PUPILS at Rhyl’s new £23million faith school were eager to get settled in and explore their new surroundings during the first day of the new term.

Christ the Word Catholic School, which has replaced Ysgol Mair and Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School, have conducted a staggered opening.

In terms of the school's catchment area, the admissions policy makes reference to the places for Catholic children whose home address is within the parish boundaries named for the school - Rhyl, Prestatyn and Rhuddlan, St Asaph, Denbigh and Ruthin, Abergele and Towyn.

The Free Press paid a visit to the school on Monday, being led by headteacher Amanda Preston, and chatted to excited pupils and staff.

Joseph Steel, 11, has just started Year Seven.

“I am very excited and hope it is a successful year and I progress well,” he said.

“I like the corridor shapes and it is very well designed," he added.

"It is quite simple but complicated. It has got a nice balance.

“I really like the uniform. I like the blazer and how it contrasts with the slightly darker jumper and the school shorts.”

Dora Monoki, who is studying ICT, History and PE, is a Year 10 pupil. She started Christ the Word on Friday.

“It was very confusing at first because we didn’t know where all the classrooms were. As we settled in, it was really exciting.

“The [new building] is absolutely amazing. One, it is bigger, two - it is two schools merged into the one so we feel closer together and I think that is a great idea because it gets us closer together as a Catholic school."

Speaking about the uniform, Dora said: “I actually like it. It feels a lot smarter than the old one and it makes us stand out a bit more.”

Christ the Word will look after pupils from the age of three to 16.

The school ethos is based on the Gospel values of Faith, Hope and Love.

Facilities include a chapel, drama studio, sports hall and all weather pitches, a music suite, design and technology workshops and science laboratories and on arrival, pupils are greeted with an impressive atrium entrance.

Lucy Feliciello, head of Religious Education at Christ the Word, said: “Pupils are so proud, seeing them in their uniform, they really value the school already.

"The facilities are absolutely fantastic. There is a beautiful mosaic when you first walk in and as the pupils come in, they are just drawn to it.

Lewis Weatherley, director of Pastoral Care, said: "It is my job to look after all the children, their happiness, their safety, across the upper and the lower school.

"I have been in the field of pastoral support for about six years now.

"What I would like to do, one of my main goals, is to really involve the community. I really want the community to have a say and have an input into the direction that this school goes. That is so important, not just in a state school, but in a Catholic school as well."

Bishop Peter attended the school for its staff welcome mass.

Mrs Preston said: “It marked the beginning of Christ the Word as a team to ensure our community school is a beacon of excellence."

There is an open evening on Thursday, September 26 from 4.30pm – 6.30pm.

To book, telephone 01824 708007.