NOW known as Pencoedtre High School, off Merthyr Dyfan Road, in Barry, the secondary school was first built in 1973 as Bryn Hafren Comprehensive for the girls of Barry.

It is typical of many schools built at the time and after many years of discussion and debate it became a coeducational school in 2018.

A pupil focus group helped staff and governors name and brand the school, Pencoedtre High School, after the name of the area and its historic position on the site of a former forest at the head of the town.

Head teacher Tyrone Davies, the former Bryn Hafren head teacher, has continued in his role of leading all teachers and staff on the site and continue with both academic and personal development.

Mr Davies said: “We want to afford all our pupils the chance to get an excellent education and to develop their full potential.

“We wish very much to become a community focused school at the heart of our community.

“We have a positive relationship with Whitmore High (previously Barry Comprehensive) as both new Barry schools begin and develop.

“We also work very closely with our feeder schools (Wenvoe, Palmerston, Cadoxton, Jenner Park, Oakfield and Colcot).

“Pupils from all these schools regularly visit us for transition events and mater classes and many of our staff teach master classes in the primary schools themselves.

“We have also recently begun a very healthy partnership with Barry Rugby Club who are assisting with developing our young rugby talent.”

The school has also assembled a very experienced governing body which has drawn from the local community.

All appointed have valuable skills that complement each other and help ensure the school is well governed and guided.

Pupils, as always, have vital roles to play in their education.

“We have a newly elected and very effective School Parliament,” Mr Davies said. “Pupils’ views are always welcomed and listed too.

“Senior members of the Parliament represent young people on Vale of Glamorgan and Welsh forums too.

“Besides this we have a pupil well-being committee making suggestions on how we could all better look after each other.

“In addition, we have an outstanding canteen that has been recognised as providing excellent food in a hygienic manner that is tasty, healthy and enjoyed by the school community.

“As a new school we do not yet have a Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

“However, we are aware that many of our feeder primaries have successful PTAs.

“We shall be attempting to establish one at Pencoedtre in the near future and would urge all parents and carers to get involved and play an active role in our school, the school for their children at the heart of their community.

In its infancy, Pencoedtre has enjoyed a few “firsts”.

“Of late as we have installed rugby posts,” Mr Davies said. “We have had boys’ football, rugby and basketball matches for the first time ever on our site.

“The atmosphere is purposeful and community focussed.

“Pupils and adults tend to get on with each other and this enables school days to be enjoyable and productive with pupils achieving a significant amount.

“Teachers enjoy working with the pupils of the area and there is never a dull day at Pencoedtre.

“Our school is fantastic because of the pupils and relations between adults and the young.

“We work together, support each other and are more than a sum of our parts.

“Our pastoral care for our pupils is very effective too as we offer all our pupils a home from home with support, encouragement and guidance.”

Mr Davies added: “We have just appointed contractors to enhance and develop our school.

“Millions of pounds are being spent to landscape grounds, build a new sports hall, and enhance all our classrooms and corridors.

“Pupils and the community will be heavily involved in the way the school is developed and enhanced.

“The schedule means that this new super school should be completed by the summer of 2021 and the work begins in the summer of 2019.


Fact File

School motto: Learning Together, Growing Together.

Chairwoman of governors: Carole Tyley

Head of School: Mr Tyrone Davies

Number of pupils: 850

Age of pupils: 11 to 18

Last inspection: new school – not applicable