Fairtrade Fortnight 2015

Fair trade

We are a Fairtrade Achiever school. We have celebrated 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.

This year we have been thinking about…chocolate!

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Form time Thought for the Week as been centred on a series of films showcasing a British school girl’s trip to the Dominican Republic in search of a chocolate adventure. The films are available from the Fairtrade Foundation website. http://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/

Assemblies this week have been delivered by members of the Environment and Community Cabinets whereby they have role-played a news desk report highlighting the tough times that cocoa farmers have to produce our chocolate and yet have never tasted chocolate themselves!


The Parliament cabinets have embarked upon some Fairtrade activities such as the infamous banana speed eating, which was won this year by Sam Boyd in Y8 in 30 seconds.  They also took a blind chocolate taste test to see if they could identify the Fairtrade bar and which one they preferred. The Fairtrade bar was successfully identified but 8 / 10 pupils preferred the Tesco’s own milk chocolate (I suppose that Rainforest Alliance is better than nothing “)

There has been a display in reception around which our pupils served Fairtrade Tea, coffee and hot chocolate at parents evening:

Obviously some teachers just came and helped themselves “)

They also asked parents to undertake a short Fairtrade survey and here are some of the results:

  • 91% said that they recognised the Fairtrade logo
  • 91% agreed that, ‘International trade is mostly undemocratic and controlled by large multinationals. FT spread power and enables more people to have control over their lives.’
  • 62% ranked this statement as most important: ‘Fairtrade is one of the most practical actions that consumers can take against exploitation by multinationals.’ (24% of respondents did not rank the statements)

The school canteen got on board with Fairtrade bananas and Ali’s awesome banana cake and the Co-op once again sponsored our staff Fairtrade coffee morning. The helpers this year were Scott, Cam and Nat who did a sterling job and thanks also has to go to Mr Mitchell and Miss Knight for their amazing cakes!

 

Diolch yn fawr iawn

Miss Richmond and the Community and Environment Cabinets

Year 9 say ¡hola! to their Spanish pen pals

Last week the Spanish Department received Penpal letters from Valencia. 9×1, 9×2 and 9y1 were lucky enough to receive a letter from their new Valencian friends. This week the Year 9 pupils have been working hard drafting and creating their reply letters and are extremely excited to see their work being sent off to Spain. Mrs Fernandez and Miss O’Keefe have already been nagged about when pupils will receive their next letter!

Y Pant Hack Day – year 6 & 7 pupils learn cooking & computing skills with Technocamps

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On Saturday 28th February we welcomed 88 year 6 and 7 children into Y Pant for our first ever Hack Day.  This was an ambitious programme of events designed to give children experience of activities they wouldn’t otherwise be able to try out in lessons or at home.

Most of the computing workshops were run by staff from Technocamps who brought along masses of equipment as well as their experts.

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The workshops that ran on the day were:

Brownie Baking

Miss Knight, ably assisted by Mrs James and Scott , ran two 2-hour brownie baking workshops.  It was very reminiscent of Great British Bake Off, with everyone hurriedly trying to cool their brownies before they could pipe green icing on top in the manner of Minecraft blocks.  We then ate the brownies for pudding after lunch!

Minecraft

Fraser from Technocamps ran this workshop using Minecraft Edu.  They brought along their own server with a large number of structures already in place in the world (Kieran, one of our year 11 helpers was pleased so see his creations from a Technocamps workshop two years earlier were still there).  Participants worked together to build more structures.

DIY Gamers

These little Arduino devices from Technology Will Save Us allow you to program a game on the laptop, upload it to the DIY Gamer and then play it.  Marius from Technocamps taught everyone the ins and outs of programming and they all enjoyed playing the games.

Arduino Robot Cars

Another Arduino device, these had to be programmed on the laptops first but Richard from Technocamps taught everyone everything they needed to know.  They then tested them up and down the corridor seeing who’s went the furthest and straightest!

Kodu

Mr Davey, who was a student teacher with us last year, came back to run a Kodu workshop.  This is a free games programming piece of software created by Microsoft to create Xbox-style games using the controllers.  Some challenging games were created!

Raspberry Pi Traffic Lights

This little computer is made just down the road at the Sony factory in Pencoed.  Laura and Rob from Technocamps showed everyone how to attach the breakout boards containing LEDs and then programme these in Python to flash in a particular sequence.  This was the quietest of all the rooms with everyone concentrating hard.

For lunch, we ordered in pizza from Dominoes and ate freshly baked brownies – we were all full afterwards!

During the day, workshop leaders selected students they felt had performed exceptionally well during the day and these were awarded prizes at the end.  Da iawn all!

Thanks

I’d like to thank the following people for making this an excellent day:

From Y Pant

Miss Knight for the cooking sessions, Mrs Johns, Miss Umbleja, Mrs James, Miss Richmond, Mr Jenkins, and Mr Gowman; Arron our IT technician and Vanessa and Dave for caretaking and driving; student teachers Sara, Lia, Alan and Tristan for their excellent support.

Student volunteers: Catrin, Rebecca, Scott, Lauren, Kieran and Kieran.

From Technocamps

Laura, Richard, Rob, Marius and Fraser.

8Y1 French Culture project

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Year 8 Set 1 have been involved in an ICT based project aimed at developing cultural awareness and understanding of France. Students were asked to chose a location on the French map and then undertake IT based research on the geographical,   historical and regional information to give an insight into the variety of France as a country.

Students were buzzing with enthusiasm to create fantastic power points that will be used within the French department to show other students what a fascinating country France truly is.  Madame Rose was impressed by their IT and research skills and this work will form a legacy for others to enjoy.

 

World Book Day 2015

 

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Year 7 pupils attended the English Department’s World Book Day celebration. Over some sweet and savory snacks, pupils took part in discussions that centred around their favourite books. From Morpurgo to Walliams, Pullman to Dahl, students and teachers shared their favourite literary extracts.

The pupils also enjoyed taking part in Miss Cooper’s blurb competition. The winners will be announced in the next Year 7 assembly. Good Luck!
A big thank you to Miss Cooper and Mrs Dyson for all of their hard work and efforts.
Make sure that you keep reading so that you can share new experiences on World Book Day 2016!

 

This week, all pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 are being given their World Book Day tokens in registration.  We have a few spare so if anyone in years 10 – 13 would like a token please see Miss Bunce.

Our local bookshop, Books&Pontyclun is running a Book Fair at Pontyclun Athletics Club on Saturday 7th March from 10am to 3pm where you can exchange your tokens for books!  See the leaflet below for more details.

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UK Junior National Championships

Targeting Success

Congratulations to Cyra Rawdin-Jones in Year 9 who recently won the Welsh Field Indoor Championship held at RAF St Athan, making her the top Welsh archer in her category.

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In target archery, Cyra has won the Glamorgan and Welsh Championships and is currently ranked number one in Wales for junior ladies longbow. At the UK Junior Nationals Championships held at The Rioch Arena in Coventry, she won her age group and finished second overall in junior longbow.

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Recently Cyra gave a talk to her fellow pupils in year 9 about the sport of archery, during which she demonstrated the use of both a longbow and compound bow

Shenkin the Royal Regimental Goat visits Y Pant

It was a very exciting day for Y Pant School on Wednesday 25th February when we were visited by the Regimental Mascot for the Royal Regiment for Wales; Shenkin (Siencyn) the Goat. Shenkin was accompanied by Goat Major ‘Jacko’, the Regimental Bugler, WO2 John Dent Former Royal Welsh and our friends from Llanharan Royal British Legion. During assembly we were treated to a lecture on local, Welsh and British military history and demonstrations of military bugle calls. Year 7 were very excited and had many interesting questions to ask. Shenkin was also very excited but thankfully we had a dustpan and brush and mop and bucket on standby.

In the peace and quiet of his Royal Welsh trailer, Mr Pearsall was able to conduct an interview with Shenkin who always has a very busy schedule, particularly during the Six Nations Rugby Internationals. We are grateful that he found the time to answer the following questions.

Where did you live as a kid:

A farm near Hereford used for breeding the Royal Herd – now I am resident in Maindy Barracks, Cardiff.

Career:

I’ve been the regimental goat since I was 6 months old, so this has been my only job. I had to be trained not to react to loud music and bangs so they put a Walkman on my ears and played me the Spice Girls until I got used to noise… that took a couple of months.

Why you:

There’s been a regimental goat since the Crimean War, when goats were taken into war zones to be eaten. The story goes that one night, a Private Jenkins was on sentry duty in the Crimea, and put one of the goats under his coat to keep warm. Jenkins fell asleep, and the goat heard the enemy about to attack, and bleated to alert the sentry, saving the men.

After Queen Victoria heard about this, she presented a goat from the Royal Herd, and there’s been one of us here ever since.

Highlights:

  • Being chosen as regimental goat!
  • The best thing was leading the Welsh rugby team out against England at Wembley. I’ve also taken part in the World Cup and the FA Cup when it was at the Millennium Stadium.
  • I’ve had a pub named after me in Cardiff, ‘The Goat Major’.
  • I’ve also had a grogg made of me, because of my good connections with the Welsh Rugby team.
  • I’ve been in lots of magazines, like ‘GQ’ and ‘OK’! I get to model expensive clothes – my cloak costs about £4,000, and I wear about £10,000 worth of silver when I’m on parade.
  • I’ve also met and worked with the Queen, Prince Charles, Rhys Ifans, Cerys Matthews, Cliff Richard, Peter Stringfellow, Anneka Rice, Owen Thomas (the Playwright), Henry Cooper, and even Ronald McDonald!

Low points:

I can be a bit restless on parade if I’m not in the mood, but I’ve never bitten anyone yet!

Tips from the top:
Be happy in your job, and people will relate to you… It also helps if you don’t butt them.
Some poetic licence with thanks to the BBC

Fairtrade Fortnight 2015

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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!

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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.

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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.

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