Category Archives: Trips

Surf Trip July 2016

As part of Activities Week we take a group of students to Croyde Bay in Devon every year for a “Learn to Surf” camp.  Isabelle Smith and Alex Parker, now in year 9, have written us a report – it sounds like they had a fantastic time!

At surfing we had great fun. We started our first lesson with a quick practice on the sand then we were ready to hit the waves! We had to wait for the lifeguards to take down the red flag because it was so misty first! The waves on the first night were great and we all stood up on our boards. That evening we had fish and chips and explored the beach and campsite. We made friends with the seagulls who seemed to like our ships and waking us up early!
The next day we had a huge breakfast and a proper awakening from the cold wetsuits! After struggling down to the beach with our boards we found some stranded jellyfish. The surf was great and the weather was lovely. We went out quite far to catch the best waves although most of us fell off that day! That night we had a BBQ and played beach volleyball and rounders.
The drive back the next day was on one of the hottest days of the year, on a bus with no air-conditioning! We all had a great time, and really enjoyed learning to surf.

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Pupils test their language skills on the Costa Blanca

The Spanish department recently returned from Alicante – Emilia Bolton in year 10 has written up the trip for us!

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At 3.00am in the morning of Saturday 9th July, we left Y Pant and embarked on our journey to Alicante with much excitement. During the journey to Bristol, we devoured the brioche and fruit juice supplied by our teachers, Senora Fernández and Senorita O’Keefe, and arrived at the airport at around 4 o’clock in the morning. We departed Bristol at 6.15am and arrived in Alicante around 9.30am, Spanish time. On arrival we used our Spanish skills to purchase our bus tickets, which we became more accustomed with throughout our trip. After getting settled in, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach; swimming in the sea and spending time in the shade due to the high temperatures. In the evening, we explored Alicante and found an authentic Spanish restaurant, where we sampled delicious traditional food such as gazpacho, paella and natillas.

On the second day, we started our day with un desayuno sabroso which consisted of toast, Spanish breakfast muffins, juice and fruit. We then took a tram journey along the picturesque coastline to Terra Mítica, which was a Spanish theme park. During our journey, we were warned of the extensive queues in the park, yet upon arrival, we discovered the park almost empty; it was so hot that not even the Spanish could withstand the heat! Whilst in the park, we enjoyed the thrilling rides, especially the water rides as they offered us refreshment. In the evening, we relaxed, watching the final of the Euros football and eating pizza.

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On the third day, we took a beautiful boat ride to the island of Tabarca, which was around 50 minutes long. Tabarca was a small, inhabited island with shimmering, clear waters and white sands. We managed to find secluded cuevas (caves) and enjoyed the day snorkelling with fish, which allowed some of us to witness marine life such as starfish and small pulpo (octopus). In the evening, we commenced a walking tour of Alicante with our guide Lori and then ascended the walk to the top of a castle in order to watch the sunset. The view was sublime and enabled us to see the whole of Alicante. Following this, we ate in a modern tapas restaurant and did some late night shopping along the port.

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On our final full day, we again journeyed in the tram to Aqualandia in Benidorm. We began our trip early in order to maximise our time swimming; we thoroughly enjoyed the water park and spent most of our time in the lazy river or on water rides such as slides and rapids. The cool water offered solace from the intense heat and later that day in Alicante, we shopped for souvenirs in El Corte Inglés and ate our cena (dinner) in a quaint pizzeria.

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On our final morning in Alicante, we savoured the traditional Spanish meal of churros for breakfast, which we ate con chocolate. Unfortunately, the time had arrived for us to catch the airport bus, in order to arrive at the airport promptly. Upon arriving back in Wales the weather was noticeably cooler compared to the warm climate of Alicante.

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Our trip to Alicante was a wonderful experience, which enabled us to use our Spanish skills and learn many new phrases, along with experiencing the rich culture and warm hospitality that the Spaniards had to offer.

¡Muchas gracias!

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Year 9 are inspired by the engineering, technology and architecture of Italy

On the 26th of April, 25 pupils and 3 teachers left, for what would turn out to be a great trip to Italy. Before we set off on our travels, we visited somewhere closer to home.  We spent the morning at Renishaw, an engineering company, specialising in many aspects of engineering such as measurement probes and 3D printing machines.  We had a tour of the facility, followed by some light refreshments, before taking part in a challenging coding activity. It got everyone thinking about apprenticeships and the opportunities available to us and how exciting engineering could be as a career.

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We then headed for the airport and after some confusion regarding liquid allowance, we finally took off.

After several hours, we reached the hotel.  Everyone was really tired and quickly fell asleep. In the morning we had a lovely breakfast to get us ready for the day ahead. First we went on a tour of the Ducati factory, followed by the museum and shop. Everyone found it really interesting to find out how they make the motorbikes and that all of the bikes were already sold.

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Next we went on a walking tour of Florence, guided by our fantastic tour guide, Mario.  We learnt so many new things about the city and the culture that we didn’t know before.  It is an amazing city with so many beautiful buildings and statues to see and amazing ice cream!

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That evening we went for food at a restaurant in the city.  Although the food and service wasn’t the best, we all had a good time and enjoyed the rest of the evening in Florence.

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On Thursday we started with a tour of the Pagani factory.  We were amazed by the detail put into the handmade cars, and the time spent ensuring all of the carbon fibre patterns matched up.  The basic model costs over £1,000,000 and any extras are very expensive!

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After lunch we went on a bus tour of the huge Ferrari factory complex and visited the museum.  The museum was amazing and we could have spent all day there as there was so much to see.  They even had the worlds most expensive car on show which is A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO racer that has been sold for $52,000,000!

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A few people even went on the simulator! We spent a lot of money in the shop before leaving to go for food at the hard rock café. The food was delicious with some excellent background music, we had a great evening and bought some great merchandise to take home from our travels.

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All too soon it was time for us to leave, there was some sickness on the plane but overall it was a smooth flight. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip and would definitely go again, we learned so much about manufacturing and design and saw some amazing things.  Everybody on the trip was really friendly and got on really well, but we were all glad to get home and sleep in our own beds.

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By Natalie Johns,  Emma Long and Abbie Tsim.

More pictures here:

Epic trip to Iceland!

By: Alex Parker, Jessica Doyle and Dylan Hamer – Year 8

Our journey started at 04:00 in the morning when we all met at the top of the drive ready for our trip to Iceland. 24 eager students and 3 tired teachers ready for an adventure!

After about an hour we got to Bristol airport. We all went to grab a quick breakfast and before we knew it we were going through security and boarding the plane. Everyone was really excited and no one seemed tired anymore … except Dr. Jones who slept all the way!

Three hours later we were in Iceland and on our way to the relaxing Blue Lagoon, with our bus driver, Paolo, at the helm. All of the group used the white silica mud on their faces during the spa experience.

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That night we went out to chase the Northern Lights, but the weather wasn’t on our side. We did stop to have a massive snow ball fight instead which was great fun and Paolo played his accordion!

The next day we went to two waterfalls. One was called Seljalandsfoss and we were able to walk behind and ended up getting soaked! The other one we climbed to the top of to get a better view. Then we went to a black pebbled beach, which was due to the volcanic activity, with very powerful and dangerous waves.  We went to a glacier which has reduced by 700m because of global warming! Our excellent tour guide, Eric, also told us about the famous volcano Eyjafjallajökull as we travelled around its surrounding landscape.

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The day after we went to the geyser geothermal park, which was awesome! When the biggest one, Strokkur, erupted several of us got soaked! As we walked back down we could hear the joyful accordion playing of Paolo again. Soon after, we visited the part of Iceland which was part of the North American tectonic plate. There were some beautiful views.

On Sunday we were all really sad as it was our last day. We said our last goodbyes to Eric and Paolo and set off to Keflavik airport. We all spent our remaining kroner and three hours later were back in the UK. It had been an amazing trip and we were all glad that we had gone.

During the trip, the teachers arranged a photo competition as there were so many amazing photos being taken. Here are the winners …

Alex Parker – 8DM – Snowy Landscape

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Owen Cockburn – 8DM – Gulfoss

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Special mention – Lauren McKean – Blue Lagoon Volcanic Rock

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Ski Trip 2016

The 2017 ski trip is now sold out with pupils on the reserve list.  Details for the 2018 ski trip will be out soon!

Yasmin Thomas and Tamsin Penberthy have written this fantastic account of this years trip.

On Friday 12th February, 43 eager pupils set off on a 24 hour bus journey to Altenmarkt, Austria.  After a box set of 5 Rocky films, the toilet being repeatedly blocked and hours of Mr Duggan’s snoring we finally arrived at the resort earlier than planned, thanks to our bus drivers Les and Skippy!

Snowman Jasmine and friendsWhilst most people were recovering from the long journey and having had very little sleep, year 8 and 9s were busy building a snowman outside in the sun.  After getting our skis and boots fitted in the chalet, which was a quick and easy process, we spent the rest of the day unpacking and exploring the local Austrian village of Altenmarkt.

Sunday morning was our first skiing day.  We set off up the mountain listening to Mr Duggan and Tamsin doing a duet of the famous, Sunshine Mountain.  Everybody joined in with ‘our faces all a glow.’  The more experienced skiers waved goodbye from the chairlift to the beginners who took to the snow like Bambi on ice.  Although some did not get off to the easiest start (Gilly) the rest fell in love with the sport like every pupil before them.  Both the conditions and weather were phenomenal and the food was the cherry on top of the cake.

Group one got off to shaky start, losing their instructor in the first ten minutes, their communication skills only improved from there on in.  After an eventful day, everyone began to bond as one big family!  Sunday night consisted of an intense game of bowling between pupils, followed by a well-deserved victory from the Donkey of the Day’s team: Jordan Quinn and a short trip to hospital for Alex Potter who’s first day of skiing turned out to be his last.

More crittersMonday turned out to be a snowy day making the conditions slightly more challenging, which of course the experienced skiers loved.  After exchanging the days antics on the bus journey back to resort, everyone looked forward to the ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ themed quiz that evening. This included a menu of mealworms, crickets and locus’ enjoyed by Izzy Hallett, Ben Robinson and Ben Sutton.

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By Tuesday/Wednesday the beginners were finally getting to grips with skiing, despite the snowy conditions. Tuesday evening involved a trip to the thermal baths and treating ourselves to a delicious pizza on the way home.  Wednesday evening was a night tobogganing down the Alpine slopes which was enjoyed by all.

Top group photoThursday’s skiing was in a neighbouring resort called Wagrain where the ski race took place in sunny, blue skies.  After wipe outs, a skidoo rescue and multiple snow ball fights, all the pupils completed the course and eagerly awaited to find out the rankings later on that evening. The presentation evening took place in the chalet where pupils, teachers and instructors all came together.  The awards were as followed; best boy skier went to Liam Dando, best girl skier was a joint award between Tamsin Penberthy and Yasmin Thomas and donkey of week went to a well-deserved Thomas Chudley.

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Snowman Tamsin YasminFriday, was our final day on the slopes spent in Flachauwinkl. Marc, the top group’s instructor, planned to wipe-out M-Kat (Mr Muscat) as he skied with them for the day.  Mr Muscat was a first time skier on this trip and by the end of the morning he was incapable of skiing any longer with the top group – he disgracefully had to make his decent from the slopes via a chairlift! Even though he was the youngest member of staff on the trip, he was by far the most tired at the end of the week.

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Yasmin and Tamsin on chair liftLater on that evening, we made our departure from the resort after a tasty final meal at the chalet.  Another smooth journey on the bus which left everyone fast asleep due to the action packed week.  We arrived back at school 4 o’clock the next day with everyone sad to be returning to the rain and cold weather of Wales.  This was another fantastic ski trip and we would like to thank the staff for organising and coping with us for the week.  Bring on 2017!

 

Amsterdam Trip Letter

We are running a 4 day trip to Amsterdam in July 2016 (dates to be confirmed when flights released). The trip is open to pupils in years 9-12 and will cost approx. £480.  This is a great opportunity to see an important European city.  The itinerary will be confirmed but will include a cultural tour of the city incorporating Anne Frank’s house and museum.  Letters are available from Mrs Burnell or can be printed from here.

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GCSE French Trip – Paris – July 2015

Oh là là. Year 10 and 11 French GCSE students spent a busy 4 days in Paris at the end of the summer term. Pupils were keen to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful city. The hot Parisien weather didn’t slow us down, and we managed to see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré Cœur, and relax on a scenic Seine river cruise. Our visit to the top of the Tour Montparnasse gave an amazing panoramic view over the city. Highlights also included a day out at Disneyland Paris and a visit to the Château de Versaille. A great time was had by all.

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Comenius – A Reflection on Norway

Last week 3 year nine pupils represented Y Pant at the Comenius Conference in Norway.  They joined 5 other European countries in the last meeting of the project, My 21st Century.  Here Riya Kale (RK) and Megan Rees (MR) discuss their visit.

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Why were you selected to go to Norway?

MR: We won a competition and the prize was to go to Norway.  We visited a town called Sandnes.

RK: Our entries were presentations about Architecture and Society.  We used the brief (a Winston Churchill quote) and interpreted it in our own way.  Therefore we focused on our family backgrounds and compared and looked at the differences to our lives in Wales especially as we are from India, Nepal and Ireland.

Can you explain the project?

RK: The project is called My 21st Century.  We presented our PowerPoint on Architecture and Society as well as our stop-motion film and our line poster about how we interpret buildings in the future.  It’s a fun, confidence building experience where you can make a bunch of new friends of all different cultures.

MR: It’s a chance to build friendships with lots of different people whilst being part of a fun and interesting project.  The other schools in the project presented work about how houses will be adapted in the future to be more eco-friendly, about how town planning will evolve and the Dutch school made videos representing how they will live in 50 years’ time.

Where did you stay?

MR: We stayed with a Norwegian host family.  Their house was different to the houses here in Wales.  It was wooden and had 3 floors.

RK: The architecture was different.  It was rare to see a brick building.  All houses were made from wood.  My host’s house was very modern.

What did you do in Norway?

RK: Apart from representing Y Pant and presenting our work, we had a range of different activities: we went sight-seeing; we went to the beach; we participated in teambuilding activities such as Irish and Catalan dancing; we went bowling; we went hiking (even though the view of the town was blocked by fog!); we visited fun interactive museums.

What was the highlight of the trip?

MR: For me it was meeting new and different people.  I also enjoyed going to the beach.

RK: Making new friends and going on the hike because I really got to know people.

What did you learn?

MR: You can have a lot in common with someone who is from a completely different background.

RK: There’s no point in being shy!  Just talk to people because you only have a limited time.

Do you have any tips for future Comenius/Erasmus + travellers?

RK: Pack suitable clothing according to activities.

MR: Relax and be yourself.  Take a plug adaptor!

Would you participate in Comenius again?

RK: Yes!  I would do Comenius again, to make new friends in a different experience and also to have the chance to meet our new found friends again.

MR: Yes, to have the chance to learn even more about other cultures.

Costa del Sol trip

Señora Fernandez, Señor Pelaez and Señorita O’Keefe accompanied 29 Y Pant pupils to Malaga.  They left in the extreme early hours of Saturday morning and arrived in sunny Spain just in time for lunch.  After exploring Malaga town centre, the group headed for the beach (for a well needed siesta) and some pollo/pescado.  During the trip the group also visited Frigiliana, Nerja, Mijas and Puerto Banús.  Delicious Spanish food was consumed (paella, chorizo, churros y chocolate, helado…) and Malaga street talk was learnt (¡Osú mi madre, qué calor!) After 4 action packed days the group returned home to (a not so sunny) Pontyclun all tired out, thank goodness the summer holidays are only around the corner!

Y Pant Ski Trip 2014

Many people are put off by the thought of a school ski holiday due to a long bus journey and having to spend a week with teachers. However, to everyone’s surprise, these factors make the holiday. We left school on a sunny Friday morning after watching our friends embark on a day of hard graft in school. We set off knowing that in twenty four hours we would be in our resort. Apart from a few rubbish films and Mr Soroko’s snoring, the bus journey was smooth and we soon arrived in Altenmarkt, Austria.

We arrived at the resort earlier than planned.  This was the result of fantastic bus drivers Les and Skippy of Mainline Travel. After going to get our skis and boots fitted, which was a quick and easy process, we were left with a full day to unpack and pick up supplies from the local supermarket.

Sunday morning was the first day of ski school and for those who hadn’t been before, the traditional rendition of Sunshine Mountain was performed on the bus. The experienced skiers got what they had been waiting for and the beginners fell in love with the sport just like every beginner before them. Conditions were fantastic and the resort never fails to impress both experienced and beginners and this is why the teachers make the ‘tough’ decision to return year after year.

After settling back into the bindings, we started with a nice ‘easy’ run on the women’s world cup downhill run (according to our instructor) and an action packed day overall. Bowling was Monday night’s entertainment  where everyone competed in a full-on bowling battle led by the most competitive teachers in the school. The teachers beat the pupils in the final round: Pupils-0 Teachers-1.

Tuesday, we enjoyed a sunny day on the slopes taking in the amazing views of the Alps. A couple of falls later and we were off swimming in the thermal baths or as the teachers saw it ‘The Olympic Games’. A swimming race was arranged with the competitors being Lewis Cartwright, Joe Isaac, Miss Gavaghan and the favourite to win, 6ft 4in Mr ‘The Machine’ Mortimer. To our surprise Miss Gavaghan won her race with outstanding technique and power. It all looked good for the second leg of the race, however, Lewis who had earlier warmed up with butterfly, flew through the water overtaking the Giant and taking the lead to win the race: Pupils-1 Teachers-1.

Wednesday and Thursday turned out to be another two beautiful days skiing  with Thursday being race day! The competitors lined up at the start gate. The beginners set off surprising everyone with how they had come on during the week. After watching everyone, the anticipation was building as the favourites took to the start gate. Joe Isaac flew the track, followed by Lewis Cartwright. Georgia John showed her talent on the skis, however we all waited for the master of the slopes. With no fear, Jack Penberthy flew out of the start gates narrowly missing every gate.  The crowd cheered as he reached the bottom and was a clear winner with the time of 28 seconds, 4 seconds quicker than second place. Thursday night was presentation evening and the well-deserved winners were delighted with their trophies.

Friday was a day skiing in Radstadt, the conditions were perfect. We skied a full day and skied right up to the door of the rental shop at the end of it. A fitting end to an amazing week.

We arrived back at school on Saturday afternoon with many disappointed to be home. A true example of just how amazing the trip is. The list is full for next year, with the reserve list even fuller. Bring on 2015!

Many thanks to the staff who gave up their holiday to take us away.  Mr Soroko said “It’s a tough job, but some-one has to do it!”

Written by Sophie Gibbon and James Lamb