You may be aware that there is a very large outbreak of measles in Swansea that is spreading across South Wales The illness is spreading very quickly through schools there as many of the pupils have not been protected by having two Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) injections. There have been 38 children admitted to hospital during this outbreak as a result of their measles infection.
We are now starting to see a few cases of measles more locally and it is possible that we may have a school outbreak soon, as uptake in all areas is not high enough to prevent the disease circulating. Your child is at risk if they have not had two MMR vaccinations.
If your child/teenager has not had MMR vaccine/s or you think they might have missed a vaccination you should contact your GP, health visitor or practice nurse now to get them protected. If your household or close family contains young babies, pregnant women or family members with serious immune conditions who can’t have the MMR vaccine, please make sure that all children and teenagers in the house are fully vaccinated. This will help protect these vulnerable individuals.
Measles is highly infectious and is spread from person to person by coughs and sneezes. Early symptoms include a high temperature, cough, cold and conjunctivitis (painful, red eyes). A red, blotchy rash appears 3 to 7 days later which usually begins on the face and spreads down over the rest of the body. The person is usually quite ill and often prefers to lie quietly in a darkened room. Serious complications can occur.
Any child who develops symptoms of measles should not attend school for four days after the start of the rash.
If your child is not fully protected please act now to protect them and those around them. You can get more information on measles on the Public Health Wales website at: http://www.publichealthwales.org/measles
On Wednesday 12th December Y Pant U14 girls football team participated in the RCT ‘Game On’ Secondary Soccer Challenge Cup’ in Abercynon. The team showed their prowess winning all of their matches in their group. They then progressed to the final beating Bryncelynnog 1-0 to win the competition.
Thirty-five Y Pant students are to be published in the Young Writers’ Poetry Anthology. These talented year eight and nine students will appear in the anthology which will be kept in the British Library and further libraries across the UK and Republic of Ireland, providing a lasting record of their achievement.
The competition ran in October and there were thousands of entries. Successful students were praised for their perception, imagination, expression and creative use of language. Both the competition runners and the English department were very impressed with our future Poet Laureates!
However, the competition is far from over. Each of our students has the chance to be picked as one of the 12 finalists who will go to the grand finale – The Poetry Games Online Vote Off! Each of the 12 finalists will submit a video of themselves performing the poem and compete for the grand prize of an iPad and £1000 for our school. A list of the finalists will be released in January and hopefully, with the support of the rest of our students, we shall have a winner from Y Pant!
Earlier this term the whole of Year 9 completed first aid training as part of their Key Skills course. They learned emergency procedures such as CPR, the recovery position, how to deal with fractures, bleeding, bandaging and choking. The trainer Dave Daniel from Protrainings commented on how sensibly the pupils approached the topic and how well they performed the practical elements after only one demonstration. The photographs illustrate the techniques learned by the pupils. Further information can be found on Facebook First Aid TrainingEFA Swansea. You can also download the presentation used on the day.
Local MP Owen Smith met recently with students from Y Pant Comprehensive to hear about their new Student Parliament initiative.
Y Pant Student Parliament was recently set up in a move to improve the democratic process as well as to engage young people in what is happening everyday in their school.
The Student Parliament structure is headed up by the Head Boy and Head Girl in the school, with elected representatives working as Cabinet ‘Ministers’ and ‘Secretaries’ on five different departments. The departments include Environment, Community, Learning and Teaching, Student Support and Health and Fitness. Members meet regularly then feed back information to their year councils and set up groups and action plans.
The Pontypridd MP listened to the students describe the structure of their school Parliament, hearing how they work together to meet shared goals in improving their school.
Speaking after the meeting, Owen Smith said:
“I was really impressed by the thought and effort which has gone into setting up the Student Parliament at Y Pant. I am pleased to support this exciting initiative which involves young people in the democratic process.
“From speaking to the pupils, it sounds like the meetings are just as lively as those in the House of Commons! It really is great to see the students taking part in important decision-making for their school. I’d like to congratulate the students and staff involved in this new scheme and hope to see them again soon to find out how they get on.”
WOW! The cast of the school production spent a gruelling week of rehearsals and performances, showing us just how amazingly talented and professional they are. Connor Brewer’s performance of Scrooge was inspired. His mix of menace, intimidation and misery, with a dash of madness was incredible. Hywel Thomas was superb as Bob Cratchit and Matt Ingram’s public speaking skills shone through as he projected to a packed Muni without the aid of a microphone! Of note too was Jack Evans as Fred whose commanding stage presence and phenomenal facial expressions were one of a kind and the cracking performance of Harry Morris as Tiny Tim ensures that the future of theatre here at Y Pant is secure. The standard of singing, acting, music, stage props and backdrop were altogether breathtaking. A very big congratulations to the Performing Arts Department and all who were involved both on stage and off and a thank you for giving up so much of your time in creating such a wonderful experience for us all.
Cabinet representatives from our newly structured school Parliament were treated to a visit from Owen Smith MP for Pontypridd and Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, last Friday. He graciously took time out of his very busy schedule to listen to students and share some advice on how to make our student voice heard.
Pupils were honoured to be given access to the inner sanctum of Mr Powell’s office where they quizzed Mr Smith on the day to day aspects of his job in an informal group setting. Mr Smith was excellent at putting the students at ease and they in turn were impressive in the probing nature of their questions!
It is now hoped that the Parliament can foster free lines of communication throughout the school and that all students feel that their voice is heard and represented. If you have any ideas, see your Form Rep or fill in the ‘Be Heard’ form available on Edmodo. Very many thanks go to Mr Smith and we hope to continue to build links that improve our pupils’ citizenship.
After six months of planning, preparation, line learning, rehearsing, sleepless nights, costume fittings, design meetings, tantrums and tears ‘A Christmas Carol’ is almost ready to be unveiled. With less than a week until the curtain lifts on Tuesday night excitement amongst the cast and production team is starting to build.
If you have already bought your ticket then I hope you’re looking forward to it. If you’ve ordered a ticket and it needs collecting then please bring your money in by Tuesday. If you haven’t bought a ticket yet and you’re thinking of coming along then I have a few left in the Drama Studio or alternatively they can be booked from the Muni Arts Centre direct by calling 01443 485934.
It is hard to praise enough the efforts of all involved in the show but I for one am incredibly proud. The work of my colleagues in the Performing Arts department and the wider school as well as that of our students has been fantastic. Some of the performances are breathtaking and if you’re expecting ‘Peter Pan’ mark 2 then you are in for something of a surprise. The staging follows the austere nature of both the story and the current economic climate by creating Dicken’s world in what I hope is an imaginative and innovative way.
I would really appreciate a final few days of marketing, cajoling and word of mouth from our wonderful school community in order to ensure that this show helps to bring to a close what has been another fantastic year here at Y Pant.