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Cardiff primary school made ‘impressive progress’, says Estyn

Credit: Bryn Celyn Primary School

Pupils at Bryn Celyn Primary School in Pentwyn have been praised by Estyn, the education inspectors in Wales, for making impressive progress in their learning this year – despite the pandemic.

The inspection, carried out in May, said the school gave its pupils a “strong start in life” and found that teachers, staff and governors worked effectively in partnership with parents, the community and Cardiff Council to help pupils develop the skills and values they need to be successful throughout their lives.

It found the school, which has 193 pupils, of whom 74% are eligible for free school meals and almost a third do not have English as their main language, has strong leadership with the head working with a dedicated team of teachers and support staff.

“Most pupils are eager to learn, behave very well, show a high level of respect for their peers and adults in the school and have clear views about what they want to achieve,” said the report. “They work hard in school, persevering to meet the challenges their teacher set them… the relationship between staff and pupils is exemplary.”

It also said that most pupils, including the vulnerable, those with additional learning needs or who have English as an additional language make strong progress from their starting points. “Following the disruption of the pandemic and the challenges that pupils and the community have faced,” it added, “the acceleration in pupils’ progress since September 2021 is exceptionally good.”

Pupils also express strong views in support of racial equality and respect for the principles of others. There is a strong safeguarding culture in the school, while pupils and parents report that incidents of bullying are “extremely rare”

Estyn’s recommendations are for the school to continue to develop pupils’ writing styles and content and “strengthen arrangements to promote pupils’ healthy eating and drinking.”

At the moment, it said, governors do not ensure there are effective arrangements to promote healthy eating and drinking by pupils. “Pupils enjoy making healthy foods in the cookery club but too often they bring unhealthy drinks and snacks to school,” it added.

“They learn to read and understand the information on food labels, considering whether items are suitable for a healthy lifestyle. However, they do not always apply this knowledge to make healthy choice when eating and drinking.”

Bryn Celyn headteacher Elizabeth Keys said: “The school has come such a long way and made really good progress since its last inspection. I am so proud of the efforts of pupils, staff, governors and parents in making our school such a wonderful place to learn and grow.”

Mark Perrins, the vice-chair of the school’s governors, said: “The Governors at Bryn Celyn are really pleased with the outcome of the Inspection. The dedication and hard work shown by the teaching staff has been exceptional and we will continue to serve the Bryn Celyn community.”

Cllr Sarah Merry, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It’s clear from the report that Bryn Celyn is a wonderful school and there are a host of positives to come out, not least the exemplary relationship that exists between the teachers and their pupils.”