11 January 2024

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students/Annwyl Rhieni, Gwarchodwyr a Myfyrwyr

Despite a rather chilly start to 2024 we welcome everyone back to our warm space, and we’ve stocked up on 1 tonne of grit to keep our grounds safe! Now we are back, we would like to start the year by launching an exciting new initiative for our students, past and present.

Calling all LHS graduates…

We’re pleased to announce that in 2024, we’re officially launching an Alumni network for Llanishen High School, and if you’re a past student, we want to hear from you.

Our people are our greatest asset. Many former students have kept in touch with us over the years and now we want to grow this #unique and defining feature of our school community.

We are incredibly proud of all the students who have passed through our doors over the years, and we understand that each of them will have different measures of what success looks like for them. This is still the case today, so we think it’s essential to connect past and present students to help future generations thrive in the areas they’re most passionate about.

Whether they’re telling their personal story, hosting advice-based sessions, workshop-style events, or anything else in between, we believe this will be a great way to showcase the range of opportunities available and provide inspiration. Because nothing says the possibilities are endless like meeting someone who has already been there and done that.

Plus, we fully appreciate the importance of community and believe that there’s real power in connection. So, we hope that introducing this network will help past alumni reconnect with each other, the school, and the local community, fostering a feeling of belonging.

We’ve already heard some fantastic stories from our alumni members, and we can’t wait to share more with you and officially launch this network from the start of January 2024.

If you want to stay up to date with our alumni network, want to be involved in upcoming activities or simply want to learn more, visit our alumni page on our school website.

The page is live on our website and you can access it here.

The alumni section of our school website is now a permanent fixture. You will see that we are showcasing alumni stories from some founding members! Please enjoying reading about Megan and Callum who have found success in very different ways!

On the alumni page there is the opportunity for any former students to join our database. You simply need to fill in your details and we’ll add you in.

As an inclusive school we want to hear about the diverse pathways that you have taken in life. We want to know about university life, careers, Network 75, apprenticeships, entrepreneurs, and everything in between!

We want to know who is still in Cardiff and Wales. And we want to know how far across the globe some of you have travelled. We want to find our farthest flung alumni!

As part of our alumni network, we’re aiming to:

●     Connect our current students with relevant mentors in the alumni network

●     See our alumni host workshops and advice-based sessions

●     Profile our past students on our website through a Q&A series

●     Host events and ‘trip down memory lane’ style visits

●     And much more…

Our alumni can be advisors, professionals, trailblazers and experts!

They can provide one-to-one mentoring and advice for our current Year 12 and 13.

They can provide authentic insights into career paths and work.

They provide access to relatable role models for current students.

They can raise aspirations and expectations for the future.

And they can create a community of volunteers ranging from governors to inspirational speakers.

Over recent weeks we have enjoyed the return of some awesome alumni.

Before Christmas, it was lovely to welcome back Callum, who is currently studying for a degree in English at Birmingham University. Callum even came in on his birthday to speak to our Year 13 English Literature class about how they might approach their studies and revision in the coming months. Having excelled himself in the subject at A Level, he offered some great advice and guidance. He even gave them his email address in case they had any further questions. It’s always fantastic to see our former students giving something back to our current students. 

It’s hello from Scott Owen (still smiling!! He was continuously smiling in school!)….

At the ripe old age of 21, Scott has a keen interest in record collecting, gig-going and all things music, new and old! In his own words….

“I’m currently in my second year studying a BSc in Accounting and Finance at the University of Bristol. I had initially applied for Maths at Bristol, and completed a term before I decided I was not suited to the course and began seeking a transfer to something more applied. I was fortunate to be welcomed by the Finance school and after six months working back in Cardiff, I began in the first year again in Bristol. I am now far more settled and engaged with the content.

While I had never been set on a single career, I imagined my Maths degree would have led me into a career working in finance, or maybe as an accountant, so when the opportunity came to receive more focused teaching, it made sense to switch courses. I was concerned that a career in music as a musician or a journalist would taint my love for it, so now it remains my passion and hobby, just as I like it.

My advice would be that you should be ambitious with applications and pick a city that you feel comfortable exploring and will give you opportunities to engage in the activities you want to. Bristol is a vibrant, bustling place with a flourishing, diverse music scene, in addition to its excellent Russell Group university and relative proximity. University is a formative time, so pick a place you want to grow up in. In Sixth Form, I had an idea of what I was good at, but it’s normal to be unsure about careers at this stage. Your primary focus should be nailing your A Levels because the Uni of your dreams will soon come knocking! Then it’s all about playing to your strengths. It may be that you are taking a course that will lead directly into a career, but be assured that courses such as English Literature, Biology and Economics offer a wide array of jobs upon graduation. Lastly, and most importantly, be curious! Have fun researching what Uni will suit you best. This is an exciting time in your life, and you shouldn’t forget that.”

And it’s hello from Alex Hill! In his own words….

“I’m currently in my 2nd year of a Level 3 course in Creative Media Production at Cardiff and Vale College. Studying there is a really informative and enjoyable experience for me, and I’m having a great time writing scripts for my different projects and learning how to use cameras and editing software to make films. I even made a short documentary independently and taught myself how to make a small video game. The latter has inspired me to study Game Design at university.

I’m incredibly thankful for the learning experience I received at LHS and the specialised help I was given in 6th form by my LSA. I was supported brilliantly by the Autism Base and went on to achieve high A-Level grades. I enjoyed every minute and still think about the school and the great times I had a lot.

My advice for those studying presently in the school, especially for students like me who have autism, is to embrace each minute and use the great help offered by support staff and teachers. Enjoy it as it goes so quickly.”

Alex came back to talk to our current media students just before Christmas! Another smiler!

Wise words from Scott, Alex, Megan and Callum, and more eloquent than I could have put.

Huge thanks to them for setting the bar so high! We will be bringing you more features in this blog and via the alumni section on the school website.

If you are reading this blog and think it may be of interest to any former students, please send it on and signpost them to the alumni section of our school website.

Thank you for reading/Diolch am ddarllen,

Mrs Sarah Parry, Headteacher

Headteachers Blog Archive can be found here.