‘Highly inclusive and supportive' Cardiff primary school praised by Estyn


Ysgol Mynydd Bychan, a Welsh medium primary school in Cardiff, has been praised in its latest Estyn report for a caring ethos and a close working relationship between pupils and staff.

The school, in New Zealand Road, Gabalfa, had 237 children on its roll at the time of inspection and has been viewed very positively by inspectors who praised its ‘highly inclusive and supportive community'.

Pupil's outcomes are good, said the report, where teaching and feedback on their work is challenging and consistent. Support to promote learning and well-being and their ability to use this support meaningfully is a strong feature of the school. As a result, their behaviour is excellent.

Most pupils were found to make good progress in their learning, listen attentively to adults and to each other, and most older pupils develop eloquent Welsh speaking skills and take pride in their use of the Welsh language.

Nearly all pupils are very polite and respectful, behave excellently and are very caring towards each other. Pupils' attendance is good and higher than the national average and they develop well as healthy and confident individuals and understand how to make appropriate choices in relation to diet and physical activity.

Three per cent of the pupils have additional learning needs (ALN) with provision for these found to be pupils is very robust with pupils who benefit from additional support making good progress in relation to their stage of development and their starting points.

A positive report, the school will now look to address recommendations from Estyn through its action plan. They include; Strengthening the opportunities for pupils to apply their numeracy skills more regularly across the curriculum and ensuring that the quality of feedback from teachers is consistent to target the next steps in pupils' learning effectively

Headteacher Sian Evans, who took up the role in 2007, said: "I'm very pleased that the Estyn report has recognised that the teaching skills are very robust and that the pupils are challenged to achieve to the best of their ability.

"Our pupils enjoy learning and are very enthusiastic during lessons. They are given very effective opportunities to contribute to decisions to improve their experiences such as the work of our school Senedd which has been recognised as innovative. The positive working relationship between staff, pupils and parents is a strength across the school.  I would like to thank all stakeholders for their valuable contribution to Ysgol Mynydd Bychan."

Chair of Governors at the school, Mrs Jenny Williams added: "I am delighted that the Estyn report recognises the highly inclusive and supportive school community where pupils enjoy learning and become confident and ambitious learners.

"The head and staff are to be congratulated for creating this learning environment and for the care shown to all learners.  The strong leadership within the school is fundamental to its success and progress. It is pleasing that the Governors role and contributions as a critical friend has been recognised."

Cllr Sarah Merry, the Cardiff Council Cabinet member for Education, added her congratulations to the school in the wake of the report. "It's clear that Ysgol Mynydd Bychan is a happy school where children are keen to learn," she said.

"Sian has done a great job in the 17 years that she has been at the school and I agree with the inspectors' comments that she leads very skilfully and inspires the staff to ensure that pupils' learning and well-being are regular priorities."

Estyn's approach to inspection in schools and Pupil Referral Units across Wales no longer include summative gradings (e.g. ‘Excellent', ‘Good' or ‘Adequate') and now focus on how well providers are helping a child to learn.

The approach aligns with the personalisation of the new curriculum for Wales with inspections involving more in-person discussions, placing less emphasis on achievement data.

Estyn believe that the inspection approach will make it easier for providers to gain meaningful insights that help them to improve without the spotlight on a judgement.

To view the full Estyn report, follow this link: *Inspection report Ysgol Mynydd Bychan 2023 (