The RE department take a group of around 30 year 11 pupils to New York most years. They study the cultural diversity of this fascinating city and take in trips to Ground Zero, Ellis Island and the central synagogue.
“In February of this year Y Pant School again took to the skies and landed in the Big Apple. It was another action packed, multi cultural tour of a fantastic city. We landed in New Jersey after a long and tiring journey but all exited and filled with anticipation for the coming adventure.
Our guide Tim met us at the airport and accompanied us on our tour of the sites and sounds of New York city. Our visit encompassed all aspects of a city which is bursting with culture and diversity. We took in many sites of religious and cultural importance from St Paul’s Cathedral to the fireman’s church near to the site of Ground Zero. Again I think the visit to ground zero was a compelling and emotional experience for all involved. We all were moved by the scale of the tragedy this is a living tribute to. The church which holds the letters and pictures commemorating the losses experienced during the 9/11 tragedy is very moving and humbling. Again it was very much appreciated by all of us as we wandered silently through the displays. Over the course of the week we took in tourist sites such as Liberty Island, Ellis Island, China Town, the Empire state Building, the UN buildings and Central Park.
We covered as much of the city as possible and made the most of our short stay. A new element to the tour this year was a trip to the Jewish Holocaust Museum.
This was a moving and eye opening experience. For many of us it was also quite life changing. The Museum is an incredibly well organised, visual tribute to another world disaster which should never be forgotten. We were taken around the displays by real Holocaust survivors whose stories were incredible. This gave the pupils a very human insight into the emotional and historical background of the persecution of the Jewish race and extreme Anti Semitic behaviour displayed through the events of the World War. This trip was both emotionally and physically tiring. It is also however a trip which inspires great memories which were made and shared through an array of experiences. I think all horizons were broadened and all would love to return to New York. This is a city which invokes a real appreciation of the social and cultural diversity our world has on offer.”
On Monday December 15th, the Biology department arranged a trip for over 50 year 12 and 13 students to the above conference, arranged by the Wales Gene Park, and held at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. The event was very well attended, with the lower levels of the hall filled with A level students , many of whom had travelled a considerable distance to attend the event.
Speakers at the event included Dr. Peter Kille of Cardiff University speaking about the Human Genome; Prof. Mike Bruford of Cardiff University speaking about Wildlife Forensics; Professor Anne Rosser speaking about Stem Cells; Prof Dennis Murphy of the University of Glamorgan speaking about GM food; Dr. John Bassett of the Forensic Science Service in Chepstow, speaking about DNA and Crime detection, and Prof. Steve Jones of UCL speaking about genes and evolution (is man just a shaved chimpanzee?!)
All topics were relevant to the A level syllabus, with some being particularly useful to students about to attend interview for university places, or considering career pathways.
On completion of the evaluation form, the department received copies of a disc on the ethics of the forensic use of bioinformation, which will be a valuable addition to our resources. Additionally, students were directed to the Wales Gene Park website, where information about the talks is available.
Our students’ behaviour was of the highest standard throughout – they were a real credit to the school. The trip passed without incident, and was much appreciated by the students. At the end of the conference [3.30pm], students were allowed some free time for Christmas shopping, returning to the bus by 5.15pm, rounding off a most enjoyable day!
Mrs Jayne Griffiths, Mrs Liz Mitchell, Mr Ian Dyson
Tom Rowlands, a sixth form student in Y Pant School, was this week invited to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay to receive an award for 100% attendance over five school years. He, along with only 25 students from schools throughout the Mid-Glamorgan area, received the award from the Deputy Minister for Education on behalf of The Education & Business Partnership.
Tom with Deputy Headteacher Mr Mark Powell at the ceremony last week
Students, their parents and representatives from their schools, met in the Senedd and enjoyed a fascinating tour of the building and insights into the workings of the Assembly Government. This was followed by the formal presentation of plaques commemorating this tremendous achievement. Proud parents, the Minister himself and the EBP representatives all agreed that these young people had demonstrated a commitment to their learning which was quite exceptional. Universities and employers alike would, in the future, view these students as having outstanding potential.
Deputy Headteacher Mark Powell said, ‘It was a real privilege to be able to be at the Senedd with Tom and his parents. He is an exceptional student who deserves every success in the future. He has made his family and his school extremely proud and we all look forward to seeing him develop still further over the coming years.’
On December 12th, 3 Year 10 pupils: James Watt, Michael Gilheaney and Matthew Knight took part in a schools Public Speaking Competition organised by EBP and the English Speaking Union at the QED Centre in Treforest.
10 schools took part and our team came top, winning the cup for best overall team. Matthew was the Speaker, Michael the Chairman and James the Questioner and their topic was “Voting Should Be Made Compulsory.
They now go through to the Welsh schools final at the Senedd in March.
On Friday 12th December, Y Pant School was delighted to open its doors and welcome over 120 senior members of its community to the 2nd Annual Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party.Organised by the 6th Form Charity Committee, chaired by Mrs J. Dyson, and E3+, run by Mrs Caroline Wool, the school’s main hall was transformed into a winter wonderland for the three coach-loads of guests. They arrived at 2:30pm to be greeted by staff and pupils, all in festive spirit (and Christmas costumes!) Once seated, the senior citizens were treated to an afternoon of entertainment, provided by the pupils. The school choir opened with a selection of carols which was followed by a drama sketch written by Year 7 pupil, Will Taylor. Rhiannan Falshaw-Skelly also amazed guests with her spectacular musical talents on the violin.
Pupils from the school served a delicious buffet for the senior citizens and took the opportunity to talk to the older members of their own community. By the time the sherry and mince pies went around, everyone was in full festive flow and ready for the rest of the afternoon’s entertainment!
This took the form of a free raffle, with over 40 prizes donated from local companies and staff of Y Pant. The school would like to take this opportunity to thank The Butcher’s Arms, Crabtree and Evelyn and The Fruit Shop and all members of staff for their generous donations. The day then turned its attention to the ever-popular games of Bingo, called by Mrs Helen Jones. With two beautiful hampers filled with Christmas treats up for grabs, it was little wonder that this was a closely fought competition!
Finally, the senior citizens were surprised by a visit from Father Christmas, delivering a gift for every guest. The whole afternoon was a tremendous success and the school look forward to hosting this annual event next December.
With the 2012 Olympics in London just 4 years away there’s a very real possibility that Team GB could see 3 representatives from Y Pant. After recent championships and trials, three pupils from Year 11 are currently at the forefront of their respective sports in their age group.
Demi Brookes is the top British girl in Judo.
Tony Pace is the 2nd British boy in Boxing.
Danielle Stirratt is currently 4th in her age group in Britain for Swimming.
To say we are proud of them is a massive understatement! We hope we can continue to give them as much support with their sporting careers as possible.