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.”
The Rainbow of Hope is a Cardiff based Charity run by Elizabeth Atkins. For the last 14 years she has been providing practical help, advice and support for homeless people, asylum seekers and those living in poverty. She accepts practical donations, clothing, blankets, books, toiletries, food etc. and distributes them to those in need.
Before Christmas the CoPE group designed and made Christmas cards to be distributed to people who are helped by the Charity and also a certificate for Rainbow of Hope to send to organisations thanking them for their contributions.
Elizabeth and her team operate a mobile soup kitchen every night in Cardiff city centre which feeds approximately 50 people. The CoPE group decided they would like to continue to offer support by preparing basic food parcels once a fortnight consisting of filled rolls and small cakes – enough to feed a homeless person for 1 night at least. This is another example of the community work which the CoPE group are involved in as part of their qualification but if anybody else is interested in supporting the charity please see Miss Purcell.
The Design & Technology Department at Y Pant has been taking part in a Transition Project with ESIS, UWIC and over 60 year 6 pupils from two local primary schools. The project was centred on Christmas and allowed pupils to experience computerised manufacturing processes.
Why it happened?
With the Technology curriculum changing, a greater emphasis has been placed on Computer Aided Design & Computer Aided Manufacture. Mr Stephens was asked to meet with ESIS Advisors and UWIC University tutors to plan a project that would link work in primary schools and secondary schools. As a result of this two local primary schools were given Robo-Craft plotters via ESIS and UWIC to allow them to show up to date Design and Technology within their schools.
What pupils did?
Year 6 pupils were asked to design and make a prototype for an interlocking Christmas decoration. All of this work was completed in their primary schools. Once completed, all finished work was sent to Y Pant and UWIC where it was cut out using a Laser Cutter. This allowed pupils to understand how work like this may be completed in industry.
The project was a complete success with over 60 pieces of work being produced. Year 6 pupils are currently visiting Y Pant to see how this process was carried out.
A film crew has been working in Y Pant this week making a programme for the Freeview channel Teachers TV. They filmed a number of lessons in the English department, focussing on boys’ literacy in particular. The programme will be broadcast later this year. More details to follow.
On Friday 6 th March 2009 6 Year 10 pupils visited County Hall, Ystrad Mynach. We were there to attend a Model United Nations General Assembly along with many other schools from the area; our school was assigned The Democratic Republic of Congo and Israel.
Two topics were up for debate: A State’s Duty to Protect its Citizens and The Protection of Human Rights while Combating Terrorism. We were to present speeches on the first topic, ‘A State’s Duty to Protect it’s Citizens’.
As well as the 21 attending countries there were also the International Press, Amnesty International ad Medicins Sans Frontieres. The event was hosted by two very talented individuals – the President Cosmo Montagu and the Vice-President Ona Flindall. The event ran smoothly thanks to the UN Secretariats from Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari.
At the start, Canada presented their resolution highlighting the worrying situation in Congo – the floor was then open for all other opening speeches, including ours! The floor was now open for countries to retire to the Negotiation Chamber.
After all amendments had been made to Canada’s resolution vote was taken and, to Canada’s relief, was passed. The afternoon continued in a similar fashion, but this time Pakistan’s resolution failed.
Zoe Morgan 10L
Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures of the snow we had in February. The winning entry was taken by Jack Scammell in year 11 who wins a book on Digital Photography.
The competition was judged by RCT official photographer and E3 photography expert, Mr Darren Warner. Darren praised Jack’s photo, which was taken on an iPhone for the way in which it draws the viewer into the distance and the use of the tree trunk and branches to frame the image.
It’s a commonly held view that teenagers are obscenely argumentative. Whilst this may be true, it’s not necessarily a negative thing, as proven by Year 10 debaters Matthew Knight and James Watt from Y Pant Comprehensive School. The two boys attended the prestigious Oxford Union Schools Debating Competition Finals in the Oxford Union having gained one of a handful of places given in the Welsh regional round.
James, 15 and Matthew, 14 were undoubtedly the youngest participants in the competition, with the majority of the other debaters being sixth form students. On top of this, they represented one of the few state secondaries, competing against numerous private and grammar schools. Mr Howells, their English teacher said, ‘It was an outstanding achievement to get that far, but to win a debate was excellent’ and ‘myself and the whole school are proud of their accomplishment’.
The finals day consisted of four British parliamentary-style debates on the motions ‘This house would institute fifty percent quotas for women on the boards of corporations’, ‘This house believes that the state should make all important decisions on the behalf of mentally ill patients, instead of their families’, ‘This house would confiscate the assets of criminals to pay for their incarceration’ and ‘This house would enter Sudan to forcibly carry out the arrest warrant on Omar Al-Bashir for crimes against humanity in Dafur’. Each motion was disclosed 15 minutes prior to the start of each debate, allowing a short space of time for the participants to consult any printed materials and form the key points of their arguments. During the actual debate, each debater is required to speak for five minutes and answer various questions, or points of information as they are known in debating jargon, received from their opponents. This style is said to encourage ‘on-the-fly’ thinking and greatly develops each speaker’s articulation and argument forming skills.
The two boys won one of their debates held in the actual Oxford Union debating chamber, the room which has played host to a number of world-renowned politicians and speakers including Ronald Reagan and even the Dalai Lama himself.
The overall winner of the competition was St Paul’s School’s A, but James and Matthew took the experience with them and are looking ahead to next year’s competition as another excellent opportunity