St Cyres Comprehensive School
St Cyres School is a co-educational foundation status comprehensive school and Sixth form college located in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, 5.2 miles (8.4 kilometres) south west from the Welsh capital city of Cardiff. The school has produced several notable International sportsmen and sportswomen. The school currently has approximately 1,479 pupils aged between eleven and eighteen on the roll (age nineteen in special circumstances) in years seven to thirteen, with a thriving sixth form of 251 pupils. The school is currently split across two sites with the lower school, for some pupils in years 7 to 9, located in nearby Dinas Powys. Former headmaster Brian Lightman returned to lead the school into the 2008 - 2009 academic year after a twelve month long secondment, when he represented the more than 14,000 members of the Association of School and College Leaders as UK President. During his year in office he travelled some 70,000 miles and gained an exceptional insight into the education systems of the UK and the other countries that he visited. St Cyres Comprehensive School was previously St Cyres Secondary Modern School prior to becoming a comprehensive.

The school was established in 1958 and celebrated its 50th anniversary year during the Autumn term of 2008. Several special events took place marking the anniversary. Between 1958 and 1968 the school roll was bolstered by children from Radyr on the other side of Cardiff as it was quicker and easier for them to travel the nine miles by train to Penarth and attend either St Cyres Secondary Modern or Penarth Grammar School, than it was to walk or drive to nearer Cardiff schools. The arrangement only ceased when the direct rail link was removed by the Beeching axe.

The school today

The Penarth Site is the principal location of the school, catering for some years 7 - 9 and all years 10 -13. The roof of the main building or "New Block" is considered to be the current highest vantage point in Penarth. The top floor of New Block suffered a serious fire six years ago but was fully repaired. There was also a minor 4th floor electrical wiring fire in 2007 put out with a single extinguisher . The Sixth Form is also located on the Penarth Site and currently has 251 pupils according to the latest Governors’ report. The New Block is surrounded by a series of smaller buildings identified as the "Old Block" and temporary " Terrapin" buildings. The Penarth site is due to receive a refurbishment and rebuild in the near future as part of a development package proposed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to the value of £18 million ($32 million US). This package will also feature the refurbishment of two other schools in the county, (these being Cowbridge Comprehensive school and Llantwit Major Comprehensive school). St Cyres is likely to be given second priority in the programme with Cowbridge being refurbished first. The latest estimate is that work will start on the St Cyres new buildings in January 2011 and is expected to be complete by early 2012 . Completion will see the school reunited on the single Penarth site with the Dinas Powys annexe being closed. The Dinas Powys annexe currently houses years 7 to 9 for some children aged between 11 and 14 with others located at the Penarth site. Although only a third of a mile distant from the main school site "as the crow flies" there is no direct road route, entailing a vehicle journey of just over two miles (3.2 kilometres).

Most recent ESTYN inspection report
Estyn is the office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales. The most recent ESTYN school inspection report in June 2007 commends the school for:
  • The Headteacher’s outstanding leadership giving the school a clear sense of direction
  • The way in which the school’s values are understood by all staff
  • Standards of achievement in the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification
  • Excellent relationships between teachers and pupils
  • Range of extra-curricular provision
  • The way the school tackles social disadvantage and provides equality of opportunity
  • Support and guidance given to pupils and students, including those with additional learning needs
  • Arrangements for managing and improving the performance of staff
  • Effectiveness of school self-evaluation and planning for improvement
  • Clear sense of direction and promotion of high standards promoted by the Headteacher and Governing Body.

Welsh Baccalaureate
St Cyres has been one of the leading pioneer centres for the introduction and development of the Welsh Baccalaureate and was one of the very first schools to offer the course at Advanced Level ( A Level) in the Principality. St Cyres was also one of the first schools to offer the qualification at Intermediate level ( GCSE). The Course has proved very successful, with many leading assembly members commenting on the course. Prominent Welsh Assembly member Jane Hutt has said: "St Cyres School has been a flagship in developing the Welsh Baccalaureate which is central to our age 14-19 education agenda in Wales"

Catchment area
The main feeders schools for St Cyres are Llandough Primary, Fairfield County Primary, Cogan Primary and all the primary schools in Dinas Powys. Currently 20% of pupils are from outside the feeder schools and attend by parental choice.

Fairtrade school
In 2008 St Cyres was granted "Fairtrade status" and became the first secondary school in Penarth to be so recognised. It was also one of the first Fairtrade schools in the Principality. Penarth has been a "Fairtrade Town" since 2006. The school has a long-standing link with the Penarth Town Fairtrade Forum and its support was recognised when Penarth became the first Fairtrade Town in the area. The Forum consists of the Town Mayor, local councillors and business people, representatives from the voluntary sector and the school has had teacher and pupil representatives as members for twelve years. The pupils who run the Fairtrade scheme in the school were recognised in 2009 by the award of the prestigious national Diana Award for Excellence - made to groups of young people who have given of their time and energy to help others over a prolonged period. Under the chairmanship of Penarth Councillor Mark Wilson, the forum has gone from strength to strength and is delighted that the school is once again at the forefront of the forum.

St Cyres School was the only school in Wales that took part in the Shares4Schools investment competition, using real funds, amongst 84 schools in the rest of the UK. The competition started in October 2007 and ran until June 2008, organised and partially sponsored by The Share Centre. Schools taking part had to initially raise £1,500 as their investment funds. Penarth Rotary Club was one of the main sponsors of St Cyres. Rotarian Neil McFarlane went into the school once a week to guide and mentor pupils and make the investments along with St Cyres head of business studies Lisa Shearer. Mr McFarlane said at the time: "The aim is to have the team of students experience stock market investment for real, and in the process develop and enhance skills such as team working, decision making, research and analysis."

School badge
The school badge consists of a quartered shield depicting:
  • A Castle Keep (relating to the Dinas Powys castle)
  • A Celtic Cross (relating to the Welsh national symbol)
  • A Welsh Harp (relating to Erw'r Delyn - the "Field of the Harp" - the original shape of the land)
  • A Welsh Dragon (relating to the Welsh symbol)
The badge was originally created by Mr Stan Jones, Head of Art when the school became a comprehensive secondary school. The use of the image in this article will have no effect on the school's commercial use of the image in question. To allow identification and critical commentary on school and school logo for article about the school itself.

Head Pupils
Since 2000/2001, St Cyres has operated a 'Head Pupils' system, where a Head Boy/Deputy Head Boy and Head Girl/Deputy Head Girl are appointed by application and interview by the senior staff at the school.

Notable alumni
  • David Davies ”“ Olympic long distance swimmer and winner of the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing 10 kilometre race.
  • Dame Carys Davina ("Tanni") Grey-Thompson DBE ”“ Paralympic all round athlete and winner of an all time record of 11 Gold medals in the Paralymics during her career.
  • Jamie Ringer ”“ Welsh International Rugby union player who currently plays for Newport Gwent Dragons.
  • Mark Isherwood - The first Rugby League Development Officer for Wales and current Quality Manager of Sporttrain Wales
  • Robert Morritt (Author) ("Sifta")University of Manchester - Prehistory.Published works,' John Morritt - Travels to Troy 1794-96 '. 'Stones that Speak'- Linear A & B scripts,Paleography,Archaic trade routes. 'Echoes From The Greek Bronze Age' , 'Terra Artica', 'Terra Australis','Fragments-Early Appalachian Music & Recordings','Olde new England'- pre-Dominion Era,'Rockin' in the Desert".Advent of Recording Industry in , Arizona ,'Carson J.Robison,biography & discography.Morritt was one of the first pupils at St.Cyres in 1958

Academic Year Head Boy Head Girl Deputy Head Boy Deputy Head Girl 2000/2001 Matthew Crocker Rebecca Clarey ? ? 2001/2002 Tim Edwards Sarah Teagle Tim Naylor Sarah Farmer 2002/2003 ? ? ? ? 2003/2004 Edward Silva ? ? ? 2004/2005 Amin Amin Rachel Cliff Chris Smith Rhian Hobrough 2005/2006 Ben Clarke Leah Cliff Tom Parkinson Ishtar Madhi 2006/2007 Christopher Hampshire Lauren Smith Matthew Devereux - Cole Kate Wiltshire 2007/2008 Scott Kihlberg Sophie Parry Craig Jefferies Megan Roberts 2008/2009 Andrew Rosser Jenna Illingworth Jacob Lowery Lowri Edwards 2009/2010 Jordan Lloyd Rebecca Gerrard Todd Coles Bethan Frugniet 20010/2011 Nielson Beddoe Nia Morgan Adam Fisher Kelly Jervis

Building Activity

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