Key Stage 3 Curriculum Topics – Autumn Term

A general outline of the curriculum topics being covered by departments across the Autumn term for Key Stage 3 pupils can now be downloaded.  The timings of certain topics are subject to change but should provide pupils and parents with some idea of what is being covered during the lessons.

Cardiff University workshops & lectures for 6th form

cardiffUniversityCardiff University Curriculum Support are linking with schools and are offering a series of workshops and lectures relating to AS Level, A Level and degree level subjects.

Follow this link http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/curriculumsupport to investigate the range of subjects on offer and to register for events. Individuals can attend events once registered or if there is enough interest (eg. a full minibus) School may be able to organise transport.

Why bother? Apart from invaluable subject enrichment, attending events outside school proves you are passionate about subjects and serious about taking studies further. When applying for courses of study after yr12/13 you can expand on the experiences gained in your personal statements.

HomeworkClub1

Homework Club

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.
HomeworkClub1
The details are as follows:
Days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
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.
Attendance at homework club is not compulsory but pupils who regularly fail to complete homework to a good standard will be encouraged to attend.

 

Additional Provision for Pupils on Free School Meals

Every year the Welsh Government provides additional funding to schools to support pupils on Free School Meals or who are in the care of the Local Authority.  For this year only the amount of money received per pupil has doubled.  It is really important that parents apply for Free School Meals for their children if they believe they may be eligible.  You can find more information here.  As well as paying for a meal at lunchtime it means the school can also provide a uniform grant and additional support.

Y Pant is supporting pupils eligible for Free School Meals this year using the following strategies:

Homework Provision

The homework club set up this year is intended to support any pupil who would like a quiet space to complete their homework after school.  Access is not restricted in any way and pupils are encouraged to come with their friends.  A teacher is on hand to help with the homework and pupils can use the computers and print their work in colour.  A snack and drink is provided as well.  The homework club runs from 3 to 4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Out of Hours Transport

As well as homework club, other academic activities take place after school for pupils in years 10 and 11.  Many of our pupils live in areas such as Brynna, Llanharan and Llanharry and rely on the school bus to get home.  On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays the school mini bus leaves school at 4pm and drops pupils off in these areas.  Spaces must be reserved via reception in the morning allowing pupils to make other arrangements if the bus is full.  In that instance, priority will be given to pupils on Free School Meals.

Parents Evenings

The conversation class teachers have with parents at Parents Evening is one of the most important ways in which parents can support their child’s education.  We recognise that getting to Y Pant from areas such as Brynna, Llanharan and Llanharry in the evenings is not always easy if you don’t have a car.  Therefore, we provide a mini-bus service from and to those areas for parents evenings.

Providing Basic Equipment to Pupils

This is being distributed as packs to Year 7 pupils and via form tutors and class teachers for other year groups on as as-needs basis.  In addition pupils in Key Stage 4 and 5 can have equipment provided for their specialist option subjects free of charge.  This includes (but is not limited to): ingredients for cooking, materials for DT and Art, books for English and other subjects and specialist clothing for other subjects.  Family income should not be a factor in a pupils’ choice of option subject for GCSE and A-level.

Funding for School Trips

We want to ensure that all pupils are able to access the educational visits that are put on each year.  Day trips for educational purposes will be funded for pupils eligible for Free School Meals provided that pupil is in the target group for the trip.  We are able to make a contribution towards some educational residential visits on a discretionary basis.

Peripatetic Music Lessons

As the Local Authority is no longer able to provide peripatetic music lessons free of charge, we have to charge parents for this service.  We want to make sure that pupils eligible for Free School Meals who are keen musicians have the same opportunity so these lessons are provided for those pupils on a discretionary basis.

Work Experience

We consider the work experience programme provided for pupils in Year 10 to be vitally important in terms of finding out about different careers and giving pupils the aspiration for a successful life after school.  As Careers Wales are no longer able to manage and allocate work experience placements for all pupils, the responsibility has shifted to schools and the parents to arrange placements.  We have a large database of local employers who have offered work placements to our pupils in the past and try to match pupils up with placements if parents are unable to find something suitable.  In addition, we also provide transport, clothing, equipment and money for lunch for pupils in receipt of Free School Meals on a discretionary basis.

Special Events

This year we are planning some special events aimed at, but not exclusively for, children eligible for Free School Meals in Key Stage 3 and in our primary feeder schools.  More information will be provided in due course.

Training for Staff

Research has shown that one of the most effective ways of improving the educational outcomes of pupils eligible for Free School Meals is to improve the quality of classroom teaching.  We are already immensely proud of the teaching and learning support staff at Y Pant but are never complacent.  Every year teachers attend external training courses aimed at specific interventions or innovations and we also have a comprehensive INSET (in service education and training) programme for all staff.

Interventions

We have a number of interventions for pupils in the school mainly around literacy and numeracy.  Most are for the benefit of the pupils who need this intervention academically.  Some however are also aimed specifically at pupils eligible for Free School Meals.

Tracking and Monitoring

One key strategy is to track and monitor the progress of all students, including a specific focus on students in receipt of Free School Meals. This enables us to ensure that the correct interventions are put in place as and when needed.

Alternative Education Provision

Unfortunately, full-time, formal education is not always suitable for a pupil.  Under these circumstances other, ad-hoc interventions are put in place to ensure that a pupil continues to receive as inclusive an education as possible under the circumstances.

 

We are aware that many pupils are not eligible for Free School Meals but that families still struggle to pay for the extras surrounding education such as trips and equipment.  Whilst we try to help out where possible, the criteria for spending any grant money from the Welsh Government are fairly strict. Eligibility for Free School Meals is the only means-testing available to us.  Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Yr 12/13 news…Interested in a career in medicine or research? Read on…

EVENT DETAILS: SATURDAY 20TH SEPT 10am – 3pm FREE ENTRY – Click here for tickets.

Find out how we are fighting cancer in Wales at the free drop-in event: Cardiff Cancer Research Open Day

  • Meet our cancer scientists, doctors and nurses
  • Go behind the scenes in our lab*
  • Find out more about cancer research happening near you, from  lab research to clinical trials with short talks, fun games and interactive demonstrations

Come along and experience our local cancer research brought to life by the researchers themselves. See how researchers in Cardiff are working together to discover and pioneer new cancer treatments.

cancer_research

There will be interactive activities suitable for all ages including children.

* Please note, due to health and safety reasons, minimum age for lab tour will be 13.

The Open Day includes a talk programme with short talks delivered by top researchers and clinicians, which are suitable for a public audience. The programme will be:

10:30am: ‘Personalised Medicine’ by Dr Rachel Butler, Consultant Clinical Geneticist and Head of All Wales Genetics Laboratory ‘

11:30am: ‘Using the Immune System to Fight Cancer’ by Prof Andy Sewell, Associate Director for Immunity and Infection Research Institute, Cardiff University School of Medicine

12:30pm: ‘Understanding basic cancer biology in the search for new treatments’ by Prof Alan Clarke, Director of Cancer Research UK Cardiff Centre and European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute

1:30pm: ‘Hot off the Press: New test predicts survival in blood cancer patients’ by Prof Chris Pepper, Institute of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University School of Medicine

2:15pm:  ‘Improving outcomes through clinical trials’ by Dr Richard Adams, Consultant Oncologist at Velindre NHS Trust and Director of the Wales Cancer Trials Unit

European referee Scholarship Winner heading Down Under

DM web page

Kathryn Davies in Year 13 has been awarded the European Junior touch rugby referee Scholarship, and will be heading to Australia in 2015 to participate in the National Youth Championships.

This summer a group of highly talented junior referees participated in the Junior European Championships, held in Swansea prior to the Open’s Championship, with Kathryn selected as the recipient of the jointly-funded scholarship.

Kathryn refereed the final of the junior event. This is an incredible achievement considering she has only been involved in the sport for four months.

SwanseaSummerSchool3

Year 13 student Callum reports on his Swansea Uni experience

During the summer holidays I went to the S4 Swansea university science summer school where I participated in university-level science workshops and experiments. Initially when informed about the opportunity I was quite reluctant to enroll because I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I am so glad I did. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life and has definitely motivated me to do well in my A levels so that I can go to university.

SwanseaSummerSchool1

 Day one

On my first full day at the summer school, I studied computing with a techno camp workshop. In teams of 4 we designed a robot from Lego NXT mind storm kits and programmed it on the computer. We competed amongst other teams to see who’s robot was superior. We had to guide our robot around mazes, park it in parking spaces etc. After that we played robot football where we had to design a robot to be a striker and defend the goals at the same time. This was turned into a competition to see who’s robot could score and defend the most amounts of goals.

SwanseaSummerSchool2

 

After the workshop everyone was given free time and so with the friends I had made so far we explored the gigantic university campus and later walked to Swansea town centre to explore to shops. Later in the evening there was a pub quiz held by the summer school where we grouped together with teachers and answered science questions.

Day two

On the second day I studied biology where I learnt about the topic of marine biology and I had to dissect a mackerel. While dissecting this mackerel I learnt about its internal structures and their functions, I enjoyed this so much because you got to see what you were learning from a physical prospective.  After that we got a tour around Swansea universities science facilities and learnt about the importance of algae, why it is grown from business and its important medical uses. We also got to see muscle filtration and hold real life marine animals such as blue lobsters.

SwanseaSummerSchool3

After the workshop, the summer school then took us to the cinema that they have on campus. It was absolutely packed with people of a variety of ages. We watched an Asian cartoon film, which was similar to anime.

Day three

On the third day I studied physics and mathematics. I learnt about finding exoplanets. I found this really interesting as we got to learn about space and I actually understood it really well considering mathematics and physics are not my strong point. We had to conduct an experiment using a light sensor to detect the shadow created as our exoplanet circled our star. We did this using software on the computer, it was so interesting.

SwanseaSummerSchool4

SwanseaSummerSchool5

After the workshop, my friends and I went to the beach, which is directly opposite the university campus. During the week we had also met other students from Germany that were staying in the same halls of residence and so we invited them to the beach with us. We all went in the sea, played volleyball, built a campfire and sat around it until late.

Day four

On the fourth day of Swansea summer school I participated in a geography workshop where we learnt about climate change. We conducted an experiment with collecting carbon dioxide in different heats which was meant to represent the different distances away from the sun, it was really fun.  Later on in the day we explored the university campus to look at the wild life, we then participated in a dendrochronological experiment where we drilled holes into trees and removed sections of the tree to analysis the patterns of tree rings to see how old the tree was, to see if it was a victim of disease or a natural disaster.

After the work shop we all headed to Mumbles beach area where we explored the natural wild life before heading to the beach to explore general marine life. As a group we then explored the beach, went in the sea and generally enjoyed ourselves.

SwanseaSummerSchool61

SwanseaSummerSchool7

 

Fifth day

On the last day we had a talk about UCAS applications from S4 ambassadors who are current students at Swansea Univeristy, Swansea university lectures, professors and Swansea university admissions tutors. They showed us previous examples of personal statements, what they like to see and what they expect from us. They also showed us what they don’t like to see and how to avoid it. There was then a award ceremony and students that had excelled in the individual workshops were rewarded with vouchers, certificates and clothes. There was also an award from the best tweet.

If I choose to go to Swansea University I will receive a £500 bursary just for completing the weeklong Swansea university summer school. The experience was definitely worthwhile as I got to immerse myself in the student lifestyle as well as expand my education. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is interested.

 

 

MissionDiscovery2

Y Pant Students Create an Experiment for the ISS

On 6th July 2014, Katie Crook and I (Juliet Johns) travelled up to London along with 30 other pupils from RCT for Mission Discovery; a 5 day course to learn about space, astronauts, experiments in space and even compete to have our own experiment sent to the International Space Station (ISS).  Joining us at Mission Discovery were another 130 students from all over the UK.  Michelle Ham, a Senior Astronaut Trainer at NASA, led the week giving us various challenges, talks and advice. We were introduced to Mike Foale, a British Astronaut and International Space Station Commander, who explained his story, how he became an Astronaut and his experiences with NASA and other astronauts. We were assigned mentors to our team to help us through the week, and underwent NASA team building.  We had our first lecture from one of the professors at the university, Professor Steve Harridge, who talked to us about muscles and how they perform different in space and on earth.

MissionDiscovery5

The next day we focused on the environment of space and the space shuttle missions. Mike Foale talked us through his six space missions and his share of problems. He also explained some of the existing biomedical experiments in space and the ones that he has worked with. Dr James Clark explained how the body’s circulatory system works in space and the problems that microgravity can cause. We were also extremely lucky to have a skype interview with Jay Honeycutt who is a former director of NASA.  He was an engineer in Flight Operations for the Apollo Programme, and was in mission control for the Apollo 13 mission. It was amazing to talk to him about his experiences and get the opportunity to ask him questions.

MissionDiscovery1

On the Wednesday, Mike Foale showed us what he does in his free time in space and what life in space is like. We were also given a lecture by Dr David Green about the Central Nervous System, how it adapts to being in space and the changes it undergoes when astronauts come back to earth.  We were then talked to by a PhD student about parabolic flights (known as “vomit comets”) and how she had tested her project on one such flight. To finish the day, we got briefed about what our criteria was for the experiment we were going to design; it had to be reasonably cheap, easy to do, fit in a 10x10x10cm box and there were a whole load of other problems we had to consider; for example, if the materials or chemicals we were sending up to space would survive the trip or if they had to be frozen. We came up with a starting idea. In the evening, we went to a private viewing of Gravity with Michelle Ham, Dr David Green and Astronaut Mike Foale who then analysed the film after.

MissionDiscovery2

The next day our experiment started to take shape. We finalised it, started the equipment list, and worked out the cost and the risks. Our mentor helped us find equipment that would be suitable, as mixing anything with liquids in space is very difficult due to microgravity. Our experiment was to see if the rate that amyloid proteins (the proteins that form together to stop nerve cells in the brain communicating and then causing Alzheimer’s) aggregate together quicker in space or on earth.  We had a presentation from Michelle Ham about our presentation skills because the next day we would have to present our idea in front of 160 people and a panel of prestige judges, including Mike Foale, Michelle Ham and all the professors that had presented to us in the week. Afterwards we planned our presentation and practiced. We then ended the day by having a lecture from Thais Russomano about lung function in space.

MissionDiscovery3

Friday was the final day, where we would present our idea and the winner would be chosen. We had a last few minutes to prepare before we were split up so there were 5 other groups we would compete with in heats. We presented in front of Michelle Ham and Thais Russomano and they would have to choose one team to go onto the finals. They questioned us afterwards, which made us think on the spot and challenged us further. After all teams in our heat had presented, we had a break that we spent panicking while they selected the team that would go on to the finals. They announced our group was through and we were so happy, but then we realised we would now have to present in front of 160 people. There were 4 other teams in the final that we would compete with. We did our presentation and then had even more difficult questions, as did all the other teams. All the other ideas were amazing! While the judges made their decision, we had a lecture from Dr Julie Keeble about pharmacology and a lecture from Michael Fenech about DNA and the genomic challenges in space.  The judges came back and announced that we came 2nd! We were completely over the moon (no pun intended) and couldn’t believe it, we were one of the youngest teams competing against 28 other teams in total, all with brilliant ideas! We were called up and received our certificates. It then got even better when Mike Foale said our experiment would also go into space as they decided to send two experiments! The week could not have been any better. We spoke Dr Julie Keeble and she invited us to go back up to Kings College to do further research. We left London so happy and proud.

MissionDiscovery4

We’d like to thank King’s College, all the people that worked with us, our mentor, ISSET, Y Pant and everyone else who helped make our experience at Mission Discovery inspirational and unforgettable.

 

 

music

Music Students Raise Hundreds for Charities

Many of you will remember the very successful BTEC concerts back in July. Our Year 12 students did themselves and the school proud with a pair of enjoyable evenings in aid of worthy causes.

The final figures are now in, and the combined total raised is well over £1600, an outstanding effort for a class of nine students!

Many congratulations to them, and thanks to everyone who supported the events.

6th Form Registration Structure

The registration structure for 6th form is compulsory for ALL students in years 12 and 13.  Attendance at registration from 8:30 to 9 am is very important as it enables the school to pass on information and for 6th form students to be accurately registered.  Attendance at this time is compulsory on Mondays and Thursdays for all students.  All other days depends upon timetable.

—Monday –   Compulsory registration for ALL students

—Tuesday –   Compulsory registration for ALL students who have lessons during periods 1 – 3.

—Wednesday –  Compulsory registration for ALL students who have lessons during periods 1 – 3.

—Thursday –   Compulsory Assembly for ALL students (Lesser Hall)

—Friday - Compulsory registration for ALL students who have lessons during periods 1 – 3.