December 2014 Newsletter for Parents & Carers

This newsletter has been sent out via ParentMail.  Pupils will not be bringing home a paper copy.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner will be served on Wednesday 10th December from 12.45 p.m. onwards in the Lesser Hall.  Further to the above, snacks (sandwiches, burgers, pizza etc.) will be served from 12.45p.m. in the Main Hall as well as hot substitutions. Kitchens will not be open during mid morning break so pupils may wish to bring a snack to school.

 Senior Citizens Party

The very successful annual Senior Citizens Party will this year take place on Friday 12th  December.

Year 06 Carol Concert at Y Pant School

Year 06 pupils will be joining our Year 07 pupils for a Christmas Carol Concert at the school on Monday 15th December from 9.15 a.m.

Examination Dates

Year 11  Mock   GCSE   examinations

These begin  on   Monday 8th December  and  run to  Thursday 18th December 2014.  Welsh Government Guidelines state  that pupils will no longer be able to take ‘study leave’. Therefore all pupils must attend their normal lessons when they are not timetabled for an examination.

Year 11           GSCE  examinations January 7th – January 15th 2015.

Welsh Government Guidelines state that pupils will no longer be able to take ‘study leave’. Therefore all pupils must attend their normal lessons when they are not timetabled for an examination.

Cars on School Premises

In the interest of pupil safety, parents should not transport pupils onto the premises during the course of the school day or park in the bus bay or road system.  In exceptional circumstances e.g. medical condition, a pass will be issued by Mrs. Carter, the Headteacher’s P.A.

 Fundraising

Once again thank you to all parents who have supported pupils in their fundraising efforts. Over £3,000 was donated to Children in Need.

 School Uniform

The vast majority of our pupils are impeccably turned-out. However, there are still a number of girls who are ignoring the ruling on school trousers. Please ensure that the school uniform rules are observed at all times.

 Attendance

There has been a worrying trend this term for pupils to be absent from school the day after an educational visit. All such absences are monitored extremely closely and I regret to say that if this trend continues then our policy on pupils’ participation in educational visits may change significantly.

 End of Term

On Friday 19th December school will be closing at 12.30 p.m. for the Christmas holiday period.  No lunch will be provided on this day but the canteens will be open for an extended mid morning break.

 Spring Term 2015

School commences on Monday 5th January 2015 and, as per the PLK,  we return on a Week 2.

On behalf of the staff and students I extend to you all best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mr. M. Powell

Headteacher

Students perform well at the English Speaking Union public speaking event

On Wednesday 26th November a team of Year 10 and 11 girls competed in the English Speaking Union Churchill Public Speaking competition in the Training Centre Wales.

Lauren Pickens performed expertly in her role as Speaker.  Lauren had 30 minutes at the start of the competition to meet the two other members of her team and brief them on the 5 minute speech she had prepared with Maddie Colcombe that analysed the impact of 24 hour news on modern day society.  Several teachers from other schools congratulated Lauren on her delivery and interesting points.  She was quizzed by the Questioner from the opposing team and answered questions articulately destroying any opposing arguments!

Tamsin Penberthy took charge of the difficult role of Chairperson.  Her role involved leading the discussion, keeping an eye on timings and directing questions from the floor to the Guest Speaker in her team.  She guided the team through proceedings smoothly and was congratulated by the judges on her performance.

Ania Kandasamy won the coveted ‘Best Questioner’ prize!  A fantastic achievement for a first timer!  Ania had 30 minutes at the start of the competition to meet with her Guest Speaker and quiz him on his topic – she made appropriate notes and asked pertinent questions.  The judges commended her use of the word “elaborate” within her questions as this was exactly what they were looking for from the Questioners and Ania was the only one out of three to use it.

The team performed fantastically well and prepared for the competition during their own time and at break and lunch times in school.  Well done girls – you are all a real credit to the school.

ESU 2014 picturenes

Students take part in the Comenius Conference in Germany

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.

A Packed Programme of Festive Performances

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!

Girls find out about STEM careers at Sony

On Wednesday 26th November 15 of our Year 9 girls had the privilege of visiting the local SONY plant.  The purpose of the visit was to show the girls the opportunities that exist for them in the Technology and Engineering sectors.

The girls had a great time and got to experiment with lots of amazing new technology.  They were able to have their photographs taken with celebrities and present the weather thanks to green screen technology.  They also got to see how SONY were involved with goal line technology in the football world cup and watch the latest Raspberry Pi’s being made.

This trip was a really eye opening experience for the girls.  They met several female engineers who all spoke of their positive experience of working in Technology and Engineering.

This trip coincides with a recent announcement from Nicky Morgan (Education Secretary for England).

Speaking at the launch of the “Your Life” campaign she said,

“Too many young people are making subject choices at the age of 15 that are holding them back for the rest of their lives”.

She went on to explain,

“A decade ago students took maths and sciences if they knew they wanted to be a doctor, a pharmacist or an engineer. But if you wanted to do something different, or even if you didn’t know what you wanted to do, and let’s be honest it takes a pretty confident 16-year-old to have their whole life mapped out ahead of them, then the arts and humanities were what you chose. Because they were useful for all kinds of jobs.  Of course now we know that couldn’t be further from the truth, that the subjects that keep young people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the Stem subjects.”

STEM subjects are Science, Design & Technology, Engineering and Maths.

We have a careers board in the Design & Technology department that has lots of current vacancies for technical jobs both locally and nationally.  I urge all students to have a good look at this board.  Many students so far have been surprised by the range of jobs that studying D&T can lead to and the impressive salaries attached.

If you have any questions about any of our subjects on offer please pop in and see Mr. Draper or have a look at our web site.

Year 11 Mock Exam Timetable

The year 11 mock GCSE exams will run from Monday 8th December to Thursday 18th December.

  • There is no study leave for the duration of the mock exams. Lessons will run as normal.
  • Pupils should attend their timetabled exams and then return to their timetabled lesson when complete.
  • Pupils note that Session 3 exams begin at 1.30pm and might run over after school. You may have to make alternative transport arrangements to get home.
  • All exams in the Sports Hall except for:
    • Science Practical – Rooms 21, 24 & 33 .
    • Art – Rooms 29 & 30
    • French – Room 17
    • Spanish – Rooms 64, 65 & 67.

You can download the mock exam timetable here.

mockexams