THE new £30 million Croesyceiliog School in Cwmbran got top[ marks from pupils and teachers today as it was officially opened.

The school, which features a three-storey main building on the site of the old school, with an assembly hall, IT suite, dining area and drama studio, was opened by education minister Kirsty Williams AM.

Part-funded by the Welsh Government through its 21st Century Schools programme, it also features musical practice spaces, a recording studio.

There is also a sports block - including a sports hall, gym and dance studio - which will be available for the local community to use outside of school hours.


A floodlit all-weather pitch will be built on the site of remaining old school buildings, after they have been demolished in the summer.

A tour of the school was led by two of the school’s Kier Ambassadors, a group of pupils responsible for making sure pupils had a voice in the construction of the new building.

“We had regular meetings with (contractors) Kier Construction to discuss how the school was progressing and what we could do to make it better," said 14-year-old Rohan Wells, who is one of the ambassadors.

“We organised regular tours for different departments so they could see how it was progressing, and we set up a Twitter account to keep pupils up to date with any news and information about the build."

When asked what he thought of the finished building, he said: “It’s really good. It’s a positive learning environment and most people seem really happy with it.”

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Education minister Kirsty Williams watches pupils in an IT class during the official opening of Croesyceiliog School. Picture:

Vicky Harris, deputy headteacher at Croesyceiliog School, said: “We are delighted with the building and what it offers our wonderful pupils.

“We have been really grateful for the support from all of the community, the council and the Welsh Government, and are looking forward to the school going from strength to strength.”

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Croesyceiliog School. Picture:

“It doesn’t seem that long ago that we gathered here to start the build, and what we see here today is culmination of all the hard work that’s gone in to the project," said Torfaen County Borough Council leader Anthony Hunt.

“At £30m it’s the biggest investment we are expecting to make as part of the 21st Century Schools programme.

“I remember visiting schools in Torfaen in 2002. Those schools were a testament to the hard work of the teachers and pupils, but far too often I was embarrassed by the state of those schools."

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Nigel Pryce, lead practitioner for health and wellbeing, with education minister Kirsty Williams in the gym at the official opening of Croesyceiliog School. Picture:

Addressing the pupils, Cllr Hunt added: “I felt that we as a council were holding you back, but now I hope we are helping you progress.

“I hope this is a visual representation of how we are trying to give you the best possible start in life. I hope this school is just one part of us giving you that best possible start.

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The school choir performing at the official opening. Picture:

The council's executive member for education Cllr David Yeowell, said: “If you compare this with the old buildings, well, it just doesn’t compare at all.

“This building itself represents a 21st Century building and fits in with our commitment to the 21st Century project.”