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Archbishop of Wales celebrates 'remarkable' school

Posted on: July 1, 2015 10:18 AM
Headteacher Dr Sue Mitchell (second left) and senior staff with new team of school prefects
Photo Credit: Church in Wales
Related Categories: Abp Morgan, education, Wales, youth

[Church in Wales] The Archbishop of Wales will join pupils, staff and parents to celebrate a “remarkable” school’s 40th birthday this week.

Dr Barry Morgan will lead a service of thanksgiving at St John the Baptist Church in Wales High School, Aberdare, on Wednesday, July 1.

Guests will include more than 100 clergy, past and present staff and pupils. During the service, the school choir will sing an anthem composed by one of the pupils. “A Blessing” was written by Year 10 pupil David Anthony.

After the service, the Archbishop and the pupils will bury a time capsule in the school grounds. There will also be displays and photographs from the decades, including the medals of one particularly famous former pupil, Rhys Jones, the paralympic athlete.

A collection will be taken for the education of young people in Bangladesh, a country whose Anglican church is partnered with the Diocese of Llandaff.

The Archbishop paid tribute to the school, which is rated by the Welsh Government as among the best in Wales, saying, “I am delighted to join St John’s as it celebrates its 40th birthday. It’s a remarkable school which values and encourages all its pupils – teaching them not just how to pass exams – although it does that very well – but how to care for others, be compassionate and have faith. Over the years it has nurtured several generations of children in strong Christian values and become a key part of the community it serves.”

Headteacher, Dr Susan Mitchell said, “This celebration is the climax of a very successful year for our school. Estyn school inspectors graded the school as ‘Excellent’ and the Welsh Government has categorised the school as a ‘Green’ and ‘Category 1 school’. This shows the school has gone from strength to strength, which is a fitting tribute to the oldest Church in Wales secondary school. As only the third Headteacher of St John’s, it is a privilege for me, the staff and pupils to enjoy such a prestigious occasion.”

St John the Baptist School was opened in 1975, taking over from Mardy House Senior/Secondary Modern school which opened as a Church in Wales secondary school in 1930.