Headteacher’s Blog January 2015

I’m pleased to be able to report an excellent set of results for the Year 11 pupils who sat their Maths GCSE in November.  The levels of success matched those we had at this point last year and they led to record Key Stage 4 results for the school.  Keep it up Year 11!

We have also had excellent news in respect of the Welsh Government’s new school categorisation system.  This is replacing the banding system which has been in place for the past few years.  Y Pant has been awarded Category 1A (Green) status, the highest category available.  Taking into consideration the last 3 years, Y Pant is one of only 8 schools which has always appeared in either Band 1 (2012-13) or Category Green (2014).  This is tremendous credit to the hard work of the pupils, my colleagues and to the support of everyone linked to the school.  Many thanks to all for their contribution to this success.

In a similar vein, Y Pant has been awarded Specialist Hub Centre status by the Central South Consortium.  This means that we will provide training and the sharing of expertise with other schools:  an exciting initiative which we look forward to supporting.

Many thanks to all parents who attended our Year 9 Options Evening last night.  These are complicated times for pupils entering into Key Stage 4 and I hope that the information provided last night will have helped make this important decision  a bit less daunting.  Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any further questions.

Congratulations to Mr Owen Thomas on the opening of his new play ‘Grav’.  It sounds fantastic and I am looking forward to seeing it.  It’s great for the school to have a professional playwright as our Head of Performing Arts.  I am also pleased to report that we will be returning to the Muni later this year for our next major production.  Auditions have been taking place throughout this week and I am told that the standard is incredibly high.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Year 11 pupils admired by the Dutch for their style!

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!

Year 9 – find out everything you need to know about your options choices here!

This week year 9 have been finding out all about the different options choices available to them in year 10.  The parents’ information evening takes place on Thursday 29th January.

We have a dedicated website with ALL the information about Pathways, option subjects, the revised curriculum and the options process.  You can find this by clicking the image below or by selecting GCSE Options from the Students menu above.

Click to visit our dedicated KS4 options site
Click to visit our dedicated KS4 options site

World Book Day 5th March 2015 – books survey and competition!

World Book Day is on 5th March 2015 and the book tokens have just arrived in school!  These entitle you to a free World Book Day book or £1 off any other book.

We are teaming up with local bookshop Books&Pontyclun and hope to be able to have a selection of World Book Day books for you to buy in exchange for your vouchers in school.  We want to make sure we get in the right number of the right books, so have a look at the descriptions of the books being published this year, then let me know using the form below, which one you like the best!

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Competition

This year, World Book Day are running a fantastic competition to win up to £10,000 towards a school library.  We’ll be getting a brilliant new library in the new school building, but so far don’t have many books to put in it.  Can you imagine how many we could buy with £10,000?!

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As a school we can only enter once, but we are going to have a competition in school to choose the best entry.

HOW TO ENTER

Your entry is your response to the statement:

WHY WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT BOOKS

You can respond in a number of different ways with your entry, and here are just some examples:

  • MAKE a model, a book, a video trailer
  • PERFORM a play, a song, a dance
  • WRITE a poem, a rap, a news article
  • CREATE a mural, a display, an artwork, a large-scale poster

… so let your creativity and imaginations run free!

In order to judge the winners in school (and we’ll see if we can put together a school prize) you need to send, or bring your entry to Miss Bunce by Monday 26th January.

Mr Thomas’ new play “Grav”, about Ray Gravell launched at Parc Y Scarlets

Yesterday saw the launch of ‘Grav’, my latest, and certainly the most high profile play of my writing career. The launch was held at Parc Y Scarlets, home to the Scarlets rugby team, in front of 250 invited members of the press, sponsors, friends, family, players and ex-players. The launch comprised of a film on the big screen in the stadium about the play before an extract was performed pitch side in front of the assembled guests. The extract was also filmed by everyone from BBC, ITV, S4C and even Sky Sports News who are showing extracts of it today every hour! (I never thought I would have my name mentioned on Sky Sports News, as the teachers who play football with me on a Friday will gladly testify). There were lots of speeches by people including the Chief Executive of the Scarlets and lots of interviews throughout the day which showed that there is a huge interest in this play from all around the world.

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Image from Wales Online (picture Owen Howells) http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/rugby-legend-ray-gravells-story-8438447

 

 

‘Grav’ is a one man show performed by my friend and long-time collaborator Gareth Bale (the actor, not the footballer) about the life of Ray Gravell. If you haven’t heard of him, Ray Gravell was a Welsh Rugby International who made 23 appearances for Wales as well as 485 appearances for Llanelli RFC. He then went on to become a hugely respected actor, commentator and broadcaster as well as much loved husband and father. Tragically Ray passed away in 2007 at the age of 56 years old due to complications arising from diabetes. But, as American Baseball star Babe Ruth once said,

‘Heroes get remembered, but legends never die’.

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Yes, his life was comparatively short, but it was packed with drama and incident making him the ideal subject for a piece of theatre. With the blessing of his widow and his daughters as well as contributions from his friends and ex-players who played alongside him I have spent 2 years researching and writing this play. Taking on the life of a much loved figure is a huge challenge and not without risk, so I was thrilled to talk to Mari, Ray’s widow, after the performance and hear that she loved the extract and is excited to see the whole play. Three weeks today it opens in Milford Haven at the Torch Theatre, the first of 30 performances in 19 theatres right around Wales.

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Image of the launch from Theatre Sir Gar in Carmarthenshire http://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/index.php/en/

 

The launch also marked the unveiling of the official show website, www.gravcymru.co.uk which, if you’re interested, contains more details about the play, the tour dates and the man himself.

The play has been developed at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven and is being directed by their Artistic Director, Peter Doran. Tickets are available at all venues, but some are selling out quickly due to the huge interest in the man and his life.  More locally it is on at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff from 9th to 11th March.

Come along and find out more about Ray Gravell, and see for yourself why ‘West is Best’

Mr Thomas – Head of Performing Arts

Possible snow forecast this week

Some weather forecasts contain the possibility of snow for South Wales this week (although not in the Met Office forecast below).  If school is to be closed we will notify parents and pupils via the website, Facebook and Twitter.  You should assume school is open unless we notify otherwise.

Please take note of the following information which was shared with parents in out September newsletter.

Around this time of year there is always the possibility that the school might have to be closed at very short notice.  This might be as the result of inclement weather or perhaps a failure in one of the major utilities.  In the event of this happening it is important that all pupils, particularly younger pupils, understand the arrangements you have made for them.

The decision to close the school at short notice will not be taken lightly.  However, there may be times when to remain open would put at risk the health and safety of both students and staff at the school.  We will, of course, endeavour to ensure that no pupil is left in an unsafe situation.  Please check the school website, Facebook page and Twitter feed for updated information.

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Homework Club

Homework club restarts tonight!  New for this term we have iPads to use and library books to borrow. Homework club will also be operating during Friday lunchtimes.
We are now running a homework club for pupils in all year groups. The club is run by a member of the teaching staff and during some sessions, 6th form students will be present to assist younger pupils as well.  We are aware that not all pupils have a quiet space, or the necessary resources at home and also that some pupils want to work with their friends and get their homework finished early.
homeworkclub
The details are as follows:
Days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – after school and Friday lunchtimes.
Time: 3pm to 4pm
Room: Room 14, above reception.  Any pupils who cannot go upstairs due to injury or disability, please report to reception and alternative arrangements will be found.
Transport: The school minibus will be able to transport students home at 4pm and will go to Brynnau, Llanharan and Llanharry.  Spaces on the minibus are limited to 16 and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.  The sign-up list for the minibus is in reception so pupils are able to reserve their seat before deciding whether to attend that night. There will be no charge for this.

Snacks: We are providing pupils who attend with a chewy bar and carton of juice or bottle of water.  Again this is currently free of charge.
Resources: Stationery is provided along with other books and resources pupils may need.  Computers are available as is a colour printer.  There are also mini iPads and library books to borrow.
Attendance at homework club is not compulsory but pupils who regularly fail to complete homework to a good standard will be encouraged to attend.