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Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School


Brackla, South Wales

View our Spring Newsletter Here


Salus in Fide

At Archbishop McGrath the education of our young people is an important building block of the society in which we live and an indication of the vision for that society to which we aspire. Our Catholic school is central to the Church’s mission.

Unless a school has Christ at the very heart of all that it is and does, it cannot be a Catholic school. The ethos of our school is not something extrinsic to the various aspects of a school life. Rather, the catholic ethos – and its concrete expression in liturgical prayer, assemblies and teaching of religious education is fundamental to our school, giving true and lasting value.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Key Stage 3

Discover what students experience during the first 3 years at Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School.

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Key Stage 3 Information

At Archbishop we provide a broad and balanced curriculum that caters for every child. In Key Stage 3 students study the National Curriculum. This includes English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Welsh, Geography, History, ICT, French, Design Technology, Art, Music and PE. Students are taught and develop skills throughout the curriculum in order for them to become life-long learners. See our prospectus for further information.

Download School Prospectus

Literacy and Numeracy Framework

The National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) has been developed to achieve the aim that the children of Wales are able to develop excellent literacy and numeracy skills during their time at school.

All Students in Key Stage 3 are required by the Welsh Government to undertake a number of Literacy and Numeracy tests each year. Students currently sit 1 literacy reading paper and 2 numeracy paper, 1 numerical reasoning and 1 procedural numeracy. These tests are to enable the school to accurately track literacy and numeracy leading up to GCSE examination during KS4.

National Literacy and Numeracy tests take place in may and once the results have been compiled each students results will be sent to parents directly. The results will show the students score in comparison to similar schools in Wales.

Headteacher's Message

Throughout the life of the school, we seek to nurture and celebrate the success of every member of the school community. Both in the structure of the curriculum and in the planning of learning activities, the school strives to respond to the learning needs of each and every person in the school.

On September 1st 1965, Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School opened its doors to the first cohort of students and staff. On that day, there were with 12 members of staff and 206 pupils. On September 1st 2015, the school celebrates its golden jubilee of 50 years of service to the Catholic Church and the people of Bridgend, now with over 800 pupils and 80 members of staff. We are very proud of all we have and we are looking forward to continuing to serve the County, and Catholic and Anglican Deaneries of Bridgend, for many decades to come.

Diolch yn fawr i chi.

Mrs Angela Keller

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 covers years 10 and 11 where students prepare and undertake their GCSE examinations.

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Key Stage 4 Information

In Key Stage 4 our curriculum includes a large range of academic subjects as well as vocational courses to suit every student’s aspirations and needs. All students study English, Mathematics, Science and Religious Studies, Welsh as a second language as well as a number of optional courses. You can learn more about all compulsary subjects and optional subjects on the curriculum section.

Subject Options

When students finish year 9 and move into Key Stage 4 they are required to take a number of compulsory Core subjects but will also undertake 3 option subjects of their choosing. For the first time in their school careers Students can choose some of the subjects they will study over the coming 2 years. Students can make 3 option choices which are Listed in the KS4 options prospectus. It is really important for students to think hard about their choices and get as much advice as possible. Students should Involve their parents or carers in this decision and ask their teachers for help.

Download KS4 Options Prospectus

Key Stage 5

Experience Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School's first class sixth form. Sixth form students are in their last 2 years of Secondary Education. Most Sixth Form students take 3 or 4 A-levels to study in these final 2 years.

Please contact Mr McAleer, Head of Sixth Form to Apply

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Key Stage 5 Information

Here at Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School We have a vibrant and highly successful Sixth Form in which pupils predominately follow the study of A Levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate. Students select three or four options from a wide range of subjects. Many of our pupils go on to achieve excellent grades and places at Russell Group Universities. We guide and support all of our young people as they pursue Higher Education. When students enter into the Sixth Form, students will be expected to take the for their own work. The Sixth Form is about hard work,responsibility and achieving the qualifications that will allow student to have a bright future.

Subject Options

With two learning pathways there are opportunities for all students to return to the Sixth Form regardless of their GCSE results.

Learning Pathway 1 :- Students that achieve at least five C grades at GCSE can undertake Pathway 1. It is recommended that students who have achieved the grades should take at least 3 ‘AS’ levels, as this is the usual requirement for higher education. In addition all students must attend Welsh Baccalaureate lessons each week. In Year 13 most sixth form students will continue their AS subjects to gain a full A-Level. Most students study 3 A-Level subjects.

Learning Pathway 2 :- Students who have not passed five GCSEs at grade C or above have the opportunity to follow an alternative programme of study, subject to viability. This comprises of the Welsh Baccalaureate and Key Skills, A qualification in Science, Mathematics and English and A Level 2 vocational subject.

Download KS5 Options Prospectus


UCAS (Universities and College Admissions Service) is the central application service for full-time undergraduate courses in the UK. All students who intend to progress to Higher Education must apply through UCAS, except those who are looking for a place in a music conservatoire, in which case the application is submitted through CUKAS.

Students wishing to apply for Oxford or Cambridge as well as students applying to study Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Sciences, Music conservatoires must apply by the previous October.

In the summer term of Year 12, students will start their UCAS application for higher education. They are expected to write a personal statement over the summer break and complete their application by October of Year 13. There is a great deal of support and advice for students throughout the process and information for parents is also provided during this time. The school has a designated UCAS officer to help students through the process.

School Information

Admissions - Examinations - Term Dates - Parents Evenings - Careers - Uniform

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Application forms and, where appropriate, supporting documentation, must be returned to the School no later than 22nd November 2014. For children attending one of the our feeder Catholic primary schools, the form can be handed into the school. For other applications, the form should be sent directly to the Admissions Panel at Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School.

Applications received by this date will be considered together and places allocated. Letters confirming the outcome of your application will be sent on 27th January 2017.

Download Year 7 Admissions Form Download Transfer Admissions Form


In Key Stage 4 students will sit their GCSE examination in both Year 10 & 11 and in Key Stage 5 Year 12 & 13 students sit their AS & A-Level examination. External exams may take place in November, January, March and May/June.

The Examinations Officer, Mrs Machin will circulate timetables for external exams once these are confirmed. Timetables will normally be distributed through Learning Coach sessions. If students have any concerns in regards to their examinations or their timetables please see Mrs Machin.

If students have any special requirements for sitting examinations please inform Mrs Machin as soon as possible before the examination.

When students enter the examination hall they must sit where their name card and candidate number are placed. Students must not talk within the exams hall and if there is a problem students should raise their hand and wait for an invigilator.

Term Dates 2018 - 2019

Autumn Term: 3rd September 2018 - 22nd December 2018

Autumn Half-Term: 29th October 2018 - 2nd November 2018

Spring Term: 7th January 2019 - 12th April 2019

Spring Half-Term: 25th February 2019 - 1st March 2019

Summer Term: 29th April 2019 - 22nd July 2019

Summer Half-Term: 27th May 2019 - 31st May 2019

Inset Days

3rd & 4th September 2018

22nd February 2019

22nd July 2019

Parents Evenings

During every academic year the parents/guardians of each students are invited to school to discuss their child’s progress at a parents’ evening.

Year 7 : 13th March 2019

Year 8 : 27nd March 2019

Year 10 : 9th January 2019

Year 11 : 6th February 2019

Year 12/13 : 5th December 2018

Year 7 Welcome : 19th Sebtember 2018

Year 6 Open Evening: 17th October 2018

Year 9 Options Evening: 14th November 2018

Year 11 Options Evening: 20th February 2018


Careers guidance is provided to students by way of group talks and individual interviews with the Careers Wales Adviser on request. The Careers Adviser conducts individual interviews with all students in Years 11. Pupils in Year 10 may receive individual guidance from the Careers Adviser as the need arises, either by way of referral or at pupils’ requests.

The PSE programme for Year 11 contains careers and work-related sections, which aim to provide students with job-finding skills such as interview techniques, form filling and CVs together with information on the local labour market, higher education and skills training. Group talks are conducted by the Careers Adviser in Years 10 and 11 on a variety of issues ranging from subject choice available at 16+ to alternative paths after KS4. Sixth Form students are encouraged to have discussions with the careers advisor and to plan for higher education or alternative routes after secondary education.

Parents may also see the Careers Adviser should the need arise and there is careers help available at all parents’ meetings from Year 9 onwards.


School uniform at Archbishop McGrath comprises of a green blazer for Years 7 - 11, black blazer for Years 12 and 13, white shirt or blouse, black trousers or skirt, plain black V neck jumper, school tie and black shoes.

Outer coats must be dark and plain and are not permitted within the school building.

Jewellery: for safety reasons, your child may only wear one pair of stud earrings, one in each ear,and a small crucifix and chain, worn under the shirt.

School uniform and PE Clothing is available from Euroschools and Uniform to go in Bridgend.

*Please note that fashion trousers are not considered as acceptable uniform and trousers must not be tight around the ankle.

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Phone Us! : 01656 815500

Email Us! :

Oak Tree Way, Brackla, Bridgend, CF31 2DN