THE name of a highly anticipated £28m high school on the western side of Cardiff has been revealed.
Cardiff West Community High School, formed from a merger between Glyn Derw High School and Michaelston Community College, will be built on a purpose-built site in Ely and will open in September 2018.
After a year of public consultation the name was decided through an online poll which allowed pupils and parents from the area to cast their vote.
The schools originally joined as Wales’s first federation in 2011 and run under the same budget and head teacher. The federation is currently housed in Michaelston Community College while new facilities are built on Glyn Derw’s original site off Penally Road.
It will open its doors in September 2018 following completion of a construct project valued at between £26m and £28m.
Speaking to primary and secondary schools at a community celebration last night, future Head Teacher Martin Hulland said that the Cardiff West Community High School initials stood for “Care, Working together, Creativity, High expectation and achieving Success.”
Mr Hulland explained that the school aims to be “community focused”, adding that it will be a “£28m investment in your community in the West of Cardiff.”
During the event, which attracted over 500 people, it was announced that an individual building for 320 sixth form students is to be created which can also be used by local groups in Ely and Caerau.
Other plans include a “transition area” to allow year seven pupils to bridge the gap from primary to secondary school. Mr Hulland explained that rather than giving students a different teacher for every class, year seven could have the same teacher for 5 or 6 subjects to help them to adapt.
Cardiff West Community High School will also boast a unique approach to its syllabus thanks to its eight founding partners. With companies including BBC Wales and Welsh National Opera helping to support and inspire pupils’ education, Mr Holland stated that there will be an “alternative, different curriculum with creativity at the heart of it”.
Talking at the celebration in Western Leisure Centre, he said: “It’s great to see the primary and secondary schools come together. The aim of tonight is to try to engage the local community.
“I have no doubt that the new school will be a huge success.”
During the event performances were given from five school choirs including Pencaerau Primary, Windsor Clive Primary, Hywel Dda Primary, Herbert Thompson Primary and Millbank Primary. The night ended with a performance by Michaelston and Glyn Derw dance group.
Pupils were also given the chance to explore exhibitions created by the school’s eight creative partners and to take part in activities run by the Michaelston and Glyn Derw High School Federation.
Praising the event, Ruth McDonald, Federation Schools & Community Learning Coordinator for Action in Ely and Caerau (ACE) and Communities First said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people attending and such a great atmosphere. The choir and performance were amazing and are testament to all the creative skills in the community.”
In addition to the school performances, a talk was given by Dr David Wyatt, senior history lecturer at Cardiff University and member of the CAER Heritage Project for Ely and Caerau.
Dr Wyatt praised the creativity and talent of young people in the area and added that CAER looks forward to working with the new school to connect pupils with their local history.
He said: “We want to see more young people coming to university and we want to help young people do great things.”