Schools for the Future

a community vision for 21st Century education in mid and northwest Pembrokeshire

Machynlleth all-through school

machynllethYsgol Bro Hyddgen, is the new all-through school in Machynlleth.  The parallels with St Davids are striking.  Ann Evans, former YDS teacher,  spoke to Headteacher, Dafydd Jones.

The school has been operational since last September and consists of 1 Primary and 1 Secondary, with a few federated Primary Schools. It is a split site school so staff move between the primary and secondary campuses and the federated schools are involved in much of the planning, but are further away.

Discussions began back in the 90’s when they had only 30 in the 6th form and less than 300 in the secondary school.  After years of negotiations the school started to involve politicians and councillors and, after many delays it was finally agreed that the school would be “established” in 2014.   Dafydd Jones was an Acting Head Teacher of the Secondary and there was an Acting H/T of the Primary. She did not apply for the post but continued as Deputy H/T and, in fact, her salary rose because the school became so much bigger than her original primary.

Already staff are working between secondary and primary, for instance a Maths graduate primary teacher is covering maternity leave for the secondary Maths department, secondary P.E. and French teachers teach in the Primary school, and Dafydd Jones is looking to develop that to Music and Art next year.  And in the 6th form the New Machynlleth school links with schools in Aberystwyth and Llanidloes and a FE/HE College in Dolgellau to provide the greatest range of courses.

As for standards, the secondary is in the new Estyn green band of highly effective schools, whereas the Primary is in the red: in need of greatest improvement, so Dafydd Jones is expecting the combining of resources to have a beneficial effect at Primary results.  Interestingly, pupils can opt to go to the school from nearby towns in Ceridigion and Gwynedd.. and they do!

1 Comment

  1. It may be that Pembrokeshire join with Ceredigion and so the policy of all through schools there may become the policy for ‘Dyfed’ or whatever they call the new County. It is certainly seen to be successful in Ceredigion

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