Deputy Head’s Blog

Not a huge amount to report from this week but worth bearing in mind that we have some important events coming up next week. The results of examination modules sat in January should be in schools by Thursday so good luck to all pupils who sat those exams.  Also next Thursday we have the Year 10 Parents Evening so I’m looking forward to meeting as many parents as possible that night.  Year 10 pupils have now settled into their Key Stage 4 courses and their teachers will have plenty to report on as regards their progress.

Year 9 pupils have now all submitted their options requests to Mr Bryn Jones.  He is now working assiduously on constructing Options columns which best reflect pupils’ preferences.  We are relatively rare amongst schools in our approach to this in that many schools issue Options columns without first consulting the pupils.  We build ours around what pupils want and therefore do our very best to accommodate their main preferences.  Look out for the next stage of the process when choices are finalised.

Hope everyone has an excellent weekend.

Cardiff City Community Team Visit

Following the visit from Cardiff City Community Team on Wednesday, please take the fantastic opportunity to apply for Work Experience for both Cardiff City and the national NPower links. Remember that the applications need to be done by Friday 2nd March for the NPower opportunities and that this should be done online. Use the links below to help:

http://www.npower.com/fl/whats-your-goal/  (Main website)

http://www.npower.com/fl/whats-your-goal/Mentor/index.htm  (National competition).

The Cardiff City applications must be handed in to Mr Hurley by Monday 5th March. Forms are available from Mr Duggan and he is happy to help you on Friday 2nd March at lunchtime. Good luck!

Art Trip to Saatchi Gallery & the V&A Museum

art tripOn Thursday 9th February, Yr 11, 12 and 13 Art students crammed onto a bus for a visit to London. The gallery visit was planned to coincide with the hand-out of students’ final examination papers.  In Art examinations, all students are set a theme which is used to form a line of personal enquiry. This year, 2012, the themes set are as follows:  GCSE: Ordinary / Extraordinary. AS: Experiences, Encounters and Meetings. A2: Combinations and Alliances. To encourage students thinking, we always visit galleries to try to find examples of Art works which show evidence of the themes set.

This year we visited an Exhibition at the newly opened Saatchi Gallery on The Kings Road and The Victoria and Albert Museum.

art trip

At The Saatchi Gallery students were given an introductory talk to the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ –  New Art from Germany Exhibition.  Students were given time to record pieces of interest to them.  All students have their sketchbooks and cameras to record their thoughts, feelings and experiences through drawings, photographs and notes.  There were a variety of Art works on show and in a range of media for students to draw inspiration from.

The V& A Museum is home to the Decorative Arts and students were able to look at Textiles, Sculpture, Metalwork, Glass and Ceramics from across a range of times and cultures which showed evidence of the set themes.  Back in school students will use their studies to help them begin to form their own ideas for their final pieces.

Deputy Head’s Blog

It was good to see so many parents here on Thursday night at our Year 11 Options Evening.  The information that you would have received from Mr Bryn Jones and my colleagues in their subject areas would, I hope, have been of real value to you.  Choosing what to do in education after the age of 16 can sometimes be difficult but will always be important.

It was my great privilege on Wednesday to accompany a group of students and their parents to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.  Hollie Williams, Cerys Blanch, Ed Jones and Oliver Smyth were all invited to attend a presentation ceremony to recognise the fact that they had each achieved 100% attendance for all 5 years of their secondary school life.  They were amongst only 33 of a possible 14 500 pupils to receive such a prestigious award.  It was a proud moment  for Y Pant when 4 of those 33 were presented their award by Leighton Andrews AM, Minister for Education.  Well done to all 4; I am sure that they will go on and make real successes of their lives.

Also this week Matthew Ingram, Ben Hopkins, Martha Reed, Connor Brewer and Helen Needs were recognised as finalists in the Youth Work in Wales Excellence Awards 2012 for their work on Jack and the Beanstalk.  Da Iawn pawb!  I look forward to their next extravaganza which I’m told sounds a bit like Cinder-Abba (may not be the right spelling!)

I’ve already mentioned Amy Jones’s debating achievements in a previous blog; great to see the pictures of her in South Africa representing Wales.  Good to hear that Amy and James Watt have qualified (again!) for the Oxford Debating finals.

And yet more congratulations must got to Rebecca Evans for her tremendous success in the Welsh National Indoor Championships…3000 metres in 10 minutes 24 seconds practically beggars belief!  Good luck for the future, Rebecca.

It would have been nice to have welcomed the skiing party home with no broken bones.  Unfortunately, Mrs Johns’ attempts to negotiate a particularly challenging and tricky MacDonald’s car park somewhere in Germany ended in an arm in a plaster cast!

No predictions but fingers crossed for a Welsh Triple Crown and a Welsh victory in a Wembley final on the same weekend.  A once in a lifetime opportunity?

Oxford Schools Debating – Semi-final success

After more than an hour of tedious waiting in Howell’s Girls School, in a room too small to cage a group of wound up, opinionated, teenage debaters, the highly anticipated judges of the Oxford Debate Union competition finally decided to arrive. The cancellation of one of the two debates due to the late start meant that hopeful teams had only one chance to prove themselves in hope of securing a place in the finals. Oh the pressure!

Easier said than done when you have to argue in favour of the motion: “This house would enforce 100% inheritance tax.” Inheritance tax?!  Turns out that if 100% inheritance tax was enforced, it would mean that after your death everything that you owned would go straight to the government and not to your family. How terrible would that be? Especially terrible when you only have 15 minutes to think of arguments in favour it!

But, after 15 minutes that went far too quickly, James Watt and Amy Jones (year 13); Zoe Fullbrook and Kristin Bryce (year 11) and Matthew Knight (year 13) and Martha Reed (year 12) all left to engage in battle. A verbal slaughtering of course!

We all agreed that it was an extremely interesting and exciting debate which saw Britain’s class system, work ethics and morality come under close analysis but congratulations go to Amy and James who, for the fourth year running, got through to the finals along with Howell’s Girl’s School and Monmouth School.

Y Pant’s Amy Jones at the World Schools Debating Championships

Y Pant School has been seriously participating in debating competitions all across the UK for the past 4 years, but this year for the first time ever a pupil of Y Pant School represented Wales on a truly international scale. On the 15th of January, Amy Jones (Year 13) traveled to Cape Town, South Africa as part of the Welsh team to compete in the World Schools Debating Championship against 47 other teams from across the globe. The Hollow recently caught up with Amy to ask her about her experience of the competition.

How did you feel about going to South Africa to compete, and how did you prepare?

“After they initially told us that we were on Team Wales, I felt quite daunted knowing we were going to be up against 47 other teams that are world class standard, but we did a lot of training before we went out there, we did a lot of consecutive training weekends in Cardiff with our coach Harry Thomas, and our team manager Beth who works for CEWC Cymru, which is the organization that ran the team. When it came to going to South Africa we were feeling fairly prepared.”

Amy with some of her fellow competitors

How was this competition different from your previous experiences of debating?

It was a different format, because before the competition I was used to doing British Parliamentary style, and the World Schools debating championship is run under a different style which is “World schools style” which is longer speeches, with more people on the teams and more preparation time. There’s also a lot more emphasis on extending the analysis within your arguments; in British Parliamentary you have fifteen minutes to prepare your speeches, and four minutes to present those arguments and that’s it. In World School’s style you have eight minute speeches so the judges expect a much deeper level of analysis and you have an hour to prepare your arguments.”

So how did you get do in the end?

“The competition is made up of preliminary round and then a knock out tournament between the top 15 placed teams after the first round. We came 7th out of 48 and then went on to the knockout rounds. In the knockout rounds we competed against India, Ireland and England to proceed to the Grand Final against Scotland. Unfortunately, we lost to Scotland in the final but debating in the largest Cathedral in Cape Town was an amazing experience.”

Amy discovers South Africa's penguins

Rebecca Evans – Record Breaker!

Congratulations to Rebecca Evans of Year 11 who has once again shown her competitors a clean pair of heels at a recent athletics meeting.

Rebecca was competing in the Welsh National Indoor Championships held at UWIC. Rebecca won the 3000 metre title, smashing not only her personal best for the distance but also the National record. Rebecca finished the distance in 10 minutes 24.26 seconds.

This May Rebecca will be representing Wales at the UK Schools’ Games, running in the new Olympic stadium, good luck!

Y Pant Cross-Country Success

Y Pant pupils have again shown their prowess in cross country running with notable successes at the recent Glamorgan Valleys Schools’ Championships held at Newbridge Fields, Bridgend.

The event got off on a winning note with Mollyann Rees finishing first in the Year 7 girls race. Naomi Reid was not far behind in eight.

In the Year 8&9 girls race Bethan Evans in Year 8 came 2nd, losing to a Year 9 runner by just one second. Kate Owen and Katie Williams also ran strongly to finish well within the top half of this event.

The most impressive run of the day came in the combined Year 10&11 girls race where Rebecca Evans who came 1st and Ellie Havard 2nd, showing the rest of the field a clean pair of heels finishing over a 100 metres ahead of their nearest rivals.

In the Year 10&11 boys race the team of Morgan Gooch, Ally Carter, Matthew Llewellyn, Zaid Hammoudeh and Marcus Webb ran strongly as a group. Morgan was the top Y Pant runner in this race, finishing 11th.