terrible attack in Manchester on Monday.
25 May 2017, 11:32