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Students across Pembrokeshire celebrate GCSE results

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STUDENTS across Pembrokeshire received their GCSE results this week.

Pembrokeshire County Council said it had been an ‘incredibly difficult’ two years for all students and congratulated everyone on their efforts.

Following the covid-19 pandemic, public exams have returned this year bringing back many challenges for all involved.

Schools have worked hard to ensure that pupils have been equipped with the skills to take examinations for the first time since 2019.

Schools have also praised their students, with Haverfordwest High saying they are ‘very proud’ of the results achieved.

A spokesperson for the school said: “We are very proud of the excellent results achieved at Haverfordwest High VC School and, whatever their future intentions, Headteacher Mrs Harries, the staff and the Governing Body wish all pupils every success in their chosen pathway.

“The pupils, together with their teachers and family, have put enormous effort into their studies throughout their time at HHVCS and had the added challenge of sitting them not on school premises, but at County Hall.

“We would particularly like to thank the staff at HHVCS, their parents and the wider community for their support in these difficult times.”

Notable results from Haverfordwest High include: 12 A* grades and 1 Grade 9: Libby Banner, 11.5 A* grades: Nivetha Athithan, Annika Harries, Dillon James, 10.5 A*, 1 A: Catrin Fletcher, 9.5 A*, 2 A: Elinor Pritchard, 8.5 A*, 3 A: Kevin Chen.

Headteacher Mrs Harries added: “We are welcoming many students back to HHVCS 6th Form to continue their studies and we are looking forward to seeing them at our wonderful new school site on Wednesday, September 7.

“To all other students who are pursuing their studies, an apprenticeship or opportunities in employment, we wish them all the very best and hope they keep in touch as they progress with their chosen pathways.”

Students from Haverfordwest High get their results

Ysgol Harri Tudur Headteacher Mrs Kite and the school’s Governing Body also praised their students and the staff who had helped prepare them for their exams.

She said: “’The resilience and determination shown by nearly all of our Year 11 pupils, in response to the disruption to all learners by the coronavirus pandemic over the last two years has been rightly reflected in the  GCSE and BTEC results today.

“Similarly, we are also pleased with the effort of our Year 10 pupils in modular GCSE examinations. The pandemic has caused significant disruption to this cohort’s GCSE studies, yet we have seen some outstanding personal successes today, with many pupils achieving good and in some cases outstanding results.

“We all send our huge congratulations and wish each and every one of our Year 11 pupils all the very best of luck for their sustained and future success either continuing their education in the Sixth form at Ysgol Harri Tudur/ Henry Tudor School, alternative post 16 providers or to the world of employment. We hope that they will continue to achieve great things.

“We would also like to thank and recognise the contribution and support of the parents of our Year 11 pupils for their support.”

Headteacher of Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi VA School, Rachael Thomas, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outstanding achievements of all pupils at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi VA. Their tenacity, resilience and the kindness and strength of spirit which they have demonstrated through such challenging times is reflected in the remarkable results which they have achieved.

“The outcomes are amongst the best in the history of both Ysgol Dewi Sant and Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi VA.

“I must pay tribute not only to the pupils, but also to staff at the school, their parents, carers and our entire school community alongside the support from the Church and Governing Body.

“These learners have sat exams for the very first time and smashed it! We wish them every success in their future learning journeys and/or work careers. They will always be a part of our unique YPDVA family.”

Greenhill School Headteacher David Haynes said: “On behalf of the staff and governors, I would like to pay tribute to each and every pupil who is collecting their hard earned GCSE results this morning.

“I am very proud of the way in which they faced the considerable challenges presented to them over the last two years with such resilience and determination. I would also like to thank all parents and carers for their outstanding support during what has been a particularly difficult and anxious time for everyone.

“I am delighted that many of our pupils have excelled this year and have achieved the challenging targets which were set. Some standout performances include Isabel Rice who achieved twelve A*, Louis Chadd with eleven A* and an A, Beth Evans gained eleven A* and A, Alex Joseph eleven A* and an A and William Lunt gained eleven A* and an A.

“I am delighted that so many year 11 pupils are returning in September to our ever increasing in size Sixth Form and I look forward to them playing a significant role in the life of the school as inspirational role models for our younger pupils.”

Ysgol Bro Gwaun Head Girl Gwenna Maycock and Head Boy Dewi Roberts celebrate their results

Ysgol Bro Gwaun headteacher Paul Edwards is delighted with the school’s outcomes.

“On behalf of the staff and governors of Ysgol Bro Gwaun, I would like to congratulate all pupils who are receiving their results today,” he said.

“We are very proud of their hard work and dedication, and of the outstanding results which they have achieved, especially when considered against the difficulties they have experienced over the last two years.

He continued: “I would like to pay tribute to the determination and perseverance which our pupils have shown and I would also like to thank the teaching staff who have worked tirelessly to support every learner to achieve their best.

Head Girl Gwenna Maycock (10A*, 1A, 1B) paid tribute to the school and staff, saying: “We were very nervous as we approached these exams because we hadn’t had much practice, but the staff have been brilliant in preparing us and giving us the confidence to give our best. I cannot thank the school enough.”

Head Boy Dewi Roberts (8A*, 2A, 2B) also thanked the school for the support both he and his year group has received. “No-one could imagine the challenges we have faced for much of our time at the school, and to achieve what we have in spite of these difficulties is amazing and a tribute to the teachers and support staff at the school.

“Ysgol Bro Gwaun is a close-knit family and the support we have been given by the staff in the lead-up to the exams was incredible. Thank you everyone!”

The staff and governors pass on their best wishes to all of year 11 as they take the next exciting steps in their life journey.

Head Prefect, Bethan Owens, celebrating with 14 A* grades, and with her is Layla McGuire who celebrates with 5A*’s, 6A’s and a B grade

Milford Haven School headteacher Ms Ceri-Ann Morris said: “On behalf of staff and governors at Milford Haven School, I would like to congratulate all Year 11 pupils on their GCSE results, reflecting the efforts and commitment they have shown over the last three years especially during such unprecedented times and also thank their parents/carers for their support and close partnership with us throughout the years.

We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our pupils after such a difficult and disrupted number of years. ” Here are a number of individual successes we wish to mention, in particular our top 10 performers include, Bethan Owens (14A*), Rosa May Solomon (3A*s, 6A’s, 4 B’s and a C), Bethan Preddy (11A* and 1A), Riley Pilgrim (6A’s and 6C’s), Shannon Laugharne (3 A*’s, 7A’s, 2B’s and a C), Dylan Sanders-Swales (2A*’s, 7A’s and 4 B’s), Ella Trueman (3A*’s, 4A’s, 4B’s and 2C’s), Jasmine Johnson (6A’s, 6B’s and a C grade), Harvey Childs (6A*’s, 4A’s and 2B) and Layla McGuire.

The school are pleased to say that 100% of pupils left school with qualifications which will help support them to follow the path of their choice, whether that be into sixth form, college, apprenticeships or employment. “We wish you all good luck in your future endeavours. Pwb lwc pawb.”

Commenting on this year’s GCSE exam results, Ysgol Bro Preseli Headteacher Ms Rhonwen Morris said: “On behalf of staff and governors at Ysgol Bro Preseli, I would like to congratulate all Year 11 pupils on their excellent GCSE results. This cohort has faced unprecedented challenges since commencing their GCSE studies and it has been a privilege to guide them through what has been a very difficult and challenging time for everyone.

“Today’s excellent GCSE results have been achieved despite extraordinary disruption and uncertainty and pupils and their teachers deserve credit for an outstanding set of results which are the culmination of much hard work, determination and resilience. I would also like to thank parents / guardians and the governing body for all their support during this unprecedented time.

“We are very proud of all the young people who have worked tirelessly throughout their time at Ysgol Y Preseli which is now Ysgol Bro Preseli and we look forward to welcoming back a large number of pupils to our successful sixth form where they will have the opportunity to realise their potential and more within a supportive and homely school community.”

Pupils from Ysgol Bro Preseli get their results
More Ysgol Bro Preseli students celebrate their results

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language, Cllr Guy Woodham said: “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for all learners who have taken public examinations.

“The continuing impact of the pandemic has been profound. Our students have been resilient and risen to the challenges that they have faced. I would like to congratulate them all on their achievements.

“As a Local Authority, we have been committed to supporting learners in achieving the best possible outcomes.

“Students who have received their results today will have acquired a range of skills that enable them to be lifelong learners and hopefully achieve more than they thought possible.

“I wish them every success for the future.”

Speaking about the GCSE and other results announced, Debbie Scott, Senior Wales Officer for the National Education Union Cymru, said: “NEU Cymru wants to congratulate everyone who has received their results today, after a disrupted couple of years for education.

“Everyone in schools and colleges has been working hard to support students receiving their awards today and should be commended for their hard work in such a challenging time.”

News

Five people have been charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis and cocaine

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FIVE people have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis and cocaine in Carmarthenshire.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2021 officers from Dyfed-Powys Police executed a warrant at a farm in Capel Dewi, Carmarthenshire, where they found firearms and large quantities of cannabis, cocaine and cash.

Stephen Paul Leyson, aged 54, of Capel Dewi, Carmarthen, was this week charged with possession of a firearm and conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, while Lynne Ann Leyson, aged 51, and Samson Paul Leyson, aged 22, both of Capel Dewi, were charged with conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.

Andrew Leslie Jenkins, aged 50, of North Hill Road, Mount Pleasant, Swansea, was charged with conspiracy to supply class B drugs and Ritchie John Coleman, aged 32, of Vetch Close, Pembroke, was charged with supplying class B drugs and cannabis production.

All five appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court yesterday, with Stephen Leyson, Jenkins and Coleman remanded into custody.

Lynne and Samson Leyson were granted bail with conditions.

They are next due to appear at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

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Business

Town council to help elderly with online banking as last bank in Tenby set to close

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LOCALS in Tenby have been left reeling at this week’s news that the town’s HSBC branch is set to close next year.

The closure, announced on Thursday (Nov 30) will leave Tenby without any of the UK banks.

In recent years, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander have all left the town. Barclays has also just shut its doors for the last time, with the nearest branches being in Haverfordwest or Carmarthen.

The move comes as part of the latest round of closure, which will see 114 branches of the bank closed across the UK.

It follows 69 HSBC branches closing earlier this year and 82 HSBC branches closing last year.

Other HSBC branches closing in Wales include Abergavenny, Chepstow, Port Talbot, Pontypool, Brecon and a branch in Cardiff – Rhyd y Penau.

HSBC says its customer numbers have fallen rapidly since the pandemic and that some of the branches that are being shut now serve less than 250 customers a week.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s managing director of UK distribution, said: “People are changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning.

“Banking remotely is becoming the norm for the vast majority of us.

“Not only can we do it anywhere at any time of day or night, many more things can be done at the customers’ convenience and don’t rely on a branch visit.

Speaking to The Herald by telephone on Wednesday evening (Nov 30), Mayor of Tenby, Cllr. Sam Skyrme Blackhall said: “This is really bad for the town of Tenby, and it’s just very, very said. This is a case of where are banks going?

“We have always looked after our banks here in Tenby, and it feels like no one is looking after us. Its as if no one in the banks cares anymore.”

Pointing out the number of retired people living in the area, she said: “We have a lot of elderly people in town who do not use online banking, and depend on the branch being open.

“I am talking to the Post Office and other people with the aim of looking to the hub system, which is happening in other towns where they are also loosing their banks.

“Its very sad that we will losing another cash point. How is a busy town expected to function without a bank or cash points. Where do people go for money?

Asked if she thought it was possible that the branch would be saved, as Tenby HSBC was one of the few banks without a confirmed closure date, Cllr. Sam Skyrme Blackhall seemed to think that the decision had been firmly made. She said: “They have to give six months notice, so we could be looking at May or June 2023 for the closure.

“I don’t think the branch could be saved.

“Barclays officially finished the other week.

“Banks don’t care about residents and people don’t matter [to them] during these very worrying times.”

Town council is planning to offer struggling Tenby residents help with online banking from their offices, creating a kind of drop-in-service, The Herald has been told.

Like in any time of difficulty the people of Tenby will rally together as they always do, but no matter what is done in the face of the closure of the last bank in the historic town, nothing will fully replace traditional face-to-face banking services.

Tenby Mayor Cllr. Sam Skyrme Blackhall: These are sad times for Tenby
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Community

Park Authority sponsorship boost for Boxing Day Swim’s belated half century

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PEMBROKSEHIRE Coast National Park Authority says that it is delighted to be one of the main sponsors of this year’s Tenby Boxing Day Swim.

The popular event will mark its belated 50th anniversary this year, after Covid-19 enforced cancellations of the event in 2020 and 2021.

Chair of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Di Clements said: “The Authority is delighted to be helping this well-supported community event celebrate its half-century landmark, especially as the National Park celebrates its own notable 70-year milestone this year.

“We hope this support will help raise much needed funds for a range of local causes, recognise the efforts of the brave participants and link to the Authority’s wider winter of well-being support programme, helping communities across the Park to stay well this winter.”

Chairman of the Tenby Sea Swimming Association, Chris Osborne added: “The swim’s stunning location on Tenby’s North Beach calls for continuing collaboration between community events organisers, like Tenby Sea Swimming Association, and environmental custodians such as the Park Authority.

“These joint anniversaries, and this generous sponsorship for which we are very grateful, are a choice way of celebrating this partnership.”

The 2022 Tenby Boxing Day Swim is raising money for the Tenby Memory Café, the Dai Rees Foundation, Tenby RNLI and the Paul Sartori Foundation.

Swimmers are asked to register online and make a small donation to help cover the cost of organising the event, which will ensure more of the sponsorship money raised goes to the chosen good causes.

For further information, visit www.tenbyboxingdayswim.co.uk, or follow Tenby Boxing Day Swim on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Ends

Caption: National Park Authority Chair, Cllr Di Clements with Tenby Sea Swimming Association Chairman, Chris Osborne.

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