Category Archives: News/Newyddion

All the exciting things we have to report.

LanguagesDay2014

European Languages Day 2014

On 30th September we celebrated the European Day of Languages, a day celebrating plurilingualism and European culture.  68 pupils from year 7 came up to the languages block for a French breakfast and language quiz.  

Year 7 enjoyed listening to European music and eating their pain au chocolat whilst completing their multiple-choice quiz.  Questions included: How many languages are indigenous to Europe and in which countries is German an official language?
 
Quiz winners will be announced on Thursday!
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Comenius Conference in Holland

Four Y Pant pupils attended the third Comenius Conference in Holland, with the focus of the conference on using technology in the 21st century. Our pupils stayed with host families and attended the local school, Rijks Regionale Scholengemeenschap in Bergen op Zoom. They adapted well to life in Holland by cycling to and from school and all were amazed by the Dutch school; the facilities, the lack of school uniform, the cleanliness (lots of bins and hardly any litter!), the technology available (free WIFI!) and how well behaved all Dutch pupils were.

During the visit all pupils presented themselves and their schools, participated in a “Time Machine” activity where they compared the 1950s to the present day and the not so distant 2050s, they learned about the history of social media, they went mountain biking, designed logos for the project and visited Antwerp and Rotterdam.  Our Welsh pupils were extremely impressed by Holland and have all made friends for life.

 

 

 

 

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Superb attendance at Year 6 Open Evening

We were delighted to welcome year 6 children and their parents to school on Thursday 25th September for our Year 6 Open Evening.

The evening began with a welcome from Mr Powell followed by a tour of various departments in the school led by members of staff.  Children enjoyed all sorts of exciting activities including making their own fireworks in Science.

After the tour refreshments were served in the hall and children could enjoy a taste of school dinners – many went back for seconds they enjoyed it so much!

It was lovely to see so many smiling and excited children and we look forward to welcoming you in September.

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Year 13 student Callum reports on his Swansea Uni experience

During the summer holidays I went to the S4 Swansea university science summer school where I participated in university-level science workshops and experiments. Initially when informed about the opportunity I was quite reluctant to enroll because I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I am so glad I did. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life and has definitely motivated me to do well in my A levels so that I can go to university.

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 Day one

On my first full day at the summer school, I studied computing with a techno camp workshop. In teams of 4 we designed a robot from Lego NXT mind storm kits and programmed it on the computer. We competed amongst other teams to see who’s robot was superior. We had to guide our robot around mazes, park it in parking spaces etc. After that we played robot football where we had to design a robot to be a striker and defend the goals at the same time. This was turned into a competition to see who’s robot could score and defend the most amounts of goals.

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After the workshop everyone was given free time and so with the friends I had made so far we explored the gigantic university campus and later walked to Swansea town centre to explore to shops. Later in the evening there was a pub quiz held by the summer school where we grouped together with teachers and answered science questions.

Day two

On the second day I studied biology where I learnt about the topic of marine biology and I had to dissect a mackerel. While dissecting this mackerel I learnt about its internal structures and their functions, I enjoyed this so much because you got to see what you were learning from a physical prospective.  After that we got a tour around Swansea universities science facilities and learnt about the importance of algae, why it is grown from business and its important medical uses. We also got to see muscle filtration and hold real life marine animals such as blue lobsters.

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After the workshop, the summer school then took us to the cinema that they have on campus. It was absolutely packed with people of a variety of ages. We watched an Asian cartoon film, which was similar to anime.

Day three

On the third day I studied physics and mathematics. I learnt about finding exoplanets. I found this really interesting as we got to learn about space and I actually understood it really well considering mathematics and physics are not my strong point. We had to conduct an experiment using a light sensor to detect the shadow created as our exoplanet circled our star. We did this using software on the computer, it was so interesting.

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After the workshop, my friends and I went to the beach, which is directly opposite the university campus. During the week we had also met other students from Germany that were staying in the same halls of residence and so we invited them to the beach with us. We all went in the sea, played volleyball, built a campfire and sat around it until late.

Day four

On the fourth day of Swansea summer school I participated in a geography workshop where we learnt about climate change. We conducted an experiment with collecting carbon dioxide in different heats which was meant to represent the different distances away from the sun, it was really fun.  Later on in the day we explored the university campus to look at the wild life, we then participated in a dendrochronological experiment where we drilled holes into trees and removed sections of the tree to analysis the patterns of tree rings to see how old the tree was, to see if it was a victim of disease or a natural disaster.

After the work shop we all headed to Mumbles beach area where we explored the natural wild life before heading to the beach to explore general marine life. As a group we then explored the beach, went in the sea and generally enjoyed ourselves.

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Fifth day

On the last day we had a talk about UCAS applications from S4 ambassadors who are current students at Swansea Univeristy, Swansea university lectures, professors and Swansea university admissions tutors. They showed us previous examples of personal statements, what they like to see and what they expect from us. They also showed us what they don’t like to see and how to avoid it. There was then a award ceremony and students that had excelled in the individual workshops were rewarded with vouchers, certificates and clothes. There was also an award from the best tweet.

If I choose to go to Swansea University I will receive a £500 bursary just for completing the weeklong Swansea university summer school. The experience was definitely worthwhile as I got to immerse myself in the student lifestyle as well as expand my education. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is interested.

 

 

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Y Pant Students Create an Experiment for the ISS

On 6th July 2014, Katie Crook and I (Juliet Johns) travelled up to London along with 30 other pupils from RCT for Mission Discovery; a 5 day course to learn about space, astronauts, experiments in space and even compete to have our own experiment sent to the International Space Station (ISS).  Joining us at Mission Discovery were another 130 students from all over the UK.  Michelle Ham, a Senior Astronaut Trainer at NASA, led the week giving us various challenges, talks and advice. We were introduced to Mike Foale, a British Astronaut and International Space Station Commander, who explained his story, how he became an Astronaut and his experiences with NASA and other astronauts. We were assigned mentors to our team to help us through the week, and underwent NASA team building.  We had our first lecture from one of the professors at the university, Professor Steve Harridge, who talked to us about muscles and how they perform different in space and on earth.

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The next day we focused on the environment of space and the space shuttle missions. Mike Foale talked us through his six space missions and his share of problems. He also explained some of the existing biomedical experiments in space and the ones that he has worked with. Dr James Clark explained how the body’s circulatory system works in space and the problems that microgravity can cause. We were also extremely lucky to have a skype interview with Jay Honeycutt who is a former director of NASA.  He was an engineer in Flight Operations for the Apollo Programme, and was in mission control for the Apollo 13 mission. It was amazing to talk to him about his experiences and get the opportunity to ask him questions.

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On the Wednesday, Mike Foale showed us what he does in his free time in space and what life in space is like. We were also given a lecture by Dr David Green about the Central Nervous System, how it adapts to being in space and the changes it undergoes when astronauts come back to earth.  We were then talked to by a PhD student about parabolic flights (known as “vomit comets”) and how she had tested her project on one such flight. To finish the day, we got briefed about what our criteria was for the experiment we were going to design; it had to be reasonably cheap, easy to do, fit in a 10x10x10cm box and there were a whole load of other problems we had to consider; for example, if the materials or chemicals we were sending up to space would survive the trip or if they had to be frozen. We came up with a starting idea. In the evening, we went to a private viewing of Gravity with Michelle Ham, Dr David Green and Astronaut Mike Foale who then analysed the film after.

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The next day our experiment started to take shape. We finalised it, started the equipment list, and worked out the cost and the risks. Our mentor helped us find equipment that would be suitable, as mixing anything with liquids in space is very difficult due to microgravity. Our experiment was to see if the rate that amyloid proteins (the proteins that form together to stop nerve cells in the brain communicating and then causing Alzheimer’s) aggregate together quicker in space or on earth.  We had a presentation from Michelle Ham about our presentation skills because the next day we would have to present our idea in front of 160 people and a panel of prestige judges, including Mike Foale, Michelle Ham and all the professors that had presented to us in the week. Afterwards we planned our presentation and practiced. We then ended the day by having a lecture from Thais Russomano about lung function in space.

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Friday was the final day, where we would present our idea and the winner would be chosen. We had a last few minutes to prepare before we were split up so there were 5 other groups we would compete with in heats. We presented in front of Michelle Ham and Thais Russomano and they would have to choose one team to go onto the finals. They questioned us afterwards, which made us think on the spot and challenged us further. After all teams in our heat had presented, we had a break that we spent panicking while they selected the team that would go on to the finals. They announced our group was through and we were so happy, but then we realised we would now have to present in front of 160 people. There were 4 other teams in the final that we would compete with. We did our presentation and then had even more difficult questions, as did all the other teams. All the other ideas were amazing! While the judges made their decision, we had a lecture from Dr Julie Keeble about pharmacology and a lecture from Michael Fenech about DNA and the genomic challenges in space.  The judges came back and announced that we came 2nd! We were completely over the moon (no pun intended) and couldn’t believe it, we were one of the youngest teams competing against 28 other teams in total, all with brilliant ideas! We were called up and received our certificates. It then got even better when Mike Foale said our experiment would also go into space as they decided to send two experiments! The week could not have been any better. We spoke Dr Julie Keeble and she invited us to go back up to Kings College to do further research. We left London so happy and proud.

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We’d like to thank King’s College, all the people that worked with us, our mentor, ISSET, Y Pant and everyone else who helped make our experience at Mission Discovery inspirational and unforgettable.

 

 

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Music Students Raise Hundreds for Charities

Many of you will remember the very successful BTEC concerts back in July. Our Year 12 students did themselves and the school proud with a pair of enjoyable evenings in aid of worthy causes.

The final figures are now in, and the combined total raised is well over £1600, an outstanding effort for a class of nine students!

Many congratulations to them, and thanks to everyone who supported the events.

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Record GCSE Results!

Records tumbled in yet another impressive year for students at Y Pant School.

75% of pupils entered achieved five GCSEs including English and Maths with 88% of the school’s Year 11 cohort attaining five GCSEs at A*-C grades: the best results day in the history of the school. In addition, 97% of the pupil cohort gained 5 A*-G GCSE passes. Nobody left the school without a qualification.

25 top performing students gained a fantastic 10 A/A* or better, with 5 pupils clocking up an amazing 11 or more A*s – Megan Brown (11), Jessica Collins (13), Juliet Johns (12), Lucy McCarthy (13) and Kiera White(11). Jessica said: “I’m astonished! I had worked really hard throughout the courses, but I’m thrilled to get these results.”

Well done to all our students and their supportive parents.   A huge thank you, also, to our dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly to help secure these successes. This has been a great year for the school and for this cohort of young people in particular. As a school we are proud of the exceptional standards reached by our students and the ways in which students continue to fulfil their potential at the school.

The results handed out this summer are the rewards of years of hard work by these pupils and their teachers. It is a proud day in the history of the school and a proud day for these youngsters and their families.

A Level Success!

It was another very good year at Y Pant School as students celebrated their A Level results.

26% of results were awarded A* or A for students taking courses at Y Pant; 53% were awarded A*-B grades: both above the national Welsh average.

Seven students achieved the equivalent of at least 3 A grades at A Level. Jacqueline Hopkins achieved 2 A*s, 1 Starred Distinction and an A grade. Arwel Poacher achieved 2 A*, an A grade and the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification. Ellen Havard achieved 1 A*, 2 A grades and the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification. Sophie Thomas achieved 1 A*, 2 As and 1 B grade. Faye Jones achieved 1A*, 1 A grade and the Welsh Baccalaureate. Gareth Day and Alex Rogers each scored 3 A grades.

We are, once again, very pleased with these strong results. As a school we are proud of the standards reached by our students and the ways in which students continue to fulfil their potential at the school.

The results handed out today are the rewards of years of hard work by these pupils and their teachers. It is a proud day for the school and a proud day for these youngsters and their families. We wish all our students the best for the future and we are thrilled that so many have successfully obtained places on their chosen university courses, apprenticeship placements or are in a strong position to make positive choices for their futures after a gap year.

 

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Students to train in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Three pupils attended The Volunteers Celebration Evening 2014 at Hawthorn Leisure Centre, to receive recognition for the work they have completed with the UNCRC Young People’s Training Group.  Paige Jones, Juliette Johns and Latif Bryant, have been receiving training in how to deliver The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to school staff, governors and pupils.  They are the first group in RCT to receive this training and will start the delivery programme during the 2014 Autumn term.

Well done to all three, you are a credit to Y Pant School.