Page 1

Bishop Vaughan Catholic School Ysgol Gatholig Esgob Vaughan Parents’ Newsletter December 2010 Cylchlythyr Rhieni Rhagfyr 2010

Operation Christmas Child 2010

The Shoe Box Appeal has been well supported once again by students and staff at Bishop Vaughan School. Year 7, in particular have given overwhelming support. The charity, 'Samaritan's Purse' run the project 'Operation Christmas Child' each year and presents are sent to children in war-torn countries. We firmly believe at Bishop Vaughan School that it is an opportunity and indeed a duty to show the love of God to those in great need at this very special time of year when we remember God's love for us in sending His Son Jesus.

P a g e

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010



Spring 2011

Term begins Wednesday 1st September

Begins Monday 25th October

Ends Friday th 29 October

Term ends Friday th 17 December

Tuesday 4 January

Monday 21 February


Friday 25 February

Friday 15th April

Tuesday 3rd May

Monday 30th May

Friday 3rd June

Thursday 21st July


Summer 2011


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 17th December 2010; school closes at 3.25 pm. Pupils return to school on Tuesday 4th January 2011 - week two on the timetable.

Inset Days

Friday 15th April 2011 and Monday 27th June 2011.

Advance notice of Examination Dates 2010/11 External units for Years 10 - 13: from 10th January 2011 to 27th January 2011. School exams for Years 7-10: Monday 16th May to Friday 27th May 2011. The main external exam period begins on Monday 9th May 2011 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 2010

P a g e


Message from the Headteacher Please can I remind parents and guardians that when visiting the school they should always register with reception. Whilst we would always wish to be welcoming, for health and safety reasons governors cannot permit visitors to go into the school yard or any other part of the building/site of their own volition; whether before, during or after the school day.

Year 6 Applications If you have a child in year 6 in primary school and you wish to apply for a place at Bishop Vaughan for entry in September 2011, you will need to submit an application form as soon as possible. You can obtain a prospectus and application form from the school’s reception or by telephoning Mrs H Hutchins or Miss H Morgan on 01792 772006. Thank you.

Important Information Information for Candidates Sitting External Examinations Enclosed with the December Newsletter are JCQ information sheets, it is important that both parents and pupils familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations of external examinations prior to the January 2011 examination series.

Collection of Certificates Certificates gained during Summer 2010 examinations will be available for collection in December 2010. It is important that you collect your certificates as they will be returned to the examination board after 12 months. For certificate collection phone the school giving your name and the date you sat your examination, your certificate will be ready for collection from the school reception the next day.

Thank you. Anthony Brown Exams Officer

P a g e


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

School Uniform Years 77-11 Pullover: Pullover

burgundy, v-necked with official school logo

Tie: Tie

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

Socks: Socks

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

Tights: Tights

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

Blouse/Shirt: Blouse/Shirt

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: 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

Shoes: Shoes

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: 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: 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.

MakeMake-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 2010

P a g e


School Uniform Sixth Form Uniform Pullover: Pullover

navy, v-necked with official school logo

Tie: Tie

sixth form official school tie

Shirt/Blouse Shirt Blouse: Blouse

plain white, standard school style (not fashion)

Skirt: Skirt

navy blue, knee length


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

Socks: Socks

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

Tights: Tights

plain, seamless, navy tights may be worn

Shoes: Shoes

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: 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.

MakeMake-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.

P a g e


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

Science Department Science Module Exams - January 2011 Please be advised that pupils will be taking external science module exams in January on the following dates: Year 10 and Year 11 GCSE Science: Biology B1 and B2: morning exam 13th January 2011 (Higher and Foundation) Chemistry C1 and C2: morning exam 17th January 2011 (Higher and Foundation) Physics P1 and P2: morning exam 19th January 2011 (Higher and Foundation) Year 12 and Year 13 AS and A2: Biology Biology: Cells, Exchange and Transport: F211/01

1h 00m 11 January 2011

Tuesday am


1h 45m 18 January 2011

Tuesday pm


1h 00m 24 January 2011

Monday pm


1h 00m 13 January 2011

Thursday am


1h 45m 20 January 2011

Thursday pm


1h 00m 26 January 2011

Wednesday am

Written Paper Biology: Molecules, Biodiversity, Food and Health: Written Paper Biology: Communication, Homeostasis and Energy: Written Paper

Chemistry Chemistry: Atoms, Bonds and Groups: Written Paper Chemistry: Chains, Energy and Resources: Written Paper Chemistry: Rings, Polymers and Analysis: Written Paper

Physics – Only pupils in yr 13 taking rere-sits will be doing external exams in January Physics: Mechanics: Written Paper


1h 00m 12 January 2011

Wednesday am

Physics: Electrons, Waves and


1h 45m 17 January 2011

Monday pm

Photons: Written Paper

Optional revision classes will be held during lunchtime and after school sessions in the run up to these exams. Students greatly benefit from these classes and all pupils are strongly encouraged to take part. Further information will be published on notice boards around the department or alternatively students can check with their teachers for the dates of these extra sessions.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

P a g e


English Department Improving your child’s literacy skills Literacy simply means your ability to read, write and communicate. There are plenty of practical and easy ways to help your child gain more confidence with their literacy skills. We hope you find them helpful. Try to read to your children every day: Studies show that regularly reading out loud to children will produce significant gains in reading comprehension, vocabulary and understanding of words. Encourage a wide variety of reading activities: Make reading and communicating an integral part of your children's lives. Ask them to read menus, road signs, weather reports, film time listings, and other practical everyday information. Develop the library habit: Entice your children to read more by taking them to the library every few weeks to get new reading materials. The library also offers reading programs for children of all ages that may appeal to your children and further increase their interest in reading. Visit www.swansea for further details. swansea Encourage clear communication: We are all aware that communicating with children can be difficult, but we can help by thinking about the types of questions we ask them. Try to ask open questions that cannot simply be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. When you are out with your child encourage them to ask for help or directions if needed, order food or deal with a shop assistant. These little things will help develop their confidence and their communication skills. Finding opportunities to encourage writing: The use of note cards and stationery will encourage letter writing to friends and relatives, which could become a regular habit. Let your child write the shopping list before a trip to the shop. Encourage journal keeping for special times such as a family holiday. If they have enjoyed an experience they could write a letter of praise to a company or shop. Similarly they can be helped to write a letter of complaint if they were unhappy with goods or services. For the Christmas stocking! • Fun pens and pencils • A writing book • Novel - go the bookshop with your child so that they can be involved in the choosing process • Brightly illustrated book of poetry • Autobiography • Magazines

P a g e


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

English Department Visiting Writers We are delighted to have had a number of visiting writers who have worked with pupils across the key stages.

Elyse Fenton’s Fenton book Clamor was selected as the Cleveland State University Poetry Centre First Book Award winner. She has also won the 2008 Pablo Neruda Award from Nimrod International Literary Journal. She has published poetry and nonfiction in The New York Times and many other publications. She has been shortlisted for the Prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize so it was a real privilege to have her work with our students. Elyse will discuss her works with our ever popular Writers’ Club.

Martin Daws ‘An electrifying poet whose live sets blend free musicality, innovative rhythm and lyrical dexterity to drive his poetry through journeys into life and nature’ . With 14 years experience as a workshop facilitator Martin has developed a deep appreciation of the work of a creative artist in education. Martin worked with Year 7 pupils and was both fun and inspirational.

The Times Spelling Bee We will be working with Year 7 pupils on their spelling skills over the following months and will have a new spelling bee team after Christmas. We hope to build on our previous successes and with a bit of luck make it to the national finals next year! To get practising visit :

Pilgrimage to World Youth Day Madrid 2011 The Diocesan Youth Commission is currently planning for a contingent of young people aged between 1616-30 to take part in the World Youth Day in Madrid between 18th to 21st August 2011. The cost is likely to be no more than £300. This will include travel, accident insurance, public transportation for the week of WYD, a pilgrimage backpack, free entrance to all WYD cultural activities and access to all areas reserved for WYD participants and ceremonies. If you are interested in taking part in this event email stating your name, age, contact details and any queries. This does not constitute a “formal” enrolment or commitment at this point. Alternatively, you can telephone Fr. Ceirion Gilbert (Diocesan Youth Director) on 01792 653343.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

P a g e


Maths Department The Four Nations Maths Challenge In November, pupils in years 7 to 9 were encouraged to take part in an online Maths competition called The Four Nations Maths Challenge. The pupils had fun practising their Maths skills to gain certificates and to win virtual trophies. One feature that the pupils particularly enjoyed was the challenge of competing against individual pupils from all around the UK on a particular task. The competitiveness of the pupils was exciting to watch. On the last day we eagerly looked at the leader board to discover that Bishop Vaughan came 22nd in Wales which we were really pleased about. Thank you to all the pupils who helped us to get to that position. A special mention goes to the following pupils who got themselves into the Hall of Fame at some point during the week. Caeran Evans 7.2 Fahad Haroon 7.5 Snapak John 8.5

Dylan Mainwaring 7.5 James Lowery 7.8 Alex Rockefeller 8.5

Emily Davies 8.6

Our top 3 best scoring classes were 8Q1, 7.8 and 7.5 Well done to everyone who took part. Sandra Ware, Maths Department

Mathematics Lunchtime Support On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the mathematics department run a lunchtime support session from 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. in room A1 or B5. All pupils from years 7 to 13 are free to come and seek help with their “MyMaths” homework or any other work that they have been set by their mathematics teachers. Alternatively they may access the computers for revision purposes. James Williams, Director of Learning Mathematics

UK Junior Mathematical Challenge In a code the vowels A-U in alphabetical order are replaced by the numbers 1-5, while the consonants B-Z in alphabetical order are replaced by the numbers 1-21. Thus ‘1 1 1 2’ could stand for either ‘ABAE’ or BABE’. If the five words below are encoded, and the code numbers for the letters in each word are added up, which word has the largest total? A MATHS





P a g e

1 0

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

ESDGC News Fairtrade Cake Sale The newly formed Fairtrade Group held a cake sale to raise awareness of Fairtrade amongst year 7 pupils. Each member of the group baked cakes that had at least one Fairtrade ingredient. Apart from making some excellent cakes pupils also found that Fairtrade need not be the most expensive option, as shown below:

Food type Hot chocolate 500g Tea x 80 Granulated sugar Caster sugar

Non Fairtrade £2.00 £2.12 £0.98 £1.12

Fairtrade £0.63 £1.52 £0.98 £1.14

*Sainsbury’s online prices Nov 2010

Why Fairtrade? Fairtrade is not about charity, but giving a fair deal to marginalised producers in developing countries. By choosing Fairtrade products you'll be making a difference to Fairtrade farmers. The Fairtrade Foundation ensures that farmers provide decent working conditions for their workers and takes steps to protect the environment. Child labour is not allowed on Fairtrade farms and a Social Premium ensures that the community get schools, wells, etc.

If you want to help, simply change a few shopping habits! To find out more go to www.fairtradefoundation or

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

P a g e

1 1

Eco Club News 100 club winners

The first month’s draw was very successful and well supported. Lucky winners were: £30 Mrs Fairclough, £20 Mrs Mwanza, £10 Mrs Scott. For December a festive £50 first prize is up for grabs. To enter the remaining 7 draws this year pupils can simply pay £7 to the house and bring the receipt to Mrs Mayne, room 21. At any time, pupils can bring their £1 to room 21 to enter this month’s draw. Good luck!

Rehash Your Trash Annual Competition Once again pupils are invited to turn their trash into festive decorations. Previous entries have included a Christmas tree made of empty cans, a dragon Santa – complete with beard – and some beautiful snow shakers. Pupils are asked to collect items that may have gone to waste and turn them into useful Christmas decorations. They could try making their own wrapping paper, gift tags, crackers or stained glass figures. Old socks, gloves and jumpers can be decorated. All entries should be labelled with the pupil’s name, tutorial and House. Items should be brought to room 21 for judging by lunchtime on Monday 13th December. Items that make greater use of genuine ‘rubbish’ as opposed to purchased bits and pieces will gain more merit.

Sponsor a Bulb This month pupils and staff were given the opportunity to plant a bulb for a loved one. A planting area was created at the base of the Green Flag (our thanks go to Mr and Mrs Williams for making this) and pupils planted their bulbs. In the coming weeks pupils will be able to write their thoughts in a dedicated book. Thank you to all those who supported this project. We hope you enjoy seeing the bulbs bloom year after year!

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

P a g e

1 2

Sixth Form Fundraising Movember

Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start from November 1st clean shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month. The moustache becomes the 'ribbon' for men’s health, the means of which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men. The movember moustache has continued to grow year after year, expanding to the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and Finland. I would personally like to thank the sixth form students, and also the staff that took part in raising money for such a good cause. It has been a successful month with a vast number of moustaches ranging in size and shape, but I would be lying if I said I haven't been wanting the 1st of December to arrive! Joe Phillips 13.1

National Blind Children's Society Many thanks go to students and staff who helped to raise money for the National Blind Children's Society. The picure shows the winner of the prize supplied by the society. Special thanks goes to Danielle Baskerville who collected the money and raised awareness for this worthy cause.

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

P a g e

1 3


Year 12 Induction Day at Margam Park At the start of term, all Year 12 pupils had the opportunity to participate in an Induction Day. There was a focus on building team skills, which was particularly 11--16 schools; important as many pupils join Bishop Vaughan from other 11 strategic and critical thinking skills are also developed. Rija Tariq of Year 12 explains: We all arrived at Margam Park on a not-so-sunny September morning ready for the daunting-sounding ‘army day’, dressed to massacre in our tracksuits. We were greeted by Major Rees, or Uncle Phil as he became known to us, who in no way held back about what the real experience of being in the army would be like. All of a sudden, hundreds of students transformed into ‘soldiers’, ready to face their tasks.

We were divided into groups of about six, and made our way to several different obstacle courses that the army staff had set up for us. Our challenges began with walking blindfolded across a plank with five other people — the real challenge being putting our faith in our group leaders to guide us to safety! I shan’t forget trying to land safely on the other side of pretend mine fields with only two barrels, two poles and a plank by way of equipment. Nor will I forget rock climbing, and screaming 'THROW THE ROPE!' at the tops of our lungs, with the occasional fifty push-ups for those who thought they could get away with cheating!

Tough though it was, the day taught us many valuable life lessons: everyone in the teams made sure to leave no man behind, and it was definitely a great way to get acquainted with people who had come from other schools, either to become Bishop Vaughan Sixth Form pupils or to study with us for some of our lessons, as part of the Sixth Form partnership project. The importance of both teamwork and strong selfdiscipline was clearly evident to all of us! And, after a long day of saving our friends from “dying alone in the arctic”, we arrived back in school, exhausted, but grateful for the comforts that we enjoy and the far less demanding daily routines that we engage in. We even decided that the pain we felt — which was greater still the next morning — was worth enduring. This was a truly valuable experience!

P a g e

1 4

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 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 December 2010

P a g e

1 5

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 Mrs Gwyther 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 of which we should be aware.

Could you please pass onto the school any relevant email address that we could use to contact you. Maths Challenge solution E MATHS gives 10+1+16+15=42; EQUALS gives 2+13+5+1+9+15=45; ALGEBRA gives 1+9+5+2+2+14+1=34; PLUS gives 12+9+5+15=41; GEOMETRY gives 5+2+4+10+2+16+14+20=63

P a g e

1 6

Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter December 2010

Sixth Form Cycling Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

Training is already underway for our next cycling pilgrimage that will take place in July. This will be the school's fifth pilgrimage to Santiago and we are hoping to take our largest group yet. Levels of enthusiasm and commitment are already promising with 20 sixth formers turning out for the first training ride on Saturday, 3rd October. Fortunately, we were blessed with a window of rather fine weather in what was otherwise a very wet weekend!

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

Parents Newsletter December 2010  

Parents Newsletter December 2010