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Bishop Vaughan Catholic School Newyddion Ysgol Gatholig Esgob Fychan Parents’ Newsletter March 2010

Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter are the central focus of the Church’s year. The liturgical rites for each of the days are an essential support to understanding the Christian message. We urge everyone to attend their Parish church for the three occasions. Times of the services in the different parishes are printed on page 3.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010


Term begins Tuesday st 1 September

Begins Monday 26th October

Ends Friday th 30 October

Term ends Friday th 18 December

Easter 2010

Monday 4 January

Monday 15 February

Friday 19 February

Thursday 1st April

Monday 19th April

Monday 31st May

Friday 4th June

Wednesday 21st July

Summer 2010




Dates for your Diary INSET DAYS Monday 19th April 2010 Monday 28th June 2010 Last day of term - The school closes on Thursday 1st April at 3.25 pm Tuesday 20th April - All pupils return to school (week two on timetable) Advance notice of Examination Dates School exams for Years 7-10: Monday 17th May to Friday 28th May The main external exam period begins on Monday 17th May 2010 (first written examination) and will continue to the end of June. Please be aware, however, that some examinations, especially orals and practical examinations are normally held before this date. Please see pages 8 and 9 with information about the dates the results will be available. The full academic year school calendar is available to view on our website, alternatively parents can collect a paper copy from the school’s main office. PLEASE NOTE: Whilst the school understands the difficulties with holidays, we would remind you that breaks should not be booked without the Head approving the time off first. Please write requesting permission to the Headteacher and not Senior Tutor or Tutor. We would bring to your attention that School Inspectors have regularly pointed out that there is a clear link between absence and lack of academic progress!

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Easter Services Cathedral Church of St Joseph

Our Lady of Lourdes

Holy Thursday - 7.00pm Good Friday - 3.00pm - 7.00pm Stations of The Cross Holy Saturday - 8.30pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 8.00/10.00 am Mass

Holy Thursday - 6.00pm Good Friday - 10.00am Stations of The Cross - 3.00pm Good Friday Service Easter Sunday - 11.00am Mass

The Sacred Heart

St Benedict (Sketty)

Holy Thursday - 7.30pm Good Friday - 3.00pm - 7.00pm Stations of The Cross Holy Saturday - 10.00am Morning Prayer - .8.30pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 8.45am Mass/10.30am Mass (no evening Mass)

Holy Thursday - 7.00pm Good Friday - 3.00pm - 7.00pm Stations of The Cross Holy Saturday - 9.00pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 8.30/11.00am Mass

Our Lady Star of the Sea

St David

Holy Thursday - 7.00pm Good Friday - 10.30am Walk of Witness - 3.00pm The Celebration of The Lord’s Passion Holy Saturday - 8.30 pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 8.30am Mass/10.30am Mass

Holy Thursday - 7.30pm Mass of The Lord’s Supper Good Friday - 2.30pm Celebration of the Passion Holy Saturday - 9.00pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 10.00am Mass

St Benedict (Clydach)

Holy Cross

Holy Thursday - 7.00pm Good Friday - 3.00pm - 6.30pm Stations of The Cross Holy Saturday - 8.30pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 10.00am Mass

Holy Thursday - 7.00pm Good Friday - 10.30am Stations of The Cross for children Holy Saturday - 8.00 pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 10.30am Mass

Sacred Heart (Ystradgynlais)

St Illtyd

Holy Thursday - 7.30pm Good Friday - 3.00pm - 6.30pm Stations of The Cross Holy Saturday - 8.30pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 10.00am Mass

Holy Thursday - 7.30pm Good Friday - 3.00pm - 7.00pm Stations of the Cross Holy Saturday - 8.00pm Easter Vigil Easter Sunday - 9.30am Mass

St Peter

Blessed Sacrament

Good Friday - 10.30am Stations of The Cross Easter Sunday - 9.00am Mass

Holy Thursday - 8.00pm Good Friday - 3.00pm - 7.00pm Stations of the Cross Easter Sunday - 10.00am Mass

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Important Message from the Headteacher To All Parents and Guardians Governors are most concerned that sooner or later a young person, or indeed adult, will be knocked down, and seriously injured, or worse, on Mynydd Garnllwyd Road, in the vicinity of the school gates. Despite previous warnings in newsletters, a minority of people persist in stopping on yellow lines, sometimes blocking the school entrance, to set down pupils. This minority are causing considerable danger for everyone in what is a very busy area. Many parents and guardians are complaining. The police and local authority parking officers are regularly informed of these matters and do patrol when they can. Governors are alarmed that these dangerous actions start up again as and when there are no patrols or the patrols move on. Governors stress that pupils having to walk a short distance, even in the rain and poor weather, is preferable to the consequences of traffic accidents. Those who drop off pupils from cars are asked, please, to show consideration and care for everyone, and not stop on yellow lines, or in such a way as to cause obstruction. For health and safety reasons, parents should not set down or pick up pupils from within the school car park. The only exception to this, is by prior arrangement for a sick or injured pupil, or the official taxis provided for those pupils with special needs. Governors ask, please, for everyone’s urgent cooperation and that this matter is attended to immediately. Please could you make sure that relatives/friends who might be giving lifts to and from school, are informed of the contents of this message. Thank you Mr J Blackburn Headteacher, on behalf of Bishop Vaughan Governors

For Your Information ď€

In February this year Governors appointed two of our Assistant Headteachers to the positions of Deputy Headteachers, namely Mr E Scourfield and Dr N Poole. Both take up their posts in April 2010.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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School Uniform To All Parents and Guardians

Please note that during the summer term only, students are permitted to wear the school uniform polo shirt instead of shirt/blouse and tie. There is no requirement to change to the polo shirt, it is an option if you so choose. Please note if the weather is chilly and a pullover/jumper is needed this must be the standard school uniform or pullover/jumper worn over the polo shirt if necessary. No other variations are permitted and students incorrectly attired will not join their class for lessons. Please could parents/guardians of students note that felt/fabric shoes, even if black in colour, are not considered suitable footwear for school. Please adhere to the footwear requirements as stipulated in the uniform dress code, a copy of which follows. Can I also underline that our school dress code does not permit hair colouring other than in natural colours (i.e. no green/blue for example). Parents/guardians and students are respectfully reminded that if you choose to come to Bishop Vaughan School it is important you follow the requirements in respect of school dress and appearance. High standards in these areas support the school’s high reputation. Students failing to meet this expectation, without good reason, cannot expect to be allowed into their class for lessons. Repeated failure to cooperate, quickly becomes defiance of school authority and there is the likelihood of serious sanctions. The school is most grateful to the vast majority of parents/guardians and students who cooperate and support us in these matters. Mr J Blackburn Headteacher

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

School Uniform Years 7-11 Pullover:

burgundy, v-necked with official school logo


years 7-11 official school tie in appropriate house colours. To be purchased from school at a cost of £7.00


with trousers, dark-coloured or white with skirts, standard grey or white


should be flesh-coloured or medium grey, plain and seamless NB socks or tights MUST be worn


plain light blue, standard school style. Not denim or fashion

NB During the summer term only light blue polo shirt with school logo, may be worn. Skirt:

mid-grey in material and standard design, standard knee length (knife or box pleat permitted)


dark grey or black and standard design NOT fashion or jeans. No denim, leather, flares, corduroy etc


black, dark brown or dark grey with flat or low heels. Ankle boots may be worn in winter, provided they conform to the above regulations Trainers are not permitted. Felt/fabric shoes in any colour are not permitted

Outer Garments:

pupils may wear mackintoshes, coats, anoraks or cagoules. However, all outer garments, of whatever type, must be plain, dark and single coloured. Anoraks or cagoules must not be too long, too short, “bomber jackets” or denim type.

A luminous reflective strip is permitted and parents/ guardians are strongly advised to consider this. No logos, writing, patterns of any description should be present. Denim is not allowed. Baseball caps are not permitted in any circumstances. There is no necessity for anorak hoods to be worn at school. Jewellery:

A single sleeper or a single stud of minimum size in the lobe. No other piercings are permitted. A medallion or chain may be worn if discreet. It must be removed for PE/Games. All other jewellery is forbidden.

Make-up/Hair Dye: Make-up is forbidden as are visible tattoos and piercings of any kind. If hair dye/highlights are used they should be a natural colour with no extreme contrasts. No designs to be shaved in the hair. No ‘skinhead’ type haircuts. All items of clothing should be clearly marked with the pupil’s name.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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School Uniform Sixth Form Uniform Pullover:

navy, v-necked with official school logo


sixth form official school tie


plain white, standard school style (not fashion)


navy blue, knee length


navy blue, standard design. No denim, leather, flares, corduroy etc.


with trousers: dark coloured, or white with skirts: navy blue or white


plain, seamless, navy tights may be worn


dark coloured with flat or low heels. Ankle boots may be worn in winter and sandals in the summer. Trainers are not permitted.


dark blue/black/grey – single coloured only

No logos, writing, patterns of any description should be present. Denim is not allowed. Baseball caps are not permitted in any circumstances. There is no necessity for anorak hoods to be worn at school. Jewellery:

A single sleeper or a single stud of minimum size in the lobe. No other piercings are permitted. A medallion or chain may be worn if discreet. It must be removed for PE/Games. All other jewellery is forbidden.

Make-up/Hair Dye:

Make-up is forbidden as are visible tattoos and piercings of any kind. If hair dye/highlights are used they should be a natural colour with no extreme contrasts. No designs to be shaved in the hair. No ‘skinhead’ type haircuts.

All items of clothing should be clearly marked with the pupil’s name.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

External Examinations Guidance to Candidates     

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Some important points:Follow your personal examination timetable closely. Keep it in a safe place. Make sure you know your personal candidate number. It is shown as ‘Exam Number’ on your timetable. Morning examinations start at 9.00am and afternoon examinations start at 13.00 (1.00 p.m.) unless otherwise indicated. Aim to arrive at the examination room at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time. If you are late it will cause you unnecessary anxiety, and if you are very late you may not be allowed in. You are expected to attend examinations in correct school uniform. You may not be al lowed into the examination room if you are not correctly dressed. Wait outside the examination room until you are called in. Remember to visit the toilet – you could have a long desperate wait otherwise! Bags and coats must be left at the back of the exam room. You will be allowed to take in only what you need. Pencil cases are not allowed unless they are clear. Pencil tins, boxes and ‘solid colour’ cases are not acceptable. A clear plastic ‘sandwich-type’ bag is just as good as a clear pencil case. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment for each exam – pen (plus spare), pencil, rubber, ruler, sharpener are essential. For certain exams e.g. Geography, Science, Maths you may need to add compass, protractor, calcu lator, coloured pencils to your list. Check with your teacher. You will not be al lowed to borrow any equipment during the exam. As soon as you enter the examination room, you must not communicate in any way with anyone other than an invigilator (supervisor), until you leave the room after the exam. If you become unwell during the examination, raise your hand and inform an in vigilator. If you have a specific medical condition, e.g. diabetes, make sure you bring the appropriate drink and snack, which should be placed on the floor along side your desk. You must remain in the examination room for the time allocated to the paper. If you have any time remaining use it wisely to check your work – you will not have another opportunity, and a correction made may result in a better final grade. If you are too ill to come to school you must let the school know by telephone at the earliest opportunity. You must also obtain a medical note from your doctor and send it to Mr. Brown as soon as possible. It may then be possible to apply to the examination board for special consideration so that you are awarded a grade. If there are particular circumstances such as recent illness or you are suffering from distress for a particular reason, and you feel it has affected your perform ance in an examination, inform Mr. Brown and bring a letter from home. You may be entitled to special arrangements in your examinations such as extra time or help with reading. You will be informed of these arrangements before the examinations affected. Mobile phones are not allowed in the exam room. If you have an examination clash you must report to the main hall at 8.45 on the day of the clash.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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External Examinations Guidance to Candidates What about results? Examination results will be available from the Main Hall on the following dates:A & AS Levels (VCE) GCSE

Thursday 19th August (9.30 – 12:00) Tuesday 24th August (9.30 – 12:00)

If you cannot collect the results in person you can either (i) Give a stamped addressed envelope to the office before the end of your exams, and your results will be posted on your behalf. or (ii) Ask an adult member of your family to collect your results on your behalf. If you do this they must bring with them a signed letter from you authorising them to collect your results. Unfortunately, we cannot give out results over the phone. Finally, plan your examination preparation carefully and thoroughly, but most of all GOOD LUCK! Procedures For Collecting Certificates Examination certificates are available from mid - November. Phone the school and leave your name, year of qualification and level of qualification, e.g. GCSE, A level etc. The certificate can then be picked up from the school reception the next day. Unfortunately we are not able to post certificates. If a certificate is not picked up within a reasonable time after completion of qualification the certificate will be returned to the examination board. Thank you.

Mr. Brown

New A* Grades for A Level Ofqual has recently published an open letter relating to the new A* grades that will be awarded for A level students for the first time this summer. The letter, sent to secondary schools and colleges, addresses and outlines the changes to the structure and the approach which will be taken to grading the revised A and AS levels examinations, to ensure fairness and parity with awards given in previous years. The new approach clearly emphasises the importance of the second year of A level study for those who aiming for the new grade. You will find a copy of the letter on the following page.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Dear Colleagues

February 2010

Open letter to secondary schools and colleges about the new A* grade at A level In March 2009, I wrote to you about how we were working with the awarding organisations to ensure continuity of standards from the six unit A levels to the new four unit A levels. That letter has been published on the Ofqual website and can be found at http:// While specifically addressed to you, this open letter will also be published on Ofqual's website and reported in Ofqual's e-newsletters. Summer 2010 sees the first awards of the new A level specifications in nearly all subjects, together with the first awards of the new A* grade at A level. This new grade will reward exceptional performance and allow for improved discrimination between the best performing candidates. The A* grade will be awarded for all A levels, including those in which new specifications have not yet been introduced, such as mathematics. It is important to remember that the A* grade will be awarded for the A level qualification only, not for the AS qualification or at unit level. The A* grade will be awarded to candidates who have achieved:

ď‚ˇď€ An A grade overall in their A level, and 90 per cent of the maximum uniform marks (UMS) on the aggregate of their A2 units. The way in which the A* grade is to be awarded will mean that it is achieved by learners who have consistently performed very well throughout their A level units and outstandingly on the A2 units, which incorporate the most challenging questions. This has implications for you and your students and I wanted to make sure you were aware of these. It means that there will be candidates in summer 2010 who do not achieve an A* grade but who have higher A level UMS scores (which arise from the total units, both AS and A2) than candidates who have achieved the new grade. It should also be noted that the percentage of A* grades is likely to vary from subject to subject, as does the percentage of A grades awarded each year. The new grade is not being awarded to a set percentage of the total candidates or a set percentage of those who achieve an A grade – it will strictly be awarded according to the rules set out above. As the new A levels have come on stream, Ofqual and our regulatory partners in Wales and Northern Ireland have worked closely with the awarding organisations. We monitored closely the awarding of the new specifications in the AS levels in 2009 and we believe that the grades awarded to candidates were fair and consistent. We have continued the process into 2010 in planning for the first award of the full A levels. This has included agreeing with the awarding bodies the evidence to be used to ensure fairness and consistency in awarding meetings and which will be used to monitor and evaluate outcomes at A* as well as at grades A to E. Should any very unexpected outcomes occur, we will require an explanation and may ask the awarding organisation to take action to ensure that standards are maintained from 2009 and the awards are fair and consistent across the awarding bodies. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us via the helpline 0300 303 3346 or via e-mail at Finally, I know that many schools and colleges made great efforts to open during the adverse weather in January and I wanted to put on record my thanks to all those who helped keep the examination system running. Yours sincerely

Kathleen Tattersall Chair of Ofqual The following examples of candidates' results in a four unit A level, where 400 UMS are available, show how a candidate may not achieve an A* despite having a higher UMS score than a candidate who does achieve the new grade: Student X achieves a grade B at AS level (145 UMS) and then does very well at A2, achieving 180 UMS. She has, therefore, passed the A grade threshold at A level with a total of 325 UMS. Student Y achieves a grade A at AS (190 UMS) but does less well at A2 (achieving 140 UMS). He, therefore, also passed the threshold for an A grade overall at A level with a total of 330 UMS. Both students have made the 320 UMS threshold for an A grade for this A level. However, only Student X would receive an A* grade, as she met the requirement to achieve 90 per cent or more of the maximum uniform marks at A2, while Student Y did not.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Pilgrimage Trip To The Holy Land During the February half-term break, my family and I, along with thirty-two others, embarked on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel. The trip was organised and led by our parish priest Rev. Fr. Michael Burke and lasted from 12th February until 21st February. We left Swansea at 11pm on the 11th for the five hour trip to Luton Airport, where we had to go through a strict security screening prior to boarding our plane headed for Israel. We arrived at Tel Aviv airport and soon found a massive change in the weather. The temperatures reached up to 35 C. We made three hotel changes while we were there, the first as Jaffa, then at Tiberias in Galilee and finally in Jerusalem where we had a great view of many of the sights. I had a lot of memorable experiences on this trip but I think my favourite would be our boat trip across the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. As we moved away from the business of the city, the sailors stopped at the middle of the lake and played a very beautiful song. As I listened to the song, I imagined the time when Jesus calmed the seas with his disciples and when he walked on the waters of this very lake. It was very emotional and moving for many of my fellow pilgrims. The most fun we had was swimming, or should I say ‘floating’, on the Dead Sea; the lowest point on earth. I also had the chance to carry the cross when we were making the Stations of the Cross on the very place where Jesus had done it almost 2000 years ago. We also met the Patriarch of the Holy Land, his Beatitude Fouad Twal. He is the Pope’s representative in all the Middle East. It was a real pleasure to meet him. Whilst there he gave us a talk about how the Christian population is dwindling there and how only 10% of the whole population are Christians. It makes me sad to think that Christians are just a small minority in the place where Christianity started. He asks for our prayers and help and I suggest that we support the charity “Friends of the Holy Land”. This will raise awareness of the problems there and will also encourage the Christian community to stay and to let them know that we are there for them. I really enjoyed our pilgrimage trip and am very thankful to Rev. Fr. Michael Burke for making this happen. A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is essential to any Christian. After you go, you will find your faith has deepened and you will understand more about the Bible stories that you grew up with. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Shalom! Reflections by Gabriel Cura 8.1.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Maths Department News Intermediate Mathematical Challenge In February 2010 seventy-three pupils in years 9, 10 and 11 took part in the United Kingdom Intermediate Mathematical Challenge. All pupils performed very well and the nineteen highest scorers will be awarded with a certificate of achievement. Silver certificate:

Jack Mountfield Erfan Mesbah Daniel Summerfield

Bronze certificate:

Danielle Rockefeller, Stephen Jones, Jack Di Francesco Jonathan Williams, Morgan Beveridge, Sammy Sharif Catrin Byrne, Anya Slowinski, Emily White, Megan Jones Callum Johnstone, Jack Bevan, Chantelle Finselbach Michael Tofts, Nicholas Hughes, Lucy Jenkins

We are very proud of the achievements of our students. World Maths Day Many of our pupils in years 7, 8 & 9 participated in World Maths Day on 3rd March. This was a global mathematics event conducted online. Students played at home and at school against other students around the world in live games of mental arithmetic. Each game lasted for 60 seconds and students played up to 500 games, earning points for each correct answer. The students who answered the most questions appeared in the Hall of Fame. We are sure that students made significant improvements in their mental arithmetic skills and had fun in the process. The top 4 scores in school were: Mirren Beveridge Arian Bahadori Jack Brenton Jednik Maritiney

4090 points 1856 points 1332 points 1209 points

Well done to all who took part. Eisteddfod Competition All pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 were set the task of producing a poster demonstrating reflection symmetry with a Welsh theme. One hundred and ninety-three pupils took part. The standard was extremely high. Our students demonstrated their very impressive artistic ability as well as their understanding of reflection symmetry. The top three were as follows: 1st 2nd 3rd

Rebecca Thomas (Brynach) Kritiyakorn Sumalee (Dyfrig) Wallis Ford (Cadog)

Well done to all who took part. Mr J Williams Director of Learning, Mathematics

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Rotary Young Chef of the Year 2010

The above students Katie, Lauren and Jordan represented the Food Technology Department in the Rotary Young Chef of the Year cookery competition. The students had to plan and prepare a two course meal for two costing no more than five pounds. The competition was held at Morriston Comprehensive School. Four local schools were involved and twelve students participated in the competition. Morriston Comprehensive school came first and Jordan from Bishop Vaughan was the runner up winning a prize of fifty pounds. Katie and Lauren both had ten pounds for participating in the competition. As their tutor I was extremely proud of all three students; they worked under extreme pressure in a large catering environment and were a credit to the school. Very well done to the three of you. Mrs S Shaw, Food Technology

THANK YOU A big thank you to J & S Products, Tycoch who supplied t-shirts for all pupils and staff for the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage in July 2009, free of charge.

HAVE YOU LOST YOUR SPECS? We currently have 5 pairs of prescription glasses in lost property! These have been here for some time and unlike clothing and other items can not be given to charity shops. If your child has lost a pair of glasses please ask them to come to reception and see Miss Evans.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Librarians Reward Trip

On Tuesday 15th December, we went to the Central Library in Swansea. We were met by Arlene who showed us around the library. We were interested in the new technology. You can now take out and return books using a touch screen computer. This applies to the whole library. In the children’s section the touch screen made animal noises. We found out that libraries aren’t just for reading; you can listen to music and on Saturdays they have a Nintendo Wii room where you can play games. You can also borrow music and CDs and audio books containing MP3 players and watch DVDs. We went to the café which had beautiful views towards Mumbles Head. Before we left we made a note of any ideas we could ‘borrow’ for our own library such as an area labelled ‘homework help’ with reference books. After lunch in the library we walked to the Waterfront Museum and had a pleasant hour using the interactive machinery to learn more about local history. In all, we had a fun and enjoyable day. We finished our trip by eating chocolates from our selection boxes on the way back to school!

Lauren Morris 8.7

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Science News Explorer Dome Chemistry Show On Monday 7th December some pupils in year 7, 8 and 9 got a chance to see the Chemistry Road Show which visited our school. The show was all about states of matter and particles. It was an amazing show, showing all kinds of experiments not normally done in class. A few people were lucky enough to be chosen to help take part in the experiments which ranged from “exploding caps”, liquid nitrogen frozen balloons and dry ice cocktails. By seeing the show it helped give a greater understanding of states of matter and how different changes affect particles in a solid, liquid and gas. These exciting experiments made science even more fun and enjoyable. By Thomas Lloyd-Reed 9.3

Valentine’s Disco The year 7/8 disco was very good. At first, they weren’t very many people dancing but then two year 11 girls, Sophie and Danielle, started us all off. There was a tuck shop and all the year 7’s and 8’s were happy because roses were given to each other. This was the first school disco I have ever been to. I hope there are more. Morgan Barrientos 7.5 In the year 7 and 8 disco we had lots of fun. Later in the disco messages were shown on the screen and roses given out. It was a good night and lots from my tutorial went. We were lucky to go as last year the Valentine’s Disco was only for year 7. Thanks Ms. Dorrell. It was awesome. Lucy Haigh 8.3 On the 9th February, year 7 and 8 were lucky enough to attend the school’s Valentine’s Disco. It was a great night spending time with our friends and having fun watching the messages coming up on the board. Seeing who got roses was also cool. Towards the end we played some party games and some party dances like the Macarena and YMCA came on. My friends and I really enjoyed the night. Emily Davis 7.6

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Year 8 Engineering Team Challenge On 26th January, six of our students represented Bishop Vaughan at Morriston Comprehensive for the challenge which was organised and funded by IMechE (Institute of Mechanical Engineers). There were other groups there made up from pupils from different schools within Swansea; this gave us a chance to meet new people. The other schools involved were from Bishopston, Olchfa, Gowerton, Bryn Tawe, and Penyrheol. Our challenge – we were asked to build a pump, using a variety of materials such as elastic bands, wooden dowel, tape and a couple of plastic tubes. To make the challenge more realistic they implemented some rules and regulations such as the time allocated to transfer water from one bucket to the next, and also it had to pump as much as possible in the allocated time. Each straw or elastic band had a cost! All the teams generated many different ideas for their pumps, therefore a varied selection of water transfer systems, shapes and sizes. Also during the challenge we had to video our progress and generate a video to explain our idea and our understanding of the challenge. During the challenge we as a team had to complete a quiz and fill in a costing grid to show how much money we spent on materials for our pump. The winner of the challenge was based on the following criteria:    

Amount of water moved in the set time number of questions correctly answered Cost of the pump Presentation via the video

After lunch, we then gathered in the main sports hall for judging of the testing the pump. Unfortunately we tested our pump too much and with an acidic orange flavoured drink which led ‘to the destruction’ and failure of the pump. We then were notified of the winning teams. A big well done to: Mary Ellen, Ivy, Francesca, Joshua, Marcus and Ryan.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Giving Something Back On 27th January I organised a charity night in aid of the British Heart Foundation. When I had my last operation I realised what a fantastic job they do and wanted to raise money to give something back. On the night we had singers, dancers, raffles and auctions. It was amazing to see two fantastic acts from school give up their spare time to help raise money. The support I had from my friends was outstanding, there were about 30 people from school. My aim was to raise £1,000 and I am chuffed to say that we raised £2,206.00. I was lucky that the school allowed me to organise a trainer day which raised £506.00. I would like to thank everybody who attended on the night and all those who contributed towards the trainer day. We have managed to buy a heart machine for Morriston Hospital with the money. Mitchell Powell 11.6

Did you know? Your heart is an amazing muscle. It works 24 hours a day, pumping blood around your body to help keep you alive. It beats 100.000 times each day!

Chess Club On 5th December Bishop Vaughan Chess Club won the World Junior Team Championship, with 14.5 points out of a possible 20. Ten teams from two clubs took part. Cardiff A team were second with 13 points and Cathedral school A were third with 12.5. The successful BV club side of four players include 3 of our pupils Sam Young (Yr 12), Alwin Thomas (Yr 9) and Jack Brenton (Yr 8). Of the club teams, monks are currently top of the West Wales minor League and Rooks are lying seventh out of 12 teams in Division Two. Nearly all of the Rooks’ opponents are adults!. The players mentioned above play for the Rooks and Nicholas Hughes (yr 9), Ian Remot (Yr 9), Gabriel Cura (Yr 8) play for the Monks. The School first team is heading the table of the West Glamorgan Schools League. On December 12th and 13th Jack Brenton played for the Welsh Under 14 team in the quadrangular tournament against Scotland and two English regions. Wales finished third, however of the Welsh players Jack had, by far, the best individual record scoring 2.5 points out of a possible 3.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Ski Trip The 2010 Bishop Vaughan Ski Trip took place from February the 12th to Saturday the 20th 2010. Pupils from year 8 to year 13 left the school in the afternoon, dressed in this year’s ski hoodies, bright blue in colour, to begin our very long journey by coach to Austria. Everyone was really excited and looking forward to their winter holiday. We arrived in Solden in the early evening of Saturday, extremely tired but excited to see the snow covered mountains. Our first hotel was typically Austrian and everyone enjoyed having a proper meal and a chance to relax. The next morning was really busy as we had to move to our next hotel before skiing. We were relieved to find that our new hotel was as lovely as our last. The Sunday was our first day of skiing and we were blessed with blue skies and sunshine. It was however very cold and we were all grateful for our thermals! We had four groups. Advanced, intermediate, and two beginner groups. The advanced group had the top instructor and were soon zipping down every possible run in Solden. The first couple of days were the hardest for the beginners. However, by the end of day two, most pupils were smiling and laughing at how well they were doing. In the beginner groups there was a good sense of team spirit with everyone encouraging each other when people fell over. Whilst in the intermediate and advanced groups it was survival of the fittest! Their days comprised of fast skiing and snow park adventures. The sun continued to shine for next five days pleasing staff and pupils alike. By the third day we had organised ourselves so well that we were on our way to the slopes by 7.30am every morning. With the help of our lovely bus drivers the whole operation ran like clockwork. The skiing highlight of the week was on the fifth day when there was a slalom ski race for all the groups. Having watched the Winter Olympic slaloms televised around the resort throughout the week, it was a chance for pupils to demonstrate the skills they had acquired or improved on, in the course of the week. The gold medallists who finished in the fastest time in their group were: Advanced: Ben Roe Year 13 Intermediate: William Hughes (Our only year 7 pupil) Beginner 1: Kieron Parkhouse Year 8 Beginner 2: Ffion Byrne Year 8 Best wipe out: Kate Johnstone The highlight of the evening activities was a visit to Aquapark near Solden. The pupils had the opportunity to swim in thermal pools inside and out of doors. It was a spectacular venue and all those who swam wanted to go back again. Just the thing for aching legs after a hard days skiing! Afterwards all the pupils ordered hot drinks and practised their German in the cafÊ.

The teachers recorded the GCSE and A level pupils as part of their PE practical exam. And we were all really impressed at how much everyone had learned! The 2011 Ski trip is already fully booked! Miss L Jones

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Newyddion Yr Adran Gymraeg Welsh Department News Eisteddfod Esgob Fychan Non, the winners of the stage and second overall

Cadog, the winning House, celebrate

On March 1st, Year 7 and 8 pupils took part in a traditional Eisteddfod. Pupils represented their Houses and competed in a variety of competitions including music, recitation and drama. The standard was excellent this year and there was a fantastic atmosphere in the Main Hall. Prizes were also given for off-stage competitions, with pupils having competed in Welsh, English, Science, Maths, Technology and ICT. Cadog House were the winners of the off-stage competitions and the overall winners, whilst Non House won the stage. Llongyfarchiadau mawr a diolch yn fawr i bawb wnaeth gystadlu. Congratulations and well done to all those who competed. We all look forward to next year’s Eisteddfod. I’m sure the Heads of House are planning already!

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

ENGLISH NEWS In conjunction with The Writers’ Club we are producing a professionally made book which parents and guardians will be able to purchase. It will include stories, poems and other forms of writing from across the year groups. All pupils are welcome to make a contribution to the book. If they wish to do so please log on to this website Step 1: Click on Children’s log in Step 2: Enter the Password bvs From here you can read the chapters in the book so far. If you would then like to write your own click on add story/poem/letter. You will then create your personal account and add your work. If there are any questions please come to Writers’ Club in room 23 Mondays 1.30-2.00.

World Book Day We celebrated World Book Day on the 4th of March with a special visit from the poet Adel Guémar. He worked with pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 reading examples of his powerful poetry and offering pupils an insight into a different culture. Everybody really enjoyed the experience. Pupils also received a book token which can be exchanged for one of six specially produced books for World Book Day. They can also be used to receive a pound off any book of your choice. They are accepted in most book shops. Further detail can be found on:

Readathon Year 7 pupils are taking part in Readathon which is the UK's National sponsored reading event. It gives a massive boost to pupils' reading skills AND supports the lifechanging work of two fantastic children's charities. Every year thousands of schools across the UK take part. Thanks to the amazing time and effort put in by all students who take part in Readathon. We are able to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people with cancer and other serious illnesses. All sponsorship money should be returned to the house within the next few weeks. Happy Reading!

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Thank you to everyone who took part in the Spelling Bee competition. After many difficult spellings we now have our team - Emily Davis, Joshua Thomas, Alfie Hale and Angelo Nievera. The first round of the competition will be held in Newport in April - best of luck! Remember everyone can still be involved by signing up on the Times Spelling Bee Website.

Eisteddfod Competitions Thank you to everyone who participated in the Eisteddfod Competitions. Year 7 performed group poetry recitals which were wonderful. Each House was represented in the stage performance and big congratulations to Martin Porczyk, Joel Goldring, Filip-John Ranchez, Lisczyk Caser Perry and Ashley Williams from Non House who were the overall winners wowing the judges with their Roald Dahl poem. Year 8 and 9 took part in writing competitions-writing Welsh myths and legends and creating new Welsh products. The winners for year 8 were Martha Porczyk, Ffion Byrne, Paulina Picewicz and for year 9 Jedrick Martinez, Paul Stevenson and Elizabeth Midwinter. Highly commended work: Gabriel Cura, Sougri Abugre, Max Coster, David Jones, Zac Thomas, David Jones, Chloe Stallard, Gio Hemandez, Lucy Rees, Paul Steveson, Imene Guemar, Joe Thomas, and David Jones. The Writers’ Club This club is run every Monday in Room 23 from 1.30 to 2.00 pm. Our budding writers are all being very creative and have just entered their first story writing competition of the year.

UK Junior Mathematical Challenge Sixty 20p coins are lined up side by side. Every second 20p coin is then replaced by a 10p coin. Then every third coin in the resulting row is replaced by a 5p coin. Finally every fourth coin in a row is replaced by a 2p coin. What is the final value of the line? A £3.30 B £5.80 C. £6.05 D £6.60 E £7.55

Answer on Page 31.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

YOUNG ENTERPRISE Be Safe, Be Seen, Be Steady

Keep Safe

The directors of this company will be sitting their Young Enterprise (UK) examination on Tuesday 23rd March. This exam is worth approximately 20 UCAS points, and recognises their commitment in running their own company for a year. Keep Safe have already won “Best Company Stall� for the Swansea area and will be collecting their award at the Annual Awards ceremony on Tuesday 27th April, at Swansea Metropolitan University. The company will give a presentation and submit their company report. We wish them well.

Mrs C Wynne (Business Studies Teacher and Young Enterprise Link Teacher)

GEOGRAPHY NEWS On February 2nd, 75 Year 11 geography students visited Cardiff Bay on a gloriously sunny day to investigate the regeneration of the area. The trip included a talk in the visitor centre, a guided tour on the land-train to visit the barrage but the highlight was a luxury boat trip around the bay.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Performing Arts News The year 13 A2 Performing Arts group successfully performed ‘Shakers’ by John Godber back in January. The comical production set in the 1980’s was viewed by an intimate audience of parents, who were spoilt with excellent performances through the genres of music and physical theatre. The year 13 group were given excellent feedback from the audience after the performance and were commended on their efforts with such a technical and demanding piece. This performance was both creative and refreshing for all concerned and shall be followed by their adaptation of Louisa Alcott’s ‘Little Women’, which they will be performing in May.

(Kirsty, Katie, Magda, Kyra-Jo, Alyson, Hayley and Victoria)

School Production 2010 - The Sound of Music The hills of Bishop Vaughan School will certainly be alive on the evenings of the 5th and the 6th July 2010, when we will be performing this timeless musical favourite. Production rehearsals are already underway and are taking place every Tuesday after school in the performance studio until 4.30pm. Tickets will be on sale at the end of June, so make sure you take the opportunity to say ‘So Long, Farewell’ to the school year in style!

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010


Between the 8th and the 12th March, Year 12 geography students took part in a residential field-week in the Snowdonia National Park where they investigated the rural settlements around Bala Lake, retailing in Wrexham, the hydrology of the River Lliw, and the effects of climate change on the National Park. We were extremely fortunate to have sunshine throughout the week and highlights (apart from the studying) included football and rugby matches in the sports hall, a ten-pin bowling competition (won by Ms. Wilshire), evening film shows, water polo in the centre’s pool and a whole morning spent kayaking on Wales’ largest freshwater lake. Both pupils and staff had a fantastically rewarding time and greatly appreciate being allowed the opportunity to participate.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Year 11 Retreat to Kintbury On Monday 22nd February 30 students and 3 staff set off on Retreat to Kintbury. Everyone was very excited at the prospect of spending time thinking about their relationship with God, themselves and others. When we arrived we found that we were sharing with two other schools both from England - St Winfred’s and Campian. During the first evening everyone spent time getting to know each other before being put into small groups. The evening finished with a very peaceful and reflective prayer service. Each day explored different values and concluded with either a prayer service or Eucharistic service. It was a wonderful experience with the emphasis being very much on community. An example of this was eating together and offering up a very modern and usually loud grace! The weather was unusually wet for Kintbury but it didn’t dampen the spirits on the Emmaus walk. Later that day the boys from Bishop Vaughan restored the honour of Welsh rugby by beating the English boys convincingly. The behaviour of all of our students was exemplary and pupils were congratulated by the staff at St Cassians. They threw themselves into every activity with enthusiasm and were respectful and reverent when they needed to be. It was a pleasure to take them to Kintbury even though we didn’t manage to find the phantom sour apple eater! Two experiences from Kintbury It was my first time at Kintbury, I really enjoyed, it was an excellent experience. There were two other schools there from England and we became great friends with them. We did lots of different activities which helped us to look at our lives in different ways. Throughout the week we were split into small groups which gave us the chance to get to know the team members and the other students and share our experiences. I really enjoyed my experience at Kintbury and hope to go again. Alice Jones 11.3 It was my third experience of Kintbury this year and I have really enjoyed each time. The experience is almost indescribable. The people you meet who work at St Cassian’s are so friendly. You meet students from other schools. You quickly become close to them, and keep in contact with them. The house is peaceful and beautiful. The experience of retreat can help you to look at life in a different way. Chana Sidaway 11.4


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Sixth Form News UCAS Day .

On 23rd February, Year 12 pupils participated in a UCAS Day — an introduction to the applications process for universities and colleges. With workshop sessions explaining different elements of the process, from course requirements, to how to prepare applications, pupils found the day useful and enlightening. Admissions tutors from a range of the universities ‘closer to home’ attended the UCAS Fair in the Main Hall and offered advice and information to pupils.

Winter Wonderland Trip The December end of term trip to Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland was enjoyed by all! From tentative first steps, many were soon impressing us all with their ice-skating skills, as the photos show:

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Sixth Form Science Workshop

On February 11th, pupils from the Year 12 Biology class participated in a ‘DNA Photocopying’ workshop at Cardiff’s Techniquest Centre. We were introduced to the science behind many forensic procedures at crime scenes, such as polymerase chain reaction and gel electrophoresis, the processes that also underpin genetic modification. As well as replicating our own DNA from a single sample, we had the opportunity to debate the implications of genetic modification and human stem cell research. The fascinating insights into the places where ethics and sciences meet gave us all lots of food for thought and we had the opportunity to use sophisticated equipment and procedures, as you can see!

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Senior Prefect Appointments

Congratulations to the new Senior Prefects appointed this term. We wish them every success in their new roles: 2010/11 SIXTH FORM COMMITTEE Head Girl

Head Boy

Chloe Richards

Thomas Jacob Davies

Deputy Head Girl (treasurer)

Deputy Head Boy (treasurer)

Catherine Eleanor Rees

Samuel Dawkins

Deputy Head Girl Social

Deputy Head Boy Social

Faye Suzanne Waterton

Geraint Hamer


Year 9

Rebecca Hurley

Mambwe Mwanza

Year 8

Year 8

Hannah Thomas

Jonathan Lewis

Year 7

Year 7

Claire Purcell

Samuel Young


James Thomas


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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Sociology Trip to London On February the 4th, the Sociology and Drama GCSE classes had an eventful day on a trip to London. At 6:30 in the morning our year eleven students (some still in their pyjamas) boarded the coach, set for a four hour ride to Central London. Arriving at the capital, our first target - The London Eye - soon woke us up after a drowsy coach ride. With views from over 440ft high and 40km wide, the experience was truly unique to many who had never travelled on this enormous wheel before. Our next stop was Covent Garden for a quick lunch and a bit of shopping. There was an extremely large range of shops and restaurants, from the choice of some Spanish paella and the thrill of shopping in some of London’s most favoured stores. Our final destination lay at the Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End to see the ever loved story of Billy Elliot. This was the main part of our trip. It was an extraordinary show that gave an insight into the acting world to our drama students and showed our sociology students some history of our nation’s past, and how it’s changed. It challenged traditional gender stereotypes and made us aware of the bitter miners’ strike in 1984. As you can imagine the trip was enjoyed by all students and was one of the biggest highlights of our Sociology and Drama GCSEs! Ashleigh Williams - GCSE Sociology student.

Holocaust Memorial Day Sixteen Sixth Form students along with Mrs Hansen attended Holocaust Memorial Day in Swansea on Wednesday January 27th 2010. The theme for this year’s event was Legacy of Hope and the aim was to remember the victims of the Holocaust and all genocides the world over. The message of the day was that the Legacy of Hope asks us to carry a message of hope into the future and to build a fairer and more inclusive world. It was an event that was thought provoking on many levels and enabled students to think about how Swansea had provided a sanctuary for many who had been victims of unfair treatment. The day highlighted the need for encouraging our young people to be responsible citizens, who are crucial in building a peaceful future. Our hope is that lessons were indeed learned on this day and those who attended will be part of building a society built on kingdom principles of peace, fairness and justice.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Bus Passes Could both parents and pupils be aware that the children should carry their bus pass with them at all times. Pupils could be asked at any time whilst travelling on a school bus, to produce their bus pass as evidence that they are allocated a seat. If pupils have misplaced their bus pass please contact the school office who will organise a replacement. Also pupils are not allowed to travel on any other bus other than the one that is printed on their bus pass. On several occasions lately pupils have tried to travel on different buses, e.g. to go over to a friend’s place after school. This is not allowed and the drivers have the right to refuse entry to pupils who are not allocated to their bus. It is parents’ responsibility to collect their children and take them to alternative venues after school.

Parking Outside Bishop Vaughan A letter has been received from the School Community Police Officer asking us to pass on the concerns of local residents in relation to parking and vehicles causing obstructions outside the school from 3 o’clock every afternoon. Police Officers will be patrolling regularly outside the school to take positive action regarding any vehicles which are parked in contravention of road traffic legislation. Please can all parents and guardians be aware that the school cannot supervise pupils arriving before 8.40 am.

Mobile Telephones If pupils have mobile phones they should note that they are not to be switched on or in use inside the school. This includes the buildings, playground and playing field areas, before, during and after the school day. Mobile phones are to be kept out of sight, either on the person or in the school bag. The school can take no responsibility for any loss or theft of mobile phones. Parents and guardians are asked not to contact their children by phone or text during the school day. If an emergency message needs to be conveyed the school office will take the call and pass the message on. Similarly if a pupil needs to make an emergency call home he or she just needs to approach the office. Failure to comply with these rules will result in the phone being confiscated and kept in the school office for collection by a responsible adult. Any pupil using a mobile phone to record sound or video in school faces the likelihood of exclusion.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

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PLEASE NOTE! School Website The school website has been redesigned and has a new address:

Paying for trips Remember, if your child is paying for a school trip, the House is open from 8.30am until registration and at morning break and lunch times. All cheques should be made payable to Bishop Vaughan Catholic School and the pupil’s name, tutorial and trip should be clearly written on the reverse. Thank you.

Lost Property We still have a number of items in lost property - which is now located in the main office. None of the articles are labelled and cannot, therefore, be returned to their owner. If your child has lost any item, please tell them to come and check with Miss Evans in the main office. After a period of time items not claimed will be given to a charity shop as there is no room to store them. Lost property is available for checking at break and lunch-time. PLEASE LABEL ALL ITEMS OF SCHOOL UNIFORM SO THAT THEY CAN BE EASILY RETURNED IF HANDED IN TO LOST PROPERTY.

Pupil Information If any details have changed, please write or email into the school office so that our records may be updated. This includes any change to address, contact telephone numbers (especially mobile telephone and emergency contacts), place of work, doctor, or any new medical conditions which we should be aware of.

Could you please pass onto the school any relevant email address that we could use to contact you.

Maths Challenge answer - C ÂŁ6.05

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter March 2010

Sixth Form Footballers attend FAW Coaching Course

On Tuesday the 9th of March, ten Sixth Form students attended the Football Association of Wales coaching leaders Award. The course was held at the Elba sports complex in Gowerton and was organised through the FAW football development officer for Swansea, Rob Thomas and Bishop Vaughan’s 5x60 officer Natalie Thomas. The award will enable our pupils to deliver coaching sessions to pupils in our feeder primary schools. These voluntary hours will enable the pupils to complete their qualification. Throughout the day the pupils enjoyed taking an active part in the course, mixing with pupils from Olchfa and Gowerton school, with students also present from Swansea College. An intense day of activity lasted from 10.00am until 3.00pm. I’m sure all would agree that the course was a great success. I would like to thank the boys for their effort and commitment on the day which made for an enjoyable event. Here is a list of pupils who attended the course: Kristian Roberts, Jonathan Blackburn, Blessed Ndeke, Jason Carlsen, Joe Phillips, Michael Neucker, Alex Marinaccio, Josh Gondwe, Ceri Lewis, Daniel Ahern. The Sixth Form football side also recorded their first victory of the season with a 3-2 away win at Ysgol BrynTawe on the 2nd of March. The next match will be played on Wednesday the 24th of March against Gorseinon College at the Elba in Gowerton.

Bishop Vaughan Catholic School Mynydd Garnllwyd Road Morriston, Swansea SA6 7QG Phone: 01792 772006 Fax: 01792 790565 E-mail:

March Newsletter 2010  

March Newsletter 2010

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