Cynffig is a mixed comprehensive school serving the communities of Kenfig Hill, Pyle, Cornelly, and Cefn Cribwr. It has 694 pupils on roll, including 120 in the Sixth Form. There are 48 teaching staff and a growing number of non-teaching staff who support the teaching and learning. Born out of a traditional coal mining community, Cynffig celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2003-4 and finished the year on a high note by achieving the Basic Skills Quality Mark – a nice welcome for the new Head teacher, Mr Islwyn Morgan who started at Cynffig in September 2004!
Kenfig Hill and district (Pyle, Cornelly, Cefn Cribwr) is an area of about 15,000 inhabitants situated between Bridgend and Swansea. Its existence and development are related to its location at the southernmost outcrop of the South Wales coalfield. With the opening of the Margam Steel Works in 1951, North Cornelly grew rapidly as a residential area. The subsequent decline of employment gave rise to dormitory townships in the 70’s. Cynffig is in now in a Communities First area of strategic intervention due to the high levels of deprivation - 24% free school meals, for instance.
However, Cynffig pupils have been making remarkable progress in academic achievement over the last few years. Indeed, Cynffig won the Curriculum and Assessment Council for Wales (ACCAC) award for the most improved school in Wales in 1999 and was runner-up for the same national award in 2000.
The Basic Skills Co-ordinator
Sue Roberts, a History teacher, has taught at Cynffig since 1991. She is currently studying for an MA in Education at Swansea University, and has managed to relate her studies directly to the work being developed in Cynffig. In September 2002, Cynffig took the relatively unusual step of appointing a History teacher as Literacy Co-ordinator, a role that very quickly developed into Literacy/Basic Skills Coordinator.
The Basic Skills Team
Literacy Team which is comprised of a large and determined band of volunteers who meet regularly has been fundamental to the development of Literacy, and more recently, Numeracy across the curriculum. An extensive staff development programme provided, and encouraged, by the Local Education Authority has further enhanced the teaching of Literacy at Cynffig.