The yr10 CoPE Group recently met Welsh Assembly Member Jane Davidson when she attended a meeting at Clydach Vale Country Park to discuss a proposed hydro-electric generator project. The year 10 pupils, disguised as litter pickers, waited for the meeting to end and asked for a photograph with the politician. She joked with the group and complemented them on their involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award – as Minister for the Environment she is actively involved in ensuring the maintenance of countryside areas and public footpaths – and supports the Award. The group have been asked to volunteer their time to help with the construction of an outdoor classroom at the Park and will return later in the year. The photo below, shows Lloyd Richards, Kristian Pace, Aaron Rowley Williams, Jane Davidson (AM) Keiron Letheby, Brandon Stead and Tonio Judd.
To celebrate St David’s Day Y Pant Pupils leant their support at a dinner held at Llanharan Rugby Club for local elderly community members. 130 guests, served by the yr10 Cope Group, enjoyed a hearty meal of steaming hot cawl washed down with plenty of tea and home-made Welsh Cakes. Y Pant’s junior choir took charge of after-dinner entertainment, leading the guests in singing a selection of traditional Welsh songs such as Calon Lan, Cwm Rhondda and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. Pupils were kept busy for 3 hours serving food, selling raffle tickets, mingling with guests and providing entertainment. The Mayor of Taff Ely and members of his Office spent time chatting to the pupils and commented on how pleasant it was to see teenagers so enthusiastic and keen to engage with a different generation. Resident paparazzi Mrs Caroline Wool took some great photos of the event.
Year 13’s Elinor Rees has scooped the second prize in the University of Newport annual schools and colleges short story writing competition. Eli’s story was selected by a panel including the well known poet and broadcaster, Ian McMillan. The story, entitled ‘Look to No One but Yourself’, describes the life and longings of an aged would-be rock star as he ponders life from a bus stop bench. It’s a great read – a short extract is included here to give you a flavour of Eli’s acute observation and control. Well done, Eli!
“The tone is very good, the knowingness, the sophistication; it somehow doesn’t feel 100% believable but maybe that doesn’t matter. The ending is nice and low key, resisting all kinds of temptations!” comic poet and broadcaster IAN McMILLAN
More information can be found on the University of Newport website, containing details of Eli’s success.
On 25 th January, Year 11 students Amy Jones and James Watt competed in the Oxford Union Schools Debating Competition and gained a place in the UK finals held at the Oxford Debating Union at Oxford University. Four other Y Pant students competed in the regionals but unfortunately did not make it through to the next round, despite giving exceptional debating performances.
Matthew Knight and Matthew Ingram carried a typically forceful yet light-hearted tone in their debates, which has now become a staple of their style. Zoe Morgan and Martha Reed, who were both relatively inexperienced debaters, put in an eloquent and composed effort. In particular, Martha Reed (one of the youngest debaters alongside Matthew Ingram) dispatching students three or four years her senior with excellent rebuttal.
The night consisted of two debates with the motions (topics) being ‘This house would legalise prostitution’ and ‘This house would cease to trade with countries who refuse to curb their carbon emissions’. Each debate followed the standard British parliamentary format, with eight speakers (four teams of pairs) competing. The topics of discussion are revealed 15 minutes prior to the debate; this short time frame encourages ‘on-the-fly’ thinking and spontaneous discussion.
The event, hosted by Rougemont School in Newport, was great success for Y Pant as Amy and James secured one of just five places in the final from the Welsh region. It was an excellent achievement and their debating on the night was top-rate. Adjudicators commented on their fluidity in speaking and their strong argument structure; also mentioning both of their abilities to handle and rebutt opponents’ attacks on their speeches.
“It was a great night, the competition was strong and the debates were really intense and intellectually stimulating,” James commented, “I really love the thrill of rebutting opponents and thinking of arguments under such pressure.” These debates are an excellent platform for young people to showcase their speaking talents and to voice their opinions on current affairs and matters which are generally seen as being for the older generation. It also garners experience for the students involved and is a great addition to a university application or CV.
James and Amy will be heading to Oxford in March to compete against finalists from the whole of the United Kingdom in what is the most prestigious schools debating competition in the world. We look forward to seeing how they get on and wish all of the Y Pant debaters luck in their future endeavours.
The yr10 CoPE Group have been learning about the consequences of anti-social behaviours such as arson, substance abuse and car crime. They worked with a member of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Youth Team who delivered a series of interactive lessons covering thought provoking and relevant topics. One of the objectives of the scheme was for the participants to find an original way of making their peers aware of potential problems in their communities. They chose graffiti art as a medium for communication and after deciding on appropriate slogans worked with a graffiti artist to produce the boards seen in the photographs. Can you read their messages?
Mon séjour à Paris
(for those of you less than fluent in French – please see Zoe Morgan’s article at the bottom of the page!)
Le 27 janvier, je suis allé à Paris. Je suis allé avec mon école. On a pris l’autocar et on a voyagé et l’Eurotunnel. On est resté dans un Hôtel ( le Holiday Inn) à Roissy près de l’aéroport de Charles de Gaulle. L’hôtel était tr ès confortable, mais notre professeur Mme Davies s’inquiétait parce qu’ il y avait un mini bar dans la chambre !
Pendant la visite nous sommes allés à Disneyland et on est montés Space Mountain cinq fois avec mes amis, c’était super parc que c’était vraiment vite.
J’ai déjeuné à Videopolis avec Martha et nous avons vu un film fantastique. Après nous nous sommes retrouvés avec le groupe et on est allés à Paris pour passer le soir. On a mangé dans un self près de l’Arc de Triomphe au nom de Monte Carlo. Ensuit on a fait un petit tour de Paris et on a vu le Ritz et aussi le Pont d’Alma où La Princesse Diana est morte. On a pris les Bateaux Mouches sur la seine, malheureusement il faisait très froid mais il ne pleuvait pas.
Le vendredi, on a visité La Tour Eiffel – c’était très grande ! On est montés au deuxième étage parce que le troisième étage était fermé à cause des travaux.
Ensuite j’ai visité le musée d’Orsay et j’ai vu des tableaux de Renoir, de Van Gogh et de Monet, c’était très impressionnant parce que j’adore le dessin.
Après avoir déjeuné à McDonalds, on a visité Le Louvre, on a fait le Tour de Da Vinci Code et j’ai vu la Joconde, j’ai perdu la professeur et elle n’ était pas de tout contente !
Le soir on a dîné dans un restaurant célèbre au nom de Chartiers, j’ai mangé du poulet et des frites, comme dessert j’ai pris un sorbet de poire et j’ai bu du Pepsi.
Le dernier jour on a visité Versailles, j’ai vu le marché couvert et aussi le palais bien sûr! On est rentrés encore en car et en Eurotunnel, c’était très confortable mais malheureusement Hannah a vomi et Carmen a perdu son passeport. Finalement on est arrivés au collège à 22h30 on s’est bien amusés mais complètement fatigués.
Mon séjour à Paris était génial je voudrais y retourner l’année prochaine.
French Trip January 2010 (by Zoe Morgan)
Recently Y Pant’s French department went on a visit to Paris the city of love. We left school on January 27 th and returned on the 30 th. We left school at the early hour of six in the morning, it was difficult to even get many of us to answer with one word for the register at that time in the morning but we soon and left and made the journey to Paris, to keep away the inevitable boredom Madame Davies and Madame Rose had come up with fun including the well loved ‘Lotto!’ and educational French quizzes, all the points were counted each day and at the end of the trip the win team were awarded with a special prize. We travelled on the Euro tunnel which thankfully didn’t break down and arrived at Paris about 6pm. We had a quick tour of the main sites in Paris and then had a delicious meal at the beautiful Monte Carlo restaurant, a two minute walk from the iconic Arc de Triumphe. After more sites and a full evening we arrived at the hotel at 10pm, where we all unpacked and said goodnight for the day.
On Thursday we woke early and ate a lovely classic style French breakfast with croissants and pain au chocolat. We travelled to Disneyland, we threw ourselves into the true spirit of Disney, lots of junk food and tons of fast rides what a perfect mix NOT! With some of Europe’s fastest roller coasters situated all in one theme park there were plenty of thrills and spills, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Thunder Mountain and many more. After a fun filled day we left Disney and travelled back to the splendid Monte Carlo restaurant. For a relaxing and interesting end to the day we went on peaceful cruise on the River Seine which flows straight through the centre of Paris. We sat and enjoyed the beautiful architecture of the Parisian buildings while listening to all the facts and the gentle lapping of the water against the edge of the boat.
On Friday again another early morning to fit in all the exciting tours, we visited Eiffel Tower and went to level 2 which was high enough, the wind was rocking the tower which came as an unwelcome shock to many of us. From there we travelled to the Lovre and stood by the famous Da Vinci Pyramid, we saw the famous Mona Lisa and several other well known classics. From here we travelled to the Arc de Truimphe again but this time we made the trek up the 960 steps. The views were spectacular, we could see for miles around in all directions. We made a quick visit to the Notre Dame where we witnessed a service and listened to the choir singing a beautiful hymn. The towers looked so striking in the moonlight. We then ate at the delicious Chartiers, where the waiters all dress like Manuel. We then travelled past the Moulin Rouge to the breath taking Montmartre and had a group photo in front of the famous steps. After a crazy day of climbing steps and taking pictures of all the well known landmarks we headed back to the hotel for some well earned rest or not in some cases.
On our last day in the striking Paris took us to the street market in Versailles, where we were set a challenge to buy the tackiest present possible with 5 Euros, year 11 won in style with a cocktail stick holder. We then visited the giant and magnificent palace of Versailles, the gold gates and ceilings covered in paintings were truly beautiful, and we saw the bedrooms of Mary Antoinette and King George. We again had photos outside the palace and then headed home. We played more fun games and eventually after a final win to throw them into the lead year 9 won the overall prise which was a singing teddy bear picked by the quiz masters. We arrived home at 11.30pm after a thoroughly enjoyable trip which was fun for all years and the teachers. Thanks to everyone who made the trip so enjoyable for all.