Headteacher’s Blog

It is with great pride and a tremendous sense of anticipation that, as of this week, I take over from Mr Tucker as the Head of Y Pant.  What a tough act to follow!  Mr Tucker took over the leadership of Y Pant in 2006 and led the school from a position of strength to even greater things culminating in record results and an excellent inspection report.  We all owe Mr Tucker a huge debt of gratitude and wish him well in his retirement.   

It has been great to welcome our pupils back this week.  As always, Year 7 look excited if a little apprehensive but are settling in well.  Lower Sixth induction saw 128 students return to the school, yet another record!   I’ve enjoyed watching the Army put our students through their paces….

The staff of the school is looking very different this term.  On the Leadership Team, Mr Hurley has taken over the role of Deputy Head and we have welcomed Miss Ceri Richmond onto the team as Assistant Headteacher.  Other new faces (or familiar faces in new roles) are as follows:

Miss Sian Mundy (Head of Media)

Mrs Valle Fernandez (Head of Spanish)

Mr Rhys Foley (Geography)

Miss Victoria Knight (Home Economics)

Mr Andrew Collins (English)

Miss Sarah Madden (English)

Mrs Kelly Ann Munday (English)

Miss Carys Tucker (Cover supervisor)
Miss Sarah West (Cover supervisor)

Miss Martha Dykhoff (WBQ and Behaviour Support)

Mr Joseph Kuck has taken over as Head of English and Mrs Jen Dyson is now permanently 2nd in English.

A warm welcome to all these new colleagues, the best of luck to those in new roles and best wishes to those colleagues who have left the school.

Elsewhere on the website I have written about this summer’s results.  Once again, our students have done themselves, their families and their school proud.  Congratulations to each and every one of them.

Finally, it is with great sadness that we heard of the death in action in Afghanistan of Jamie Shadrake.  Jamie was a pupil of this school, a most polite, pleasant and courteous young man who had chosen a career in the military.  I would like to take this opportunity to mark his tragic passing and to extend the condolences of all of us here in Y Pant to his family and friends.  Our thoughts are with them at this unimaginably difficult time.

Y Pant GCSE Results 2012 break records again!

It was a record year at Y Pant Comprehensive, Pontyclun, as pupils across Rhondda Cynon Taf received their GCSE results.

GCSE 2012

88% of pupils entered attained five GCSEs at A*-C grades: the best results day in the history of the school. In addition, 99% of pupils entered gained 5 A*-G GCSE passes.

71% of pupils entered achieved five GCSEs including English and Maths with 20 top performing students gaining a fantastic 10 A/A*.

Three students each achieved an amazing 10 A* grades:  Ellen Havard, Bethan Jenkins and Jackie Hopkins. Jackie recognised that this was the accumulation of two years’ of hard work and was thrilled with her results.  Bethan said, “I am overjoyed with these results – they were better than I expected.”

GCSE 2012

Ellie added, “I was hoping for good grades so I was quite nervous picking up the results. I am thrilled: I had far more A*s than I expected.”

This has been a great year for the school and for this cohort of young people in particular. As a school we are proud of the exceptional standards reached by our students and the ways in which students continue to fulfil their potential at the school.

The results handed out today are the rewards of years of hard work by these pupils and their teachers. It is a proud day in the history of the school and a proud day for these youngsters and their families.

GCSE 2012GCSE 2012GCSE 2012GCSE 2012GCSE 2012GCSE 2012GCSE 2012

Y Pant Students Celebrate A Level Success

 There were scenes of celebration at Y Pant School as AS and A Level students celebrated an excellent set of results.  81% of all A Level grades awarded this year were in the A* – C range, a figure which is amongst the highest in the school’s recent history.  9 A level students recorded the outstanding achievement of being awarded 3 A grades or better with Ryan Richi and Rhys Morgan each attaining 4 A grades.  Alice Robinson achieved 3 A* grades, a truly exceptional performance.  The school is particularly delighted by the fact that it has once again outperformed national expectations for the A* grade, with 20 such grades having been awarded. 

 There were also notable achievements at AS Level.  An incredible 15 students attained 3 A grades or better with 7 of those students achieving 4 A grades and Ahmed Abou-Koura recording a remarkable 5 A grades!

 The Headteacher, Mr Stuart Tucker, praised the students’ efforts, saying, ‘Once again our sixth form students have done themselves, their families and the school proud.  A long tradition of excellence at A and AS Level in Y Pant has been maintained and, in some respects, built upon by this cohort of students.  I wish them all the very best for the future.’

Y Pant Pupils Recognised in BTFT Awards!

Five Y Pant pupils have been recognised for personal achievement at a BTFT Celebration Event held in Cardiff City Stadium. BTFT (Building the Future Together) is a RCT initiative providing interventions which help young people to maximize their potential.
Accompanied by proud literacy coach Emma Pursey and key worker Julie Geysen-Holley, all five pupils enjoyed a tour of the ground and a buffet before the awards ceremony. They heard television presenter Lowri Morgan speak of her inspirational (yet slightly nauseating) experiences in a 350-mile race across the Arctic, and were also treated to performances by Treorchy’s senior dance squad and a choir from Ty Coch.

Bethany, Miss Pursey, Charlie, Sarah, Courtney and Caitlyn all pose pitch-side

Four year 8 pupils known affectionately as The Bumblebees (Bethany Mason, Courtney Luckett, Caitlyn Lewis and Charlie Masters) won the overall Personal Achievement award for Essential Skills, beating nominees from schools throughout RCT to the accolade. Sarah Hopkins (year 9) was one of just two runners up shortlisted for the same award. The awards were introduced by Sara Edwards of the BBC, and presented by Children’s Champion (and David Cameron doppelganger) Keith Towler.

Sarah receiving her award

All five pupils have worked with Miss Emma Pursey (Y Pant’s literacy coach) throughout the year, producing some fantastic work and showing considerable improvement. Bethany, Caitlyn and Courtney have also worked with Mrs Gill Matthews, the school’s numeracy coach.
As well as winning a trophy for the school, The Bumblebees were given tickets to the first women’s football match of the Olympics, in which Team GB will take on New Zealand. (As a women’s football writer, Miss Pursey was very excited by this!)

The Bumblebees accept their trophy

The Bumblebees are particularly fond of poetry, and a limerick-writing session led to a
fantastic collaborative effort about their English teacher, which I cannot refuse you the
pleasure of reading:

Our teacher is called Mrs Dyson,
And in her desk drawer is a python.
Instead of loud shouting,
She gives it an outing,
To punish mis-use of the hyphen.

By The Bumblebees

Huge congratulations to all five successful pupils.

Year 6 Extremely Able & Talented Debating

Despite the ill omens of Friday 13th, the English department hosted a very successful debate competition for EAT (extremely able and talented) pupils from our Year 6 Primary Schools. Pupils from our cluster have visited the school on several occasions this year to develop their ability to think critically and speak confidently. The event saw these Year Six pupils battling against Year Seven pupils in a ferocious attempt to win, not only their individual debates but, the coveted prizes of Best Speaker and Best Overall Team.

The occasion itself promoted oracy, collaborative learning and critical thinking: skills that the EAT pupils involved excelled in. It further strengthened Y Pant’s transitional links with primary schools and we were mightily impressed by what was on show! Students displayed their excellent research, speaking and listening skills and the competition was fierce. With a number of propositions put forward, the judges were captivated by the calibre of the students and the future of debating at Y Pant School looks very bright indeed.

Staff were delighted to see such great support from parents who attended the event and would like to extend their thanks for their continued involvement and support. A huge thank you must also be given to Mr Howells for his outstanding effort and contribution to the debating team over the last six years. The school is undoubtedly in a much better position now thanks to his hard work and innovation, and he will be sorely missed. We look forward to debating against Evelyn Grace (Mr Howells’ new school) in the near future.


Best Team

Honourable mention:

Josh Dyson & Amelia Bolton

Tori Rose & Matthew Emberlain


Erin Roberts, Bethan Coleman & Charlotte Thomas

Best Team: Bethan Coleman, Erin Roberts and Charlotte Thomas with Mr Howells Mr Howells (Former Head of English and Debating Legend)

Best Speaker

Honourable mention:

Maisie Allen, Elizabeth Samuel & Erin Roberts


Anas Abou-Koura

Best Speaker: Anas Abou-Kora with Mr Kuck (Head of English)

Sergeant Pearsall’s latest blog from Afghanistan

“Pa khair ose”, Y Pant! Warm (about 50 degrees Celsius) greetings from all of us here in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. I hope the term has gone well for you all and you are ready for your richly deserved Summer holidays. After 4 months ‘in theatre’ I’m having a break myself; 2 weeks at home for my R & R (Rest and Recuperation) leave. So, if in the next couple of weeks, you see a man enjoying being out in the rain with a bedraggled border terrier on the beach at Porthcawl; it will probably be me.

Life has been very hectic over here for Essex Company of the Royal Anglian Regiment. The lads have had a busy schedule of patrolling to ensure that the Taliban are kept out of mischief.  As the temperature climbs over 50 degrees Celsius the physical demands of being on the front line become ever more evident. However, as mentioned in the previous article, the principle of “Train hard, fight easy” comes into its own and we find that we can push our endurance levels to achieve what is required to fulfil the mission.

As our area is made more secure by removing the Taliban’s ability to inflict damage on those trying to live a peaceful and lawful existence, so the opportunities arise to improve development and governance. An area that was once war ravaged can now see the benefits of stability with upgraded roads improving freedom of movement and promoting commerce and marketing of agricultural produce. As security is improved further we can see the Afghan government being able to engage with the local population and assess their needs with regards to education and health care. We of the Military Stabilisation Support Teams (MSST) have been able to help organise and mentor local elders and leaders to meet up with representatives of the Afghan Government ministries and set up mutually productive dialogues. One such meeting was filmed and reported on by Caroline Wyatt, the BBC Defence Correspondent and I have it on good authority that the side of my head made an impressive appearance on national television.

Of course, Afghanistan is still a very dangerous place and it was with great sadness that we received news of the death of our Military Stabilisation Support Team colleague and friend Warrant Officer Pez Thomas. Along with Guardsman Craig Roderick from Llanharan and Guardsman Apete Tuisovarua, Pez was killed by a rogue Afghan policeman who opened fire on their patrol as they left a police check point. It was a sombre time as we formed a guard of honour to load their coffins onto the back of the aircraft that was to bring them back home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones at this difficult time and it serves as a timely reminder of the ultimate sacrifice so many have made not only here but in a number of fields of conflict around the world.

This will be my final article from Afghanistan. My next article will be on completion of my tour in September before I return to join you in Y Pant in October. Have a good summer; enjoy the Olympics and I hope the weather proves to be better than what you’ve had so far. Good luck to all you Year 10s, 11s, 12s and 13s who are awaiting examination results in August. If you get what you wanted, well done. If not, there are always contingency plans to help you achieve your goals. I’d like to say a fond farewell to Mr Tucker our beloved Headteacher; like many others I will miss him greatly and I wish him a long and enjoyable retirement. However his place will be amply filled by our new Headteacher Mr Powell who will drive Y Pant School on to further greatness in the future.

Onwards and upwards- Mr P.

Year 7 Litter Pick – we braved the Welsh summer!

We braved the wind and rain this morning and managed an hour’s litter picking on Porthcawl seafront with year 7.  The “Keep Wales Tidy” campaign kitted the pupils out with hi-vis jackets, gloves and litter pickers and we managed to pick several bin bags full.  Last week year 7 had an assembly delivered by the campaign and found out how important it is to keep our sea shores clean and litter-free.

We had hoped to have a picnic on the beach but this wasn’t to be and sadly we had to come home early.  Despite the weather the pupils had smiles on their faces and enjoyed the fresh air!

litter pick

litter pick

litter pick

litter pick

Staff Changes

At the end of term we shall bid farewell to the following staff, and extend to them our best wishes-

Mr Gareth Howells

Acting Head of English, will be leaving his post after 6 years. He will be taking up his new post as Vice Principal at Evelyn Grace School, Brixton in London.

Mr Guy Swallow

Teacher of Geography, will be leaving his post after 2 years. He will be taking up his new post as Head of Geography at Purbeck School in Dorset.

Mrs Gill Lee

Teacher of Home Economics, will be leaving her post after being with us for 3 years. She will be taking up her new post as Head Welsh Baccalaureate in Hawthorn School, Pontypridd.

Miss Jane Norton

Teacher of English, will be seconded for 2 terms to Bishop Hedley School as Head of English.

Miss Carly Smith

Teacher of Biology, will be leaving her post after being with us for a year. She will be taking up her new post in  Bristol.

Mr Adam Speight

Teacher of ICT, will be leaving his post after being with us for almost a year to take up his new post in Brislington Enterprise College, Bristol.

Miss Emma Pursey

Literacy Development Officer is leaving us after a year do a Masters in English at Swansea University.

Both Miss Rebecca Clark, teacher of English, and Mrs Jo Gold, teacher of Art, will commence maternity leave during September 2012.

At the end of term we wish both a long and happy retirement-

Mr Jeff Owen

Assistant Headteacher and Head of Lower School, after being with us for more than 38 years

Mrs Gail Hoare

Head of MFL, after being with us for nearly 26 years.

Mr Stuart Tucker

“I will also be retiring at the end of this term. I have enjoyed my time at Y Pant School immensely and will miss daily life at the school.  I wish Mr. Powell and the staff good luck for the future – our young people couldn’t be in better hands”

New Staff in September

Miss Ceri Richmond – Assistant Headteacher

Miss Sian Mundy – Head of Media Studies

Mrs Valle Fernandez – Part-time teacher of Spanish

Mr Rhys Foley – Teacher of Geography

Miss Victoria Knight – Teacher of Home Economics

Mr Andrew Collins – temporary – Teacher of English (cover for Miss Norton)

Miss Sarah Madden – temporary – Teacher of English (cover for Miss Clark)]

Mrs Kelly Ann Munday – part-time Teacher of English

Miss Kelly Keohane – temporary part-time Teacher of Art

Internal Staff Changes

Headteacher – Mr Mark Powell

Deputy Headteacher – Mr Andy Hurley

Head of English – Mr Joseph Kuck

2nd in English – Mrs Jen Dyson

Head of Year Teams

Year 7

Mrs Johns and Mrs Arnold

Year 8

Mr Dyson and Mrs. Davey

Year 9

Mrs Mortimer and Miss Umbelja

Year 10

Mrs Burnell and Mr Pelaez-Heras

Year 11

Miss Owen and Mr Browne

Year 12/13

Mr Sykes, Mrs Rose and Miss Buckwell