STANDARDS and teaching at Newcastle Emlyn School have been rated ‘good’ following an Estyn inspection but others areas have been rated as adequate with a need for improvement.

The 500-pupil school is categorised as ‘English-medium with significant Welsh’ and the report calls for improvement in the standards of Welsh and also an improvement in the behaviour of a small minority of pupils who cause disruption, especially in key stage 4.

The report says: “Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn has an inclusive and welcoming ethos. During the last three years, leaders have increased their focus on the quality of teaching, tracking of pupils’ performance and the standards they achieve in lessons.

“This has led to improved outcomes in key stage 4 and to consistently high levels of literacy skills. However, leaders do not ensure that pupils previously educated through the medium of Welsh make enough progress in their command of the Welsh language.

“In general, the quality of teaching across the school is high. Many pupils display positive attitudes to their learning. These pupils enjoy coming to school, they work well with one another and make strong progress in their skills and subject knowledge.

“However, in a few cases, pupils do not display positive attitudes to their teachers or their peers. They behave poorly and this disrupts their own learning and that of others.”

The inspection, carried out in December, also raised concerns over the school’s budget deficit.

The school’s sixth form results and achievements were above average and their leadership role within the school was also singled out for praise.

The report’s recommendations were:

  • Improve standards in Welsh and increase the use that pupils make of the language
  • Improve pupils’ attendance, behaviour and their attitudes to learning, especially in key stage 4
  • Plan for the progressive development of pupils’ information and communication technology (ICT) skills across the curriculum
  • Strengthen self-evaluation and improvement planning around pupils’ attendance, behaviour and use of Welsh
  • Address the budget deficit

Chair of governors Maureen Webley said: “I am very pleased that the Estyn inspection team observed and acknowledged the consistently good academic achievement of Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn which continues to place it as one of the top performing schools in Carmarthenshire.

“The governing body confidently supports the senior leadership team in the continuing maintenance of these standards and in addressing any recommendations that the report outlines.”