We are a Fairtrade Achiever school. This week we start to celebrate 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.
Last year we learnt that bananas are the most popular and most traded fruit in the world and we eat 5 million of them every year in the UK. Shockingly many banana growers can’t even feed their own families because we are selling them too cheaply here. E.g. we pay typically 20p for an apple grown here but only 11p for a banana grown in tropical conditions! It’s the farmer who is at the losing end of supermarket price wars!
This year we’ll be thinking about…chocolate!
We eat 11kg EACH a year and it’s not just bars of chocolate; we also have hot chocolate, chocolate face creams, bubble baths and shampoo! 90% of this chocolate is grown on small family farms.
The cocoa trees need shade – under the rainforest and are picked and processed by hand after the tree is 3 or 4 years old.
The beans (which taste bitter) are fermented in the tropical country and shipped to more developed countries to be made into chocolate. Yes that’s right – a chocolate farmer may never have tasted his or her own product!
Some small farms have joined together in places like Ghana and the Dominican Republic to form Co-operatives. This helps them reach the Fairtrade standard which ensures that they get a fair price for their beans and a premium that they can spend on improving their communities. Los Brazos in the Dominican Republic have piped water into their homes, meaning they no longer have to walk 4KM EACH WAY to collect water from a stream. The Kuapo Kokoo Co-operative in Ghana has invested the Fairtrade premium in developing farming communities and farming skills – focusing particularly on water, health, education and sanitation to improve standards of living. Kuapa Kokoo has also taken a lead on addressing child labour, and is piloting a number of environmental initiatives aimed at improving productivity and adapting to climate change.
Back in September, Jessica and Maria (both in Year 11) represented Y Pant on the Comenius Conference in Holland.
Whilst visiting Rotterdam, Jess and Maria were approached by a famous Dutch magazine because of their cool style! They were asked about where they liked to shop and who their style influences were. Their pictures were published in the Dutch magazine recently and all their Dutch friends are now very jealous!
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.