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Bishop Vaughan Catholic School Newyddion Ysgol Gatholig Esgob P ARENTS ’ N EWSLETTER O CTOBER 2009 Presentation Evening


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

SCHOOL TERM AND HOLIDAY DATES 20092009-2010 HALF TERM HOLIDAYS Term Autumn 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

th

th

th

Dates for your Diary INSET DAYS Thursday 22nd October 2009 Friday 23rd October 2009 Monday 4th January 2010 Monday 19th April 2010 Monday 28th June 2010 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. Last day of term is Wednesday 21st October 2009, school closes at 3.25 pm.

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 Head of Year 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 October 2009

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Important Message from the Headteacher Welcome A very warm welcome to our new pupils in Year 7. We trust that your stay at Bishop Vaughan will be a happy and memorable one. We also welcome back into the sixth form very many of the students who completed their GCSE’s in the summer. A particularly warm welcome is extended to those who have joined the sixth form from other schools.

TO ALL PARENTS AND GUARDIANS I have been concerned that a noticeable minority of pupils in years 7-11, are wearing jumpers which are not of the required uniform colour of maroon. The jumpers being worn by some pupils are several shades lighter than what has been standard in the school for many years. It seems as if there is a supplier passing off these jumpers as meeting Bishop Vaughan requirements when in fact they do not. Parents/guardians are perhaps being misled. I am well aware how expensive these items are, and there is no suggestion that they should be replaced or not worn. However, when the time comes for natural replacement, through wear and tear or loss, I ask, please, that the correct colour is purchased. Two suppliers who sell the proper version are:Bergoni 1 Cambrian Court Ferryboat Close Enterprise Park Swansea SA6 8QN

J & S Products 74 Tycoch Road Swansea SA2 9EQ

Tel 01792 796880

Tel 01792 206658

If you need further advice please be in touch with the school. Thank you

Mr. J Blackburn

Headteacher


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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).

Trousers:

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 October 2009

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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

Trousers:

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.

Topcoat:

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.


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Presentation Evening This year’s Presentation Evening took place on Thursday 24th September. Our chief guest, Bishop Tom gave an inspiring speech which encouraged all of us to have the strength to be ourselves. The evening recognised the many and varied talents of students at Bishop Vaughan. Students in from last year’s Year 7 and 8 were presented with certificates for Academic excellence as well as for exceptional effort. As recognition for achievement across Key Stage Three, pupils from last year’s Year 9 received a Young Achiever’s medal and certificate. Individual awards were also presented for outstanding achievement in a range of subjects. Amongst these, Chloe Richards and Jonathan Blackburn and Sam Dawkins for their outstanding performance in Science, Mitchell Palmer for his contribution to the liturgical life of the school and Katie Davis for her creative writing. Bishop Vaughan’s sporting stars were also presented with certificates and trophies. These included the multitalented, James Ledger, Jordan Tucker for his commitment to sport and Tom Rees for excellence in snooker. The Headteacher’s award was presented to Alex Norris and Rhys Hopkins. This year there were a number of new awards, these included awards for excellence in French and Spanish which went to Anya Slowinksi and Megan Jones respectively, contribution to Welsh life and culture which was presented to Rhys Hopkins and The Clark Award won by Jordan Tucker. Many thanks to all those who attended this special evening to celebrate the achievements of our students and a big thank you to Chloe Richards, Year 12 – stage manager!


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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Year 7 Disco This was a lovely evening with our new Year 7 pupils enjoying themselves under the care of Mrs James and Miss Dorrell and the sixth form. Parents who attended thoroughly enjoyed their buffet and meeting Year 7 Tutors. It was a good opportunity to meet and learn more about our new pupils.

Year 6 Open Evening A very successful open evening took place on Thursday, 15th October. The main hall was filled to overflowing with prospective pupils and their parents and guardians. The headteacher introduced the school, highlighting its Catholic ethos and approach to teaching and learning. The sixth formers then took groups of the visitors to meet the staff and some of our current pupils and see the school facilities. A big thank you to all pupils who gave up their evening to demonstrate the various subjects Bishop Vaughan has to offer. Many favourable comments were received and we look forward to receiving a large number of applicants for the year 7 places available. If you know of anyone who has not received a prospectus directly from the school or via our feeder primaries, please urge them to be in touch with the school as soon as possible.


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

First few weeks at Bishop Vaughan Here a couple of our new Year 7’s give their first impressions of Bishop Vaughan. My first few weeks at Bishop Vaughan have been brilliant! I like my tutorial class and I have made new friends that are really nice. I am enjoying all my subjects, whether I learned them in primary or not. The teachers are all nice and funny, and the lessons fly by because they are fun. There are lots of clubs to participate in. I go to quite a few, also, with the homework there are often competitions with prizes to win. The last few weeks have been really busy although fun and I think I will enjoy Bishop Vaughan.. Emily Davis 7.1 When I started Bishop Vaughan I was a little bit worried about it being so big but after being here for just over a month now, it feels like I have been here all my life. I have joined lots of clubs, such as drama, choir, language club and writers club. The other way I can spend some of my lunchtime is going up to the school’s library where you can find your favourite book and chill out. In my primary I played violin and it is really good that I have been able to carry on playing from where my standard is. I thank everyone involved at Bishop Vaughan for such a warm welcome. Ffion Jones 7.3

History and Geography News

Towards the end of last term, Year 7 pupils visited both Kidwelly Castle and Pembrey Park as part of their History and Geography units of study. The past was brought to life at Kidwelly Castle, where pupils walked around observing the difficulties that would have been involved with attempting to attack the large, and awkwardly located (it’s on a hill and surrounded by a moat), stone castle. Much fun was also had at Pembrey Park, where pupils developed their knowledge and understanding of local tourism. Despite the rain, a good time was had by all!


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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Year 7 Retreats Year 7 started the Autumn Term by going on a day retreat to ‘Our Lady Queen of Peace’ Llanelli. The theme of the day was ‘communication’ students spent time getting to know each other better through a number of icebreaker games.

During the day we also reflected on what prayer is and year 7 students wrote personal prayers which we plan to use in our daily worship.

The day proved to be very successful in cementing new relationships and enabled the students to grow in confidence with each other. We also had some time for relaxing and playing in the park! We had plenty of opportunities to ask each other questions! The day ended with students attending a service of reflection at the Church where ‘stilling’ techniques were used to help students reflect on the way that God values each and every one of them and that they are unique and special individuals.

Back at school some students said that they had made some good friends during the day. The retreats were a great success for both students and teachers!


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Trip to Aberystwyth National Library On Monday 20th July, 33 of us went on this trip. We were shown around the library by Mr. Rhodri Morgan (not the First Minister) who pointed out various artifacts, such as the world’s smallest book (smaller than a pencil tip), the three and only words on the front page are “Old King Cole”. We saw the first book written in Welsh (early sixteenth century) which had originally been written in a cave as they did not have a license to print it and it was a Catholic Bible written in Elizabethan times. We also looked at where they keep all the important manuscripts in the “cells”. They are kept in steel containers with moisture and temperature control. You can only open the doors with a code. The oldest manuscript we saw was a papyrus from Egyptian times. After the library we went to the pier at Aberystwyth visiting the Ice-cream parlour first of all! We walked along the pier, and at the end of the pier, we ‘hit the bar’ an ancient Welsh tradition to bring us luck. We enjoyed our day and took loads of pictures to remember our trip.


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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The Smallpeice Trust The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career, primarily through the provision of residential courses for young people aged 13 to 18.

Youngsters board HMS Bristol! From 20th to 23rd July, Caitlin Griffin, Martha-Rose Hale and Hannah Madgwick, gained a unique insight into nuclear marine engineering. Babcock International Group and the Royal Navy teamed up with Smallpeice to offer this opportunity to fifty school children from across the UK. The four-day residential course for 13 and 14 year olds took place at HMS Sultan in Gosport - where the Royal Navy trains its marine and nuclear engineers. Through a series of practical workshops and lectures, the 50 budding young engineers learnt about nuclear power including how a nuclear reactor works and the associated propulsion and electrical generation systems. As well as developing important life skills, they had the opportunity to learn about the different options available to them if they wish to have a career in nuclear marine engineering.

Young Engineers set sail in Plymouth From 27th - 30th July, Jonathan Blackburn, enjoyed a unique learning experience at the University of Plymouth. A group of 15 -17 year old students from all over the United Kingdom, spent four days discovering what’s involved in the creation and maintenance of many different types of ships including aircraft carriers, yachts, submarines and commercial ships. Sponsored by Babcock International Group, students designed and built their own Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) - a device frequently used by naval architects in the construction and inspection of offshore structures - and then raced around a specially constructed underwater obstacle course. Students also discovered the principles of hydrodynamics and different methods of propulsion. They also visited Devonport Royal Dockyard, one of the largest marine engineering complexes in Europe. Dr Andrew Cave, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust commented “It is a delight to work with Babcock International Group, to create such an exciting experience together. Over the four days, these students were able to get a valuable insight into the design and construction of all types of vessels. Their enthusiasm for engineering, science and technology was remarkable, and it is clear that they are all extremely talented and have exciting career prospects ahead of them”. Roger Hardy, Managing Director Submarines of Babcock International Group, added “Babcock are extremely pleased to work with the Smallpeice Trust, undertaking the vital work of promoting engineering as a leading career choice for young people”. Any students interested in the Smallpeice courses should access further details at www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk or speak with Dr Poole or the Headteacher.


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Modern Foreign Languages News Modern Languages Trip to Aberystwyth University An early start to the day of Friday 25th September for the three hour trip to Aberystwyth University. When we got there, our school was taken into a lecture hall. We had to introduce ourselves to other people from other schools in another language. Being the weird way I am, I introduced myself in Korean. I said, “Annyong haseyo, Je ireum-eun Sarah ibnida” . Then we had a lesson In Chinese. Our Chinese lecturer (actually being Chinese) was called ‘Rain’ and she taught us some Mandarin Chinese, including how to say ‘I love you’ which is “Wo ai ni”. I knew some Chinese before the trip but when Rain asked for a volunteer and I went out in front of around 200 people to introduce myself, I totally forgot what to say.

Our next session was to take part in a French and Spanish language laboratory lesson, and then our last session before lunch was to look at language courses and how you can combine languages with many other subjects at University. After a nice lunch in the cafeteria, talking about the day so far we had a mini taster class on salsa dancing. It was totally different to what I’m used to which is hip-hop and street. I danced (well tried) with a real Cuban man. I understood the dance after a while. A lot of hip movements involved. Our last talk was about thinking about teaching as a career and then it was time to go home. When I’m old enough I think I’ll go to Aberystwyth University.


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English Department News Homework Logo and Motto - English Competition The finalists for the Year 7 competition were: Raychi Bryant, Lewis Dalton, Olivia Thomas, Cerys Parry, Alisha Davies, Joseph Macalma, Lauren Goodridge, Megan Romano, Andrew McGrotty, Olivia Thomas, Elyse Baker and William Hughes. Congratulations to you and well done to everyone in Year 7 for taking part. After careful consideration the English Department is pleased to announce that the overall winner is Lewis Dalton from 7.4 Your design will now grace the Key Stage 3 homework files – very well done!

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. New members are very welcome!

UK Junior Mathematical Challenge Which is the smallest of these fractions? A

5 8

B

6 13

The solution can be found on page 28

C

7 12

D

9 17

E

10 19


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

English Department News Useful websites for encouraging reading and writing Aquila: Resource: http://www.aquila.co.uk/ is “a magazine for kids who enjoy challenges” and aimed at gifted and talented children aged 8-13. Each month’s issue features a particular topic (past topics include Irish myths and legends, Native Americans, the history of glass, Stars and Time) and presents cross-subject challenges to readers in every issue. Spinebreakers: is an online magazine written by and for young writers. There are lots of competitions and opportunities to upload poetry, short stories, songs and alternative endings for books. See http://www.spinebreakers.com for more details. Kids’ Review: a website that enables students to express their opinions on books they have read; provides a purpose for writing and an audience to write for. http:// www.kidsreview.org.uk/ Young Writers website: The Young Writers website promotes poetry and creative writing through running annual nationwide competitions. Each competition results in the publication of a collection of regional anthologies showcasing the work of today’s schoolchildren. The website also has a range of inspirational ideas and a downloadable lesson plan to promote poetry in the classroom - http:// www.youngwriters.co.uk/ My Life is a Story: http://www.mylifeisastory.org - Resource: The My Life is a Story UNESCO project website features a number of powerful life stories from children aged 8 - 16 in the developing world. The Poetry Library’s Children’s Zone: This site has lots of useful resources for children interested in writing, reading and hearing poetry including events, advice for young poets, poetry competitions, links and lots more. http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/education/children Writers Online: The Writers Online website encourages children to write pieces of their own in response to, and in the style of, an extract from a well-known writer. These can then be submitted for inclusion on the site.http:// www.englishonline.co.uk/writers/ www.writebuzzschools.com: http://www.writebuzzschools.com is a website where under 16s can submit poetry, lyrics, short stories, scripts, words of wisdom, features, memorials, blogs, memoirs and more to be published online. There are also writing competitions to enter and the opportunity to review other work online.


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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English Department News Trip to the National Assembly Building in Cardiff On Tuesday 27th September Caitlin Thomas, (7.6) James Lawson, (8.1) Gabriel Cura (8.1), Mrs Richardson (our English teacher) and myself (Francesca Hutchins 8.3) went to a Writers Squad trip at the Senedd in Cardiff to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Assembly. We met up at Neath train station at 7.50am. We took a train to Cardiff Central and two more trains to the bay. We arrived at the Senedd and had to go through security like at the airport. James, Caitlin, Mrs Richardson and I all went through security with no problems. Then when Gabriel went through security the machine went bleep, bleep, bleep and it turned out Gabriel had two pairs of scissors in his pencil case! The person on security took the scissors from Gabriel and gave him a little tag on a chain to wear around his neck until the end of the day. Inside the Senedd building were people from all different writing squads all over Wales. We then were given a name tag and a special card to wear around our necks. A lady then told us that our first activity would be debating. We then were guided into the debating chamber which was really cool. It had comfy computer chairs and a little microphone for speaking into. Our debate topic was plastic bags. After debating for about an hour and half we voted and the majority agreed that they should be free. After that we had a coffee break and the chance to meet some assembly members. We met the assembly member for Swansea and had our photos taken with him. Our next activity was a tour of the Senedd. A lady called Rhiannwen guided us and told how it was built. She told us that they re-use rain water for the toilets and that the heating and most of the lighting in the building is powered by the sun and not electricity. Whilst on our tour we went and sat up in the viewing centre of the assembly meetings. After lunch we went back into the debating chamber and took a workshop with a poet called Robert Minhinnick. In the workshop we were given a word and had to write a sentence for each of the five senses that describe that word. My word was Envy. I enjoyed doing this because it was something we wouldn’t have done in an English lesson at school. Then we had to write a short poem about the Senedd. After the workshop was over we went back into the main Senedd building and watched the assembly members in a Plenary Meeting. Overall I really enjoyed the day and would like to go again. Francesca Hutchins 8.3 On Tuesday 29th September Francesca, Gabriel, James and I went to the Welsh Assembly for it’s 10th Birthday. We went to represent the Swansea Writing Squad which we all belong to. We caught the train to Cardiff Bay and met with other writing squads from Wales. After a tour and a debate we had lunch, after lunch we had to write a description of the Senedd with the help of a writer. It was a great day and I would love to go again. Caitlin Thomas 7.6 In the last part of the day, we had a work shop with Robert Minhinnick. He tried to make us think like writers and gave us each a word to write a poem on, this was mine -. James Lawson. 8.1 Courage It sounds like a sword swinging from its scabbard It looks like a triumphant first

The Senedd The Senedd is a vast building, beautifully built. It is regally finished with the finest oak, shipped from Canada. The black slates which cover the floor are from all over Wales, like Cwrt Y Bugail. The large debating chamber holds the heart of Wales, made of glass, it shows us the centre of the Senedd. I will always link the patter of footsteps on the slates to the Senedd and will always remember the security guards taking away my scissors.

It feels like a firm, strong handshake It tasts like cold water, rushing through my mouth It smells like new leather, strong and durable It is courage

Gabriel Cura 8.1


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Careers Careers information Year 11 Mock interviews All pupils in year 11 were recently given the opportunity to have a mock interview with an experienced member from the work place. Each interviewee had to prepare an application form and curriculum vitae prior to the interview. Pupils were given verbal and written feedback on how they coped in the interview and in how to improve for further interviews. The pupils really enjoyed the experience and the guests spoke highly of the attitude and application of our pupils. Year 11 Work experience All year 11 pupils will embark on a one week placement beginning Monday 19th October. I am sure that the experiences pupils gain will be extremely rewarding.

Chess Club Jack Brenton represented Wales in an international tournament between the four home counties, played in Glasgow in July. Jack scored 1½ points out of six, winning a game against England and drawing in a game against Scotland. Unfortunately, Wales finished in last place.

Jack also played in the successful Welsh 11-12 team that defeated a team from the South West of England in Monmouth in June. The team scored a rare victory by 12½ to 11½. Jack’s contribution was a maximum of two points out of two games. The previous day the same team did not fare so well against a strong team from the South East of England, losing by 6½ to 17½. In the West Wales Schools League the schools A team have scored two victories against our own B team and Ysgol Bro Mryddin of Carmarthen. There are sterner test to come! Mr I Eustis

Non House A big thank you to all pupils of Non House involved with this year's Sports Day. All track and field competitors performed exceptionally well. The Non House crowd was also outstanding. The pupils showed their support for their House by covering themselves in face paint, and singing a rousing chorus of, "We are the Nonians!" Thank you!


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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History and French Department News

The History and French departments spend four days in July visiting the Ypres Salient and the Somme in order to visit WW1 Battlefields whilst enjoying a slice of French life. The pupils and staff could not wait to start their trip and within a few hours of landing in Calais we were in the beautiful Belgian town of Ypres as we prepared to visit the surrounding battlefields and cemeteries. We visited Essex Farm cemetery where John McCrae wrote the moving ‘In Flanders Field’ and then moved on to Langemarc where German soldiers were laid to rest. After a visit to the Passchendaele region we set off to the French town of Albert to our accommodation. Our hostel was close to Mametz Wood, an area in which hundreds of Swansea soldiers died during and intensive battle in 1916. During our visit we set aside time to visit the wood. We gathered together and Mr O’Sullivan led us in prayer as Mrs Williams laid a wreath in memory of the ‘Swansea Pals’. Every evening we ate out in local French restaurants. Luckily we had Mr Boucher-Hamon and Mrs Thom on hand to help us with our order. One evening we went to the Menin Gate in Ypres to hear the Last Post being played. We stood solemnly as the bugles played the haunting tune whilst wreaths were being laid by visiting regiments. The rest of the evening was spent in the town sampling the local Belgian chocolate. On our way back to the ferry, we stopped off at a boulangerie where we were given a guided tour of the bakery and were shown how delicious French bread and croissants were made. Miss Davies emphasised how important bread was to French culture. Each of us was given a pain au chocolat to eat as we made our way home. The pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed the trip which was educational and fun. Students of French were able to practice the language during an afternoon in Amiens whilst History pupils soaked up the incredible sigh of monuments such as the memorial at Thiepval. We can’t wait to go next year!


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Art Department News “A winter’s tale” At the time we were all doing the first unit Seascape, Cityscape, Landscape, during that time there was a snow day and so I used the day wisely and I took some photographs in Morriston Park. I am calling this photo “a winters tale” because all the people in the photograph sort of have a story of their own. The photo became quite a success and was exhibited in the Glyn Vivian art gallery. A local annual competition took place in early 2009 for professional as well as amateur artists, entrants had to either live or work in Swansea. The selector was Amanda Farr who is the director of Oriel Davies gallery in Newton, Powys. A variety of media could have been used for this competition. This was the first time one of my works was exhibited in a gallery and I found it a beneficial experience. The exhibition ran from the 1 August 2009 to the 12 September 2009.

“Flying high” In August I entered a photographic competition in my area called the Bay of Life competition. The photographs had to be taken in the Swansea Bay area which covers Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea and had to have people in them. This area covers 15% of Wales’ total land area and over 18% of the total population with around 545,000 residents. The competition ran from July 2009 to 30 October 2009. I entered the under 16 category and without being told it was sent to the Evening Post by the judges and it featured in the local paper as the pick of the day. At the time of writing the competition is still waiting to be judged.

By Liam Dunne 11.2


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Talk on Roman Medicine Amputations, leeches and toothache: these topics may well make most people feel a bit faint! Nevertheless, when a Roman doctor visited the school on 25th September in the shape of historian Roger Morgan of CADW, we couldn't help but be fascinated by the medical practices of the ancient world. Over forty Classics students attended, some of whom also had the opportunity to hear him talk to the GCSE History pupils. Mr. Morgan brought with him a wide range of replica instruments and provided an outline of the surgical procedures and medical treatments available before going on to discuss some of these in more detail. We were intrigued to learn, for example, that one of the most useful objects for a field surgeon— or even an ordinary doctor—to carry was an egg! Mr. Morgan explained that the albumen, or egg white (in Latin, the word for ‘white’ is ‘albus’), has a property that encourages blood to clot, effectively seals wounds and therefore provides a vital barrier to infections. We had the opportunity to look at a replica ‘surgeon’s kit’ modelled on one found when Pompeii was excavated. Closer to home, we heard of the treatments carried out by medics at Caerleon Roman fortress, and Coleen Jones bravely agreed to be a ‘patient’ as our Roman doctor described the benefits of blood-letting in curing headaches. Thankfully, she was simply needed to demonstrate hypothetically, rather than to undergo the procedure. Nevertheless, Mr. Morgan brought along a real ‘live’ leech, Isambard, which we were both fascinated and, in many cases, horrified by! The benefits of using leeches for those with high blood pressure seemed to be explainable, though, and we began to understand that many medics used practices that really worked ... they just did not always know why! Some tried to explain the results in religious or superstitious terms, but more often than not, modern scientists can provide explanations for why the procedures worked, and some modern practices are developed from those used two thousand years ago! Mr. Morgan even explained that field war surgery was not as advanced as that used by the Romans, in many cases, right up until the time of the First World War—what a thought! Highlights of the talk included a brave ‘re-enactment’ by Jacob Barroccu of a soldier wounded in war undergoing arm amputation! Not for the fainthearted, Mr. Morgan described how and why the Romans were able to perform major surgery of this kind so successfully. Many of us stayed to talk with our visitor and to view the mini ‘exhibition’ of artefacts. We certainly have lots of material for coursework ... and several interesting new cures for headaches and toothaches!

Jones--Morris, Daniel Minister, By: Carys Davies, Edward Dooley, Coleen Jones, Catherine Jones Mitchell Palmer, Adriano Parisi, Sam Pritchard

Trainee Roman Surgeons

Roman Medical Instruments


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Cambridge Latin Certificates Congratulations to the following Year Ten GCSE Latin pupils, who have gained their Cambridge Latin Stage Four Certificates within a month of beginning the subject! Edward Dooley Daniel Minister

Coleen Jones Adriano Parisi

Catherine JonesJones-Morris Sam Pritchard

Best wishes also to Carys Davies, Davies Erfan Mesbah and Mitchell Palmer who will take the test later this term!

Awards Evening Congratulations to Jonathan Blackburn on his award for outstanding achievement in Latin. The award recognised the hard work and dedication required to achieve so highly in this ‘extra’ GCSE, which was taken with limited teaching time. Well done, Jonathan!

Sixth Form News Speak Up For Others: A Career As A Barrister On the 6th October, barrister Richard Cole of Civitas Chambers in Cardiff visited the school to speak with pupils considering a career in Law. The Bar Council’s project to pair pupils with leading barristers offers pupils the opportunity to learn more about the profession and to take up work experience placements that will give insights into the way in which cases are handled. Mr. Cole spoke of the many high profile cases in which he had been involved and took questions, even allowing pupils to try on the wig and robes as traditionally worn in the courtroom! Pupils from Years 11 to 13 participated and several will begin placements later in the term.

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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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Enrichment Fair

Kirsty tries out the refreshments!

Ben and Jack persuade Luke to join the Lourdes Pilgrimage

Library Services ensure popularity with their ’freebies’ and Wii game

Kate is persuaded to “go green” by the girls in the Eco-Committee

The Enrichment Fair held at the start of this term proved a great success, with Sixth Form pupils ‘signing up’ for a diverse range of activities. School clubs, societies and teams were well represented and visitors included the Swansea Libraries Information Service, promoting their facilities, and the Welsh Blood Donor Service, whom Sixth Formers have always supported. Leisure Services encouraged use of Swansea’s gyms and swimming pools to improve health and fitness and the Community Volunteering Service showcased opportunities for a wide range of voluntary work opportunities. Many students enjoyed the refreshments provided by the school’s new caterers, Aspens, whose commitment to healthy eating and local produce is appreciated by the Eco-Committee! Many Sixth Formers chose to participate in existing school activities, such as the EcoCommittee and the fundraising for ‘Operation Christmas Child’, where they can make a valuable contribution. New groups have also made a great start, with ‘Forum’ - a fortnightly discussion group proving particularly popular. For further details of any groups, check the Sixth Form Enrichment Noticeboard, or see Mrs. Pole. Newcomers to all groups are welcomed!

Welsh Donor Services were later inundated with volunteers...

...As the smiles of the staff on the stall show!

Stacey and Elana recruit for Forum and the Debating Society

Smiling faces ... a good start to the term!


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Debating Society Success in Regional Championships and a great start to the new Debating Society! On 7th October a group of pupils from the Debating Society travelled to Cwmtawe Community School for the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot round of the Julian Hodge Bank Wales Schools’ Debating Championships. These included a couple of familiar faces for the Cwmtawe staff and pupils: the former Head Boy and Head Girl - Geraint Hamer and Faye Waterton! There were three different debates taking place in our round: the first between Tonyrefail Comprehensive School and Gorseinon College, the second between Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe and Cwmtawe Community School and the third between ourselves and Ffynone House School. Two pupils, Jack Hannah and Ben Sharif, were selected from Bishop Vaughan’s newly-formed Debating Society, and they bravely took on the very strong opponents from Ffynone House. The Bishop Vaughan team had to propose the motion: ‘This House believes that convicted murderers should always serve their prison sentences in full’. This seemed like a straightforward argument when it was first put to the Debating Society, however after starting research into the topic and finding out about the complex laws and different arguments surrounding it, we soon realised that a very strong body of evidence would be needed to make a convincing case. As Ben took the floor, we had our fingers crossed for a convincing first speech; nerves clearly did not overcome him as this is exactly what he delivered! Paced, emphatic and purposeful, he set out the case that we had so carefully constructed, supporting all of his assertions with plenty of evidence. Ffynone House then delivered some very strong arguments opposing the motion, along with some cases which had been very well researched and which could have proved powerful in convincing the adjudicators. A clash of opinion ensued: the proposition offered statistics that persuaded many listeners of the need to uphold the motion, the opposition appealed for them to consider rehabilitation of offenders; we spoke of public protection and deterrence, the opposition of prison overcrowding. However, after Jack’s very powerful summation the majority of the audience voted for Bishop Vaughan, giving the team a very well deserved win for the debate itself. The adjudicators, who had to select an overall winner, retired for a short amount of time, in which tension mounted. Though we had taken a group of fourteen ‘supporters’ from the Debating Society, and though we’d enjoyed the floor debate where we had the opportunity to participate in all three events, we all awaited the outcome nervously. When the adjudicators returned, they announced that Bishop Vaughan had beaten all five other teams to go through to the next round of the championships. We were delighted with our success! This was a very interesting day for all pupils who attended, this being the first of many competitions in which the Bishop Vaughan Debating Society are hoping to participate.

James Tancock Pupils attending included: Alyson Davies, Geraint Hamer, Jack Hannah, Mike Holohan, Andrew Hughes, Tom Mogford, Kristian Roberts, Ben Sharif, Beth Ben and Jack: Stubbs, James Tancock, Mishal Tariq and Faye the powerful speakWaterton.

ers who led our team to victory in our first competitive event!


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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Leaders to Come Trip to Oxford On Friday 26thJune we embarked on an amazing journey to Oxford; we didn’t know what to expect only that we had been invited to a Leaders to Come Conference which revolved around “The World as a Place We Can Renew” theme. As soon as we arrived at St Benet’s Hall we were welcomed by Jolanta Stankeviciute and assigned our rooms. We also met the other students who were from different parts of the UK. After dinner we were introduced to our first speaker Sister Pat Robb who gave a speech on “Putting Theory into Practice”, then we had night prayers which were led by Father Fabian Radcliffe, this then put an end to what seemed like a never ending day, little did we know that the next day was when the real challenge would begin. On Saturday morning David Barrins gave us a speech and said something to us that we’ll never forget: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden”. Matt 5:15. From everything that was revealed to us, this quote from the Gospel of Matthew stood out because every student present on that conference could educate its meaning to people back home. Then, we were assigned to our different groups for our projects and given the task of coming up with a plan for immigrants seeking refuge in the UK as they may face difficulties of segregation and hostility. This two day task involved team work and research into the stages of building a new life when coming from war stricken parts of the world. It was an eventful and emotional day for all the students as certain parts of the videos made everyone shocked and disgusted at the torture and pain some asylum seekers go through. It is horrifying to know that torture is constantly happening and at that moment we all felt useless, knowing we can’t stop it from happening or help those affected, but we can by showing an understanding, by helping charities and by caring. Saturday evening was the Formal Dinner, we were issued seats next to who we now called our new friends. The dinner was filled with jokes and laughter as well as singing along as one of the students played a guitar. Sunday, was the day of the presentations. We had a final run through and then it was time to present our ideas of how we would help Refugees and Asylum Seekers. One group was a local school who wanted to offer English lessons. Another was a local church who wanted to help put together food hampers and provide spiritual support. The last group was the Asylum seeker and Refugee support department in the local council who would help by giving their support and making sure that documents were correctly completed. It was an interesting project as it showed how passionate we all were about the cause and how determined we were to make a success of our projects. The weekend helped us to understand why people flee to Britain from their homes which are war torn and full of violence. It inspired us to think of careers that would help those affected by such terrifying ordeals. As we caught the train back to Swansea we both agreed on one lesson that we were taking away with us which was that you cannot ignore a cry for help because like Nelson Mandela said “sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you could be that generation” the Leaders to Come Conference brought out the best in us, proving that we are the Leaders of tomorrow. Alyson Davies 13.4 and Kapungwe Chabu 13.1


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela When one thinks of Spain, words like blistering heat, parched landscapes and baking sun immediately spring to mind. You would think the 2 for 1 discount on sun-cream in Boots would be just what you need, that sun, sea and sand would be on the cards. But somehow I found myself in Northern Spain in midsummer caught in the worst storm I had ever experienced; winds so strong it stopped us cycling in our tracks and rain so torrential we could barely see 2 metres ahead. Thankfully, this was an exception, for most of our 15-day trip, the weather was perfect for cycling. This was Bishop Vaughan Schools biennial 800km pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, with 24 pupils, 8 teachers and support staff and the ever-important Father John Patrick Thomas, our chaplain for the journey! On the first day we were immediately thrown into the deep end 23 uphill miles through the Pyrenees. But by the time we arrived at our campsite, tired and slightly overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead, our tents were already pitched by the ever-helpful team of Helen Johns, Val Fisher and Mark Jones. The 11 days that followed were literally a mixture of blood (from the cuts that needed stitches), sweat (a combined effort) and tears (mainly from the girls). The weather varied from days with the temperature soaring to 40 degrees to days where you’d think we were in back in Wales! The landscape around us was truly spectacular, one day we’d be struggling up lush green mountains, the next coasting through fields and fields of radiant sunflowers. We passed through bustling cities, dusty vineyards and tiny villages. We left our campsites each morning with a prayer from our chaplain to remind us why we were on the pilgrimage. Our average daily distance was 70km with leisurely lunch breaks and long evening meals. Santiago came all too soon but we had 3 lovely days there in real hotel beds, which after 10 days in the saddle and nights on camping mats was just heavenly. We attended mass at the cathedral and some of us managed to get into the mass where a huge thurifer is swung just above the pilgrims heads, truly spectacular if a bit theatrical. Despite 3 hospitalisations, a few broken derailleurs and numerous punctures, we had completed our 510-mile journey. However without our super-fit quintet of dedicated teachers Eugene Scourfield, Pete Lloyd, Linley Jenkins, Matt Salmon and Carl Walker who trained with us tirelessly since October 2008, the trip would not have been possible (some even managed to convince their long suffering wives that the really needed a new bike for the trip.hmmm). All the pupils found the pilgrimage a truly memorable experience.


Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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Rome Pilgrimage – September 14th -19th After pre-viewing the weather forecast for the week in Rome, we were relieved to find that the weather was in fact sunny and made the prospect of our visits to places of religious, historical and cultural interest far more exciting! The view on arriving at Villa Palazzola was again breath-taking and our students could not wait to explore their home for the next six days.

Our students were a real credit to their parents and the school; socialising with each other in a friendly and well – mannered way. They all made every effort to make every person welcome. A wonderful experience was had by all.

The picture to the left shows students and staff at St. Peter’s Square - what a relief to get away form the crowds and with the Pope’s blessing!

As we flew home, Mr. Jenkins took another opportunity to take a photograph of St. Peter’s Basilica– what a fantastic view, consolidating very fond memories. My thanks goes to all students and staff who accompanied me on this pilgrimage. It was another spiritually uplifting experience and whereas last year being in the catacombs was the highlight; worshipping God through celebrating Mass, singing hymns and praying where our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ did, made such an impact on me that I shall never forget. Heather Hansen


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Bishop Vaughan School Newsletter October 2009

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 friends 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. Parents/guardians Please 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 October 2009

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PLEASE NOTE!!! School Website The school website has been redesigned and has a new address: www.bishopvaughan.swansea.sch.uk

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 October 2009

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 www.bikes4school.co.uk 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.

Maths Challenge Solution is The answer is B because it is the only one which is less than a half.

Bishop Vaughan Catholic School Mynydd Garnllwyd Road Morriston, Swansea SA6 7QG Phone: 01792 772006 Fax: 01792 790565 E-mail: bishop.vaughan.school@swanseabishop.vaughan.school@swanseaedunet.gov.uk

Parents' Newsletter October 2009  

Parents' Newsletter October 2009

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