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Ceredigion students above average at A-Level

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Ysgol Aberaeron students: Celebrating their success

Ysgol Aberaeron students: Celebrating their success

THE A LEVEL examination results published on Thursday (Aug 18) by the WJEC indicate that very high standards are being maintained in the schools of Ceredigion. 

97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 23.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Tables o f results show Ceredigion’s continuing trend of improvement and above-average achievement:

County Councillor Hag Harris, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, stated: “Once again Ceredigion students have excelled in their A level results and my sincere congratulations goes to all concerned. Their success places them in a strong position to move forward to higher education, training or employment and I wish them all the best for the future.

“Schools have had to deal with a great deal of change with new specifications and assessment arrangements in many subjects. They must be congratulated on their success in maintaining such high standards whilst managing these changes.”

Mr Barry Rees, Strategic Director for Learning and Partnerships , added: “These very pleasing results are the culmination of the hard work of students and their teachers , along with the invaluable support of their families.

“These achievements must be placed in the context of an extremely high number of entries once again due to the very high numbers in Ceredigion who stay in school to study in the sixth form. I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing contribution the Welsh Baccalaureate makes to students’ achievements. In many cases, this has enabled students to access university courses of their choice.”

Hugh Thomas, Head of Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn , said: “The school is very proud of all the students, nearly all of whom have gained a place in their first choice university.

“I would like to congratulate all of our students and express my gratitude to the staff for their hard work and to the parents and the governing body for their support.

“We wish all our students every success in the future.”

“One hundred percent of pupils achieved the Level 3 threshold of at least 2 A Level qualifications or equivalent at A* – E. A total of 32% of grades were A* or A with 54% of grades at A* – B. 86% of grades were at A* – C,” Mr Thomas said.

“The school is pleased to report another set of excellent ‘A’ Level results.

“The consistent success over recent years is a tribute to our hard working students, the support of parents and the dedication of our excellent staff at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn.”

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education and Skills , Llyr Gruffydd , said: “My warmest congratulations to those receiving their results today, the fruit of years of hard work and study, despite the inevitable disappointment some will feel.

“We should also pay tribute to our teachers for the invaluable part they have played.”

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said: “Today is about celebrating the success of our pupils. I want to congratulate everyone receiving their results and thank them for all their hard work. This is such an important day and I wish them all the best as they make important decisions about their next steps in life.”

Staff and sixth form students were also celebrating outstanding A Level results at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi this week.

100% of students achieved the level 3 threshold (at least 2 A Level qualifications at grades A*-E or equivalent), compared to the Welsh average of 97.3%. 37% of grades awarded were A* or A. 60% of grades were at A*-B, and 82% of grades awarded were at A*- C.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification again proved very successful with 98% of candidates achieving the full Advanced Level Diploma at grades A*-B; and 68% of the Welsh Bac grades were A* or A.

Headteacher Nicola James said: “The staff and governors are very proud of these A Level results, which are richly deserved by our hardworking students. The fact that we have so many students achieving excellent results and gaining places at top Russell Group universities across the country in a variety of disciplines is a source of tremendous pride to us all, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to raising the aspirations of our young people and to serving our community well. Every student who applied to university is now successfully moving on to the next step in their educational careers, and they are well placed to lead fulfilling and productive lives. I congratulate the students on their achievements, and I wish them all every success for the future. I thank the staff for their hard work and commitment, and I thank all the parents for their support too.”

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Mark Drakeford named next First Minister

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THE NEXT First Minister of Wales will be Mark Drakeford, it has been announced this afternoon (Dec 6).

Mr Drakeford, a Cardiff West AM, was named as the winner of the Welsh Labour leadership contest at the Principality Stadium.

The contest was triggered when Carwyn Jones, the current First Minister, announced he was stepping down.

Mr Jones will officially step down on Tuesday (Dec 10).

Mr Drakeford will then be officially confirmed as the new First Minister of Wales by the National Assembly next week.

In the first round of voting, the results were:

Mark Drakeford – 46.9%
Vaughan Gething – 30.8%
Eluned Morgan – 22.3%

Eluned Morgan’s votes were then redistributed on voters’ second preferences, with the following results:

Mark Drakeford – 53.9%
Vaughan Gethin – 46.1%

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Met Office issue yellow weather warning for Friday morning

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THE MET OFFICE has warned of strong winds and heavy rain across South and West Wales as they have issued a yellow weather warning for rain on Friday (Dec 7).

Between 1am and 9am, spells of rain, heavy at times and accompanied by windy weather, are likely to produce 20-40mm of rain.

Coming after some recent wet weather, this rain is likely to lead to some temporary flooding impacts before the rain clears early Friday morning.

The Met Office are warning people that flooding of a few homes and business is likely, bus and train services, as well as roads, will probably be affected, with journey times taking longer.

Natural Resources Wales also has a flood alert in place in Pembrokeshire. Due to restrictions at the tidal outfall, river levels in the River Ritec in the Salterns area of Tenby are likely to remain high for a number of days.

River levels are rising slightly as each high tide arrives. The combination of ground conditions, existing river levels and forecast rainfall quantities gives a high risk of flooding of low-lying land during the next couple of days.

This comes a week after Yellow Weather Warnings were issued across Wales as Storm Diana brought extreme winds and heavy rain to the country.

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PCSOs celebrated in police campaign

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PCSO Iona Jones-Kenny

A campaign recognising Police Community Support Officers and the value they add to policing in Wales is being celebrated for its second year next week (Dec 10-14).

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) work on the front line providing a visible and reassuring presence on streets throughout the country.

The campaign, called #ThoseInBlue, is being supported by Dyfed-Powys Police, South Wales Police, Gwent Police, North Wales Police and British Transport Police. All week they will be showcasing the work of their PCSOs and recognising the vital role they play.

PCSOs are the eyes and ears of police in communities – building trust and gathering information that is crucial to tackling crime and antisocial behaviour.

Dyfed-Powys Police’s Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, Richard Lewis, leads the portfolio for PCSOs in Wales.  He said: “PCSOs are an integral part of the police family. It is different to being a warranted Police Officer, and is a job in its own right.

“PCSOs are not only the eyes and ears in our communities, but also help tackle problems which cause the most concern for people living in Wales.

“PCSOs bring a wide range of skills and experience to the role and in the Dyfed-Powys area we have specialist PCSOs tackling rural crime, cyber crime and antisocial behaviour, and crime reduction experts.

“This Christmas, PCSOs will be a reassuring presence for some of the most vulnerable people living in towns, cities and villages across Wales.”

As part of the campaign, Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Officers will be heading ‘back to the floor’ – going on patrol with PCSOs working across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

All week PCSOs across Wales will be using #TweetMyWeek on Twitter to showcase the work they do every day that helps keep people safe. Follow the hashtag or keep up with the campaign on Dyfed-Powys Police’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you have concerns about crime or antisocial behaviour in your community speak to a PCSO or call 101.

MEET CEREDIGION’S PCSO

Name: PCSO Iona Jones-Kenny

Where you’re stationed: Lampeter

Length of service: Five months

Why did you join: I wanted a new challenge and feel I have a lot of previous experience to bring into the new role.

Best moments: No two days are the same and each day brings up a new challenge.

Interests outside of work: Spending time with the family, walking the dogs, and pool and sea swimming.

Aspirations: To build good links within the community and continue helping people.

Speciality: Working in schools and young people.

Previous experience: Working with children and young people and children in school.

PCSO Matthew Kieboom

Name: PCSO Matthew Kieboom

Where you’re stationed: Out of Cardigan Police Station, covering the rural villages and along the coast – probably one of the most beautiful parts of Cymru.

Length of service: 5 years, six months.

Why did you join: Several reasons:  I live in the middle of the community that I support. When I first moved here it became very obvious that there were strong communities and my wife Debbie and I were quickly welcomed. I wanted to help support and improve/protect those communities. With a uniformed background, when I saw the job advertised, it just called out to me.

Best moment: Hearing the stories from members of my communities who had nominated me for the #WeCare awards – that was very emotional. We go out and do the best we can to support and protect people and often we don’t really know if we are getting it right.

Interests outside of work: Very limited due to having a smallholding! My dogs mean the world to me. I also love kayaking out at sea, swimming and hiking and generally being outdoors enjoying the beautiful area we live in. There is something very mindful about being outside in west Wales, no matter what the weather.

Aspirations: The work a PC does is immense and their opportunities to specialise in different roles and go up the ranks of promotion does appeal, but I have had a successful career in the British Army already and am getting a bit long in the tooth to be competing directly against people half my age or less! I am really content with the difference I am currently making as a PCSO and the support in my role that the communities give me.

Speciality: First Aid instructor with experience of dealing with trauma – there’s nothing I can’t do with a spoon! I’m a Blue Light Mind Champion, LGBT Liaison Officer and Major Incident trained, specialising in Major Medical Incidents.

Previous experience:  Management Degree at Lancaster University followed by British Army Officer for 12 years. I’ve been on numerous Operational Tours specialising in major medical incidents, helped build refugee camps and provided Military Aid to a Civil Authority in York Floods in 2000 and Foot and Mouth Crisis in 2001. Many of the incidents I commanded at either both Bronze or Silver level, providing advice and planning to Gold where appropriate.  Following medical discharge from the Army I had the pleasure of working at Help for Heroes as they first formed as volunteers and were a large part of my recovery process. It took me some 5 years before I was ready for full time employment.

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