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Bishop Vaughan Catholic School Newyddion Ysgol Gatholig Esgob P ARENTS ’ N EWSLETTER D ECEMBER 2009 Operation Christmas Child 2009

Students at Bishop Vaughan School have been collecting shoe boxes filled with Christmas presents in support of Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child project. As usual the students enjoyed participating in this event to support children in war torn countries. Sixth formers have especially had the responsibility of overseeing the project and special thanks goes to them. Some of the students who participated in the project are pictured above. There were 195 boxes collected in total! Many thanks to all who contributed. Heather Hansen

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009


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



The Headteacher, staff and governors wish all parents, carers and pupils a happy and Holy Christmas and a successful New Year. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda. Dates for your Diary Last day of term is Friday 18th December 2009, school closes at 3.25 pm. Pupils return to school on Tuesday 5th January 2010 - week two on the timetable.

Inset Days Monday 4th January 2010, Monday 19th April 2010 and Monday 28th June 2010

Advance notice of Examination Dates 2009/10 External units for Years 10 - 13: from 11th January 2010 to 1st February 2010 School exams for Years 7-10: Monday 17th May to Friday 28th May 2010 The main external exam period begins on Monday 10th May 2010 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 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 December 2009

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Important Information External Examinations Enclosed is the Joint Council for Qualifications Notice to Candidates, it is important that pupils and parents familiarise themselves with the regulation involved when sitting external examinations, presenting coursework or submitting a controlled Assessment. Procedures For Collecting Certificates Phone the school and leave your Name, Year of Qualification and Level of Qualification i.e. 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 Tony Brown Exams Officer

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.

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.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

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 December 2009

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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 December 2009


Young Enterprise 09/10 Line of Business: 

Renting out lockers to Year 7, initially, in their year base on a daily basis.


Lockers to be placed in Year 8/9 year base for availability from Monday 30th November.


These lockers will be available for £1.50 a day, but £1 acts as a deposit and will be given back to the student, when the key is returned, at the end of lunchtime. These lockers will be useful when students have to carry more on certain days of the week, eg: PE lessons or kit for after school clubs.


Selling reflective arm bands, in 4 various colours, at £1.50 each. These bands will get the user seen, in these darker nights and mornings, whilst travelling to/ from school, and when involved in outdoor activities, after school. They would be a thoughtful Christmas present, for a sibling or family member.


Selling anti-bacterial hand gel, for 50p.


When available:

The directors of the company will be in the year 7/8/9 yearl bases every morning between 8.25 – 8.45 am, every break-time, and lunchtime between 2.15 – 2.20 pm. Lockers: Reflective Bands: Hand gel:

As from Monday 9th November As from Monday 30th November As from Monday 23rd November

Please support Bishop Vaughan’s Young Entrepreneurs. Thank you. Catherine Wynne (Business Studies Teacher and Young Enterprise Link Teacher)

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009


ENGLISH DEPARTMENT NEWS The Writers’ Club This club is run every Monday in Room 23 from 1.30 to 2pm. New members are very welcome! We are continuing to enter numerous writing competitions and our writing skills are really improving. This is clear from the Christmas poems and story that some of our talented writers have produced.


The Special Day

The 25th of December, Is a very special day, Where everyone rejoices, And sadness fades away.

It’s Christmas this morning, I can barely hold it in. The advent calendar is empty, I throw it in the bin.

Where little children are excited, And Christmas trees go up, Little boys want toy cars, And older girls want makeup.

My mum is making mince pies, My dad’s humming tunes, Now’s the time to forget about The world’s doom and gloom.

Houses are covered with Christmas lights, So colourful and so bright, A glass of milk and a mince pie, Left out ready to help Santa fly.

The baby in the manger, Smiles happily today, For he is born to save us all In his own special way.

Though Christmas isn’t all about, The gifts and decorations, The real reason is an, Extra special celebration.

Today’s a day for smiling, It’s a day for having fun, Today’s a day for giving And loving everyone. By Francesca Hutchins 8.3

The reason why it is so important, Is because we can say, That Jesus Christ, our saviour, Was born on this special, holy day. By Emily Davis and Chantelle John

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009


I gaze down from the sky. I’m drifting slowly, floating to the ground. I land in the snow, not making a sound. I hear the whispers of my friends. What’s that they’re talking about? A snowman. “What’s a snowman?” I enquire. “You don’t know what a snowman is?” they smirk. One of the kinder snowflakes nudges me. “That’s a snowman.” She gestures towards a big, beautiful being that is being made by a couple children. They’re laughing and playing, and hurling handfuls of us at each other. I shudder at the thought of being part of their snow fight, but the snowman looks so lovely when they dress it with a scarf and woolly hat, and fashion a face out of some stones and a carrot. “Wow!” was the only word I could think of to describe it. “I know”, the kind snowflake replied. “How can we be one?” I ask her. She couldn’t hold in her giggles then. Everyone else sniggered too. “Oh yes, of course you’ll get chosen to be part of a snowman.” One of the nastier snowflakes says, his words dripping with sarcasm. I sigh. They’re probably right, this is my first time being a snowflake, and most of the others have been one several times before. The children will probably pick someone a bit more experienced. And that’s when, with everyone laughing at me, gloved hands scoop me up off the ground. I’m smudged together with a lot more of us. I smile, delighted, because I know what’s going to happen next. The girl begins to make us into a snowman. Much later, I’m sighing contentedly, happy to be a part of a snowman. I watch in awe as the girl walks away.

It was the perfect Christmas.

By Ivy Davison 8-3

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

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After the phenomenal success of the inaugural 2009 Times Spelling Bee, the UK’s only national spelling competition for schools is back! Visit In 2009 more than 750 schools from across the UK took part. After the excitement of the local heats, which Bishop Vaughan won convincingly, we attended the national semi finals in Cardiff. Before the event we were guests on BBC Wales’s radio, where we had a little spelling Bee competition with the presenters-live on air! We came third in the semi-final and all agreed that it was a wonderful experience. The aim of the Championship is to make spelling fun, help teachers raise the profile of spelling and develop the talents of their students. With proselytise, garrotte, idiosyncrasy and chiaroscuro proving to be some of the toughest words to spell in the 2009 competition, 2010 is set to be a challenge for all competing teams! The Championship begins in March 2010 when schools go head to head in live local knockout spelling heats. The winning teams will then progress to the Semi-Finals which will take place in May and the Grand Final will be held in London in June 2010. has spelling games and puzzles for adults and school children alike, and new and exciting features include a head-to-head challenge which allows players to play against one another: The 2010 Spelling Bee Championship is open to Year 7 pupils. The English Department will be organising in-school spelling competitions and the top four spellers will be chosen to represent the school in this exciting challenge. Elaine Higgleton, Editorial Director of Collins Dictionaries, says: “The Times Spelling Bee makes spelling fun, and children learn so much more from it than just how to spell some rather difficult words. I was very impressed by the confidence and presentational skills of the children taking part in 2009, and above all by the great sense of fair play and sporting attitude towards competitors that were in evidence during every stage of the competition.” The Times Spelling Bee is supported by Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Celebrities who supported the 2009 competition include Jamie Theakston, Harriet Scott, Miquita Oliver, Rick Edwards, Andi Peters, Susie Dent, Matt Littler, Darren Jeffries and Justin Somper.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

Science News Royal Society of Chemistry Quiz

“Chemistry Team UNITE!” That was the rallying call from Mr Lloyd as we leapt onto the bus, fastened our seatbelts and frantically started reciting the Periodic Table. Alright, so the truth was a little less exciting than that; we simply got onto the minibus and trundled down to Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr, our first opponents in the Chemistry Quiz. Year 9’s Cory and Michael, Year 10’s Caitlin and myself, Owen Year 11, made up the team. There was tension, there was drama, and ultimately there was victory for Bishop Vaughan as we overcame Gwyr 36-23. We even got biscuits afterwards. Our next opponents were to provide a sterner test though. As Christ College Brecon walked menacingly through the door of Room 9, we all shuddered. Then it was down to the business of quiz-question answering, with joyous shouts of “Sodium Chloride” and H2SO4 filling the air. But the final score was 27-23 to Bishop Vaughan, and as Bentley (a member of the opposite team) walked out of the door, you could tell what he was thinking: “Wow, these guys are good!” For our next battle we headed over to Coedcae in Llanelli. It was a ferocious encounter, with the opponents proving to be harder than we had faced before. In fact we were trailing by one point for a large proportion of the match, and it was only with a strong team performance in the ‘Countdown round’ that we pulled ahead and won 35-24. Mr Lloyd was grinning from ear to ear when we triumphed, and we drove off from the school cheering and shouting.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

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Science News Royal Society of Chemistry Quiz continued Fresh from our quarter final victory we took part in the semi finals of the quiz, which took place in Taliesin Arts Centre at Swansea University. Nervous smiles, awkward laughter…. And that was just from Ms Williams’ “jokes!” Mr Lloyd was unable to attend so Ms Williams took a bus load of screaming children down to our final destination. When we arrived, we found out we would be facing Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in the semi final, while Olchfa would take on Fynonne in the other one. In the first of these “thrilling” matches. Olchfa were dumped out of the contest by an “incredible” Fynonne team. Now it was our turn. I drew my team around me and muttered words of advice. They stared at me oddly. I sat back down again, upset that they hadn’t at least given me a “high five” or whatever you call them. Still, after a hard and nail biting battle we beat Dyffryn Taf. That meant we would face Fynonne in the final of all finals: The Royal Society of Chemistry Quiz Final. It was a battle to remember, a battle that would maybe go down in a minor history book somewhere in Northampton. Elements and formulas were shouted with such ferocity that the quizmaster told us to keep it down. Buzzers were pressed so hard that the tables shook slightly. But in the end there could only be one winner……… . Fynonne. Yes, that’s right, we lost. Still it was a hard fought victory for them, and there’s always next year for us...Though I couldn’t help thinking afterwards, clutching my free chemistry stickers eagerly, that maybe we could have won? Sighing, I turned to the window and whispered reactions of group 2 metals with acids to myself sadly.

UK Junior Mathematical Challenge Teams from two schools contest a swimming match. Each school enters two swimmers for each event, with 5 points awarded for first place, 3 points for second place, 2 points for third place, and 1 point for fourth place. After six events no swimmer has been disqualified and the leading school’s score is the reverse of the other school’s score. What is the difference between their two scores at this stage? A 12

B 18

C 27

The solution can be found on page 16

D 36

E can’t be sure

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

A Level Chemistry at University On Tuesday 3rd November, the A-Level Chemistry students visited Swansea University. Throughout the day we were to do 3 experiments that were relevant to our A-Level course. However, before entering the laboratory, we had to put on goggles and white coats and everyone agreed we now felt like proper chemists. After being told about the rigorous safety procedures, we were let loose on the chemicals! Our first experiment was thin-layer chromatography to identify what components were present in a compound. This was fairly straight-forward and also gave us a better understanding of the topic. After lunch in the University canteen, we went to see an NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) machine and some gas chromatography equipment. Our eyes were met with a great number of wires and computers connected to some very expensive looking equipment, we were later told they were worth £40000! We felt very lucky to live in Swansea, which is one of the main centres for research in this area of Chemistry. We watched as different samples of tablets containing aspirin and paracetamol were put through the equipment and produced spectrums showing up all the different chemical parts. After returning to the lab, we went in small groups to watch the Infrared analysis of various tablets and the pure components of caffeine and aspirin. We were presented with a spectrum of compounds to identify that would have flummoxed even Mr Lloyd! Of course the day wasn’t accident-free, and there was much rolling of eyes when DK dropped a boiling tube. Thank you to Miss Williams for organising this interesting and beneficial trip. By Bethan Stubbs

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

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CHEMNET TALK On Thursday 8th October a speaker from the Royal Society of Chemistry came to talk to us about our future and the opportunities that a career in Chemistry could bring us. Dr Joel Loveridge, a research Chemist at Cardiff University, talked to us at length about all the different careers where Chemistry is needed. I was surprised to find out that the careers ranged from the obvious, a pharmacist, to careers I had never thought about like a materials chemist and even how chemistry was important in Law. It was a very valuable use of our time because it encouraged us to think seriously about our futures. Rebecca Hurley 12.5 On Thursday 8th October Dr Joel Loveridge came into school to talk to the year 12 chemists about ChemNet. ChemNet is a magazine subscription for chemists of all ages. He presented a PowerPoint on how chemistry helps us everyday. He told us about his research work at Cardiff University and about his experiences from studying a chemistry degree. He gave us advice on what courses we could achieve with our chemistry A-level and gave us helpful advice about courses at university. I thought the talk was interesting and I learnt a lot about what careers are available if you have studied a Chemistry degree. Claire Davies 12.3

EVEREST HERE WE COME TRAINING FOR MOUNT EVEREST On Sunday 11th October the group of Bishop Vaughan and Morriston pupils and staff that are trekking to Base Camp of Mount Everest had there first weekend training walk. We walked for 7 miles around to the Neath Valley and saw many wonderful waterfalls. The highlight of the walk was when we walked behind Scwd yr Eira one of the bigger ones. It was very loud but beautiful. Soon after we stopped for lunch and took in the views around us. They were wonderful. We walked a little more and finished at a huge waterfall before making our way back to the bus. It was an energy consuming day but seeing Chris fall head first into a muddy puddle and Leanne swinging from a branch to stop herself doing the same was well worth it! I cant wait for the next trip! James Roberts 12.4

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

Welsh Baccalaureate Model United Nations Climate Change Conference by Geraint Hamer On the 18th November, 12 Welsh Baccalaureate pupils from Years 11, 12 and 13 attended the Model United Nations Climate Change Conference in Swansea Civic Centre. We represented delegations from Oxfam, the Philippines, Canada and Afghanistan.

The Conference, which took place in the council chambers, focused on the increasing problem of climate change. The first half of the day consisted of proposing a statement of position, whereby every group representing a country gave their view on the issue of climate change as regards their country. This was followed by a floor debate and then any suggestions or amendments that could be made to help slow down climate change.

After lunch all delegations were presented with several emergency situations, such as a flood in London and hurricane devastation in Florida, and we had to improvise a solution to the situation and agree to the necessary funding. The day gave us a valuable insight into current issues and showed how hard it is to actually get everyone to agree and form a consensus. Overall, it was a valuable and interesting day.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

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Debating Society News As mentioned in the last newsletter, Jack Hannah and Ben Sharif have recently participated in the Council for Education in World Citizenship Debating Championships. Their win in the first round was achieved when they had to propose that convicted murderers should always serve their prison sentences in full, and they carried out extensive research into legal processes to provide a really convincing argument. Their task was a difficult one, not only because they had to argue against the current legal system, effectively, but also because they were arguing against some very confident and accomplished speakers from Ffynone House! The boys won that debate and also the round, in which Bryntawe, Cwmtawe, Tonyrefail and Gorseinon College participated. They were then invited to the next round at Gregynog Hall, a conference centre used for academic and university events. This time they had to oppose a motion. Arguing that it should be possible for army careers to be advertised or represented in schools, again they won the debate. In the semi-final, the boys were given a rather unpopular argument - proposing that all television talent shows should be banned! Despite losing this argument, we’re very proud of the success that they had in reaching the semi-final, especially as within a week or two of starting the Debating Society, they won their first competition. Both boys were presented with awards in recognition of their efforts and as a memento of their success. Congratulations also to all of the Debating Society members that helped them prepare and contributed to their success. Pupils in Years Ten and Eleven are also invited to attend the Debating Society meetings on Monday lunchtimes in Room 24 as there are two national competitions next term for this age group. We look forward to welcoming you!

Engineering Education Scheme of Wales Nicky Cursio, Joshua Davies, Tabatha Ferreira, James Palmer and Scott Waddell, participated in this scheme, completing their project successfully and receiving awards at a presentation ceremony held at the Celtic Manor in Newport. Congratulations to each of them on their hard work!

Young Enterprise Scheme Bishop Vaughan’s Young Enterprise team won the Regional Award in the Young Enterprise competition—this recognised their commitment to their project and their innovative ideas. The products marketed by the pupils sold exceptionally well in school and at the event, where they competed against all schools, colleges and independent schools in the area . They have now gone through to the next round where they will compete against schools from across Wales, and we wish them every success. The pupils involved were: Mathew Hayward Kristian Hopkins

(Manager & Director) (Finance)

Congratulations, and best wishes for the next round!

Michael Sidaway Daniel Gill

(Marketing) (Marketing)

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

Year 12/13 Early Years

Year 12 and 13 Early years classes came together for a joint visit to the new central library at County Hall to look at the children's literature available. The girls and Matthew were given a tour of the library and the many resources on offer and I'm pleased to say all 16 of them joined up there and then. They have assured me they will all be using their new library cards on a regular basis - even if its only to take out the vast selection of DVD's on offer!

RE Day 25th November 2009 Year 12 took part in an RE Day on ‘Global Citizenship and Sustainability’ on the 25th November. The day started with a very informative lecture from the City and County of Swansea on Reduce Re use and Recycle. Students asked some thought provoking questions. The team from the centre also assisted with a Swap Shop which was held at lunchtime Students then attended a carousel of sessions which asked them to carefully consider their personal responsibility as a global citizen. Mr Steve Jones, a church and youth worker challenged students’ perception of people trafficking. Another session required students to think about our futures and attended a session run by Mr Linley Jenkins on Sustainable futures which required interactive learning on how we can reduce our carbon footprints. At the third session students attended a Philosophy for Children seminar run by Angela Hill of CEWC Cymru. CEWC-Cymru is an educational charity which helps young people to develop as active citizens of Wales and the world. The seminar focused on discussing how we can be good stewards of the Environment. Many thanks to all those who gave up their time to support the day and to the students who took part. Maths Challenge Solution is Points in each event are 5+3+2+1=11. After 6 events, 66 points have been awarded. The highest possible score is 6 x 8 = 48 (and the lowest 12). Possible scored seem therefore to be 42 and 24. We ought to check that these are attainable. 4 x (1+2) + (1+3) + (3+5) = 4 x 3 + 4 + 8 = 24 so it is a possible score. The difference is 42—24 = 18.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

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TRIP YR ADRAN GYMRAEG I LANLLYN On Monday the 2nd of November we set off from school at seven o’ clock in the morning to reach our destination ~Glanllyn Urdd Camp in Bala North Wales. After a long journey we arrived at the beautiful destination where the outdoor pursuit centre is based on the banks of the stunning lake Tegid.

Twenty six pupils along with Mrs Smith. Ms.Jones and Mr.Murray braved the crisp rainy weather to tackle the outdoor pursuits. We did all sorts of activities including raft building, where we had to build a raft from old barrels ,wood and rope, we then had to test it out on the water and by luck it worked! After this activity we had the choice if we wanted to be dropped in the lake, many braved it, but the sensible ones ran back to the house for hot showers!!! Many of the year eleven pupils went to Glanllyn in year nine, and couldn't wait to go again on this amazing adventure.!!! Whilst at Glan llyn we were encouraged to speak Welsh with the staff, and ask for food in Welsh. In the nights we played football and went ten pin bowling. We had two very interesting talks. One was about the drowning of the valley Tryweryn to provide water for Liverpool. The next night we met a native of Patagonia who can only speak Welsh and Spanish, he showed us interesting photographs of his hometown where everyone speaks Welsh, and no ENGLISH at all, he is a teacher in a Welsh school and over here in Wales on an exchange. We had an amazing adventure and thanks to our wonderful teachers for taking us, we cant wait for next year.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

Paris in the Springtime Paris - a city of timeless elegance and splendour. Even its quietest streets intimate a warm romance that has captivated foreign hearts for centuries. Yet in March 2008, this exquisite scene was shattered when a coach-load of travel-weary sixth formers tumbled onto the steps below the Sacré Coeur, accosting innocent passers-by in order to get directions to Paris Fashion Week and the nearest toilette. Our clumsy attempts at je ne sais quoi left the Parisians unruffled, and after politely reminding us that Fashion Week had, in fact, finished seven days ago, left us to continue with their chic Parisian pastimes. A note to all travellers: five days in Paris is simply not enough with all there is to be done there. One must master the French walk, the blasé toss of the head and the art of looking impossibly sophisticated all the time. And there is, as our teachers frequently reminded us, a wealth of history and beautiful architecture to be seen. After multiple outfit changes, we clattered into the Notre Dame, straining our eyes for a glimpse of Quasimodo the hunchback, but ultimately floored by the grandeur of the cathedral. Lovingly named “Our Lady”, Notre Dame quieted our Swansea slang, and we crept around breathless, losing ourselves in the purity of such a place. Our visit coincided with a Saint’s Day, and we had the pleasure of listening to the nuns’ voices, raised in song and utterly beautiful. We weren’t even disappointed not to have spotted a single hunchback. Visiting the Louvre was certainly a highlight of the trip for the artists among us, who analysed the collected works with pensive faces and seemed almost to lose themselves in the various sculptures and paintings the gallery boasted. The rest of us certainly tried our best to mimic such behaviour, whilst speed-walking to visit the Mona Lisa, who was looking particularly smug in the knowledge that she commanded a larger audience than that of the Venus de Milo. The Eiffel Tower was next on our agenda, and is probably changed forever, as never had such enthusiastic picture-taking occurred! Anyone who believes the Tower is just a great metallic blob against the Parisian skyline obviously has not encountered it at night, when the Eiffel Tower is lit up and dazzling. We took a boat tour along the Seine, á la Fred Astaire (we refrained from dancing), and floated past many of Paris’ most famous buildings to the strains of “Moon River”. Even with our hair tangled from the breeze and shivering from lack of sensible clothing, this was a romantic and peaceful experience; having the Eiffel Tower dressed in stars behind us and the Notre Dame sleeping peacefully in front. The golden gates of Versailles were closed to us, but the sprawling gardens was enough to whet our appetites for living Louis XVI-style. Instead of drifting lazily through the gardens, we found ourselves clambering into boats to try a somewhat different experience of French aristocratic living. I’m sure Marie Antoinette’s boat trips lacked the fun that ours had in abundance! We returned from Paris having never learnt the art of je ne sais quoi or the secret of Parisian cool, but we brought back suitcases full of shoes from French markets, cameras brimming with memories, and heads full of beautiful French words. It’s a shame we haven’t a clue what any of them mean.

Au revoir, Lydia Davies

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2009

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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.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December


Savings to get you “On Yer Bike” Bikes4School Bikes4School is a great new scheme, designed to get more children and their parents on their bikes. It will enable pupils and their families to benefit from huge savings on the cost of bikes and cycling safety equipment. Meanwhile, the school will benefit from regular quarterly payments from Bikes4School, which are directly related to the value of orders received, to spend on whatever they wish. All you need to do is log onto the website and enter our school code which is Y2K5Y to get a bike, safety gear or clothing at a 10% discount, while the school gets 5% back of the purchase from Bikes4School.

Confirmation at St. Benedict’s Church On Sunday 22nd November, thirteen pupils from Bishop Vaughan received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Tom at St. Benedict’s Church, Clydach. Elie Beaumont-Wood Caitlin Thomas Phoebe Hughes Matthew Mogford Michael Scourfield Oliver Hughes Francesca Hutchins

Holly Scannell Natalie Hughes William Hughes James McCarthy Jack Brenton James Lawson

Congratulations from all at Bishop Vaughan.

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

Parents' Newsletter December 2009  

Parents' Newsletter December 2009

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