Two new primary superschools on Anglesey have been officially opened by the Education Secretary.
Kirsty Williams visited Ysgol Cybi in Holyhead and Ysgol Rhyd y Llan in Llanfaethlu – where over £15 million has been spent on creating the two schools, which welcomed their first pupils in September.
Both schools, funded by Anglesey Council and the Welsh Government, replace six smaller primaries which closed in July.
Mrs Williams said on Thursday: ”Our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s. These two fantastic new schools will offer the highest standard of facilities for pupils and teachers in modern 21stcentury learning environments. Ysgol Cybi and Ysgol Rhyd y Llan are real assets to their communities and Anglesey as a whole.”
As part of her visit to the island, the Education Secretary also visited Holyhead High School to talk to pupils, staff and RAF crew from Valley about the Jon Egging Trust, a youth charity set up in memory of a Flight Lieutenant killed at the Bournemouth Air Show in 2011.
The larger of the two schools, Ysgol Cybi, takes in 540 pupils and 76 nursery places – it replaces three Holyhead sites at Ysgol Llaingoch, Ysgol y Parc and Ysgol y Parchedig Thomas Elis.
It’s built on the site of the Old Cybi School opposite Holyhead High School and includes a new two-storey extension and the refurbished Grade II-listed Edwardian building.
Cybi headteacher Tristian Roberts said: ”The children have settled well into their new environment. The classrooms are light, spacious and full of new technology, whilst the playgrounds offer plenty of different experiences for recreational times. We have a wonderful new building fit for the 21st century, and we aim to provide education of the highest quality within a caring Christian ethos.”
Ysgol Rhyd-y-Llan takes in 150 pupils who attended Ysgol Llanfachraeth, Ysgol Ffrwd Win in Llanfaethlu and Ysgol Cylch y Garn in Llanrhuddlad until the end of last term.
It’s the first primary school of its kind in the UK to use a straw bale panel system for the outer walls of the building, creating a carbon negative facility and excellent air quality in its seven classrooms.
Rhyd-y-Llan headteacher Nia Thomas said: ”The pupils and staff have settled into their new home very well. The building and resources are of the highest standard. We look forward to providing education of the highest standard in a family atmosphere and creating many happy memories here.”
The two projects were jointly funded as part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools scheme, aimed at modernising education systems and facilities.
Councillor Meirion Jones, the member for Education at Anglesey Council, said: ”Working in partnership with the Welsh Government, we have invested nearly £15m in delivering these two new schools. It is an investment in the future of our children – providing them with the best possible education and ensuring that they are taught in schools which meet 21st century standards and expectations.”
”These schools are fit for purpose, in the right place, and meet the needs of pupils and staff. The County Council is proud of its new schools and they will quickly develop into an important resource in both communities.”