Olchfa School is one of the leading schools in Wales. Consistently high results across all key stages combine with impressive levels of value-addedness across a range of indicators to produce an environment in which pupils can succeed to the very best levels of their ability within an aspirational and supportive culture.
In May 2011 the school received a truly outstanding report under the new, more rigorous framework that was introduced by Estyn. Under the new framework, Olchfa received 14 ‘excellent’ judgements out of a possible 15, with the remaining judgement being ‘good’. This equalled the best in Wales and was an outstanding achievement.
As one of the largest schools in the country, with 1860 pupils, including 460 students in the Sixth Form, we are able to provide breadth, balance and opportunity to all of our pupils within an inclusive culture. The option choices available to Year 10 pupils, including a dozen applied options, are by some margin the widest in the City and County of Swansea and comfortably exceed the requirements of the National Assembly’s Learning and Skills Measure. Similarly, the range and extent of courses available to Post 16 students is the widest in the area.
The school has a strong tradition of guidance and care and aims to fulfil its mission statement of developing the individual potential of all in a safe and caring environment. Learning Leaders attached to year groups oversee the academic progress and potential of the pupils. They are supported by Pastoral Guidance Workers and Key Stage Administrative Managers, who oversee the calendar of year group routines as well as monitoring the attendance and behaviour of pupils, interfacing directly with parents where necessary. The Learning Centre, created in 2012, provides additional support for those pupils in Key Stage 4 who might otherwise experience difficulty achieving the L2 and L2+ Threshold at 16.
The school has a wide range of facilities on the purpose-built site which includes extensive Science and Technology suites, a Drama and Theatre Arts Hall, a well-stocked Learning Resource Centre and comprehensive ICT provision. Sporting facilities are good, with an indoor swimming pool, cricket nets, two gymnasia, outdoor pitches, Redgra provision, Sports Hall and the new Calon Fitness Suite which opened in 2015.
The school operates a 50 period fortnight, with a five period day, one of which is in the afternoon session.
The size of the school and its staffing team ensure that there are good opportunities for personal development and promotion within the school over time. The school also has a good record of providing a platform for promotion outside itself.
There is an extremely wide range of extra-curricular activities at Olchfa with all main team games offered and regular success at County and International levels. There in an annual musical production involving large casts both front of house and on stage, giving pupils the opportunity to take part. A successful Carol Service is held annually. The Expressive Arts Learning Area holds a summer event showcasing students’ work in art and photography, together with music and theatre. The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is well established and popular at all levels with expeditions for Bronze, Silver and Gold being regular features of the school calendar. Many clubs and societies are available to pupils, both during and after school, and new staff are encouraged to contribute to this vital aspect of school life. The school celebrates achievements of the pupils in an Annual Presentation Evening at the Brangwyn Hall.
At the end of the summer term the timetable is suspended for a couple of days to enable an Activities event to take place in which Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities, some in this country, some in Europe and many based in school and the local area. All of these activities have a strong educational focus. A number of visits abroad take place each year including skiing trips, as well as trips abroad to USA, World Challenge Expeditions to Iceland, and a cultural trip to India to name but a few.
We are very proud of Olchfa School and its ethos of achievement, excellence and care; an ethos shared by staff and pupils alike.
Hugh Davies, Headteacher