School history

The two Lewis schools trace their history to the will of their founder, Edward Lewis, a wealthy aristocrat, who traced his ancestry to Gwaethod Fawr, Prince of Cardigan in the tenth century.

Despite his privileged upbringing, Edward Lewis was mindful of the poverty and deprivation in the lives of ordinary people, and so, in his will of 1715, he made provision for the education of "fifteen poor boys". It is believed that by 1853 the foundation catered for the education of girls, but at an elementary level only.

In 1882, the Gelligaer School Board decided that a secondary school for girls was a necessity, and eventually, the School Board offered a room, the West Room, at their infants’ school at Pontlottyn. It was opened on 2nd February 1883 with Miss Emma Edwards as headmistress. Forty girls attended; twenty-one having free places.

Very soon the school became overcrowded and in 1896 a new building was handed over and became the Gelligaer Intermediate School for Girls. Again, this soon proved to be inadequate and on 1st November 1900 the school moved to a new building in Hengoed and was known as Hengoed Intermediate School and later as Lewis Girls' School. In 1959 the school transferred to its present site in Ystrad Mynach and in 1973, comprehensive education was introduced.

In the 1970s a new building was constructed in order to improve the facilities. Further major building projects were completed in July 1993 and March 2007. These developments have enabled all our students to be accommodated on one site and provide up to date facilities for the teaching of Languages, Science, Information Technology and Business Studies.

We have developed our facilities to provide a 21st Century education for our students. ICT resources are good. We have fully equipped computer rooms and 2 additional open access computer rooms for dedicated Sixth Form use. We have a specialist nurture provision for vulnerable pupils in ‘Ty Croeso’, (Welcome House), set within the school grounds.

Other major facilities include specialist rooms for a variety of subject. The School Hall is equipped with sophisticated lighting and sound systems for drama productions. There is a large gymnasium and the school has exclusive use of the local sports centre during the school day. Extensive playing fields, an artificial turf all-weather pitch, tennis and netball courts ensure that pupils have access to excellent sporting facilities. Investment in the site has been a priority for the last three years and internally the fabric of the school is of a very high quality.

The main building is fully accessible with the school actively implementing its Equality Action Plan to be as increasingly accessible as the budget allows.


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