Tag Archives: History

Big Pit

Year 8 brave Blaenavon

As part of their Learn Smart programme, year 8 spent the day at Big Pit learning about life in our industrial past.

Daniel Schoen:

In the lamp room we were given a helmet with a torch on and a belt which included a battery for the headlight and a ventilator which was like a portable gas mask. We then stepped into the lift shaft and began our dark decent. Our guide told us that we were going down 90 metres and at one part we were going at 1 metre per second. I thought that this was fast until our guide said that we were going 3 times slower than full pace. This made me feel nervous..

Big Pit

Maia Chappell

‘the lift was really claustrophobic and when we got to the bottom a shock went through my body, it was damp, cold and miserable.’

Big Pit

Ben Crook:

I had an very eventful day and learned loads about Big Pit and the mining industry. I liked the day very much and would do it again!’

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French / History Trip to Northern France & Belgium

Forty Y Pant students recently returned from four thrilling days on a joint French/History department trip to Lille in North Eastern France. The students from mainly Year 8, 9 &10 experienced many great landmarks in the history of this area.

(click to see the photos at the bottom of the page)

Our trip started with a visit to Ypres a beautiful town just over the border in Belgium. The War museum there was very impressive, and students wandered around the exhibits and charted the lifeline of a local person and their First World War experience. Wednesday also saw our visit to the grave of ‘Hedd Wyn’ the famous Welsh poet whose poem won the Chair of the National Eisteddfod that year, six weeks after his death. Hannah Pryor and Dan Webb both laid remembrance crosses from the school at his grave.

The highlight of the day was witnessing the ‘Last Post’ at the Menin Gate. The buglers from the local fire service called the crowd to order with their poignant tune. Rebecca Hill and Anthony Battista honoured the school by laying a wreath in memory of those who lost their lives. It was a very thought provoking moment for all.

Thursday dawned sunny and cold. Our first stop was the Museum of Fine Arts in Lille, a simply gorgeous building with many fine works of art to admire. It boasts the title of the second largest Art museum in France after the Louvre museum in Paris. A little spot of lunch and some retail therapy later and we zoomed off to the Somme and the ‘Beaumont-Hamel’ encampment for the Newfoundland/Canadian troops. Students and staff walked through trenches and scanned gravestones, amazed at the ages of those who lost their lives.

Next stop was the ‘Thiepval’ memorial, a magnificent edifice to honour the unknown war heroes. Students were keen to access the computer stations in the visitor centre to see if their surnames held links to the war dead. The ‘Lochnagar Crater’ was our next stop, a huge crater resulting from the British attempt to infiltrate under enemy lines. The noise of the resulting explosion could be heard over 200 miles away in London.

My personal favourite was the monument at ‘Mametz Wood’, a fiery dragon atop a splendid plinth honouring the Welsh regiments’ attempts to gain territory from the enemy. The wood is still clearly visible nearly 100 years later, and the futility of battle was in sharp contrast to the calm farmland. This time Mr Sweet laid a memorial cross at the memorial. Our final stop was a visit to a grave yard just outside of Pozières where a local man A.J Richards from Llanharry is remembered.

Friday was an action packed day at Disney. All students were very excited at meeting their favourite Disney characters and experiencing the hair-raising rides at the park. We were lucky enough to have a hopper ticket which meant access to both parts of the park. The students were happy but tired out, after a long day having fun and the inevitable retail dash. We travelled into central Paris that night to round off the day with an evening cruise of the River Seine. It was an ideal way to see many of the great Parisian landmarks and the view of the Eiffel tower with a sunset behind was breath-taking. We dined in style just off the Arc de Triomphe roundabout at the local restaurant Monte Carlo

Saturday morning signalled our departure from Lille. We headed off to Bruges and its promise of delicious Belgian chocolates! We were not to be disappointed. A fascinating chocolate demonstration took place and many students eagerly rushed to buy some of the yummy goodies to take home. A quick lunch in town and we were heading back to Blighty.

After a very successful and busy few our Driver and Tour Guide commented on Y Pant being one of the best group of students they had ever taken away. This is a commendation to be really to be proud of. The coach was kept spotless and as staff we were very impressed by the attitude of our students. Many thanks from Mrs Davies, Mr Sweet, Mrs Rose and Mr Gowman.

Photos

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Deputy Head’s Blog

There have been two highly symbolic moments for our students in exam year groups this week: firstly, we have published the external examination timetable (see homepage); secondly, AS and A Level results from the January module have been published this week.  A combination of these two events should concentrate the minds that aren’t yet fully focussed on these crucial examinations.  Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 should certainly be making inroads into their revision now as they will find time running out pretty quickly.  There are, in fact, only 35 school days between now and Whitsun half-term which is when the exam season begins in earnest.  Heads down!

Another week of sporting successes: Gean Sou Mo, Chloe Mo, Jayne Gerry and Gina Villeneuve all performed with real distinction in badminton and well done in particular to Gean in representing her country; our Year 7 & 8 girls netball team won silver in a county-wide competition despite being the youngest team in the tournament.  Well done girls!

I’d also like to congratulate the staff and students who took place in a sponsored walk to raise money for Ty Hafan last Sunday.  Over £300 was raised so the aching limbs and blisters on Monday morning were well worth it.

Interviews took place this week to appoint a new History teacher to the school.  Out of an incredibly strong field of candidates the governors decided to appoint Ms Hannah Price who is currently teaching History in Ebbw Vale Comprehensive School.  Well done to her; we look forward to welcoming her into the school in September.  Interviews for the post of Science teacher take place on Monday; another strong field, another tough choice.

Finally, on a sombre note, I would like, on behalf of Y Pant, to express our sadness at the tragic events taking place in Japan.  Our thoughts are with those who are suffering in the wake of the dreadful earthquake.

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Deputy Head’s Blog

A long half term has finally come to an end.  I’d like to wish everybody a pleasant and relaxing holiday, particularly the pupils and teachers heading off to Austria on the ski trip.  I’m told that the snow is good out there and that the 24 hour coach trip will be well worth it!  No broken limbs please!

Mr Gareth Howells tells me that James Watt and Amy Jones did tremendously well in the Cambridge Deabting finals this week.  Up against teams almost exculsively from independent schools such as Westminster (Nick Clegg’s old school), they narrowly failed to make the semi finals on the day.  I’m told they had a rough deal, though; exactly how do you propose in favour of a motion that America should be allowed to impose democracy upon any state it chooses to?  Well done to both of them and many thanks to Mr Howells.

The Learn Smart trip to St Fagans went extremely well with our pupils once again doing themselves and the school proud.  The project should make a real difference to the learning and thinking skills of our Year 8 pupils.  It was also good to welcome back the staff and students who visited Sweden as part of the Comenius project as well as, in turn, welcoming French exchange students and teachers into the school.  A real air of globalism has been in evidence this week!

A major part of our job in the coming weeks will be to appoint a new History and Science teacher to the school.  We have had in excess of 80 applicants for the History job and are expecting a similar number for the Science job.  These sort of figures are becoming par for the course in Y Pant and say a lot about our reputation in the wider world of education.  We are the sort of school that teachers very much want to work in.  It’s a challenging task sifting through so many applications from so many talented candidates but it’s a task that we take very seriously, possibly one of the most important things we do all year, because we want only the very best teachers to take their place in our classrooms.

Again, have a good break everyone.

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Learn Smart trip to St. Fagans

Learn Smart trip to St. Fagans, Tuesday 15th of February

by Mrs. Sara Nowell-Hughes

St Fagans is one of Europe’s leading open–air museums and Wales’s most popular heritage attraction. It seemed a perfect choice of location to carry out the Learn Smart year 8 trip. The aim of the trip was to visit particular buildings around St. Fagans which linked with the theme of ‘A Sense of Place’. In small groups pupils tried to find out information which would help them to learn more about the local Welsh history. Each pupil had a specific role within the group and then needed to present their findings in the next Learn Smart lesson. The roles were: Team Leader, Team participant, Scribe, Photographer, and Artist.

One group per class was also responsible in making a film based on the ‘You Shoot’ project. They followed their planned story board and were able to use the PE Departments Flip cameras to film the footage. Their work will be edited after the ½ term and will be submitted for the Comenius ‘community’ project.

After a frantic start to the trip (making sure that nearly all 200 students were on the 4 coaches) we arrived at St. Fagans in the rain! The Learn Smart groups were then able to go off to their starting points to begin their activities. We managed to visit all the relevant areas such as the stores, Workmens Hall, the School etc.

Apparently the highlight of the trip was the sweet and bread shops! It was not an unusual sight to see a Y Pant student walking around with a loaf of bread under their arm, munching away at it in the rain!

This is what two pupils thought about the visit;

On the 15th of February we went to St.Fagans as part of the “you shoot” project. It was a very valuable educational experience for the whole of year 8. We all had different tasks to do on the trip. Eventually we got to the old shops and got very hungry and decided to buy a loaf of crusty, homemade, hot bread. Some people didn’t do that and bought sweets and fudge. And before we knew it we had to go home. =( by Bryce and Dylan.