February 2014 First Minister Visits Dyffryn The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, along with the Education Minister, Huw Lewis, visited Dyffryn to announce a £20 million package to help 40 of Wales' secondary schools. A press release from the Welsh Government read as follows: “The First Minister and Education Minister will launch the Challenge at Dyffryn School in Neath Port Talbot, a school from a deprived area in Wales which is punching above its weight, performing well above the national average on Free School Meal achievement. Dyffryn have also been involved in school to school support through the Lead and Emerging Practitioner programme.” The Education Minister also added: "We need more of our schools to be like Dyffryn School. They don’t let the fact they are in a challenging area hold them back from setting high standards, performing well and giving their pupils a bright future.” Both ministers met senior prefects from Year 11 before meeting pupils from Year 9 during a Chemistry lesson. BBC, ITV and S4C were all in attendance.
La Tasca On Thursday 30th January, 16 Year 11 Spanish GCSE pupils took a train to Cardiff to experience some traditional Spanish cuisine. Pupils sampled and enjoyed a variety of tapas dishes including Patatas Bravas, Tortilla Espa単ola and Paella. After the meal, some pupils even worked off their food by taking part in a salsa lesson. A fun night was had by all!
Years 7 and 8 were lucky this term to attend Technocamp in Swansea University. Year 7 took part in the Scratch workshop and Year 8 took part in the GameSalad workshop. A great day was had by all, with excellent behaviour from all pupils. Dyffryn will be launching a new Technoclub in Lower School after half term. Technocamp will be coming in on Wednesday lunchtimes to help set up and kick start the Mindstorm Robot and Lego set. All interested pupils should register with Mrs Miles prior to the 19th March. We look forward to seeing you all there!! Computing & ICT Department
Scribblers Tour 2014 On the 6th of February 41 selected pupils went on a trip to Swansea University for the Hay Festival Scribbles Tour 2014 to meet two amazing authors. Their names are Damian Dibben and Katherine Rundell. When we first arrived at the University, we all walked to the hall where we would be sat for the rest of the day, except at break and lunch where there was a cafeteria and vending machine available for use. For the first 10-20 minutes we sat down and chatted. After a while, an announcer came and introduced us to the first author, Katherine Rundell. We found out a lot of information about Ms Rundell, such as she is the author of two books, the first one being The Girl Savage and the second one being Rooftoppers. The Girl Savage is based on Ms Rundell’s childhood in Zimbabwe and her life in the jungle. The second book Rooftoppers is about an orphan child who is in search of her mother but will need the help of the Rooftoppers. We also found out that she loves to walk across a tight rope every morning at 5am. Then, after Katherine Rundell had finished, we had break, where we could go to the toilet and use the vending machine. The next author was Damian Dibben who is the author of the Time Keeper series. We learnt that his books are being produced by famous film producers. He gets his inspiration by going and visiting historical places. He has published books in 40 countries and in 26 different languages. After that we were allowed to go and buy these books for £6 each, and have lunch. Once our lunch break had finished we had to get into groups of 6-10 and play games. After the games it was time to go and we had to get into groups of schools for the buses. Finally we came back to school after a really enjoyable day. By Connor Gray 8M
ESDGC News The ESDGC champions have been quite busy this term. We have visited different year groups in assemblies and have introduced ourselves as the ESDGC champions. We have also delivered a presentation on identity and culture which fitted in with the Holocaust Week. We will be doing further presentations in the future on the other themes of ESDGC. We will be representing the school at the “Change Makers” conference on February, 13th where we will meet pupils from other schools and we will bring back new ideas to help us develop our ideas on ESDGC. We have two new members in our group, Renée Evans and Emily O’Brien. They will both be joining Chloe at the Margam Discovery Centre for the ESDGC champions training course on February, 15th. Look out for more information in the next school newsletter. Chloe Guppy, Lauren George and April Phillips.
Keith Bradshaw The school was saddened to hear of the death of Mr Keith Bradshaw, former maths teacher and deputy-head. I am sure many former pupils will remember him with great fondness. Dyffryn School
Future Chef Winner On Tuesday 14th January Alex Smith of 10X represented the School in the annual local ‘Future Chef’ competition. He beat the other members of the Year 10 Catering class with his high level of skill, impressing the judging panel of Dyffryn “foodies” to progress to the final at Neath College. He made two dishes; herb crusted salmon on a bed of vegetables, potato and parsnip puree, followed by a delicious Strawberry French Cream Horn. The standard of the competition was exceptionally high and after two hours in the professional kitchen, the judges decided that Alex was a worthy winner. One of the lecturers from the college commented on the maturity of his food and his all-round skills and organisation. Alex will now go on to represent Neath Port Talbot in the South West regional final on February 10th where he will be judged by some of Wales most well-known chefs including Stephen Terry of the Hardwick Restaurant in Abergavenny. We all wish him luck and hope he can go on to represent Wales at the National Final in London in March.
Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 Go bananas Fairtrade Fortnight is coming! 24th February – 9th March 2014.
This year, Fairtrade Fortnight is all about bananas. We love bananas; they’re the most popular fruit in the world. In the UK we munch our way through over five billion bananas each year. In 2012 we spent over £550 million on bananas. We buy most of our bananas from major supermarkets. Did you know that one in three bananas sold in British shops is Fairtrade? Since the first Fairtrade bananas appeared on our shelves 13 years ago we’ve achieved a huge amount. Here at Dyffryn we will be holding a Fairtrade Café during the week commencing 3rd March, selling a variety of different Fair Trade themed dishes. As the Fairtrade foundation is a nonprofit making organization, all the money raised will go to the ‘Bobath wales’ charity that provides specialist therapy to children throughout Wales who have cerebral palsy. Together, we can make bananas fair. Dyffryn School
Llangrannog Trip 2014 In January, Dyffryn Lower School pupils took a trip to Llangrannog for the weekend. The weekend was jam packed with activities such as skiing, horse-riding, using the trampolines and much more. Tylor Ricketts 7M “My favourite activity was quad biking because it was amazing!” Poppy Rodgers 7M “My favourite activity was horse riding, because it was fun” Gabby Redmond 7M “My favourite activity was swimming because we could chill out after all the chaos that went on” There were lots of staff on the trip which we would like to say a huge thank you too, especially Mrs Stead and Mrs Morgan-Doyle from the Welsh department, for organising such a fantastic trip.
On behalf of myself and Mrs Morgan-Doyle, I would like to say 'Diolch yn fawr iawn' to everybody that joined us on our trip this year. Special thanks goes to our cameraman, Mr Evanson, who has captured some of our best moments on film. The staff at Llangrannog commented on the respect that our pupils showed to each other, to the facilities and to others. They showed a true sense of community and stood out from the crowd! Da iawn bawb! We look forward to the next trip. Mrs Stead Page 5
Earthquakes and Volcanoes Pupils in Year 8 have been studying Earthquakes and Volcanoes in Geography this year. They have enjoyed learning about how these natural hazards occur and in particular have learnt about the China earthquake and the Montserrat volcanic eruption. Pupils have really thrown themselves into this topic, and have made the most amazing models and posters. Many of the volcanoes erupted and some were cakes. Absolutely delicious. Well done to you all.
Phrase of the Week
Dyffryn School Newsletter
Dyffryn Upper School, Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot. SA13 2AN Phone: 01639 760110 Fax: 01639 760111 Dyffryn Lower School, Talcennau Road, Port Talbot. SA13 1EP Phone: 01639 760112 Fax: 01639 760113 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.dyffrynschool.co.uk
Spring Term Diary Monday 24th to Friday 28th February HALF TERM Monday 3rd March
School re-starts for all pupils
Wednesday 19th March to Friday 21st School Production—The Sound Of Music March Thursday 24th March
Y8 HPV Injections
Thursday 27th March
Y10 Parents Evening
Tuesday 8th April
Y9 Parents Evening
Friday 11th April to Monday 14th April
Choir Trip to Euro Disney
Saturday 12th April to Thursday 17th PE Trip to Euro Disney April Friday 11th April
End of Term
Monday 28th April
School re-starts for all pupils