Newsletter July 2017

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Dyslexia and ESL

At the core of the St David’s College mission statement is realising each student’s full potential and freedom to flourish through the school’s uniquely innovative approach. That is why two visiting groups of teachers from the Botticelli school in Florence, Italy, spent several days in June learning of this private sector institution’s highly regarded provision for aiding those children with dyslexia and associated learning needs.
Conlan School created a programme in which these teachers could share knowledge, learn new approaches and adopt practical techniques to help them with their own dyslexic pupils. Involving also Wales Dyslexia and Bangor University, the centrepiece of the programme was St David’s where they were given talks by expert practitioners, observations and an opportunity to get to grips with their technology over 3 days. They were duly impressed and have taken much back with them to Italy.

(Botticelli group with Rev Tim Hall, Chaplain and Figure Head at the school)

Marisa Cosentino, their Group Leader, said that what struck her most upon visiting the picturesque school on the edge of Llandudno was their provision – 1 Teacher for every 5 students! Plus a more holistic approach which centres on well-being and achievement. ‘In Italy each teacher has about 25 students and no teacher specialises in dyslexia’ she said before adding that ‘there are no specialists because dyslexia is not a handicap’. In fact the group had to apply for EU Erasmus funding to come on these trips, not through the Italian education authorities. Mrs Cosentino continued adding that the College’s.approach is ‘multi-sensory with less emphasis on writing information down’. Coupled with a higher ratio of specialised teachers to students, their support puts their well-being at the centre, without which their potential cannot be reached. Angela Biondi, part of the second contingent, added that at St David’s they can support better by grouping students with special needs by type and level as opposed to age.
Italy, they all agreed, had some catching up to do: technology for instance. ‘We don’t have this kind of technology in Italy’ Melania Zona said, referring to DRAGON, software which transmits students’ speech into text, and a keyboard with colour-coded keys to make typing quicker and more accurate. The tools are in place to assist students who come to St David’s for this very kind of support. ‘And they had this book called Nessy, designed to explain to parents of dyslexic children what dyslexia is’ Marisa contributed before adding..’if only we had this awareness’.
Many thanks go to Rev Tim Hall and Andrew Russel, the Deputy Headmaster, for facilitating both Botticelli groups, and to Dan Lycett and Vanessa Evans for their workshops and lessons.

Left: The Botticelli 1 group getting to grips with the technology; Middle: Dan Lycett providing a Workshop; Right: Vanessa Evans in class

For more information on St David’s click on

Chester Castle will be revealed this summer

English Heritage is opening Chester Castle over the summer months as plans evolve to transform the ancient monument into a tourist attraction.
The castle has a rich history dating back to William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, but been closed to the general public for many years.
The main tower contains a chapel with exceptionally fine 13th century wall paintings that were only rediscovered in the 1980s.
The castle will be open to the public throughout the summer, beginning on 20th July.

Work Experience Programmes at Conlan School

This month we welcomed a number of Work Experience groups including Ottimofiore from Sondrio in Northern Italy who took part in a three week programme of study and work experience. The group consisted of seven Science students, four Mechanics and three I.C.T. students.
The mechanics were placed in a variety of garages ranging from Superbike manufacturers to M.O.T. test centres. The boys got to work closely with a range of motor vehicles and learned lots of target language through working closely with the mechanics.
The Science students worked on a fascinating project in the Science laboratory at Glyndwr University working with Professor Julie Crowley to help design new experiments for the level 4 lab module for next years’ science syllabus. As part of the project, they also spent a day with the University’s partners at the Airbus laboratory helping scientists test the new flight simulator.
The ICT students were put to work by Gary Jenkins of Elite PC. They used their knowledge and skills to work out ways to improve different types of computer systems by testing and retesting different components to get the best results. Gary was very impressed with their wide variety of results where together they learned a superior technique to improve P.C. simulations through the students’ experiments.
Well done to all of you and we look forward to welcoming you again next year!

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Meaning: Every bad situation has a positive aspect to it.
I’ve lost my job but now I can spend more time with my children. Every cloud has a silver lining.