A PONTYPOOL school has been praised as an “inclusive, happy and caring community” in its most recent inspection.

Welsh-medium Yysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Trevethin was rated ‘good’ overall in a report released last week.

Estyn inspectors visited the school in Folly Road, which serves 989 pupils aged 11 to 18 years old, in March this year and judged the school’s current performance and its prospects for improvement as good.

The school serves a large area, with around 15 per cent of pupils from Welsh speaking homes but all pupils fluent by the time they arrive due to teaching in primary school, the report said.

Inspectors found the school’s performance was consistently higher than in similar schools, that pupils make good progress in most lessons, that “the outstanding inclusive and supportive Welsh ethos permeates all aspects of school”, nearly all pupils show good behaviour and a positive attitude to the Welsh language and that the school is “an inclusive, happy and caring community that promotes pupils’ health and wellbeing very successfully”.

They found the senior leadership team worked well to set a clear direction for the school, that a recent restructure and expansion of the senior management team had led to an improvement, that the school had effective systems for staff training and the governing body was effective as a “critical friend”.

Headteacher Ellis Griffiths said in a statement: “I would like to convey my sincere thanks to the staff, students, governors and parents for all their support in preparation for the inspection. The report, in my opinion, is a true and fair reflection of the school’s position at present, with relevant focus on the work needed to ensure the school’s future success.

“School ethos has achieved a judgement of ‘Excellence’ and we have been deemed as ‘sector-leading’ in this aspect of the report. This is much appreciated and a reflection of the tireless dedication of everyone involved with the school.”

Inspectors recommended the school build on strengthening self-evaluation systems and ensure all leaders have enough time to undertake their role fully.