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Students around the county collect GCSE results

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STUDENTS nervously collected their GCSE results from schools across the county today (Aug 23), with an overall pass rate of 95.5%.

The percentage of pupils in Pembrokeshire achieving WJEC grades A* or A in GCSE full course examinations this year is 17.1% compared with a Wales figure of 18.5%.

The percentage of pupils in Pembrokeshire achieving A* – C grades is 60.8% compared with the Wales figure of 61.6%.

23.7% of pupils achieved 5A* – A grades in full course subjects compared with 14% in 2017.

The A* – G percentage pass rate in Pembrokeshire is 95.5%.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Director for Children and Schools, Kate Evan-Hughes, said: “The widely reported reform programme continues to impact on results.

“This is the second year of reform for English Language; English Literature; Mathematics; Mathematics – Numeracy; Welsh (1st) Language and Welsh Literature. Another 15 reformed subjects – taking the total to 21 – have their results this year, including a new Double Award in Science.

“I am delighted to see the improvement for some of our schools particularly for Ysgol Y Preseli, Ysgol Dewi Sant and Ysgol Bro Gwaun at the Level 2 Inclusive measure; improvements in Science at Pembroke School and English Language in Tasker Milward and Greenhill.

“We will continue to work with schools to ensure that our learners receive the best possible life chances.

“I wish all students the very best for their futures and thank staff for their commitment to our young people.”

County Councillor David Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It is pleasing to see individual students achieving the outcomes they need to take the next steps, whether that is continuing with school-based learning, moving to further education, apprenticeship or employment.

“We congratulate schools where individual progress has been made and continue to support schools to achieve the vision of the local authority and secure improvement where it is needed.”

Record breaking GCSE results at Ysgol Bro Gwaun

Ysgol Bro Gwaun celebrated an outstanding set of GCSE results this year, with the school achieving its best-ever performances in several subject areas and key indicators.

Mr Paul Edwards, Headteacher at Ysgol Bro Gwaun, said: “These are remarkable results which would stand in comparison with the best schools in Wales of a similar nature to ours. I’m delighted with the outcomes in many of our subject areas, which has led to significant increases of over 10% or more in many of our performance indicators at Level 2.

“The Level 2+ indicator (5A*-C including English, Welsh and Maths) improved significantly, as did the percentage of grades at A and A*.”

He continued: “It is with immense pride that I congratulate all students, staff and governors on these excellent results for the school, and I wish all pupils the very best as they move on to the next chapter in their lives. I thank everyone for their continued support of Ysgol Bro Gwaun’s development and success.”

Top student was Sam Rummery, with 13A*.

Other notable performances with a string of A* and A’s were also achieved by –
Callum Harries (10A*, 1A, 1B)
Michael Lewis (7A*, 4A, 1B)
Elin Williams (3A*, 9A)
Vaughan Batty (4A*, 6A, 2B)
Katie O’Donoghue (2A*, 9A, 1B)
Josie Gabel-McEvoy (7A*, 3A, 1C)
Dylan Grove (2A*, 6A, 4B)

Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Pembrokeshire County Council: This week’s Leader’s coronavirus update

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Friday, 5th March as follows:

‘Welcome everyone to my weekly update.

“It is with rather a heavy heart that I tell you that it’s almost 12 months since my first statement on the coronavirus pandemic.

“On 9th March 2020, I addressed our Cabinet meeting with the following words:

“Further to the news yesterday that two people in Pembrokeshire had tested as positive for the Covid 19 virus, I am sure you will join me in wishing them both a speedy and full recovery.

“I can reassure you that our services will continue as usual, and all our employees can continue to attend to their work, appointments, schools and services as they normally would.

“We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice, particularly around washing hands and using a tissue for symptoms associated with cold and flu and then safely disposing of it.

“I am grateful to the co-operation and hard work of all of our staff and we will provide further updates and information when we have them.

“In the meantime I can confirm that detailed planning arrangements, both internally, with partner agencies and through the Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum, are well underway to ensure that the Council and Pembrokeshire are as well placed as possible for whatever challenges we may face. Thank you.”

“I am sure you will join me while I take a moment now to remember all those people in Pembrokeshire and further afield, who, very sadly, passed away since I made that announcement.

“I continue to be incredibly grateful, as I’m sure you are, to everyone who is helping to beat this pandemic, working so very hard now for over a year.

“We are fortunate now to be in a position where the vaccine programme is protecting older members of our community and starting to roll out among one of the biggest groups – the over 65s and those with underlying health conditions.

“This time next week (12th March) the Welsh Government will have notified us of their plans for the next three weeks.

“In the meantime, we remain in Alert Level 4 and the stay at home message continues to be more important than ever as we reach the threshold of better times.

“I wish you all a good weekend and thank you once again to the vast majority of wonderful Pembrokeshire residents who are doing the right thing and waiting patiently at home for restrictions to lift.

“We do really appreciate your efforts and determination to help bring this pandemic to an end.”

 

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Sergeant Hillier ‘died doing the job he loved’, says his heartbroken father

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THE ARMY SERGEANT who died after being injured in a live firing exercise, has been named locally.

The incident occurred at Castlemartin Training Area, and led to the death of Sgt Gavin Hillier, who was in the Welsh Guards.

In a post on social media, his father wrote: “Absolutely devastated to be writing this post, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

“At 3.45am this morning I received a phone call that will forever change my life. My eldest son Gavin Mark Hillier was in a fatal accident yesterday in the army (the job he loved).

“Sleep tight & rest in peace son. I’m so proud of you. Goodnight and god bless, love your heartbroken dad.”

An Army spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of a soldier on March 4.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

“The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

It is understood that Sergeant Hillier, who served as part of the Welsh Guards’ motor transport platoon, was due to be deployed to Iraq and had previously been awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal by Prince Charles, the regiment’s Colonel in Chief, in 2019.

The tragic incident is the latest in a number of accidents at Castlemartin.

In 2017, The Herald reported that two soldiers died in a tank explosion, which a coroner ruled was due to a design flaw.

The following year, an Army captain was jailed in July 2018 after a 21-year-old soldier was killed by a stray bullet during an exercise at the range in 2012.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a soldier at Castlemartin RAC Range following a military exercise.

Police were called to the site at just before 10.45pm on March 4.

Sadly, a man was pronounced dead shortly after. Our thoughts are with his family, who have been informed of the incident and are being supported by specialist officers.

An investigation is underway led by Dyfed-Powys Police. Officers are liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and MoD.

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