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
Dyffryn Site, New Road

CF45 4DG

TypeComprehensive School
MottoDeuparth Bonedd yw Dysg
(The Root of Nobility Lies in Education)
Local authorityRhondda Cynon Taf
Headteacher / PrifathroSamantha Evans[1]
GenderMale and Female
Age11 to 18
Enrolmentapprox 1,100
HousesCynon (green) Golwg (blue) Taf (yellow) Pennar (red)
Colour(s)Green and Black

Mountain Ash Comprehensive School (Welsh: Ysgol Gyfun Aberpennar), known as MACS, 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 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 1, this places Mountain Ash as the best school in Rhondda Cynon Taf and among the top 10% of schools in Wales.


Mountain Ash Comprehensive School is a mixed sex school with approximately 1,100 pupils, including about 150 in the sixth form.[2]

The school's catchment area includes:

A few pupils come from further away, including from Aberaman, Abercwmboi and Cwmbach.


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.

The following is a list of the main feeder primary schools:

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 Community School Ysgol Gymuned 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, 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, Vocational Studies.


The school was founded as Mountain Ash County School in 1907,[3] which was later known as Mountain Ash Grammar School (Welsh: Ysgol Ramadeg Aberpennar). From 1926 until 1983 the school was based in Dyffryn House, the former home of Henry Bruce, 1st Baron Aberdare (1815–1895). The house was found to be unsafe and was demolished; the current school is on the same site.[4]

Selective education was abolished in the area in 1966, when the school became Mountain Ash Comprehensive School.[3]

School mottos[edit]

The motto on the school's crest is Deuparth Bonedd yw Dysg,[5] which is Welsh for "The Root of Nobility Lies in Education". The school also uses "Every Child Will Succeed" (Welsh: Bydd Pob Plentyn Yn Llwyddo).[6]


The school is a community school and takes that role 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 runs 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. The school also takes part in the First Give project, to help year 9 pupils think of those less fortunate than themselves and to raise funds for pupils chosen charities. They hold an annual First Give Final where the top 8 groups compete to win 1000 pounds for charity. The winning students also get guaranteed tickets for WE Day in London. All students involved in the final also get a slim chance of winning tickets for the event. The school started the First Give project in 2017 and hold the final at the end of June.

Cynon Valley 16+ Consortium[edit]

The school is a member of the Cynon Valley 16+ Consortium which combines the sixth-form teaching resources of several local schools.[7] These schools have approximately 620 sixth-form students, most of whom travel between the schools for tuition. The schools have a common sixth form timetable and a common registration and assessment management information system.

The students have access to a full sixth form curriculum to include a total of approximately 44 subjects which include traditional AS Level, A2 level and GCSE courses, and vocational BTEC, OCR and Key Skills courses. Some of the vocational courses are taught at Coleg y Cymoedd's Aberdare campus and at Merthyr Tydfil College.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome To Mountain Ash Comprehensive School". Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  2. ^[permanent dead link] English]
  3. ^ a b "A Chronology of History of the Cynon Valley to c. 2013". Cynon Valley History Society. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Dyffryn; Dyffryn House, Mountain Ash". Coflein. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  5. ^ "MACS". Twitter. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Prospectus" (PDF). Mountain Ash Comprehensive School. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Blaengwawr Comprehensive School Information Booklet" (PDF). Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  8. ^ Cole, Rob. "Les Manfield (Obituary)". The Independent. London. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Evans, Geoffrey (1935 - 2010)". Plarr's Lives of the Fellows Online. Royal College of Surgeons. Retrieved 3 March 2017.

External links[edit]