Gymtastic High Flyers!

Alex Davies, Tamsin Penberthy, Brooke Powell, Emily Mckenzie, Amy O’Sullivan and Alex Davies represented Y Pant Comprehensive in the Regional Tumble and Vault Competition.

It was a tough competition with a number of other schools competing form the region. Vaults were landed perfectly and tumbles flowed. There were a few nerves but the gymnasts pulled it off and won gold in the team event with Brook Powell and Emily McKenzie winning joint first as individuals. Brooke and Emily will now go through to the regional finals at the Welsh Institute of Sport on March 2nd.

A very well deserved win. All the practicing and training paid off, da iawn girls!

A big thank you to Renee Elward for all of her help, coaching and supporting all the gymnasts involved as well as being chief photographer on the day of the competition.

Deputy Head’s Blog

Hello everyone

Year 11 mock results are in and should all have been issued to the pupils by now.  Look out for Year 11 reports and please pay particular attention to the pupils’ targets for improvement; these may well make a grade or 2 difference in the summer.  We are hoping that this year will do even better than previous years; a high standard but we have high hopes and make no apology about that.

It was great to see so many Year 9 parents at our Options Evening last Thursday.  I am sure that Mr Jones’ talk gave you all plenty of food for thought and will have dispelled many of your concerns.  As the parent of a Year 9 pupil myself I know how important will be the chats that will take place over the next few weeks.  Think hard and choose wisely.  Remember that we are here to offer advice and take any questions you may have.  Good luck.

What a pleasure it has been to welcome Amy Jones back from South Africa where she had been representing Wales in the World Junior Debating Championships.  Amy was part of a team of 4 who did their country proud, beating England in the semi-finals and narrowly losing to Scotland in the final.  This was the first time ever that a Welsh team had made the final.  A tremendous achievement and an amazing experience.  Well done Amy!

Further triumphs to report for our football teams: Year 10 boys beating Pen-y-Dre (a Will Taylor 30 yard special separating the teams) and our under-13 girls convincingly defeating Fitzalan in the cup.

We’ve had a musical day today (Thursday) with Only Men Aloud performing for and with our Year 10 boys.  Hopefully some of them will have been inspired to join the school choir and/or to audition for next year’s school show.  The show will be A Christmas Carol and will take place in the Muni late in the Autumn Term.  Auditions will be held next week.   Any obvious Scrooges out there?

Dare I make predictions for the first weekend of the 6 Nations?  Well, I seemed to jinx Welsh sport throughout last winter so I’ll keep my thoughts to myself!!

Y Pant Under-13 Girls’ Football Triumph

Y Pant U13 Girl’s football team continue their winning streak by beating Fitzalan 10-0 Wednesday afternoon in the National Stages of the WSFA Inter School Competition.  The team now proceeds to the quarter finals.  Congratulations to the whole team who played a fantastic game of football.
The goal scorers were by Niamh Tinman, Kayleigh Powell and Millie Jones.  Da iawn girls!

The Team

Millie Jones, Niamh Tinman, Molly Rees, Kayleigh Powell, Maria Rowley, Melissa Smith, Megan Batacan, Flic Bancroft, Kassandra Moroney, Lauren Whitfield, Chloe Tipples, Courtney Roberts, Sophia Yilmaz and Lucy Tough.

Groeten uit Nederland (Greetings from the Netherlands)

Y Pant has a long history of taking part in Comenius projects.  (More recent projects are showcased here).  In particular we have worked with RSG ‘t Rijks, a school in the Netherlands for many of these projects.  Miss Purcell and I are currently in the Netherlands looking at a new idea for an exciting project that will probably start in September 2012.

We are meeting with teachers from schools here in the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Ireland, and Estonia, plus there is also a school in Croatia interested.  The purpose of this visit is to finalise details of the project before the application deadline in February.  We won’t hear from the British Council if we have the funding until July.

After a full day’s work at Y Pant (such is our dedication), Miss Purcell and I hopped on a plane from Cardiff to Amsterdam’s Schipol airport then took the train to Bergen op Zoom in the south of the country, finally arriving at about 11pm.

We started today with a meeting in school to discuss the project, then went on a cultural excursion. The other schools have been here for a few more days as part of another Comenius project and have students with them.  We haven’t brought any Y Pant students this time as we haven’t yet started the project!

This excursion took us to Belgium (no passports needed) and a sobering visit to Fort Breendonk.

breendonk
Fort Breendonk

I think we’re all familiar with names such as Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi WWII concentration camp in Poland recently visited by Mrs Burnell and her trip.  We were surprised to learn that the Nazi’s also had smaller concentration camps, used as holding camps and torture centres, in Belgium.  Our guide for the 2 hour tour was the multi-lingual Chris.  He explained European history and the day to day life in the camp to us in a way that brought it horribly to life.  When he shouted orders to us in German, in a confined, damp, cold tunnel; I felt genuinely scared but it was surely nothing compared to the terror experienced by the hundreds of Jewish men and resistance fighters that were brought there.

breendonk
Chris, our energetic guide with a Nazi propaganda photo of the camp guards

He told us things that will stay with me forever and when we get back to school Miss Purcell and I will share some of this with you.  It’s too important not to.

This trip reinforced in me, the importance of projects like Comenius in bringing people from different European nations together.  The importance of getting to know each other and being interested in the differences between us but more importantly, celebrating our common humanity.

breendonk
The cold, damp tunnels of Breendonk

Deputy Head’s Blog

Hello everyone.

It was great to see so many Year 9 parents attend the Parents Evening last Thursday.  Just over 70% of parents attended so many thanks and I hope that it proved to be of assistance to you.  This coming Thursday we will be holding our annual options information evening  for Year 9 parents where we will give you as much advice as possible as to how to help your child choose their Key Stage 4 subjects.  I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible then.

This is a busy period for our sixth form pupils in particular.   Many of them will have already sat or will be preparing to sit AS and A Level modules and I wish them all the very best of luck.  The days of students following a course for 2 years and being examined in one fell swoop at the end are long gone.  Assessments are constant and relentless so the next time somebody tells you that A Levels are getting easier you might like to point this out to them!

As for Year 11, they are about to embark upon the most important months of their education so far.  They will all be receiving results from ‘mock’ exams and reports will be issued soon.  The information that  emerges from these will be crucial in helping students prepare for the summer exams.  We’re on the last lap…time to really push on.  That day in August can be the best or worst day of your school career…I know which one I’d prefer it to be!  We had record results for the school last year; it’d be great if 2012 is even better.

I hope everyone has a great week.

DiDA Trip to Wagamama & St. David’s 2

Friday 13th January was a lucky day for year 10 DiDA students as instead of 3 hours of DiDA lessons they visited St. David’s 2 shopping centre in Cardiff.  For the next part of their DiDA course, students have to come up with an idea of a healthy takeaway restaurant and design various graphic products for it such as a logo, shop front, packaging, flyers and digital adverts.  You can see the project brief here for Level 1 and Level 2.

freebies from Krispy Kreme

Students visited lots of the cafes and restaurants in and around St. David’s 2 looking for inspiration for their logos and shop fronts.  They also collected samples of takeaway packaging.

Trying the less healthy alternatives

Tony Pay, the manager of Wagamama in Cardiff kindly hosted us and talked to the students in detail about the different types of takeaway packaging used there.  He explained how they manage the new 5p charge for carrier bags and the different rules they have to follow when using the Wagamama brand and logo.  He also donated a large selection of takeaway packaging so students could investigate the different types on offer.

Tony, manager of wagamama explains the packaging used for takeaway food

Deputy Head’s Blog

Happy New Year everybody!  I hope that you all had a fantastic and well-earned break (wasn’t the weather great?)

So it’s back to business…Year 11 will be receiving their marks and grades from their mock exams in the coming weeks.  It is crucially important that they take notice of the feedback from their teachers; it’ll make a real difference in the summer.  There are also major external examinations taking place in the next few weeks for Years 11, 12 and 13.  Good luck to all who are involved in these.

I was pleased to be able to welcome Mr Owen Smith MP into the school last week.  He met with my Year11 class who asked him all sorts of challenging questions about the government, modern politics and bin collections in RCT!  ‘…harder than Jeremy Paxman’ was Mr Smith’s comment afterwards!

A quick plug now for the Friends of Y Pant: this is a group of volunteers who willingly give up a lot of their time to raise funds for the school.  These activities will range from selling raffle tickets to administering school uniform.  Every pupil in the school will already have benefited from their activities and I thank them.  They are, however, a small group and I know that they would welcome help from anybody.  If you are interested please contact the school and ask for Mrs Caroline Wool.

Have a good week.

Owen Smith MP visits Y Pant

Mr Owen Smith, MP for Pontypridd, visited Y Pant School on Friday 6th January.  A class of pupils who were studying for a module in Citizenship and Community had invited him to the school and had prepared a set of extremely challenging questions.

The pupils asked Mr Smith questions about his day to day work as an MP, his views on education in Wales and his hopes for the future.  They also grilled him about his views on David Cameron’s record as Prime Minister, the Labour Party’s chances in the next General Election and his own work in our community.

Mr Smith said afterwards, ‘I was delighted to be able to visit Y Pant and meet with such an enthusiastic group of students.  They really grilled me.  I haven’t felt that much pressure since being interviewed last year by Jeremy Paxman!’

Pupils Craig Russell and Niall Lewis thanked Mr Smith for his visit, his help with their Citizenship module and the insight that he had given them into modern politics.