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.
It’s that time of year again – Christmas is approaching, and for the Performing Arts Department, that means a diary full of festive events!
We hope to bump into you at some of the following:
Tuesday 2nd December: Students will be performing on the Glanfa Stage at the Wales Millennium Centre at 1pm. The concert will be broadcast live on the Internet on the WMC website.
Wednesday 3rd December: The school brass ensemble will be performing in a concert at Llandaff Cathedral.
Thursday 4th December: We will be entertaining the Christmas meeting of the fifty-plus forum at Pontyclun Athletic Club.
Tuesday 9th December: The Pontyclun WI are hosting a group of our young singers at Pontyclun Community Centre.
Thursday 11th December: Our main Christmas concert is back in Bethel Baptist Church. Come along! The concert starts at 7.00pm and there will be a range of performers from right across the school performing a variety of Christmas classics. All are very welcome.
Friday 12th December: We will be providing entertainment at the annual Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party at Y Pant.
Monday 15th December: We will be welcoming Year 6 musicians to perform with our Year 7 pupils at our transitional Christmas concert here in school.
Friday 19th December: Our musicians will send off 2014 in style with their contribution to the final assembly.
Once we have sung, played, danced and acted our way through that lot, Y Pant’s young performers will have thoroughly earned their Christmas break!
A group of year nine pupils have worked extremely hard this week making masks. The brief was to create a mask that summarised your opinion of a multi-cultural society. The masks will be show cased at the Comenius Conference in Mainz, Germany.
Four Y Pant pupils attended the third Comenius Conference in Holland, with the focus of the conference on using technology in the 21st century. Our pupils stayed with host families and attended the local school, Rijks Regionale Scholengemeenschap in Bergen op Zoom. They adapted well to life in Holland by cycling to and from school and all were amazed by the Dutch school; the facilities, the lack of school uniform, the cleanliness (lots of bins and hardly any litter!), the technology available (free WIFI!) and how well behaved all Dutch pupils were.
During the visit all pupils presented themselves and their schools, participated in a “Time Machine” activity where they compared the 1950s to the present day and the not so distant 2050s, they learned about the history of social media, they went mountain biking, designed logos for the project and visited Antwerp and Rotterdam. Our Welsh pupils were extremely impressed by Holland and have all made friends for life.
Scott Russell, year 10, has recently secured the post of Youth Inspector within the youth provision of RCTCBC. Youth Inspectors are dedicated volunteering young people, who work with other inspectors to carry out inspections in various provisions throughout RCT. The aims of the inspections are to improve the services that are offered to young people. Congratulations Scott, you will make and excellent Youth Inspector
There may be a popular belief that school winds down as we approach the summer holidays, but if that’s true, it seems that the performing arts department missed the memo! Pupils have been showing off their talents and doing the school proud in a packed schedule of concerts and other events both in school and in the wider community.
The Wales Millennium Centre was the venue for a lunchtime concert featuring a variety of music performed by pupils from Years 7-13. With many of our pupils unavailable due to exam commitments, we were thoroughly impressed with the determination shown by some new Year 7 performers who stepped up for their first solo performances on a big public stage. Well done! On a personal note, we also saw the last outing for the current incarnation of the Sixth Form Choir. Many thanks to all of you for your amazingly hard work this year – you did me proud and I’ll miss those of you going on to pastures new.
Audience members made a point of coming up and congratulating the musicians, and I was surprised to be shaken warmly by the hand by several visitors from different parts of the USA who were amazed at the standard of performance they had witnessed. We hope to return to the WMC early next year.
You can watch the performance, courtesy of the WMC’s The Centre Connected catchup facility, by going here.
We welcomed our feeder primary schools to our contribution to the National CânSing Day for a second year. Mr Thomas gave all involved a high-energy workout for their voices, which hopefully gave plenty of inspiration for all involved.
Lucie-Anne Davies and Lowri Morris gave solo performances of the highest standard at our prize giving ceremony. The repertoire covered 18th century opera and musical theatre and really added something to this annual celebration of success. It’s fair to say that the sports hall here at Y Pant is far from an easy venue for performers, and both singers approached the challenge with a high level of professionalism, making a tricky task look easy.
The Eisteddfod is a quintessentially Welsh event which celebrates artistic and literary endeavour across many disciplines, so it was no surprise to see musical talent strongly represented among the various competitions. The eisteddfod is a Year 7 and 8 event, so it is usually ‘one to watch’ for people looking out for the next generation of musical stars at Y Pant. We have discovered several of our best performers here, and the high standard in both solo and group competitions suggest that we can look forward to many more years of filling concert programmes, despite saying goodbye to some top-quality Year 11 and 13 musicians this summer.
As part of their BTEC music course, a group of Year 12 students organised a charity concert at Pontyclun Athletic Club in aid of Velindre hospital, giving a platform to a large number of our young musicians (and performing themselves, of course!), and entertaining an audience large enough to require last-minute extra seating in the hall. Ex-pupils The Broadcasts kindly gave their time to end the concert with a rousing hour-long set which showed why they have been snapped up by a record label and booked for gigs all over the country, and at the end of the night everyone was astonished to find well over £1000 in the kitty to donate to a very worthy cause. Many congratulations to all involved!
Many of our events are well-established parts of the school calendar, but this year saw a new addition: our first Transition Music Day. This brought together instrumentalists from our feeder primary schools, who met young musicians from Key Stage 3 at Y Pant. An intensive morning of rehearsals meant that new friends were made, and the 107 performers took to the stage after lunch to give a short concert to friends and family. We hope to see most if not all of the Year 6 pupils who attended continuing their instrumental lessons once they join us in September. Although leaving scheduled lessons once a week to have an instrumental lesson can mean having to catch up work, this is more than outweighed by the huge positive effect that learning an instrument (or singing) has been proven to have on young people’s physical and mental development. Please contact the school for further details of our instrumental/vocal provision. Our grateful thanks go to everyone at the RCT Music Service who helped make this event possible. Not only do they provide our instrumental/vocal tuition, but also organise a variety of choirs, orchestras and other groups outside of school, which are vitally important for the development of the next generation of young musicians. I cannot recommend them enough for anyone who is serious about becoming a musician.
Ex-pupil Rebecca James, now an up-and-coming singer in London, joined us to open the second Y Pant Summer Fete, and kicked off a packed programme of open-air performances. Seasoned musicians and new arrivals alike entertained the crowd all afternoon.
So, is it time for the music teachers to put the kettle on and take a well-earned rest? Not quite.
We have another Year 12-organised BTEC charity concert, this time in the main hall. Tickets available on the door, lots of excellent performers!
Our annual farewell assembly will, of course, feature some excellent musical contributions to send the school off with a smile.
Thanks to everyone for their support as always, and we look forward to another packed year in September. Have a great summer!
Congratulations to Mr Pearsall, Mr Jones and Mr Mortimer who finished the epic Taff Trail walk this weekend! They walked the entire 55 miles, from Brecon to Cardiff Bay, non-stop, in 21 hours and 10 minutes. The trio were ably assisted by Mr Muscat, Miss Purcell and Mr Thomas who walked large parts of the distance with them. Mr Battle, Mr Abdo, Mr Duggan and Mr Davies met the walkers at various points to provide essential refreshments.
The walkers are raising money for the Rhian Griffiths Velindre Rose Tribute Fund. If you would like to donate please visit: