Amanda Preston, Headteacher of Christ the Word Catholic School in Rhyl

Amanda Preston has been confirmed as the new Headteacher of Christ the Word 3-16 Catholic School in Rhyl.

The school, which will be part of the Diocese of Wrexham, will open its doors in September in a brand new building and the appointment is a significant step forward.

The school, which will cater for 420 full time pupils aged 3-11 and 500 pupils aged 11-16, is funded in partnership by Denbighshire County Council and the Welsh Government through its 21st Century Schools Programme.

Christ the Word Catholic School will replace Ysgol Mair and Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School. The building programme is progressing well and remains on target.

Mrs Preston, who is currently deputy headteacher of Elfed High School in Buckley, said: “I am hugely excited and immensely privileged to have been appointed as the first Headteacher of Christ the Word Catholic School.

“I have been teaching for over 20 years in a range of schools. During my teaching career I have held several senior leaderships posts, including acting headteacher, deputy headteacher, assistant headteacher and Head of Mathematics.

“I graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Engineering and relish teaching Mathematics to all abilities.

“I have held responsibility for a number of key aspects of school leadership including standards and progress in Skills, Curriculum and Wellbeing.

“My immediate priority will be to ensure that both children and staff are settled and happy in our new school.

“I am passionate about learning and believe that, as well as ensuring outstanding educational provision across the board, a truly outstanding community school needs to nurture confidence and resilience in young people so that they are able to meet life’s challenges with enthusiasm.

“I believe that children need a secure foundation from which to grow and flourish, in all areas, and I am so looking forward to leading Christ the Word Catholic family. Supporting and developing every single young person’s faith, abilities and aptitudes and hence preparing our children to live and lead in a changing world.”

Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts, lead member for Education, Children and Young People, said: “I’d like to congratulate Mrs Preston on behalf of the Council and wish her well in her new role.

“Mrs Preston will provide vital leadership and help contribute to the success of Christ the Word Catholic School, which will offer first class facilities for pupils and provide a great learning environment for them to thrive. Supporting  young people to reach their potential is a priority for the Council and providing modern school facilities that further enhance pupils’ learning helps us achieve that.”

Gill Greenland, Chair of the Temporary Governing Body, said: “This is really positive and exciting news for the new school. We look forward to welcoming Amanda to our community as a new chapter in Catholic education begins in Rhyl.

So far £90 million has been invested in Denbighshire’s schools with more than 3,500 pupils benefiting from improved facilities under the first phase of the the Denbighshire County Council and Welsh Government funded 21st Century Schools programme. The first phase of the programme has seen a new £24million replacement school of 1200 places for Rhyl High School and Ysgol Tir Morfa, a £16.5m extension and refurbishment for Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph and a new £10.5 million joint site for Rhos Street School and Ysgol Pen Barras in Ruthin. Other work includes a £3.5m seven-classroom extension and refurbishment with new reception area and hall at Bodnant Community School, Prestatyn as well as a £1.4m three-classroom extension and refurbishment at Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy, Cynwyd. Work has now started on the last projects of the first phase, a £5m new school building for Ysgol Carreg Emlyn, Clocaenog, a £5.3m new school building for Ysgol Llanfair.

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