Category Archives: News/Newyddion

All the exciting things we have to report.


6th form host an inter-generational Christmas party

Last week we welcomed some of the more senior members of our community into school for our annual inter-generational Christmas party.

This is a lovely event on our annual 6th form calendar and gives 6th form students to talk to the retired people who attend as well as serving them snacks and drinks.

Our visitors also enjoyed entertainment and a raffle.

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Art department win prestigious Wolfson Foundation grant

We are delighted that the Wolfson Foundation has awarded a grant of up to £25,000 toward the cost of IT equipment for the Art department to enable students studying GCSE and A Level Art to undertake projects as part of their studies.


The department will use digital cameras to record the local landscape and other stimuli which will be imported in to hand-held tablets for digital manipulation and painting using software applications. This project closely mirrors Hockney’s creative process which begins with the use of digital photography which is uploaded to a hand-held device. Using digital manipulation software, Hockney draws over the original image using various ‘brushwork’ techniques. The new media applications allow students the opportunity to apply traditional artistic techniques, such as line, tone, texture, shape and pattern, whilst using new digital media applications. The completed imagery is then either published in its digital form, or printed on a high quality printer to form a physical artefact. The use of the high definition cameras will also support students generally in their everyday art activities through recording and chronicling of the production of their practical work. The use of photography will afford students the opportunity to reflect on their work whilst producing personal and informed outcomes, another requirement of the course.


This project was inspired by a former student, Jack Penberthy, who chose this creative process independently during his A Level studies. The image above showcases Jack’s work.

The training and introduction of the project will take place in the coming terms and will be followed up with a second wave of use by our Media Studies department. Their use of the IT equipment would be multi-faceted. Initially the use of the digital photography, and the ability manipulate the image using Fresh Paint or other photo shop software, will give access to GCSE and A Level students to produce high quality artefacts such as specialist magazine front covers. This will widen the scope of the independent opportunities they can take.

In addition to using the software in operation with the Art project, we plan to purchase film editing software to allow students to produce and edit their own film as part of the Media coursework.

We are delighted with the news of this grant award – many thanks and congratulations to the Art Department, led by Mrs Gold and to the Media Studies department, led by Miss Umbleja for their hard work in preparing the details of the project and meeting the representative from the Wolfson Foundation.

Acts of Kindness

After this year’s week of anti-bullying activities where we looked at the power of the bystander to make situations worse or better depending on their reaction, we spent some time considering acts of kindness. Pupils were challenged to commit as many random acts of kindness during the week as they could. Pupils subsequently nominated those who had epitomised this terrific value.

Winners are:

Y7 – Toby Nowalski, Alys Cleverley, Theo Fripp and Josh Harris;

Y8 – Saskia Wason, Lois Gill, Jamie Sallam and Rhys Winterburn;

Y9 – Mile Binding, Iwan Price Thomas, Tom Meek and Niamh Coates;

Y10 – Flic Bancroft, Dan Ranson, Zoe Li and Jordan Quin;

Y11 – Katie Burnell, Corey Coleman, Nick Andrews and Meg Batacan;

6th form – Josh Davies, Katie Williams, Alex Foster, Jack Ryan and Sam Mounter.

Well done and congratulations to all.

Thanks also to Mr Foley and Mr Pelaez who were also nominated by the students as always ready to listen and to help them understand their work



Skilled performers at our annual Christmas Carol concert

Our annual Christmas Carol Concert was an absolute treat last night!  Once again the Bethel Baptist Church in Pontyclun were kind enough to invite us to hold this special celebration.

The evening featured lots of group performances from across the year groups including the junior and senior choirs, the orchestra, guitar group, wind band and BTEC groups.  Five girls in year 8 also delighted us with their very original performance of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.

The pupils put on a fabulous show and have clearly been working hard on this for weeks!

Many thanks to our Performing Arts department, Mr Owen Thomas, Mr Tom Breeze, Mr Marvin Thomas and Mrs Maggie Kelly plus Mr Mathew Ashment for all their hard work as well.

ESU 2014 picture

Students perform well at the English Speaking Union public speaking event

On Wednesday 26th November a team of Year 10 and 11 girls competed in the English Speaking Union Churchill Public Speaking competition in the Training Centre Wales.

Lauren Pickens performed expertly in her role as Speaker.  Lauren had 30 minutes at the start of the competition to meet the two other members of her team and brief them on the 5 minute speech she had prepared with Maddie Colcombe that analysed the impact of 24 hour news on modern day society.  Several teachers from other schools congratulated Lauren on her delivery and interesting points.  She was quizzed by the Questioner from the opposing team and answered questions articulately destroying any opposing arguments!

Tamsin Penberthy took charge of the difficult role of Chairperson.  Her role involved leading the discussion, keeping an eye on timings and directing questions from the floor to the Guest Speaker in her team.  She guided the team through proceedings smoothly and was congratulated by the judges on her performance.

Ania Kandasamy won the coveted ‘Best Questioner’ prize!  A fantastic achievement for a first timer!  Ania had 30 minutes at the start of the competition to meet with her Guest Speaker and quiz him on his topic – she made appropriate notes and asked pertinent questions.  The judges commended her use of the word “elaborate” within her questions as this was exactly what they were looking for from the Questioners and Ania was the only one out of three to use it.

The team performed fantastically well and prepared for the competition during their own time and at break and lunch times in school.  Well done girls – you are all a real credit to the school.

ESU 2014 picturenes


Students take part in the Comenius Conference in Germany

Last week, Harry Bradford, Alex Davies and Mollie McFarlane attended the fourth Comenius Conference in Germany.  They stayed with pupils from the Willigis Gymnasium, Mainz.

During the visit our pupils presented themselves, our school, our country and our multi-cultural mask project.  They also worked on several activities linked to the theme of a multi-cultural society: an art project entitled “Doors into Europe”, a caricatures competition and a group discussion based on how societies and languages are changing due to foreign influences including immigration, culture, social media etc.  All pupils involved reflected well upon these questions and came up with unique and interesting responses, especially for this question – “The USA has been described as a melting pot where cultures have melted together and formed a new culture, the American one.  Others have described the USA as a salad bowl, where you can clearly see the different cultures which together make up the American society.  Which of these two terms, melting pot or salad bowl, will be the best to describe the future European society?”  Answer – “it depends on the chef!”

During the visit, our pupils were extremely lucky to attend the Mainz Carnival, also known as Mainzer Fastnacht, one of the largest carnival events in Germany.  The crowd gathered in Schillerplatz and observed the celebrations, parade and fancy dress!  Pupils also had the opportunity to visit Frankfurt and the Museum of Communication.

Our pupils had a fantastic time in Mainz and gained a wonderful life experience.


Girls find out about STEM careers at Sony

On Wednesday 26th November 15 of our Year 9 girls had the privilege of visiting the local SONY plant.  The purpose of the visit was to show the girls the opportunities that exist for them in the Technology and Engineering sectors.

The girls had a great time and got to experiment with lots of amazing new technology.  They were able to have their photographs taken with celebrities and present the weather thanks to green screen technology.  They also got to see how SONY were involved with goal line technology in the football world cup and watch the latest Raspberry Pi’s being made.

This trip was a really eye opening experience for the girls.  They met several female engineers who all spoke of their positive experience of working in Technology and Engineering.

This trip coincides with a recent announcement from Nicky Morgan (Education Secretary for England).

Speaking at the launch of the “Your Life” campaign she said,

“Too many young people are making subject choices at the age of 15 that are holding them back for the rest of their lives”.

She went on to explain,

“A decade ago students took maths and sciences if they knew they wanted to be a doctor, a pharmacist or an engineer. But if you wanted to do something different, or even if you didn’t know what you wanted to do, and let’s be honest it takes a pretty confident 16-year-old to have their whole life mapped out ahead of them, then the arts and humanities were what you chose. Because they were useful for all kinds of jobs.  Of course now we know that couldn’t be further from the truth, that the subjects that keep young people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the Stem subjects.”

STEM subjects are Science, Design & Technology, Engineering and Maths.

We have a careers board in the Design & Technology department that has lots of current vacancies for technical jobs both locally and nationally.  I urge all students to have a good look at this board.  Many students so far have been surprised by the range of jobs that studying D&T can lead to and the impressive salaries attached.

If you have any questions about any of our subjects on offer please pop in and see Mr. Draper or have a look at our web site.

Children in Need 2014

On Friday 14th November held our annual fundraiser for Children in Need and raised over £3000!
Lots of activities took please and everything was live blogged on the day by our year 9 BBC School Report team.  You can read their reports on the School Report website.
Click to visit the Y Pant School Report website
Click to visit the Y Pant School Report website
Mr Mitchell also took lots of photos!

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