Aberdare Community School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

School Guide Rating

Ynys Road
CF44 7RP
01685 888500
11 - 18
Secondary (ages 11-19)
4 1 1 2 3 4
Estyn grade
Full Report
% Pupils achieving 5+ GSCEs A*-C inc. English/Welsh and Maths
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School Description

Aberdare Community School is an English-medium 11-18 school maintained by Rhondda Cynon Taf local authority. There are currently 1,133 pupils on roll, including 154 in the sixth form. Aberdare Community School was opened in September 2014 as a result of the closure of Aberdare Girls' School, Aberdare High School, and Blaengwawr Comprehensive School. These schools were inspected in 2011 or earlier. Around 29% of the pupils are eligible for free school meals, which is above the national average of 17.0%. Over 39% of pupils live in the 20% most deprived areas in Wales. Most pupils speak English as their first language and come from a white, British background. The percentage of pupils with special educational needs is around 24%. This is higher than the Welsh average of 21.5%. The percentage of pupils who have a statement of special educational need is 2% which is the average for Wales. There are two support classes at the school, with 20 pupils attending at present. The classes are for learners with communication and autistic spectrum disorders. The current headteacher took up post in April 2017. The senior leadership team consists of the headteacher and one deputy headteacher, five assistant headteachers, a director of pupil progress and an associate senior leader. Further information is available from the Welsh Government My Local School website at the link below. http://mylocalschool.wales.gov.uk/Schools/SchoolSearch?lang=en 1 A report on Aberdare Community School March 2018 Summary Aberdare Community School sets out clearly the ambition for its pupils in the school motto ‘Strive, Believe, Achieve’. As pupils progress through the school, many gain confidence and develop valuable skills by taking part in a range of beneficial opportunities including engaging extra-curricular activities at the co-located leisure centre. Many pupils behave well in lessons, and a majority participate and engage suitably with classroom tasks. Despite these positive attributes, over the past three years attendance rates have declined and do not compare well with similar schools. Across the school, a majority of aspects of teaching enable pupils to make suitable progress. However, teaching generally lacks challenge and assessment practices are too variable and do not enable pupils to improve their work. Senior leaders share a well-understood vision for developing the school. They have a sound knowledge of the school's strengths and areas for development, although tend to be overly positive in their evaluations. In addition, there is too much variation in how effectively senior colleagues hold middle leaders to account. This has limited the school's ability to secure suitable improvement in important areas of its work. Pupil standards and progress do not compare suitably to similar schools. In addition, significant shortcomings in the rate of attendance and exclusions, and in the quality of teaching have not been addressed well enough. Inspection area Judgement Standards Adequate and needs improvement Wellbeing and attitudes to learning Unsatisfactory and needs urgent improvement Teaching and learning experiences Adequate and needs improvement Care, support and guidance Adequate and needs improvement Leadership and management Adequate and needs improvement 2 A report on Aberdare Community School March 2018 Recommendations R1 Improve attendance and behaviour R2 Improve the quality and consistency of teaching and assessment R3 Improve pupil standards and progress R4 Improve the rigour and effectiveness of self-evaluation and improvement planning What happens next In accordance with the Education Act 2005, HMCI is of the opinion that this school is in need of significant improvement. The school will draw up an action plan that shows how it is going to address the recommendations. Estyn will monitor the school’s progress about 12 months after the publication of this report.

Aberdare Community School Catchment Area Map

This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.

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heatmap example
All attending pupils
Pupil Level Annual School Census 2020
Pupil heat map key

How many pupils attending the school live in the area?


The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the Pupil Level Annual School Census collected by the Welsh Government. The data tells us where pupils lived at the time of the last Pupil Census (released annually in July).

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The areas from which pupils are admitted to a school can change from year to year to reflect the number of siblings and pupils admitted under high priority admissions criteria.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

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