World Book Day 5th March 2015 – books survey and competition!

World Book Day is on 5th March 2015 and the book tokens have just arrived in school!  These entitle you to a free World Book Day book or £1 off any other book.

We are teaming up with local bookshop Books&Pontyclun and hope to be able to have a selection of World Book Day books for you to buy in exchange for your vouchers in school.  We want to make sure we get in the right number of the right books, so have a look at the descriptions of the books being published this year, then let me know using the form below, which one you like the best!

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Competition

This year, World Book Day are running a fantastic competition to win up to £10,000 towards a school library.  We’ll be getting a brilliant new library in the new school building, but so far don’t have many books to put in it.  Can you imagine how many we could buy with £10,000?!

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As a school we can only enter once, but we are going to have a competition in school to choose the best entry.

HOW TO ENTER

Your entry is your response to the statement:

WHY WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT BOOKS

You can respond in a number of different ways with your entry, and here are just some examples:

  • MAKE a model, a book, a video trailer
  • PERFORM a play, a song, a dance
  • WRITE a poem, a rap, a news article
  • CREATE a mural, a display, an artwork, a large-scale poster

… so let your creativity and imaginations run free!

In order to judge the winners in school (and we’ll see if we can put together a school prize) you need to send, or bring your entry to Miss Bunce by Monday 26th January.

Mr Thomas’ new play “Grav”, about Ray Gravell launched at Parc Y Scarlets

Yesterday saw the launch of ‘Grav’, my latest, and certainly the most high profile play of my writing career. The launch was held at Parc Y Scarlets, home to the Scarlets rugby team, in front of 250 invited members of the press, sponsors, friends, family, players and ex-players. The launch comprised of a film on the big screen in the stadium about the play before an extract was performed pitch side in front of the assembled guests. The extract was also filmed by everyone from BBC, ITV, S4C and even Sky Sports News who are showing extracts of it today every hour! (I never thought I would have my name mentioned on Sky Sports News, as the teachers who play football with me on a Friday will gladly testify). There were lots of speeches by people including the Chief Executive of the Scarlets and lots of interviews throughout the day which showed that there is a huge interest in this play from all around the world.

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Image from Wales Online (picture Owen Howells) http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/rugby-legend-ray-gravells-story-8438447

 

 

‘Grav’ is a one man show performed by my friend and long-time collaborator Gareth Bale (the actor, not the footballer) about the life of Ray Gravell. If you haven’t heard of him, Ray Gravell was a Welsh Rugby International who made 23 appearances for Wales as well as 485 appearances for Llanelli RFC. He then went on to become a hugely respected actor, commentator and broadcaster as well as much loved husband and father. Tragically Ray passed away in 2007 at the age of 56 years old due to complications arising from diabetes. But, as American Baseball star Babe Ruth once said,

‘Heroes get remembered, but legends never die’.

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Yes, his life was comparatively short, but it was packed with drama and incident making him the ideal subject for a piece of theatre. With the blessing of his widow and his daughters as well as contributions from his friends and ex-players who played alongside him I have spent 2 years researching and writing this play. Taking on the life of a much loved figure is a huge challenge and not without risk, so I was thrilled to talk to Mari, Ray’s widow, after the performance and hear that she loved the extract and is excited to see the whole play. Three weeks today it opens in Milford Haven at the Torch Theatre, the first of 30 performances in 19 theatres right around Wales.

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Image of the launch from Theatre Sir Gar in Carmarthenshire http://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/index.php/en/

 

The launch also marked the unveiling of the official show website, www.gravcymru.co.uk which, if you’re interested, contains more details about the play, the tour dates and the man himself.

The play has been developed at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven and is being directed by their Artistic Director, Peter Doran. Tickets are available at all venues, but some are selling out quickly due to the huge interest in the man and his life.  More locally it is on at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff from 9th to 11th March.

Come along and find out more about Ray Gravell, and see for yourself why ‘West is Best’

Mr Thomas – Head of Performing Arts

Possible snow forecast this week

Some weather forecasts contain the possibility of snow for South Wales this week (although not in the Met Office forecast below).  If school is to be closed we will notify parents and pupils via the website, Facebook and Twitter.  You should assume school is open unless we notify otherwise.

Please take note of the following information which was shared with parents in out September newsletter.

Around this time of year there is always the possibility that the school might have to be closed at very short notice.  This might be as the result of inclement weather or perhaps a failure in one of the major utilities.  In the event of this happening it is important that all pupils, particularly younger pupils, understand the arrangements you have made for them.

The decision to close the school at short notice will not be taken lightly.  However, there may be times when to remain open would put at risk the health and safety of both students and staff at the school.  We will, of course, endeavour to ensure that no pupil is left in an unsafe situation.  Please check the school website, Facebook page and Twitter feed for updated information.

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Christmas Assembly

The term has finished with a Christmas assembly in the sports hall.  The orchestra and percussion ensemble played beautifully and the final sing-song by the whole school really got us into the Christmas spirit.

Congratulations to the House Point winners for this term.

Padraig – Ethan Ruck (140 points)

Aneurin – Shani Williams (120 points)

Nerth – Jamie Sallam (170)

Tirion – Natalie Johns (130 points)

Key Stage 4 winner – Tom May

Key Stage 5 winner – Hywel Thomas

House Point Raffle winner – Yasmin Howells

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Currently Nerth have the highest number of house points with 9150! Da iawn Nerth!

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School Orchestra
The school orchestra
The school orchestra
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Percussion ensemble

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Y Pant new school fly through – get a first glimpse of what our school is going to look like!

We’re delighted to share with you this fly through of the new school buildings.

This an artist’s impression of how the new school will look but plans are extremely well-advanced and we do not anticipate major changes to the overall design.  The new school will be built on the part of the school fields currently occupied by the tennis courts, rugby field and running track.  The gym, sports hall and New Block will remain; everything else will either be demolished or relocated.

Cross Country Round-up

Cross Country Round-up

It has been a busy term for the school’s cross country runners. Pupils have been representing the school in several events across the region with many notable successes along the way.

The first event in the calendar was the Glamorgan Valleys Schools’ Cross Country Championships which took place at Newbridge Fields, Bridgend on Thursday 25th September. Boys and girls from Years 7 to 11 took part racing against pupils from 40 other schools. Top ten finishers in the boys’ Year 7 race were Cory Sibley 3rd and Seb Thomas 8th. In the Year 8/ 9 race Josh Lock finished 9th, whilst the Year 11 boys took team bronze. In the girls’ Year 10/11 race Bethan Evans finished 2nd and Naomi Reid 3rd; their performances helping to secure silver in the team competition.

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In October the South Wales Regional Schools Cross Country Championships took place at Trelai Park in Cardiff. There was stiff competition that included schools from Cardiff and the Vale.  During the girls’ races there was atrocious weather and competing became as much about completing the course as winning.

In the Year 10 race Naomi Reid finished 2nd, one second behind the winner. Bethan Evans in Year 11 also came second in her race.

On Saturday 15th November the 38th Welsh Schools Inter Schools Cross Country Championships were held in Brecon.  The event which is attended by schools from all over Wales proved very competitive.  Both Naomi and Bethan represented the school at this event with Bethan finishing 8th in the u-19 category and Naomi picking up the gold medal as she finished 1st in the u-15 race. The girls will be competing next in the Cardiff Cross Challenge on Sunday January 18th at Blackweir Fields Cardiff.

Headteacher’s Blog Christmas 2014

The blog has been quiet for some time now but, as we are at the end of a long term and looking forward towards an exciting new year, I thought it a good time to re-introduce it.

In the top right hand corner of our home page you will see a tab marked ‘New School‘.  We will be using this tab to communicate updates regarding the new school building in the weeks and months to come.  It gives me great pleasure this week to be able to share with you the ‘fly through‘ that the architects have produced for us.  I must stress that this an artist’s impression of how the new school will look but plans are extremely well-advanced and we do not anticipate major changes to the overall design.  The new school will be built on the part of the school fields currently occupied by the tennis courts, rugby field and running track.  The gym, sports hall and New Block will remain; everything else will either be demolished or relocated.  We are extremely excited about the new building and, with work due to start in late Spring 2015, we feel that we are on the brink of a new era in the life of the school.   I am pleased to be able to report that the level of consultation with the school has been extremely impressive and that staff and students have been given the opportunity to contribute their ideas.

In the New Year we will arrange a series of community evenings where people from the community which Y Pant serves will be invited into the school for a more detailed presentation of the plans.  I hope to see you there!

Also elsewhere on the website you will see the fantastic news about our successful bid for a grant from the Wolfson  Foundation who have very kindly agreed to fund a bid worth £25 000 to buy tablet devices for the Art and Media Studies departments.  This will enable pupils to experiment with new and exciting forms of artistic and media-related technologies.  Many thanks to the Wolfson Foundation and to colleagues within the school who worked so hard in drawing up the bid.   I look forward to seeing the work that pupils produce.

I was extremely proud to be in attendance at the school’s carol concert in Bethel Baptist Church last week.  It really was a lovely evening which celebrated Christmas whilst recognising its traditional meaning.  Many thanks and congratulations to all the pupils who performed, to my colleagues in the Performing Arts department who worked so tirelessly and to Bethel Baptist for the use of such a lovely building.

Another annual festive favourite was our inter-generational Christmas Party.  We are always pleased to welcome senior citizens into the school for an afternoon of music, refreshments, bingo and gifts!  Our students and volunteers from the staff help out with the organisation, the serving and the clearing-up whilst our Performing Arts department arrange musical items in keeping with the season.  Another lovely occasion.  Many thanks in particular to Mr Abdo!

Comings and goings on the staff saw Mrs Davey return from maternity leave and Miss Morgan leave on maternity leave!  Many thanks to James Jones for covering IT and welcome to Miss Coombs who will be temporarily replacing Miss Morgan in PE.

A lot of you will have read in the media about major changes planned to the curriculum in Wales.  The changes at Key Stage 4 are especially substantial.  Please, though, rest assured that my colleagues and I are well-advanced in our plans to adapt to these changes and we are confident that they will be accommodated to the benefit of the pupils.

One of the real joys of my week has been to be able to reward a group of pupils for their acts of kindness this term.  These youngsters (listed elsewhere on the web site) are an inspiration to us all and I sincerely hope that others will follow in their footsteps and the footsteps of all who were nominated.  Congratulations to each and every one of them.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their support throughout this term; I wish you all a very merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.