Category Archives: News/Newyddion

All the exciting things we have to report.

Rugby Tour to Northern Ireland

During the Easter break twenty two Y Pant pupils embarked  on a rugby tour to Northern Ireland . The boys, led by Jack Little, left Wales with high hopes of a clean sweep of the Province after a convincing 41-7 win against a well drilled Porth Cawl team.

However, they were not just there to play rugby but also to experience a different culture while learning about the history of Northern Ireland – including the famous ship builders of Harland and Wolff and the more sinister history of The Troubles.

Before this could take place there was the small matter of the Cardiff Blues match at Kingspan Stadium. After a bit of negotiation of the Belfast roads by our bus drivers, who quickly became lovingly known as the ‘Chuckle Brothers’, the boys arrived in a fully packed Ravenhill where the more confident boys made their way to the front of the stand and began to sing the song of the weekend about Welsh fluffy sheep, much to the amusement of the home supporters. This did not, however, help the Blues, as they went down in an enjoyable match 36-17 to Ulster.

unnamed (7)

unnamed (6)    unnamed (1)

After a late night dinner of traditional Irish stew the boys settled into their accommodation, where very little sleep actually happened. The cultural side of our visit was next with the boys enjoying the newly opened Titanic Centre before taking off on an open bus tour of Belfast, which included a trip up the infamous Shankill and Falls Roads. After some shopping time in Belfast and another late night the boys were up early for their first outdoor activity at Bloody Bridge River, gorge walking. Daniel Jarret-Perkins was the first brave volunteer to journey into the water, and it was only after he emerged speechless – a rare luxury for any teacher in Y Pant – that we understood how cold the river was going to be.

Unfortunately after free time in Newcastle it was time for the team quiz and forfeits. The details of this cannot be fully disclosed as, ‘what happens on tour stay on tour’ but we can reveal that Dan Mealy suffered for his bright pink suitcase, his mother bringing  him apples at the airport and for his nickname as the coco pop monster.  The last day of the trip was a well-deserved lie-in for the staff and pupils alike followed by a training session and a very wet zip line and climbing wall session at Greenhill YMCA.

Though our visit to the Titanic Quarter was interesting and our tour of Belfast was educational, our reason for being in Northern Ireland was to play rugby. It was it in our first game, on the Saturday morning, that the boys had a real education in rugby. Playing in the shadow of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral the boys played a well drilled, physical Down High School. The grammar school from the warm up had a more professional approach compared to our sleep deprived boys who from the first whistle were under massive amounts of pressure. As Y Pant was pulled left and right desperately trying to defend their line big hits from captain Jack Little, Lloyd Wilkins and Dylan George managed to keep Down High out for a while but soon the pressure was too much with the County Down school scoring twice under the posts. Y Pant did manage to put a few phases together but weak rucking never allowed the Y Pant backline to really open up. Our sole points came from the boot of man of the match Lloyd Wilkins who slotted a penalty kick with ten minutes of the first half remaining. In the second half it was very much the same story with a few brave souls putting a shift in and Down High losing their discipline to keep the score down. Though the score finished 29-3 to Down High the score was not truly reflective of the excellent performance that Down High put in against Y Pant.

This performance did not deter the boys. Many teams would have retreated into their shells, especially considering we were playing the strongest club team in Ulster, Ballynahinch RFC on the Monday night under floodlights, but this was not the case for Y Pant.

In torrential rain Y Pant went out and played the game of their lives. In a performance that would have certainly pushed Down High the whole way Y Pant were outstanding against a very big and physical Ballynahinch side. With the wind on their backs Y Pant attacked the Hinch line only ever coming inches from scoring. It was a fierce battle, the likes of Taylor Pillinger and Leon Gill repeatedly produced great tackles and made constant turn overs for the boys in blue. As the game wore on, momentum started to swing from side to side until five minutes from end of the first half when a great sweeping attack was finished off by Jeven Tiffin in the corner. With the conversion missed by Lloyd Wilkins it was up to Y Pant to do something special before the wind turned against them in the second half. Up stepped Josh Lock who caught the kick off and danced his way through the Hinch defence untouched to score under the posts leaving the game 12-0 at half time. Facing a stiff breeze which had died slightly at the start of the second half Y Pant played smart possession rugby with Mitchel Jones and Harri Evans controlling the strings. A wet ball meant scrums which the powerful Hinch pack dominated and the momentum started to swing back as the wind picked up in favour of Ballynahinch. But Y Pant stepped up another gear with Jon Saunders like a man possessed and Daniel Griffiths taking down players twice his size. With Hinch throwing everything at Y Pant, Harri Deaves-Small turned the ball over and began an attack on the break which opened up space for powerful centre Ben Robinson to smash his way through the tiring scramble defence of Ballynahinch. With each tackle and turnover being celebrated like a winning try another turnover and attack on the break led to Ben Robinson again smashing his way through the defence and racing under the posts to leave the score 26-0 to Y Pant. For the next fifteen minutes Y Pant defended  their line like they were defending the Welsh boarder. Numerous penalties led to Ballynahinch living on the Y Pant line with Jack Little on more than one occasion pushing the would-be try scorer back over the line. With man of the match Harri Deaves-Small shown yellow Y Pant hung on for a fantastic win which every single player that played should cherish. Though the game finished 26-0 this was not a true reflection of the battle that Y Pant went through to get the win. This was a hard fought battle that every single boy should be proud of.

I would like to thank the boys again for their contribution to the tour and excellent behaviour (for the most part) while out in Northern Ireland and to the parents that gave their boys a great learning experience, in both terms of rugby and education. And of course Ballynahinch Rugby Club, Down High School and Mr Foley for his excellent support and good humour.

 

unnamed (4)      unnamed (5)

unnamed (3) unnamed (2)

unnamed

 

Y Pant pupils see the eclipse up close!

A minibus full of Year 8 pupils had the opportunity to view today’s partial eclipse through a powerful telescope in Tesco car park. We were blessed with a bright and clear sunny day so got to see the whole show.

Pupils told us that,

“it’s so awesome and it seems so close!”

“I loved the red colour when it started and there were flames coming off it.”

“It’s amazing sciency stuff and it looks like the moon but it’s really the sun!”

Thanks to Katie Jarman for the amazing money shot! And Mrs Wool  for organising.  The event was jointly organised by Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC and Dark Sky Wales.

Y Pant Students Featuring on Local News Sites

Y Pant students must be a very photogenic lot!  Two recent events have seen our students appear on other local news websites.

Firstly, following their attendance at the Keeping it Equal careers event in the Celtic Manor last week, two year 7 students were snapped talking to ITV weather presenter and former Y Pant student, Kate Lewis.  We’re delighted that Kate is coming to present the awards at the presentation evening next Thursday.  You can read the full article online on the ITV website.

ITV Cymru Wales Weather Presenter Kate Lewis helps students try out the forecast Photo: Kyle Westwood/ITV Cymru Wales

Secondly, during the partial solar eclipse this morning, some year 8 students were lucky enough to take part in the joint RCT / Tesco / Dark Skys Wales event at Tesco Talbot Green and have been featured on the Wales Online gallery!  You can see all the brilliant pictures from around Wales on their website.

We’ll have more photos of this event plus a write-up from the students next week.

Picture from Wales Online
Picture from Wales Online

The rest of us kept our eyesight safe and stayed at school watching the BBC Stargazing Live livestream of the eclipse via the internet.

Mr Pearsall with the Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina

As an Army Reservist Mr Pearsall has been deployed on a military exercise with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As part of the Military Stabilisation Support Group element of the newly formed 77 Brigade he has been taking part in Exercise Civil Bridge based out of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH).

It is an exercise in support of UK Defence Engagement by elements of 77 Brigade.In assisting the BiH Government to develop their contingency plans for natural disasters at both strategic and operational levels, Exercise Civil Bridge will contribute to the long term international effort to stabilise BiH ethnic groups and authorities.

Mr Pearsall last served in Bosnia and Herzegovina on peace keeping operations in 1998. After serving with the Military Stabilisation Support Group on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and on exercises in Nepal, Belize and Uganda this will be Mr Pearsall’s last activity with the Group. Although a little sad about leaving he is now looking forward to being commissioned as a Captain and transferring to the Education and Training Services branch of the Adjutant General Corps where he will take up his role as a Learning Development Officer.

Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and Mr Pearsall would like to thank Y Pant School Board of Governors, Headteacher Mr Powell and Rhondda Cynon Taff Local Education Authority for their continued support of the Army Reserves.

Year 8 pupils create an electronic orchestra

On March 5th and 6th, two groups of year 8 students spent the day creating an electronic orchestra.  Working with musicians Gaz Williams and Alex Rees (who worked with Y Pant before on Envirovision) the pupils learned to use various technical gadgets to create music.

ElectronicOrchestra

The pupils had to work together to ensure their gadgets were all working harmoniously.  At the end of the day, their tracks were recorded – and you can listen to them below!


Girls Keep it Equal at the Celtic Manor

Last Friday 19 girls from years 7, 8, 9 and 10 attended a special all-female careers event at the Celtic Manor resort.  The Keeping It Equal careers event, organised by Full Circle Education aims to promote non-stereotypical careers to girls.

KeepingItEqual2015-2

We started in one of the huge convention halls with talks from some incredibly inspiring speakers including Philippa Tuttiett (Welsh International rugby player, TV presenter and owner of all-female building company FBI(Female Builders and Interiors).  We also heard from Dame Rosemary Butler AM, Presiding Officer, National Assembly for Wales who explained how her political career got started when she campaigned for a bench for mothers to sit on at her local playground.

KeepingItEqual2015-4

The girls then had the opportunity to visit all the careers stands available where they found out about roles in the Armed Forces, forensics and the building industry and met former Y Pant pupil and ITV weather presenter, Kate Lewis.

At the end of the day we had more inspiring talks from Abi Carter, about her career in archaeological forensics and Helen Walbey of Recycle Scooters who has faced homelessness twice and now runs her own successful business.

KeepingItEqual2015-3

The girls enjoyed the opportunity to find out about the different career options open to them.  They were also amazed by the scale and grandeur of the Celtic Manor resort.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2015

Fair trade

We are a Fairtrade Achiever school. We have celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight by thinking about the issues faced by the producers who supply our food and other goods made from things that don’t grow in this country.

This year we have been thinking about…chocolate!

fairtrade.1

Form time Thought for the Week as been centred on a series of films showcasing a British school girl’s trip to the Dominican Republic in search of a chocolate adventure. The films are available from the Fairtrade Foundation website. http://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/

Assemblies this week have been delivered by members of the Environment and Community Cabinets whereby they have role-played a news desk report highlighting the tough times that cocoa farmers have to produce our chocolate and yet have never tasted chocolate themselves!


The Parliament cabinets have embarked upon some Fairtrade activities such as the infamous banana speed eating, which was won this year by Sam Boyd in Y8 in 30 seconds.  They also took a blind chocolate taste test to see if they could identify the Fairtrade bar and which one they preferred. The Fairtrade bar was successfully identified but 8 / 10 pupils preferred the Tesco’s own milk chocolate (I suppose that Rainforest Alliance is better than nothing “)

There has been a display in reception around which our pupils served Fairtrade Tea, coffee and hot chocolate at parents evening:

Obviously some teachers just came and helped themselves “)

They also asked parents to undertake a short Fairtrade survey and here are some of the results:

  • 91% said that they recognised the Fairtrade logo
  • 91% agreed that, ‘International trade is mostly undemocratic and controlled by large multinationals. FT spread power and enables more people to have control over their lives.’
  • 62% ranked this statement as most important: ‘Fairtrade is one of the most practical actions that consumers can take against exploitation by multinationals.’ (24% of respondents did not rank the statements)

The school canteen got on board with Fairtrade bananas and Ali’s awesome banana cake and the Co-op once again sponsored our staff Fairtrade coffee morning. The helpers this year were Scott, Cam and Nat who did a sterling job and thanks also has to go to Mr Mitchell and Miss Knight for their amazing cakes!

 

Diolch yn fawr iawn

Miss Richmond and the Community and Environment Cabinets

Year 9 say ¡hola! to their Spanish pen pals

Last week the Spanish Department received Penpal letters from Valencia. 9×1, 9×2 and 9y1 were lucky enough to receive a letter from their new Valencian friends. This week the Year 9 pupils have been working hard drafting and creating their reply letters and are extremely excited to see their work being sent off to Spain. Mrs Fernandez and Miss O’Keefe have already been nagged about when pupils will receive their next letter!

Y Pant Hack Day – year 6 & 7 pupils learn cooking & computing skills with Technocamps

HackDayLogo

On Saturday 28th February we welcomed 88 year 6 and 7 children into Y Pant for our first ever Hack Day.  This was an ambitious programme of events designed to give children experience of activities they wouldn’t otherwise be able to try out in lessons or at home.

Most of the computing workshops were run by staff from Technocamps who brought along masses of equipment as well as their experts.

technocamps_highres

The workshops that ran on the day were:

Brownie Baking

Miss Knight, ably assisted by Mrs James and Scott , ran two 2-hour brownie baking workshops.  It was very reminiscent of Great British Bake Off, with everyone hurriedly trying to cool their brownies before they could pipe green icing on top in the manner of Minecraft blocks.  We then ate the brownies for pudding after lunch!

Minecraft

Fraser from Technocamps ran this workshop using Minecraft Edu.  They brought along their own server with a large number of structures already in place in the world (Kieran, one of our year 11 helpers was pleased so see his creations from a Technocamps workshop two years earlier were still there).  Participants worked together to build more structures.

DIY Gamers

These little Arduino devices from Technology Will Save Us allow you to program a game on the laptop, upload it to the DIY Gamer and then play it.  Marius from Technocamps taught everyone the ins and outs of programming and they all enjoyed playing the games.

Arduino Robot Cars

Another Arduino device, these had to be programmed on the laptops first but Richard from Technocamps taught everyone everything they needed to know.  They then tested them up and down the corridor seeing who’s went the furthest and straightest!

Kodu

Mr Davey, who was a student teacher with us last year, came back to run a Kodu workshop.  This is a free games programming piece of software created by Microsoft to create Xbox-style games using the controllers.  Some challenging games were created!

Raspberry Pi Traffic Lights

This little computer is made just down the road at the Sony factory in Pencoed.  Laura and Rob from Technocamps showed everyone how to attach the breakout boards containing LEDs and then programme these in Python to flash in a particular sequence.  This was the quietest of all the rooms with everyone concentrating hard.

For lunch, we ordered in pizza from Dominoes and ate freshly baked brownies – we were all full afterwards!

During the day, workshop leaders selected students they felt had performed exceptionally well during the day and these were awarded prizes at the end.  Da iawn all!

Thanks

I’d like to thank the following people for making this an excellent day:

From Y Pant

Miss Knight for the cooking sessions, Mrs Johns, Miss Umbleja, Mrs James, Miss Richmond, Mr Jenkins, and Mr Gowman; Arron our IT technician and Vanessa and Dave for caretaking and driving; student teachers Sara, Lia, Alan and Tristan for their excellent support.

Student volunteers: Catrin, Rebecca, Scott, Lauren, Kieran and Kieran.

From Technocamps

Laura, Richard, Rob, Marius and Fraser.

8Y1 French Culture project

DSCF8363 (1)

Year 8 Set 1 have been involved in an ICT based project aimed at developing cultural awareness and understanding of France. Students were asked to chose a location on the French map and then undertake IT based research on the geographical,   historical and regional information to give an insight into the variety of France as a country.

Students were buzzing with enthusiasm to create fantastic power points that will be used within the French department to show other students what a fascinating country France truly is.  Madame Rose was impressed by their IT and research skills and this work will form a legacy for others to enjoy.