Rhymney Comprehensive School Head Teacher Personal Statement

Lewis School, Pengam is a comprehensive school founded in 1729 in the parish and village of Gelligaer and, later, moved to the nearby village of Pengam, in the Rhymney Valley in South Wales. It was founded and funded by a legacy of Sir Edward Lewis of Gilfach Fargoed in the Parish of Gelligaer, a knight, landowner and captain of industry who died in 1728.


The school currently occupies a new facility, opened in 2002, in Gilfach at the northern perimeter of one of its former Pengam sites. Before 2002, the campus was in Pengam, across two sites, with a bridge spanning the main road between them. This bridge is still used to connect the new site to a collection of sports facilities located across the road. A third site, at the former Graddfa Secondary Modern School in Ystrad Mynach, provided for around 300 younger secondary pupils between 1973 and 2002. This third site was purchased in 2003 by Ystrad Mynach College, whose Ystrad Mynach campus lies adjacent to the Graddfa site. Until circa 1848, the school was wholly located in Gelligaer.


Lewis School was established as a school for poor boys of the parish of Gelligaer, as can be seen from this extract of Sir Edward Lewis' will,

"That they in the first place out of the profitts of the Wood and premisses Build a School near the Church of the value of fforty pounds And also every year after the Building of the said School that my said Trustees pay to a School Master yearly out of the rents and profitts of the said premisses the sume of ten pounds per annum and likewise that my said Trustees lay out ffifteen pounds yearly for Coats and Caps for ffifteen poor Boys of the said parish to be taught by the said Master to Read write and cast Accompt, And the rest of the profitts for the improving that Charity for the use of the said Master and Boys",

Lewis' School was originally a school for boys founded in a time when girls rarely received an education so no distinction of gender was needed in its title which was simply Lewis' School. So from modest beginnings the school was moved and enlarged, 1848, later to become a grammar school, though always maintaining the simple title, Lewis' School, eventually extending its catchment to other parishes, Bedwellty, Mynyddislwyn and St Ilans and more and more in the late 19th century to girls of those parishes.

The school is associated with Lewis' School for girls originally opened in Hengoed near Pengam in November 1900 but later moved to a new, larger facility in the town of Ystrad Mynach. Once again Lewis School Pengam became a boys' school, hence, since there were now separate Lewis schools for boys and girls, local people started to refer to the Pengam school as "Lewis' Boys" which was much frowned on by successive headmasters and staff.

Both schools became comprehensive schools under subsequent educational reform. Lewis School Pengam remains an all-male school until the end of year 11, as Lewis Girls' School remains an all-female school until the end of year 11. However, both schools share a mixed-gender 6th Form Consortium for years 12 and 13. Two other nearby schools, Heolddu Comprehensive School and Rhymney Comprehensive School are also included in this consortium.

Both institutions during their times as grammar schools were renowned for consistently excellent standards of education and the high attainments of many of their pupils.

In 1986 the school was criticised by STOPP for its use of corporal punishment (caning), after an inspectors' report stated that 60 out of 360 boys in the lower school had been caned in the course of one year.[1]


Notable former staff[edit]

Notable old Ludovicans[edit]

See also: Category:People educated at Lewis School, Pengam

  • Paul Atherton, television and film producer
  • Ray Bishop, footballer (Brighton, Cardiff and Newport County)
  • John Dawes, international rugby union player
  • Bradley Dredge, professional golfer, European Tour winner
  • Geoff Eales, jazz musician
  • Iorwerth Evans, rugby player
  • Jonathan Evans, politician
  • Jonathan Evans, rugby player
  • George Fisher, dramatist, director
  • Julian Hodge, financier
  • Peter Hubbard-Miles, politician
  • Berwyn Jones, athlete, rugby player
  • Humphrey Owen Jones, chemist and mountaineer
  • Morgan Jones, politician and conscientious objector[2]
  • Thomas Jones, civil servant, academic and founder of Coleg Harlech
  • Neil Kinnock, politician
  • Victor Erle Nash-Williams, Welsh archaeologist
  • John O'Shea, international rugby union player
  • Berwyn Price, athlete
  • Craig Roberts, Welsh actor
  • David Rocyn-Jones, medic, former president of the Welsh Rugby Union
  • Richard Vaughan, badminton player, 2000 and 2004 Olympian
  • Simon Weston, Falklands War veteran, charity worker
  • Phil Williams, politician, scientist
  • Zephaniah Williams, chartist campaigner; one of the leaders of the Newport revolt

External links[edit]


  • The History of Lewis School Pengam; Sir Arthur Wright B.Sc.; published by the author, 1929

Coordinates: 51°40′21″N3°13′28″W / 51.6725°N 3.2245°W / 51.6725; -3.2245

Coordinates: 51°39′40″N3°12′58″W / 51.661°N 3.216°W / 51.661; -3.216

Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni (English: Rhymney Valley Comprehensive School) is a Welsh-medium school situated in the village of Fleur-de-Lys in the Rhymney Valley. Cwm Rhymni was founded in 1981 with just over 100 pupils and has since grown to over 2000 pupils.

The school's motto is 'Tua'r Goleuni' (Towards the Light) and its badge is a dragonrampant. The school is traditionally represented by the colours red and black.

A new campus for Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni has recently opened in Caerphilly Area for years 7 and 8; Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni Safle'r Gwyndy, due to the demand of a new Welsh Medium school. The original school is now called Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni Safle Gellihaf so it is not confused with the other campus.


Cwm Rhymni was originally situated on two sites, a Lower school for years 7 and 8 and an Upper school for years 9 to 13, situated in Aberbargoed and Bargoed respectively. By the late 1990s these buildings were in very poor condition, and after a long struggle the school was finally granted permission to build a new state of the art one-site building in Fleur-de-lys, which opened in 2002. The new building was funded through PFI. The original Headmaster of Cwm Rhymni was Mr Huw Thomas, who was succeeded by Mr Hefin Mathias in 1995. Mr Mathias was in turn succeeded upon his retirement in 2008 by Mr Owain ap Dafydd.

Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni has a strong reputation in relation to sports, especially in rugby and athletics. The school has also fared very well down the years in the Urdd Eisteddfod.

Cwm Rhymni has a very large catchment area stretching from Rhymney near the top of the valley to Caerphilly. The breadth of the catchment area is reflected by the names of the three main corridors in the school; Ebwy, Sirhywi and Rhymni; three adjoining South Wales Valleys that all feed some pupils into Cwm Rhymni. Prior to the establishment of Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in 1988, Cwm Rhymni's catchment area also included the whole of the county of Gwent and pupils attended the school from as far afield as Newport and Chepstow.

The school's four houses are named after Welshsaints: Mabon (house colour: yellow), Cadog (green), Tudful (purple) and Sannan (blue). Tudful was a later addition to the original three houses as the school's numbers grew in the early 1990s. In 2009, a new house, Ilan, was also created in addition to the previous four houses because of the growing number of students.

Partneriaeth 6[edit]

Cwm Rhymni currently has a partnership with Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, Pontypool. With this partnership more courses are made available in both schools. This type of programme has been tried in many schools before but the main difference with partneriaeth 6 is that the teachers travel between the schools or teach via conference link. Currently the school is trying to expand this partnership to include Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also: Category:People educated at Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni

  • Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal and Wales Footballer
  • Aled Phillips, Singer of Kids In Glass Houses
  • Rhodri Lloyd, Welsh Rugby league International Player and Wigan Warriors
  • Sali Hughes, Journalist and Author
  • Natasha Harding, Bristol Academy and Wales footballer
  • Steffan Jones (rugby player), Newport Gwent Dragons Rugby Player
  • David Probert, British flat racing Champion Apprentice Jockey 2008 alongside his best friend, William Buick, Davids most notable win, was 2012 Investec Derby Trial, on Goldoni who was Gelded prior to the race, and did not qualify for The Derby, due to his Status as a Gelding.
  • Morgan Evans, Gloucestershire All Golds rugby league player


Picture of the school from outside the front entrance


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