Category Archives: Mr Powell’s Blog

Headteacher, Mr Mark Powell’s blog posts.

Headteacher’s Blog

Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog.

Many of you have already contacted the school sharing your thoughts about last week’s Christmas Show.  If you were lucky enough to be in attendance on the night I’m sure that you’ll agree that it was an absolutely fantastic experience and an amazing showcase for the array of talent that we have here in Y Pant.  It was certainly one of the proudest nights of my time in the school and one which I will look back on with real fondness for years to come.  Many thanks and congratulations to all the young people (over 100!) who performed and helped out.  Many thanks also to my colleagues in the Performing Arts Department who worked tirelessly in providing the youngsters with the opportunity to perform.  Roll on next year!

I am looking forward, as always at this time of year, to our Inter-Generational Christmas Party.  This is an important date in our calendar, one in which staff and students of the school welcome senior citizens from the local community to an afternoon of music, fun and refreshments in the spirit of the season.

For Year 11, mock exams start later on this week.  It is critical that pupils prepare well for these exams as doing so will give their teachers an accurate assessment of what support they need in the coming months to ensure the best possible grades in all of their subjects.  It is also true that hard work now will lead to fewer stresses in the summer months.  Best of luck to everyone.

Congratulations also to Shannon Jarvis and Kasey Daley in Year 7.  These two pupils have accumulated so many house points this term that they have won a pair of tickets each to see Cardiff City v Southampton on Boxing Day.  Well done girls, enjoy your day out and many thanks to Phil Harmer of Al-Met Ltd for donating the prize.  I promise not to make any predictions about the result!

Headteacher’s Blog

Hello everyone and welcome back to the new school year.  This is always an exciting time for us as we welcome new pupils and colleagues to the school, review our results and start teaching new courses.

I am delighted to be able to report excellent results across all Key Stages this summer.  Details are available elsewhere on the website and in my Autumn newsletter but I would like to extend my congratulations to the students and my thanks to their parents and my colleagues.  Working together as well as we have will continue to garner high quality outcomes for Y Pant pupils.

I am also pleased to be able to report record numbers returning to the sixth form.  We compete with colleges on an uneven playing field in terms of facilities so we can only assume that that the high proportion of pupils who return to us do so as a vote of confidence in the teaching and care on offer here.  We will, of course, strive at all times to repay that trust.

Our Open Evening will take place on September 26th.  This is essentially a chance for prospective parents and pupils to visit the school but all are welcome.

I would like to thank all pupils and parents for their support so far this term in establishing high standards of school uniform.  We will continue to be resolute in our refusal to accept inappropriate standards of dress around the school.

Here’s to another successful school year!

Headteacher’s blog

Hello everyone.

The academic year 2012-13 draws to a close in some of the best weather we’ve had in years!  Let’s hope that it stays this way throughout the summer holidays.  I hope that all of our pupils enjoyed the activities which colleagues provided on Activities Day and I am grateful to those colleagues for their efforts.

It was great to welcome Richard Eynon (former E3+ co-ordinator) back to Y Pant yesterday.  He arrived with a group of teachers and students from Jordan who spent the day visiting lessons, chatting to students and touring the school.  Some perspective: it was 43 C in Jordan on the day they left!  We hope to be able to develop this into a real partnership with St Joseph School and be able to reciprocate the visit some day.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment throughout this academic year; I wish all pupils the very best of luck with their examination results and I wish everyone an enjoyable and relaxing summer holiday.

Headteacher’s Blog

Hello everyone.

There has been a lot of activity in Y Pant in recent weeks.  We have had our More Able & Talented Challenge Week which gave pupils tremendous opportunities to develop their talents still further in those fields in which they’ve excelled.  This week has seen our most successful Sports Day for some time: 11 school records broken, triumph for Nerth and the sun shone!  Many thanks to the PE department for their hard work and congratulations to all competitors.   On Wednesday we had our Eisteddfod for Years 7 & 8, a cultural extravaganza won by Aneurin and compered by the inimitable Mr Ian Mitchell.  Thanks to the Welsh department in particular for the success of this day and congratulations to all who participated.  And today, we have the Speakers Trust working with Year 10 on developing public speaking skills which will make a major contribution to their WBQ.

Pupil Review Day took place yesterday.  Pupils will have received important information about the progress they’ve made this year as well as the teaching groups they will be in next year.  A lot of hard work goes into trying to ensure that every pupil is placed in the teaching group which is right for their educational needs but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the school.

Today we say good bye to Mr Jeff Owen (again!) and Mr Alex McShane who has done such a good job covering for Miss Sally Owen over the period of her maternity leave.  We wish them both the very best for the future.  Miss Owen will return to school on Monday and we look forward to welcoming her back.

Congratualtions to Niamh Tinman who has represented Wales in football at Under 16 and Under 17 level.  Niamh is only 14 so clearly has a great future ahead of her in the game.  Lucy Tough is 9 times British Ballroom Dancing Champion and Word Champion for her age group.  Fantastic achievements by those two young ladies.

Finally, we would love to see as many of you as possible at our school fete tomorrow.  There will be lots to do throughout the day and the weather is set fair!


Headteacher’s Blog

Hello everyone

I hope that you’re all enjoying the rare glimpse of sun that we’ve been treated to in recent days and long may it continue!  We are crossing our fingers that it will continue until July 14th at least so that we can enjoy a sunny summer’s day for our Community Fayre.  This is the first time that we’ve tried something like this in Y Pant and are hoping for a big turnout on the day.  There’ll be plenty to do, lots to see and masses of fun.  Money raised will be invested in the school with a proportion of it going to charitable causes.     Look out for leaflets and posters in your community which will give you more information.   We’d love to see as many of you there as possible.

It was great to see so many primary school children here last week getting themselves involved in the CanSing project.  Great voices all round on a lovely occasion.  We are also looking forward to meeting the parents of next year’s new intake next Tuesday and the pupils themselves next Thursday.  These are big occasions in the lives of the pupils and their parents and we will do our very best to be as welcoming, informative and reassuring as possible.  

I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents and pupils about amendments to the school uniform policy which will take effect from September 2013: tight trousers will no longer be acceptable; plain black,  loose fitting trousers will be required.  Also, black canvas shoes will no longer be deemed acceptable ‘school style shoes’.  Thank you for your support in this.

I dare not make a prediction for the Lions; just hope for a better referee!

Headteacher’s Blog

Hello everyone and welcome back.  I hope that everybody had an enjoyable half-term and that the time was used wisely by all students.  We have external examinations and internal assessments taking place across all year groups in the coming weeks and I would like to wish our students good luck.  Hopefully, though, it won’t come down to luck!

I would like to thank colleagues for their contribution to the revision sessions over half-term.  Several teachers gave up part of their holiday to help students prepare for these important exams and I am sure that those who attended will attest to the benefit.

Yesterday we welcomed Miss Rebecca Clarke and Miss Jayne Norton back to the English department after, respectively, maternity leave and  a secondment to Bishop Hedley School in Merthyr Tydfil.  It is great to see them both back in Y Pant.

Before half-term we conducted several interviews for teaching jobs in the school and I would like to congratulate the following colleagues on their appointment:

Ms Donna Graves will be taking over as Head of RE in September;

Ms Rhian Jones will be joining our English department;

Ms Samantha Dowling will be joining our Science/Chemistry department

We are looking  forward to working with all three of these new colleagues and I am confident that they will make a valuable contribution to the school’s future.

I would also like to congratulate Bradley Davies on his appointment as captain of the Welsh squad.  A great achievement for an old boy of the school.  I won’t jinx him by making any predictions!


Headteacher’s Blog

Hello everyone.

Year 11’s Revision fortnight begins in earnest today, as do several key exams.  It is crucial that Year 11 pupils continue to attend their lessons and/or revision sessions as these will definitely make a difference to their chances of success.  I would also like to wish Year 10 and Year 12 students the very best of luck in the examinations that they will be sitting this week.

We are also currently conducting Literacy and Numeracy tests on behalf of the Welsh Government.  These tests will provide us with important information about the levels of ability of all the pupils in Key Stage 3 in these critical areas.  This will allow us, then, to ensure that all pupils are receiving the correct level of academic support.

I would like to thank and congratulate the students and teachers in the Art Department for the utterly superb exhibition of GCSE work which was on display last week.  It is always a source of pride and no little amazement that such young people can produce such high quality works of art.  Well done all!

Congratulations, also, to Mr and Mrs Dyson.  Mrs Dyson gave birth to a baby daughter last week and all are doing well.  Mr Kuck’s wife gave birth to a son over the weekend and our warmest congratulations go out to himand his family.

Well done, also, to Sarah Pugh in Year 8 who won a national singing competition a few weeks ago.  I am looking forward to hearing Sarah sing songs from Les Miserables in assembly this week.

Have a good week.

Headteacher’s Blog

We are fast approaching the end of the Spring Term and everyone is looking forward to a break and, hopefully, some real Spring weather! 

Obviously this is an extremely busy time for all students but for Years11, 12 and 13 in particular.  We are, as in previous years, running Easter revision sessions and my thanks go to all colleagues who have made themselves available to deliver these sessions.  It is crucial that pupils attend those sessions which are appropriate to them; they make a real difference in the summer.

I would like to announce some pending changes to the teaching staff.  Tomorrow (Friday) Miss Mundy will be leaving the school to start a new life in Australia.  We wish her all the very best.  Miss Umbleja will be taking over the role of Head of Media Studies from the start of the new term.  We have also, earlier this week, appointed Miss Natalie Powell to the post of teacher of English and Drama.  Miss Powell currently teaches in Brynteg School and will start with us in September.  Congratulations to Miss Umbleja and Miss Powell; I know that they will do a great job.  A few weeks ago, Mr Wayne Draper was appointed to the post of Head of Design Technology.  Mr Draper is an experienced Head of Department who currently works in Tonyrefail School and we have every confidence that he will drive that department forward to even greater success.  Miss Sam Maxwell has taken on the key role of 2nd in Maths and Numeracy Co-ordinator for the school.  She will do an excellent job in both aspects of that role. 

Comic Relief Day saw Y Pant School continue its excellent tradition of charity fundraising with nearly £1500 raised.  Many thanks to all involved but particularly to Miss Maxwell who has now handed over her role as charity co-ordinator to Mr Abdo.  Shame about the rain; we nearly had the Harlem Shake to beat them all!

I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening this week in Brynna Primary.  The charity gala was fantastic with musical items from Brynna pupils, Y Pant pupils and legendary panto star Stan Stennett.  Took me back to my own childhood (yes, I did have one..)  Many thanks to Miss McCarthy in Brynna for inviting me.

I would like to give advance warning of an amendment to our school uniform rules.  From September 2013 the following rule amendment will apply:

No drainpipe or drainpipe style trousers
No leggings or legging style trousers
No trousers which are tight around the ankles
No trousers which we deem to be too tight
No low waistlines
No denim

I am aware that some shops advertise trousers as ‘school trousers’; please do not take the shop’s word for it.  Check with the school if you are at all uncertain.  I hope that all pupils and parents will continue to support us in our endeavours to ensure that our pupils look smart and respectable at all times. 

I think I’ll risk a sporting prediction: 16 Welsh players for the Lions!

Many thanks for everybody’s support throughout this term.  Have a great holiday!

Headteacher’s Blog

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing  half-term.  Great to see the skiers return without mishap!

Fantastic news about The Broadcasts and their record deal; well done boys, Y Pant is really proud of you and we look forward to following your careers in the next few years.  Headliners at Glastonbury soon?

Fairtrade Fortnight began yesterday and we marked it today with a chocolate tasting competition.  Congratulations to Miss Richmond for organising the competition without eating all the chocolate!  Such self-restraint…Other events to raise awareness of this important global movement to come throughout the fortnight.

It was great to see so many parents and pupils attending our Sixth Form Open Evening last Thursday.  The transition between Year 11 and the next educational phase is such a crucial stage in a young person’s life and options now are so very wide and varied.  I hope that the presentations from Mr Bryn Jones and my colleagues in individual departments were helpful to pupils and parents.  We obviously hope that as many Year 11 pupils as possible choose to return to Y Pant to pursue their studies but, most of all, we hope that all pupils make the decision that is right for them as individuals.

Many congratulations from all of us at Y Pant to Miss Owen and Mrs Butler, both of whom gave birth over the half-term holiday.

Is it safe for me to make a sporting prediction?  Gareth Bale for Footballer of the Year?  Or have I just triggered off a catastrophic loss of form?


Headteacher’s Blog

It’s been an unbelievably hectic few weeks what with snow, floods and utility failures!  Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding; normal service has been resumed and let’s hope that the winter has no more surprises in store…

Normal service includes, of course, reporting to parents about their children’s progress.  It was great to see so many Year 7 parents last Thursday at the Parents Evening.  Attendance was nearly 80% on a cold January evening, testament to the support that our pupils receive from their parents.  Although I couldn’t attend the Year 9 Options Evening the previous night, my colleagues told me that turnout was excellent there also.  This week, look out for Progress Reports for Years 7-10 and Full Reports for Years 11-13.

Staff and pupils leave this Friday on their way to Austria for a week’s skiing.  The snow report looks fantastic and I’d just like to wish them all the very best …no broken bones please…

Congratulations to Will Taylor in Year 11 who has been offered an apprenticeship with Cardiff City FC.  What an achievement and so very well deserved.  Good luck, Will…it looks as if you’ll be learning your trade with a Premiership outfit next year (…and let’s hope that I haven’t jinxed the Bluebirds there!)

I’d like to give a bit of a plug to our French Department; lots of interesting things happening there, what with Lunchtime Clubs and Pen Pal programmes.  I’m particularly grateful to my colleagues in that department for their commitment and hope that plenty of pupils take the opportunities presented to them.

We welcomed two new colleagues to the school in recent weeks and said a sad goodbye to a much respected colleague.  Mr Alex McShane joined the Maths Department to cover Miss Sally Owen’s maternity leave while Miss Natalie Pugh joined the Learning Support Department to cover Mrs Naomi Butler’s maternity leave.  We said goodbye last week to Mrs Colleen Evans who has worked as an LSA in the school for four years.  She will be greatly missed and we wish her all the best for the future.

I hope everyone thoroughly enjoys their half-term holiday.