Rhyl High School announced as new 'Pioneer School'


Stephanie Price

RHYL High school has been named as one of Welsh Government’s ‘pioneer schools’, helping in the development of a new national curriculum.

It marks the latest success in a remarkable turnaround for the school, which was placed in special measures in November 2008 and last year underwent a £25 million redevelopment.

The latest batch of 25 pioneer schools, including Rhyl High, will focus on design and development of the new curriculum, which will be used from September 2021.

Headteacher Claire Armitstead – who was appointed early in 2010, with the school coming out of special measures in July of that year – described the news as “an exciting opportunity to develop a curriculum with the Welsh Government that better suits the needs of our pupils for the future”.

The new curriculum will focus on six “areas of learning and experience”: expressive arts; health and well-being; humanities; languages; literacy and communication; mathematics and numeracy; and science and technology.

Mrs Armitstead said: “I think this curriculum is so brave and inspirational and this is one of the times as an educator to feel proud to be involved.

”We will be working with other pioneer schools from the UK and anywhere in the world to find out what works best – this is a ‘call to arms’ to educators to do something special for the future.”

The Welsh Government says its curriculum plan aims to give children and young people the opportunity to become:

l Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives.

l Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work.

l Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.

l Healthy confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

North Wales AM Ann Jones welcomed the publication of the new curriculum plan.

She said: “I am pleased to see that the Welsh Government is taking seriously the need for the school curriculum in Wales to be fit for the future.

“As design and development becomes more important in an increasingly technology-dependent world it is vital that pupils are given the opportunities to develop their skills and explore their passions.

“I am especially glad to see that Rhyl High School in my own constituency is to be one of these pioneer schools that will be at the forefront of this new curriculum and that pupils in my own area will be benefitting from this Welsh Government scheme.”

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