Mountain Ash Comprehensive School

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Coordinates: 51°41′19″N 3°23′22″W / 51.68861°N 3.38944°W / 51.68861; -3.38944

Ysgol Gyfun Aberpennar
Mountain Ash Comprehensive School
Motto Deuparth Bonedd yw Dysg
Type Comprehensive School
Prifathro/Head Master Mr. Huw Lloyd
Location Dyffryn Site, New Road
Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf
CF45 4DG
Local authority Rhondda Cynon Taf
Students Aprox 1,100
Gender Male and Female
Ages 11–18
Colours Green and Black
Website MACS Home Page

Mountain Ash Comprehensive School (Welsh: Ysgol Gyfun Aberpennar) is a comprehensive school near Cwmpennar near the town of Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. The school was formerly known as Mountain Ash Grammar School (Welsh: Ysgol Ramadeg Aberpennar) and is located near the former coal mine "Dyffryn Colliery".

School Banding[edit]

The Welsh Assembly Government placed all secondary schools in Wales into one of five bands according to a number of factors, such as performance across the three core subjects, attendance levels and the number of pupils on free school meals, with one being the best and five being the worst. Mountain Ash Comprehensive School was ranked at Band 2, this places Mountain Ash as one of the 5 best schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf and among the top 35% of schools in Wales.


Mountain Ash Comprehensive School is a mixed sex school with approximately 950 pupils and around 150 sixth form students.[1]

The school's catchment area includes:

And few pupils from as far as:

Schools Education[edit]

A high proportion of the pupils move on to Sixth Form, college or other training organisations.

Mountain Ash Comprehensive School is now one of the best/top performing schools in Wales which around 78% of the pupils in the school achieve a pass rate result of 5 A* - C grades in GCSE/BTEC.

Here is a list of all the main feeder primary schools which year 6 pupils then go on into year 7 at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School:

English Name Welsh Name
Caegarw Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Caegarw
Glenboi Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Glen-boi
Darranlas Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Darren-las
Miskin Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Meisgyn
Newtown Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Y Drenewydd
Pengeulan Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Pengeulan
Penrhiwceiber Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Penrhiwceibr
Perthcelyn Community Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Gymuned Perthcelyn
Abertaf Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Aber-taf
Carnetown Primary School Ysgol Gynradd Carnetown
Ynys-boeth Junior School Ysgol Lau Ynys-boeth


Mountain Ash Comprehensive School offers a range of subjects. Subjects that are taught at the school include: English, Cymraeg (Welsh), Science, Maths, Art, Music, Personal and Social Education (PSE), Physical Education (PE), Information Communications Technology (ICT), Religious Studies (RS), Geography, History, French, Drama, Business Studies, Public Services, Design Technology (which includes: Wood work, Home Economics, Engineering, Textiles), Hospitality, Child care, Vocational Studies.
Not all these subjects are taught to Years 7 to 9. Pupils going into year 10 will have the choice of choosing 5 subjects of their choice to study for GCSE/NVQ/BTEC alongside the compulsory subjects.

The Schools History[edit]

Mountain Ash Comprehensive School was formerly known as Mountain Ash Grammar School (Welsh: Ysgol Ramadeg Aberpennar) for students aged 11–18. The comprehensive school is situated on the site of the former estate of Lord Aberdare, the main house, Dyffryn House, was still used by the school until its demolition in the 1980s. Dyffryn House was first built and bought in 1747 by Henry Austin Bruce the First Lord Aberdare, where it was then bought by the Glamorgan Education Authority and became the County Grammar School, later part of Mountain Ash Upper Comprehensive School. The house was used for lessons up until 1983, when it was found to be unsafe and eventually demolished. A turtle shell which was found in Lord Aberdare's home can be found on the wall in Mrs Richards's science room.

Schools Report[edit]

According to the most recent School Inspection Report by the Government Inspectors at Estyn, the school "has a strong community focus and sense of purpose. Pupils receive very good support in a usually safe and caring environment".

School motto[edit]

The schools motto is Deuparth Bonedd yw Dysg which in English means "The Root of Nobility Lies in Education"


The school is a community school and takes the role in this respect very seriously. The school's aim is to be a place of learning and enjoyment not only for the students but for the wider community as well. Mountain Ash Comprehensive School is open for business from 8.00 in the morning through to 9.30 at night. Many national and local groups and organisations use Mountain Ash Comprehensive School's outstanding facilities. The University of Glamorgan base their Welsh for Adults provision at the school, and many local sporting clubs use the school's gym and barn facilities. The school run tea dances for the elderly and organise many courses from the school during the holiday periods.

The school houses a community room which is home to E3, 5×60, On Track, and other specialist community workers. They pride themselves on these links, and is the instrumental in developing the Mountain Ash Partnership which ensures that all local organisations working with the young people in this area are all working together constructively.

Cynon Valley Consortium[edit]

The school is a member of the Cynon Valley Consortium which allows students to continue their studies and share resources.

The Cynon Valley Consortium is a consortium of sixth form students consisting of students from four member schools, Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Aberdare Girls' School, Aberdare High School and Blaengwawr Comprehensive School. St. John the Baptist School (Aberdare) is also an associate member.

The consortium is made up of approximately 620 students in the sixth form, the majority of whom travel between the member schools for their tuition. This may be delivered at their home school, perhaps shared with another member school or solely at another member school.

The students are transported around the Cynon Valley up to twice a day for two hour sessions. They get a minimum of eight hours of tuition in a two week timetable per subject. This is achieved by all member schools having a common sixth form timetable. All the schools use a common registration and assessment management information system which keeps all the data and information on all its students secure, yet available for staff.

The students have access to a full sixth form curriculum to include a total of approximately 44 subjects made up of traditional ‘AS’ Level, ‘A2’ level and GCSE’s, also Vocational, BTEC, OCR courses and Keyskills. The consortium also uses Coleg Morgannwg and Merthyr Tydfil College to deliver vocational courses that are traditionally taught at these institutions.


In March 2013, Daniel Lewis, a former mathematics teacher at the school, was jailed for 6 years after sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl.[2]

Notable former pupils[edit]


External links[edit]