Radyr Comprehensive School

Radyr Comprehensive School (Welsh: Ysgol Gyfun Radur) is a coeducational comprehensive school and Sixth Form college located in Radyr, a suburb of Cardiff, Wales, that opened in 1973. It the current roll is around 1,400 students from ages 11–18, with around 250 in the sixth form.

The school is controlled by the Cardiff Education Authority. In the community, the school is considered to have a first-class reputation and for the 2000-01 school year demand for places from parents exceeded supply.

History

Prior to 1968 the majority of children from Radyr travelled nine miles to Penarth County Grammar School and St Cyres Secondary Modern School in Penarth by steam train daily, a quicker and easier option than road journeys to closer Cardiff secondary schools. The arrangement ceased when the direct rail route was closed by the Beeching Axe. The new Radyr Comprehensive School opened in 1973. In 2004, a new state-of-the-art sports hall was built for the school, that includes a fitness suite.

In June 2007, the school site was said to be worth £25m, and it was reported by the South Wales Echo that Cardiff Council are considering plans to close the school as part of a reorganisation.

The school was criticised, in February 2008, after pupils aged just 13, were instructed by a teacher to write imaginary suicide notes in an English lesson, in order to "get into the mind of a troubled teenager". This was part of a study of the non curriculum novels Noughts and Crosses, by Malorie Blackman. However, the school is just a few miles from Bridgend where there have been multiple teenage suicides. The headmaster of the school stated that "the task was a 'spontaneous piece of writing' where children were asked not to turn over the page to find out what the letter said - but to write their own version of the suicide note." and "the teacher setting the text did not associate the task with news stories but rather considered it part of the textual study of a serious book dealing with serious issues in a serious way". Several relatives of the recently deceased Bridgend teenagers expressed their sorrow and regret that the unsuitable subject featured in a school project for such young children.

Academic performance

The proportion of pupils who achieved five or more grades A* to C in the 2003 GCSE examinations was well above the national average, though the proportion of students achieving A level success at grades A to C in 2 or more subjects was, however, below the national average. In summer 2007, over 95% of the school's students achieved at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades, the highest yet.

However, in the last Estyn inspection in April 2004, the standards reached in Religious Education at Key Stage 4 were considered unsatisfactory, but the remaining assessments ranged between satisfactory and very good, with notable performances in Art, Music, and Physical Education. In 2005, the school had a major reshuffle of its Religious Education department, hiring new teachers, and a new head for the department.

Sport

The girls' hockey team won the 2002 RAF Careers under-18 Schools Hockey Champions with a win over Chepstow School.

In the Wales Region Hard Track Cycling Championships, held in July 2006, a pupil won the under-14 Girls' Omnium.

Extra-curricular activities

The School's Big Band was invited to entertain guests at Disneyland Paris in October 2006 and on 1 March 2007.. The Band continued touring, and headed to Chicago in August 2008., for a packed week of events including a performance at the North American Welsh Festival and the Field Museum. The Jazz Band is run by students from 6th form with the help of the music department. The Jazz Band also has a training band which is open to students from Year 7 to Year 11. The Big Band in 2011, were invited back to Disneyland and performed again, this time on the Videopolis stage.

The school's Green Flag Committee ensure that the school remains loyal to its eco-friendly policy, as set down in late 2008 following the granting of emergency powers to the Committee in order to deal with what was perceived as an imminent threat to the school's environmental well-being. With their main aim to aid the school in achieving the prestigious 'Eco Schools Green Flag Award', the Committee leads by example and tolerates neither litterers nor other undesirable elements. The school currently holds the silver award in the scheme, and is now aiming to achieve the award itself, which would firmly strengthen the influence of the Committee's Chairman, Adolf Barbie. In accordance with this, the green flag committee is affiliated with the Radyr and Morganstown Association. The RGFC has taken proceedings one step further recently, by taking on the duties of providing extra care to Radyr Railway Station as part of the Arriva Trains Wales adopt a station scheme. The Green Flag ceased production in early 2008. However, again in 2010, a subsidiary committee to the school council was set up, they will hopefully continue the work of the RGFC, into the future.

Notable former pupils
  • Timothy Benjamin, runner.
  • Jimi Mistry, Actor, famous for roles on EastEnders, The Guru and East Is East.
  • Paul Duddridge, writer, producer/director. Creator of Director's Commentary, Annually Retentive, The Keith Barret Show.
  • Lucie Jones, West End Star, Model and X Factor UK 2009 final twelve contestant and singer.

Building Activity

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