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Christmas 2013 •

Penyrheol newsletter



Awards Evening Review & Results

Event Updates: Christmas Concert Charity Week Le Touquet Trip Iceland Trip

PLUS: Important Dates Sports News Eco News Beyond the School Gates & More

autumn term

A message from the Headteacher


ear Parents and Pupils The Year 11 leavers of summer 2013 set new heights of excellence for Penyrheol Comprehensive School in their GCSE and BTEC results. 63% of them achieved the Level 2 Threshold including English and Maths, a 6% improvement from the previous year. This figure compares with the Swansea average of 55% and the Wales average of 52%. The high achievement of our pupils is the result of their and their teachers’ hard work and of the support and encouragement of parents. We were inspected by Estyn in September and the report has now been published on the Estyn website,, and is also available on the front page of our own website, www. To summarise the findings in one sentence: everything we do, we do well. I sent a letter out earlier this term explaining that we were aiming to introduce a new biometric cashless system for our canteen in January 2014 and seeking parents’ permission to take pupils’ thumbprints. Many thanks to all of you who have responded to this. It now looks likely that the system will be delayed because of some IT problems between the company installing the system and the Local Authority. I will keep you posted about developments, but I can’t see us having the new system up and running for the start of the new year. As ever, our pupils have been involved in many visits and activities this term, some of which you can read about in this newsletter. Our Christmas Carol Concert takes place at St. Catherine’s Church, Gorseinon, at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 18th December. We would love to see you there supporting our orchestra and choirs as we celebrate together the Christmas story and our pupils’ talents. Term ends at lunch time on Friday, 20th December, and the Spring Term begins for pupils on Monday, 6th January. Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda i gyfeillion Ysgol Gyfun Penyrheol.

Yours faithfully, ALAN TOOTILL Headteacher

Holiday Information

School for pupils will restart on Monday 6th January 2014 Bank Holidays 2014 18 April 2014 21 April 2014 5 May 2014 26 May 2014

Good Friday Easter Monday May Day Spring Bank Holiday

INSET Days 2014 Friday 21st February 2014 Friday 11th April 2014 Monday 21st July 2014 Other important dates to note Whole School Review Day – Wednesday 19th March 2014 GCSE Results Day – Thursday 21st August 2014

School Canteen Following feedback from parents, please find below a copy of the pricing structure for meals available to pupils each day here at Penyrheol.

Year 6 Open Evening O

n Wednesday 6th November the annual Year 6 open evening was held at Penyrheol Theatre. This is an important evening where Year 6 pupils and their families, look around in order to help them choose their preferred secondary school… a big decision! Pupils and Staff open up their classrooms and departments and display a ‘taster’ of what activities they do. Examples of work are displayed and families are shown around the school by pupils and even get a chance to taste the canteen food and go to the library! Grace Thomas and Lauren Francis, both in Year 7, were chosen as helpers this year and this is what they had to say about their experience: We were chosen by the sports staff to help out with the open evening on the 6th November and to demonstrate some of the different and varied activities that we do here at Penyrheol. It all took place in the sports hall. We began by playing some netball and encouraged some of the Year 6 pupils to join in, which they did! After a while, we rotated the activities and demonstrated, rugby, badminton, table tennis, gymnastics and netball. Not only did the Year 6 pupils join in, but even some of the parents did…we were very surprised at that! It was a really successful evening which we enjoyed very much and most importantly, the year 6 pupils did too. We are sure they will pick Penyrheol as their chosen school to come to next year! We did and we love it!

Did you know...? For all the latest news you can follow us on Twitter @penyrheol or check out our website at Many of our departments also use Twitter to showcase pupil work and share revision tips and links - check out @penyrheolDT, @penyrheolICT, @penyrheolWelsh, @penyrheolSKI to name just a few!

Christmas Concert Once again this year, our annual Christmas concert was an enormously enjoyable evening. The concert took place at St. Catherine’s Church in Gorseinon on the 18th December and the church was packed to the rafters, despite the awful weather! The evening opened with an official welcome from head teacher Mr Tootill, before singing our first congregational carol ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. The orchestra this year was led by year 11 pupil Mollie Allen on first violin. Mollie also treated us to a solo violin performance later in the evening. This was Mollie’s last Christmas concert at Penyrheol before leaving after her GCSE’s in the summer. Penyrheol is fortunate to have three choirs, all of which sang beautifully. The senior choir sang ‘Shining Light’, ‘I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday’ and ‘See amid the Pompeii Snow’ which was a mash-up of ‘See Amid the Winters Snow’ and ‘Pompeii’ by pop group Bastille – This was particularly well received by all generations! The junior choir sang a selection of seasonal songs and the chamber choir, made up of girls from years 10 and 11 sang three beautiful songs. It was wonderful to see so many children involved in all of the choirs! Weeks of practice certainly paying off! Other highlights were ‘A Thousand Years’ sung by the Elf-ettes and the orchestra’s closing piece, ‘The Egmont Overture’ by Beethoven which was particularly rousing! The pupils delivered readings from the bible and after words of thanks from the Reverend Martin Cox, the evening closed with another congregational carol – ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. This was a lovely evening with a warm atmosphere that sent us home feeling relaxed and uplifted – A wonderful start to the Christmas season! Congratulations to all those involved, especially our Peripatetic Teachers, Mr George, Mrs Gibbs and Miss Nicholas to whom we are most grateful. Special thanks goes to Mr Rogers and Miss Morris from the music department for organising such an enjoyable evening.



“loved every second. The enthusiasm and commitment from these pupils is fantastic.”

“Proud doesn’t come near. The pupils involved in tonight’s concert are a credit to @Penyrheol Llongyfarchiadau bawb!!”

@Benneypenyrheol “The talent of our pupils (and staff) never ceases to amaze. A wonderful service tonight. Proud to work @Penyrheol.”

@WeeksVaughan “it was a fantastic evening. Well done to all the staff and pupils involved”

Charity Week 2013 11th - 15th November was our Charity Week at Penyrheol and what a week it was! Pupils from all year groups baked cakes, shaved heads and even exercised to raise money for our chosen charities. We also held a non-uniform day on ‘Children In Need’ Day, where many pupils came to school in fancy dress and made a whopping £815 for ‘Children in Need’ that day alone! The total raised all together was an amazing £2,560! The £1600 raised from charity week activities this year will be divided between the following four charities, as decided by Student Voice in their recent council meeting: The Ark Children Home, Africa Brainstrust Loughor Inshore Lifeboat ‘World Horizons’ Podiatry Clinic in Africa

Year 10

Year 9

Year 10 organised a Dodgeball Tournament, Coloured Hairspraying and even a Spinathon, where Pupils and staff cycled in the school foyer throughout the day in order to raise much needed funds – Well done!

Year 9 brought back (by popular demand) the tuck Shop for Charity Week. Located in the annexe during break and lunchtimes the final total raised was £476. A massive thanks to all form teachers, form reps and year 9 pupils who helped. Year 9 also collected over 150 items (tins/pasta/ dried foods etc) all of which have been donated to Gorseinon Food Bank.

Year 7 Year 7 organised The Great Penyrheol Bake Off. Form Tutors, Head of Year Miss Collier, Pastoral Assistant Mrs Gwyther and Head of Welsh Mr Binding all baked cakes. The children paid to taste the cakes which were all wonderful and then decided on their favourite three. And the winner was… Miss Essery whose cake won hands down, but Mr Gray and Mrs Gwyther came in at a very respectable joint second. Thanks to everyone who took part!

Year 8 ‘I’m a Teacher, Get Me Out of Here’ Year 8 organised ‘I’m a Teacher, Get Me Out of Here’. School staff ‘volunteered’ to take part in the event and ate live bugs (yes…real ones!) and other nasty things in order to win the jungle crown. The King of the jungle this year was Mr Rogers (Head of Music) who like previous winner Mr Luckwell, took the trophy with ease as he ate anything and everything that came his way! This event alone raised £220!

STF Pupils from the STF raised £ 74.58 by making and selling cakes!

Romainian Shoebox Appeal The shoebox appeal was once again a massive success. 187 shoeboxes full of presents were collected this year and sent to children and adults in Romania to help make their Christmas just a little bit more special. This has now become a favourite charity with the pupils at Penyrheol, who particularly like getting the feedback from the Romanian children after Christmas.

“When I am opening my presents on Christmas

Day, I shall think of the child who has received my shoebox and it will give me a warm glow inside, knowing that I have helped to make their day more exciting. It will make me appreciate my Christmas Day all the more!” A year 7 pupil

Le Touquet

In July the French Department organised a 3 day trip to Le Touquet in Northern France for the activity days. Here are some memories of the trip. France was fantastic and the weather was superb. We went to Nausica the sea life aquarium and I really enjoyed shopping at the Cité d’ Europe. The weather was glorious so it made the trip even more enjoyable. The hotel was lovely and the sunset on the beach was amazing. I also really enjoyed the trip to the chocolate factory. I had a fantastic time.

Hannah Everest 9C

Sea Life and Beach Walks


Leah Hagley 8C

“I had a wonderful time on the trip to France and the weather was very warm. I particularly enjoyed the evening walks to the beach with everybody. I loved the Sea Life centre. Seeing all the sharks and seals and unusual marine life was amazing.”

Great Fun Kaleva Neyland 9C

“I really enjoyed going to France and staying in Le Touquet. It was great fun going to Nausica because it was interesting seeing all the fish and wild life. I also enjoyed going to the shopping centre and walking around with all my friends. Thank you for this trip.”


I had a wonderful time Courtney Bevan 9C

“The trip to France was a marvellous experience, especially going to Nausica Sea World. We spent about 3 hours there and it was loads of fun, seeing all the different sea life. I also enjoyed going to the beach in the evenings. Our hotel room was nice too. Going shopping, going to the chocolate factory and bakery was also fun. I had a wonderful time.”


y favourite part was Nausica Aquarium. It was fantastic! There was loads of wildlife there! Overall it was a brilliant trip. Thanks for taking us!

Cameron Beynon 9C

A brilliant trip! Amy Frohwein 9C

I really enjoyed France. I liked the hotel and food. It was a good experience going to the bakery and chocolatier. The Sea Life centre was interesting and getting to see all the different animals. Overall France was a brilliant trip.

Chocolate Factory Cerys Jones 9C

“The trip to Le Touquet was a brilliant experience. I really liked visiting the Sea Life centre and the Chocolate Factory, the bakery was good too. The teachers were lovely on the trip. It was brilliant.�

I really enjoyed the trip to France. I enjoyed the Sea Life centre. It was really interactive and the building itself was really futuristic. I also enjoyed going shopping in the big shopping centre. It was a good experience and a chance to meet new friends.

Bronwen Davies 9C

eco-news looking after our environment

Beach Watch This year a small group of pupils from year 7 and 8 took part in a national event called ’Beach Watch 2013’. This event was organised by The Marine Conservation Society and encouraged volunteers to litter pick the local beaches whilst learning about the marine life on the beaches and how they are affected by littering. During our time on Langland beach, we found a Mermaids Purse which is a shark eggs case. We were very surprised to learn that there are sharks in our waters! (Dog shark) This was a really interesting and very worthwhile project to have taken part in and something that we look forward to doing again!

International Issues Penyrheol recently put together an International Committee, where we will be working with six other schools in Spain, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Romania. Our project will be called ‘YES’ (Young Eco Savers) and will work alongside our own Eco Club to help us improve the environment around the school as well as looking at global issues. The eye-catching logo for ‘YES’ was designed by Tianah Dodge 8R, Chloe Thomas 8D, Abigail Whiting 8D, Melissa Samuels 7R, Ethan Rigby 7R and Andzejs Dubjaga 7R. Well done team!

Wishing to wave the Green Flag! Last year the Eco Club managed to achieve a silver award for the Eco standards at the school and we are now looking towards achieving the ‘Green Flag’. Anyone wanting to help should contact Miss Kingdom who runs the Eco Club on a Wednesday after school. After Christmas we will be focusing on the school garden. We need to decide what to plant this year, as last year we had great success with a crop of potatoes, which we harvested in September and made potato wedges from!

In a recent Student Voice meeting, it was decided that we should be doing something about the waste rubbish around the school premises. We have decided to put together a waste committee, who will be responsible for empting the recycling bins in the classrooms, offices and workrooms…. They will be called ‘Waste Warriors’! We had lots of applications from students wanting to be part of the Waste Warriors and are pleased to announce that the following pupils were selected: Sukie Selby 7E

Jonathon Lewis 8D

Megan Hovvels 10R

Matthew Richards 7E

Ryan Smith 8H

Megan Coslett 10E

Robert Potter 7R

Amelia Maguire 9H

Angharad Lake 10E

Sam Cousins 7H

Matthew Roberts 8H

Angharad Weeks 10E

Abigail Whiting 8D

Oliver Thomas 8H

Rebecca Jones 8R

Maddy Shadrach 8H

Geography Department Tr Beautiful scenery, relaxation and shopping

In July, The Geography department organised a 5 night stay in Iceland. Having left school at 3pm by coach, the pupils flew from Heathrow airport directly to Reykjavik and upon arrival, were transferred to their hotel by late evening… a tiring start to the trip, but an exciting one! On day two of the trip, pupils enjoyed a 90 minute tour of the capital city before continuing to Pingvellir (Parliament Plaines), the location of the old parliament and a geological phenomenon. From there they drove to the Geyser geothermal area and to Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall. After a stop by Skalholt (the ancient seat of Icelandic Bishops), the final stop was to see the Hellisheioi geothermal power plant. A long day before returning to the hotel for a much needed relaxing dinner. Day three was a trip east from Reykjavik, along the beautiful scenery of Iceland’s South Shore. Among the highlights of the day were the waterfalls of Skógarfoss and Seljarlandsfoss, the museum at Skogar, Solheimajokull Glacier, and black sands and rocks of Reynisfjaa Beach. The famous Blue Lagoon was the activity for day four, where the pupils were able to bathe in the warm waters of the geothermal spa for 2 hours and enjoy an afternoon at their leisure. The next day, the pupils visited the national museum of Iceland to learn about the countries cultural history which was really interesting and was followed by another leisurely day at Laugasdaur Leisure Centre geothermal pools. The last day was spent shopping, before transferring to Keflavik International airport for the long journey home This was a very interesting trip and as you can see by the photographs, one which the pupils enjoyed immensely!

Going to Iceland was one of the best experiences of my school life so far. It was amazing! Our visit to the Blue Lagoon was one of the best parts of the trip apart from shopping of course! The time we spent at the glacier was very interesting and completely not what I had expected. #hyndmantours Angharad Lake 10E

Trip to Iceland

World Day of Languages The celebration of world languages took place on Thursday 26th September. Mme Tanner held special assemblies during which she addressed the school in French, Welsh and English. Two Year 11 pupils took part in these assemblies. Joseph Williams gave a fascinating presentation about a voluntary work placement he had done in an orphanage in Kenya last summer. Karina Dove sang a song in Russian about a lover going away to fight in the war. At break-time, pain au chocolat were sold in the annexe and at lunchtime pupils from 9C helped out with face painting. This proved to be very popular with pupils in all year groups.

Christmas Card Recycling Scheme Once again this year, the Eco Club have arranged a Christmas card recycling scheme. There is a bin at the school reception for pupils and parents to drop off any unwanted cards after the Christmas period and these will all be recycled on your behalf. As a little incentive‌there will be a prize for the form that collects the most cards and runner up prizes for the forms in 2nd and 3rd place. Perhaps recycling more could be your New Year’s resolution?

Pupils Win Gold

at the National Special Olympics Penyrheol pupils, Calum Hearn (Y10) and Kieran Moruzzi-Jones (Y9) were 2 of 7 swimmers from Swansea selected to represent The Swansea Stingrays in the National Special Olympics hosted in the City of Bath. Both boys were sponsored by Penyrheol Comprehensive and were very successful at the games. Calum won Gold in the 50 metre Freestyle competition and Silver in the 100 metre Freestyle. He also came 4th place in the 50 metre Backstroke and 4th again in the Relay! Kieran won the Gold medal in the 50 metre Freestyle, Silver in the 25 metre Backstroke and Bronze in the Relay. A superb effort by both boys! Three weeks later, both boys were invited to the National Pool in Swansea to receive their medals, presented to them by The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. This was a tremendous day and we are all very proud of the boys and of their achievements.

Awards Evening 2013

On the 28th November, the annual awards evening was held at Penyrheol Theatre. The guest speaker was ex-pupil and now Welsh rugby squad player, Eli Walker, who presented the awards and gave a short speech about his time at Penyrheol and how he managed to progress from schoolboy rugby player to national sportsman! The evening started with a performance by the school chamber choir. Conducted by Miss Morris and accompanied by Mr Rogers, the choir sang a lovely selection of songs beautifully and with delightful harmonies. The girls from years 10 and 11 performed at short notice and started the evening off on just the right note! This was a proud evening for many parents, as the past pupils received an array of awards for their achievements and contribution to school life. This particular year group gained the best ever GCSE exam results, beating previous records by over 5%! The calibre of their success was so high, that choosing this year’s winners was a hard task indeed. With each presentation, Deputy head teachers Mrs Tanner and Mr Benney, read brief biographies on the winners, which gave us an insight into what they had gone on to study and what career paths they were hoping to follow. Halfway through the presentations, we were treated to a wonderful performance by Alex Murphy, who sang and played his own composition ‘Lemon & Lime’. The audience didn’t realise that Alex has written this song himself, thinking that his song was an Ed Sheeran cover… praise indeed for Alex, who was joint winner of the ‘Performing Arts Achievement’ Award! The evening closed with all the award winners having photographs taken with their trophies and certificates and refreshments were served. It was a lovely evening that displayed the extent of ability and talent that Penyrheol pupils have and it was a chance for these capable children to get the praise that they certainly deserve. We look forward to celebrating these achievements again next year! A full list of the winners is listed opposite.


Memorial Award for outstanding service to the School

Josh Thomas


Penyrheol Award for outstanding service to the School

Katie Hollingworth


English Excellence Award for best GCSE performance in English

Katie Hollingworth


English Achievement Award for most praiseworthy effort in English

Ben Mason


Mathematics Excellence Award for best GCSE performance in Mathematics

Bethan Cairns


Mathematics Achievement Award for most praiseworthy effort in Mathematics Ellie Jones


Marion Williams Sciwence Award for best GCSE performance in Science Subjects

Kayleigh Thomas


Science Achievement Award for most praiseworthy effort in Science

Amelia Picton Jones


Art Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Art

Lucy Calarusso


Business Studies Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Business Studies

Bethan Jones


Child Development Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Child Development

Siobhan Martin


Design Technology Award for the best performance in Design Technology

Amy-Lee Gibbons


Drama Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Drama

Alex Myles


Gower College Swansea Vocational Award for the best performance in Engineering

Nicholas Martin


Geography Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Geography

Liam Stafford


History Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in History

Josh Thomas


ICT Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in ICT

Hannah Francis


Media Studies Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Media Studies

Luke Dyche


Lloyds Bank Cup for the best GCSE performance in Modern Languages

Lara Weaver


Music Achievement Award for the best GCSE performance in Music

Caitlin Lewis


Performing Arts Achievement Award for the best contribution to Music and Drama

Ellie Evans & Alexander Murphy


Physical Education Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Physical Education

Liam Stafford


Sporting Achievement Award for commitment to Physical Education

Corey Norman


Religious Studies Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Religious Studies

Rebecca Street


Vocational Education Award for best performance in Vocational Studies

Samantha Hunt


Welsh Excellence Award for the best GCSE performance in Welsh

Ffion Dunning


Thomas Award for Special Effort

Jemma Dennis


Community Council Millennium Award for the best contribution to the Community

Jordan Jones (nominated by ACH)


Headteacher’s Award

Chloe Davies & Ben Lang


Catherine Williams Award for the outstanding GCSE performance

Bethan Cairns, Katie Hollingworth & Bethan Jones


A Special Award goes to our Debating Team

Bethan Cairns, Bethan Jones, Amy-Lee Gibbons, Ffion Dunning, Georgia Parry, Ben Davies, Lewis Beck, Jessie Rosser & Emma John

News from the P.E. Department Football There have been mixed results this term on the football field. Year 7 have been the ‘stand out’ team and look the early favourites to reach the semi finals. This term has also seen the re introduction of girls football with great success. With a number of girls attending training every Friday, the future of girl’s football in Penyrheol is promising.

Rugby The rugby season has also started well with regular fixtures for all years. Boosted by the prospect of 2 x Penyrheol pupils starting for Wales in the autumn internationals until an unfortunate injury to Eli Walker, pupils have taken to the fields with great enthusiasm. Year 9 and 11 put in some great performances in the Welsh cup, and year 8 have showed some promising signs in the 4 fixtures they have played with a regular squad of over 20 players.

4-2, 10-0 and 15-5, respectively. Teams in Years 8, 9 and 10 have also achieved some pleasing results; hopefully all Once again the stand out team has been teams can build upon this term’s Florid year 7, who are so far unbeaten going into performances and carry this Fundr momentum forward into the the Christmas break. Well done year 7. News just second half of the season!


Urdd Swimming Gala

A very pleasing start to the 2013/14 season! Numbers attending training have been consistently high, particularly in years 7 and 8. All teams have produced some good performances, with some very good results being achieved during matches against other schools within the Swansea area.

On November 27th, 21 pupils from Years 7 to 11 competed in the Area Competition. Everybody must be commended for their effort and enthusiasm.

helped to p asda Gorseino December a massige £586 a massive th all! #

Fitness at Penyrheol Leisure

Year 7 have made a positive start to the Centre season, winning all their matches so far! The team have worked well together and It is great to see so many pupils making produced excellent results against Olchfa, exercise part of their daily routine. The Dylan Thomas and Pontarddulais, winning For updates on fixtures and PE information, follow us on Twitter @penyrheolPE

Gym Club A number of Year 7 and 8 pupils have been attending gym club at lunch times and after-school on a Monday. Pictured is an example of one of the balances they have been practicing. The girls are currently working on a routine to be included and performed at the School St David’s Day Eisteddfod in March next year.

Individual Achievements fitness gym is very busy after school with pupils of all ages and particularly so, after its fantastic refurbishment and introduction of new machines.

da Trip raising

t in! Pupils pack bags @ on on the 14th and raised a 6! Diolch pawb, hanks from us #pyhfl

Monday night is also girl’s fitness night, with a variety of activities on offer, Thursday night spin is very popular and both sessions are only £2 per session. Don’t forget…it’s FREE for first timers!


The squad is gaining in skills and confidence and train regularly on Wednesday or Thursday evenings. We have played 3 games this term, winning 2 and losing 1. There are a number of fixtures planned for the New Year, so the girls are training hard in readiness for a string of successes!

Ashleigh Harries (Y11) made his Welsh u17s football debut during the summer against Malta, Well done Ashleigh. A huge congratulations to Sam James (Y11) for making it into the u16’s Ospreys team and to Nathan R John (Y11) for reaching the ‘B’ squad. Congratulations to Alisha Job (Y7), Sophie McCallum (Y9), Chloe Payne (Y11) and Zachary Spackman (8Y) who won their races in the Urdd Swimming Gala and will be representing the school in the finals in Cardiff next year. Grace Thomas (7H) represented Penyrheol in the Afan Nedd indoor athletics year 7/8 competition and came 3rd out of 30 competitors. She hopes to be selected for the National Finals next year. Well done Grace!

A big thank you to all the staff who have helped to run sports teams for Penyrheol.

Active Young People / 5x60 by Ricky Morgan

AYP Officer at Penyrheol Hello, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at the AYP Team in Swansea! This term at Penyrheol has been fantastic; I am brand new to the job but have hit the ground running at Penyrheol, thanks to the wonderful staff and pupils at the school. We have reached almost a quarter of the pupils at the school in the first few months of the academic year and the scheme continues to grow and grow. We have offered a variety of extra-curricular sporting activities, including breakfast clubs (8am8.30 in the sports hall), lunchtimes and after school, covering sports such as Dodgeball, Atomic Touch (Rugby), Gymnastics & Street Dance. All years are welcome at most activities and there will be a new and improved timetable from the 2nd week of the new term for everybody to get involved in. (Look out for posters around the school) The highlight of the term so far was the Cyclo-Cross event held at Penyrheol in October, where 5 teams representing schools from the West side of Swansea took part in a fun, new and exciting cycling opportunity using grass banks, obstacles and lots of mud! The Penyrheol team of six year 7 pupils performed admirably , picking up a silver medal! Another notable mention for this term is Matthew Evans (Y10) who is the Silver Young Ambassador for the school, Matthew’s enthusiasm, along with many other Y10 boys, has seen the 5x60 ethos spread around the school and numbers growing every session!

Library News Reading Challenge and Top Books of 2013

The X Factor Reading Challenge Year 7 - May The Best Form Win!

The heat was on as forms in year 7 competed in The X Factor Reading Challenge. Every time a pupil read a book, he or she was asked three questions by the librarian and if they answered correctly, they received a music note to put on the X Factor display wall in the library.

After two months of reading, the winners of the competition were 7R who read 43 books during the challenge and won the silver trophy. Melissa Samuels (7R) and Shaun Cunningham (7M) both received special X Factor certificates for being the boy and girl who read the most books during the challenge. Well done!


Most books are borrowed on a Monday, closely followed by the weekdays in order, with Fridays being the quietest day for loans!


But look out!!!! If caught cheating, the pupils received a ‘Simon Scowell’ and three of these would see the form disqualified!

yo u k n o w d i

Congratulations to all those who took part!


Book Fair Once again this year, the Scholastic Book Fair was held in the library and was this year run by two Year 7 pupils, Melissa Samuels and Mia Cozens who did a fabulous job! Popular as ever, the fair ran for one week and pupils enjoyed browsing and buying their favourite books!


yo u k n o w . d

60% of our books are borrowed by girls and 40% by Boys!

Favourite Books 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Kid still stealing the limelight! This year the top ten most borrowed books have been:


o u kn o y w id ...?

93% of pupils regularly borrow books from the school library… and they say children don’t read books anymore!

1. Diary of a wimpy Kid – ‘Cabin Fever’ by Jeff Kinney 2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – ‘The Third Wheel’ by Jeff Kinney 3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – ‘The Last Straw’ by Jeff Kinney 4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – ‘The Ugly Truth’ by Jeff Kinney 6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – ‘Roderick Rules’ by Jeff Kinney 7. Zom-B by Darren Shan 8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 9. The worst Thing about My Sister by Jaqueline Wilson 10. Lily Alone by Jacqueline Wilson

News From the Welsh Department Newyddion o’r Adran Gymraeg Welsh Awareness Day 2013 This year’s visit to the capital was on Friday, 25th October and pupils had the opportunity to visit at least 2 of the following venues: • • • •

Millennium Centre Tour Senedd Tour (Welsh Assembly Building) St. Fagan’s guided talks The Urdd’s Cardiff base in Cardiff Bay

Yr Ystadegau / The Stats 3 bws 170+ disgybl / pupils 10 staff 4 lle / locations

Here’s what some 7M pupils had to say about their final day of their first half term at Ysgol Gyfun Penyrheol...

es Jam ë Zo In the Millennium Centre I went backstage and saw the dressing rooms and I learned that they don’t have the dressing room 13 because they think it is unlucky.

R ee s cob a J I went to the Welsh Assembly building where all the meetings are held. Next I went to the Millennium Centre and we went back stage. The day was fab.

om a s C a h i l l Th I loved the Welsh Awareness Day trip to Cardiff. Oh man, it was so great!

tly n R ober Cai ts The Welsh Awareness Day trip was really fun.

Jac Elsey I really enjoyed it.

Scott iver l O The Welsh Awareness Day trip was one of the best so far... awesome and interesting finding out about the history of the buildings.

an Cou rt Dyl My favourite was the Welsh Assembly building because it was very interesting.

th Jones Ru I think it helped us learn that Wales has a lot more to offer than we think.

S e re n D e n n i s I thought that the Welsh Awareness Day trip was very good.

Evans l ie l E I had a great day and enjoyed learning things about the Welsh Assembly. We got to see behind the scenes at the Millennium Centre. It was a really good day out at the end of the half term.

Diolch yn fawr 7M! Nadolig Hapus a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda oddi wrth (from) yr Adran Gymraeg

Author Visit On the 5th November, three writers who had been short listed for the prestigious ‘Dylan Thomas Award’ came to visit us. They met with some of our Year 9 pupils and Megan Ashman from 9R tells us a little bit about it: In November, we were visited by three authors who came in to talk to us about writing stories. The authors were all short listed for the Dylan Thomas prize 2013, two of them for writing a book and the other for her poetry. Marli Rooks story was called ‘Call It Dog’, Tim Leach’s story was called ‘The Last King of Lydia’ and Jemma King’s poetry book was called ‘The Shape of a Forest’. The authors were with us for two hours and during this time they told us about their books. We asked lots of questions like ‘How do you do your research’ and ‘What inspires you to write’. We then went on to write our own poetry. We could write about ‘The Beach’ or ‘Stranded on a Desert Island’. It was quite hard to get started, but the authors helped us. I really enjoyed the visit and I learnt more about writing stories. I found the session very interesting and it was exciting to meet real authors. Megan Ashman 9M Unfortunately, none of our authors won the prize this year, as it was awarded to American short story writer Claire Vaye Watkins, who won the £30,000 that was up for grabs! Now there is an incentive for writing stories!

Welsh Baccalaureate On 23rd September 2013, the Welsh Baccalaureate cohort took part in a one day Personal Development course run by the Armed Forces. Pupils undertook a carousel of activities which were aimed at developing the following Key Skills: Communication, Working with Others, Problem- Solving and Improving Own Learning and Performance. In addition to this, pupils were given the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills and use their own initiative in order to successfully complete the various tasks and challenges set. The Army team delivering the course were very impressed with the work ethic and attitude displayed by the pupils. Well done to everyone that took part!

Ski Trip to Italy Ski trip places are still available for February 2015. We are going to Bormio, Italy in February 2015 from Friday 13th to Friday 20th. The full cost of the trip is ÂŁ800. If you would like further information about the hotel and resort, you can check them out at our website: You can download a form from the webpage, and contact me directly via email through the site for further information. You can also follow the trip via @PenyrheolSki on Twitter - Mrs Tate



nother fabulous show this year that you would have been quackers to miss! A re-telling of the The Ugly Duckling, this production was filled with fabulous song and dance and some very talented youngsters who handled the delivery of the humour just right! There were as always, some outstanding performances, in particular Ellie Coates who played Ugly (what a fabulous voice!) and Joseff Williams, as The Cat, who was both scary and hilarious and whose comedic timing was superb! Madame Tanner, Miss Davies, Mr Wallace and Mr Thomas were brilliant as the RAF geese who were accompanied by a flock of dancers and kazoo blowing pilots and were one of the highlights of the show! All those involved were a joy to watch and along with the imaginative costumes, set and live band, this was a production that Penyrheol can be really proud of!

As seen on twitter...



“If you’re from Penyrheol & you’ve never done a school production - you need to. I’ve done all five since Year 7 - it’s a great experience.”

“Another thespian triumph for Penyrheol pupils and staff. ‘Honk’ was hilarious and moving. Well done everyone involved. You did us all proud!”



“Brilliant show tonight @Penyrheol. That tango should have been on strictly come dancing”

“Congratulations @Penyrheol for another fantastic show! Amazing talent on display - especially from the GYC members!

Christmas Jumper Day Charity Fundraising Event

Mme. Tanner started the dance on her own

Other staff joined in gradually Friday 13th December was Christmas Jumper Day, an Annual event by the charity Save the Children. Staff donated £1 to wear a Christmas Jumper to work, and over £80 was raised for the charity. At lunchtime a surprise was in store for the pupils, as staff had been secretly rehearsing a dance routine to ‘Rocking around the Christmas tree’.

Crowds of pupils gathered to watch!

Our Festive Flashmob dance group took to the floor and put on a great show which attracted a huge crowd of pupils who watched in amazement before heading back to class! Thanks everyone for putting some Christmas cheer into the end of term! You can watch the video of the flashmob dance at: christmas-jumper-day

...and soon they were in full swing!

Happy Christmas - Nadolig Hapus from all the staff at Penyrheol Comprehensive School

Geography and History Trip to Pembrey and Kidwelly Castle The Pembrey and Kidwelly Castle trip ran on Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th October. The visits involved half the day being spent at Kidwelly castle with the History department, where Mr Luckwell and Dr Rees gave a tour of the castle, highlighting some of its key features. The highlight of the visit was to climb up the steep steps of the tallest tower, the views from the top were amazing! The other half of the day was spent with the Geography department at Pembrey, where students investigated the impact of a hotel being built within the country park. The highlight was the beautiful view of Gower and Worms Head. Unfortunately the pupils that went on the Thursday trip didn’t get to see much of Pembrey due to the horrendous weather, but that alone will create humours memories we’re sure!


Potter 7R t r




I really enjoyed the trip to Pembrey and Kidwelly. My favourite part was running down the hill, pretending to attack Kidwelly Castle and visiting the beach at Pembrey. I also enjoyed learning about orienteering. I had a great time!

McBrien 7R n ia I really

enjoyed our history/geography trip to Pembrey and Kidwelly Castle. I loved walking along the beach and learning about the environment. We discussed where it would be a good place to build a hotel and we had to co-operate within a group.


zens 7R Co


Our trip to Pembrey Country Park was fun and interesting. I enjoyed learning about what was there and what people do there. My favourite part of the whole trip was when we stopped for a little break and we all had a big laugh… I really enjoyed it!

CAREERS FAIR 10th October 2013

On 10th October we held a Careers Fair and ‘Have a Go’ at Penyrheol to inspire our pupils. 18 different organisations set up a stand for the day and Year 11 pupils were able to visit those that interested them. We had employers such as City and County of Swansea, HSBC, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Maldron Hotels, The Army, Wetherspoons, The Garden Centre, Vocations Ltd and Admiral, giving pupils plenty of choice and ‘food for thought’. It was pleasing to see so many of our young people talking to the voluntary organisations, SCVS and The Prince’s Trust and showing a keen interest in various opportunities available to them. Swansea College, Coleg Sir Gar and Swansea University stands were kept busy all day. Great interest was also shown in apprenticeships with Swansea ITEC and LLETS. At the end of the day, the Fair was open to all pupils and parents and It was particularly pleasing to see so many pupils from the lower school taking an interest in their future. The ‘Have a Go’ was a fantastic opportunity for Year 9 and 11 pupils to try different careers. Huge thanks go to Coleg Sir Gar for hosting this for us. With 16 different areas covered, pupils could try out careers in music technology, equine, hairdressing, engineering, catering and many more. It gave them a small, but valuable insight into different careers and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It is important that young people have direction and something to strive for. Hopefully this event will go a long way to helping this. We are extremely grateful for the time and effort the different organisations put in to making this event a huge success and for making it a meaningful experience for our students.

Beyond the School Gates

Many of our Penyrheol pupils are involved in outside school activities. If you would like to shout about’s your chance!


Lauren Evans (7Y) and Charlotte Williams (7D) have both been selected to try out for the Welsh trials in Girls Football. If chosen, the girls will be picked to play for Wales. Good luck girls - Go for it!

Rowing Sian Waters (8E) did Wales proud recently when she achieved 6th place in the Indoor British Rowing Championships! Sian has been rowing for 3 years and belongs to the Swansea City Rowing Club. 18 young people aged 12 and 13 took part and had to row continuously for 3 minutes, all hoping to be the one that rowed the furthest! Sian says “in the last 10 seconds, the person who was in 6th place was only a few metres ahead of me, so I put pressure on myself and managed to overtake them”. Well done Sian, that last push was well worth it and what a lovely hobby to be involved in!


Congratulations to Jessica Girletz (7M) who came 3rd in the Welsh Gymnastics Championships in November. Jessica has been doing g ymnastics for 4 years and belongs to the West Street Gymnastic Centre in Gorseinon. Jessica says she was delighted with her 3rd place in the floor routine section because she had learnt it in only 6 hours! Fabulous effort… well done Jessica!


Well done to Sophie Davies (7E) who won in her category at the ‘Art across the City Art Competition 2013’. Pupils from all around Swansea entered the competition, so Sophie did really well to win!

Performing Arts

Congratulations to the large number of pupils (past and present) who took part in ‘Now! That’s What I Call Musicality’ at The Princess Royal Theatre in November. Performances included musical numbers from Matilda, Catch me If You Can, 13 and The Addams Family. A particular mention goes to Robin Haley (Year 10) who sang his first ever solo and to Jonathan Williams (Year 10) who stage managed the show also for the very first time! Well done to everyone involved! Sport? Drama? Charity? Music? Dance? Chess? Whatever it is you do... let us know! We encourage both pupils and families to let us know about pupils’ achievements out of school so we can give them the credit that is clearly due to them! Please pass any information to Ms A Murphy via school reception.

Penyrheol Christmas Newsletter 2013  

Welcome to our 2013 Christmas Newsletter! Look inside for all the latest news from Penyrheol Comprehensive School! Merry Christmas!