Working Together, Achieving More
Cydweithio a Chyflawni
everything we do at
pastoral care is at
the heart of
Headteacher: Mr P. Grimes
Tudor Street, Ystradgynlais, Swansea, SA9 1AP
Ysgol Maesydderwen © All rights reserved.
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At Ysgol Maesydderwen we recognise and understand the direct link between attendance at school to good emotional health, good educational progress and attainment.
Being a community school with strong links with our primaries we are able to effectively monitor and track the attendance of all our students.
Attendance is a particular focus of our Progress Leaders who work closely with our attendance officer, Mr Huw Thomas to ensure that any barriers in coming to school are addressed early with both the student and their family in a supportive manner. We have an excellent record of attendance which demonstrates the effectiveness of our strategies.
Children who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work which can impact on confidence and self esteem.
The school attendance target that students should be aiming for is 95%.
From an academic perspective, government research shows that
It is important to let your child’s Progress Leader or Mr Huw Thomas of any attendance concerns.
Lateness = Lost Learning
(Figures below are calculated over a school year)
5 minutes late each day
10 minutes late each day
15 minutes late each day
20 minutes late each day
30 minutes late each day
3 days lost
6.5 days lost
10 days lost
13 days lost
19 days lost
Pastoral care at Ysgol Maesydderwen is a strength of our school with pupil wellbeing at the heart of what we do. The caring ethos of our students is reflected in how they support each other both in and outside of school and can be clearly ‘felt’ throughout our community.
Our students are encouraged to make the most of their time at Ysgol Maesydderwen so every effort is made to remove obstacles to learning and to equip young people with confidence and skills to be successful members of our school and local community.
In addition to our Progress Tutors, we have a specialist team of people who are responsible for the pastoral care of our students (see below) led by Miss Kirsty Irvine, Deputy Headteacher who is responsible for inclusion, learner engagement, attendance, safeguarding and wellbeing within the school. Progress leaders promote and support engagement and wellbeing within their Year groups and are supported by Learner Support Officers.
Our Pastoral team is made up of:
Progress Leader for Year 7 and Transition -
Progress Leader for Years 8 and 9 -
Progress Leader for Years 10 and 11 -
Progress Leader for Sixth Form -
Pastoral Support Assistants:
Mr Huw Thomas
Mrs Lucy Watkins
Mr Sean Harvey
Mr Joe Muzil
Children are made aware that they can talk to our Pastoral Team or any member of staff to discuss issues they may be experiencing. One strategy may be to complete One Page Profile with that student as a means of discussing how we can best support them. This will be shared with the class teachers and parents. All school staff will always listen, comfort and work together with the child and families to ensure a positive outcome.
To ensure that pupil wellbeing is at the core of teaching and learning, all pupils in Years 10 and 11 study ‘Sweet’. Sweet is an innovative and engaging resource used to deliver a BTEC Level 1 and 2 qualification in Personal Growth and Wellbeing. Mapped against, and supporting the delivery of, the Health and Wellbeing AoLE and RSE new curriculum. Sweet teaches valuable skills to help students lead happier, healthier and more successful lives. Available in both Welsh and English, Sweet creates engaging conversations about life’s big issues, helping learners to gain a better knowledge of themselves and the world around them.
A variety of interventions are run within our ‘Enfys’ centre by trained staff to ensure bespoke programmes of support for our pupils. Emotional and behaviour support is offered, mentoring and coaching, careers advice, focused ‘Trauma Informed’ work and restorative justice, to name but a few. To compliment these programmes, our Pastoral Team work very closely with a variety of outside agencies, such as Children’s Services, Educational Psychology Service, Learner Support, Youth Intervention Service and the Kooth counselling service to ensure that the right wellbeing support is in place for our pupils and their families.
The aims of pastoral support at Maesydderwen:
The role of the Pastoral Team:
Emotional Health & Wellbeing
Every member of staff is committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of all our students and their families. As a school we are aware of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) on emotional health as well as the many life events which can be regarded as traumatic, all of which can be barriers to learning. At Ysgol Maesydderwen all staff use a trauma informed approach to their teaching with members of our Pastoral team being qualified Trauma Informed and Mental Health Practitioner’s. This means that they can provide specialist intervention for either small group’s or on an individual basis.
Where appropriate, they can also signpost for further specialist support eg CAMHs, counselling, etc.
How does the Trauma intervention work?
Behaviour for Learning
Behaviour for Learning is a structure that is used across the school to promote positive attitudes to learning. It is underpinned by the following principles:
ClassCharts is the IT system that we use to:
Both students and parents can access the ClassCharts app to check their own progress. Pupils can get their code from their Progress Leader.
Parents can contact the school if they require the code.
Pupils can receive a merit for:
Rewards assemblies are held each term which celebrate the progress a student has made through their merits, attendance and community help.
Inappropriate behaviour is also recorded on ClassCharts and can result in a negative comment. This can include:
Deliberate disregard of Covid safety protocols can result in an exclusion.
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During inclement weather pupils should wear additional layers of suitable clothing underneath the compulsory items.
On health and safety grounds we do not allow Learners to wear jewellery in our school. The exceptions to this rule are:
The school does not permit Learners to have ‘extreme’ haircuts that could serve as a distraction to other Learners.
The school is currently in the process of changing our school uniform. A new uniform will be introduced in September 2022 and over a 2-
Year 7 learners
Years 8 to 11 learners
Year 7 & 8 learners
Years 9 to 11 learners
From September 2024
All learners in Year 7 to 11
New Uniform -
Branded items, I.e the school jumper, tie and PE Tops, can be purchased from:
Pethau Plant, 16 Station Road, Ystradgynlais SA9 1NT
Telephone: 01639 849 111
All of the school PE polo shirt and rugby jerseys can be purchased from Pethau Plant 16 Station Road, Ystradgynlais SA9 1NT -
Compulsory for Year 7, optional Years 8 to 11
Holiday During Term-
While we always take personal circumstances into account, as a general rule, holidays will not be authorised for pupils with attendance under 95%, our attendance target for all pupils is 95%. We also take into consideration the possible impact on any key periods of learning identified and highlighted by the school.
There is a strong link between good school attendance and achieving good results. Good attendance at school also shows potential employers that a young person is reliable.
Before booking holidays during term time, we ask that the impact that this will have on attendance and subsequently, progress is considered. The rewards for good attendance are clear; pupils are more likely to enjoy school, achieve better results and increase their career opportunities.
Should authorisation be given at the time of application, this will be conditional on attendance remaining above 95%. This authorisation will be withdrawn if attendance drops below 95% prior to the commencement date of the holiday.
Only parents/carers with parental responsibility should complete this form.
In the event that families wish to book a holiday during term-
To report a learner absence, you can either telephone the school on the number above, email the details to the email address
or send a text to the dedicated line 07312 263570
Reporting a Learner Absence