Recently a group of pupils travelled to Aberystwyth to perform ‘The Changing Room’ on stage as part of the Connections Scheme.
The Connections Scheme was created by the National Theatre for young actors and actresses to showcase their skills in acting. Each year the National Theatre commissions new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow!
Before travelling to the award winning Arts Centre in Aberystwyth pupils first performed ‘The Changing Room’ written by Chris Bush to other pupils, teachers, staff, parents and guardians, in the drama studio at Ysgol Aberconwy. These performances allowed the group to perfect their lines and stage presence before taking to the stage with an external audience.
The day was full of activities to aid their acting skills and through the technical rehearsals pupils had the valuable opportunity to see how other parts of the theatre are managed and run.
Throughout the day they also had the chance to meet pupils from other schools and colleges, whilst having some time to bond as a group themselves.
Mia, sixth form performing arts pupil explained it was great to be part of such an experience “before we all went on stage we were given a pep talk by a lady called Julia who works with the Connections Scheme. She helped motivate us and made sure we knew to project our voices to the top of the auditorium so all audience members would hear!”
Well done to everyone involved the feedback from the performances has been fantastic and audience members really enjoyed watching the play.
Over the last five weeks, our Year 7 pupils have experienced a creative approach to their PBL (Project Based Learning) lessons. Four artists spend two hours every Monday morning with our pupils, as they explore different creative approaches to their PBL projects.
The four artists provided to Ysgol Aberconwy are from the Lead Creative Schools Scheme, which is a jointly funded scheme by the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government. Through this scheme pupils experience new and exciting creative approaches to teaching and learning across the curriculum, supporting them to address issues, important development priorities and the needs of each pupil.
It aims to develop the creativity, aspirations and achievements of young people in Wales, opening up more opportunities for their future. Whilst also supporting innovation and the development of long-term partnerships between creative professionals and ourselves.
“Being part of this scheme enables us as a school to access artists, skills and resources to support us in further improving the quality of our teaching and pupils learning. It highlights our commitment of helping our pupils fulfil their creative potential and achieving their best in all areas of learning and development.” Stated Mr Burrows, Lead Project Coordinator, Ysgol Aberconwy
With three more weeks left on this scheme our pupils, teachers and the creative professionals will continue working together to plan, implement, reflect and evaluate their creative PBL projects.
For more information about the Lead Creative Schools Scheme, please visit www.artscouncilofwales.org.uk
Well done to our Year 7 & 8 girls football team who beat Ysgol David Hughes to make it through to the last eight in the Welsh schools competition.
A fantastic team effort from all and congratulations to Sophie Rawling, who was awarded player of the match by the other team!
Good luck in the next round girls!
Students and staff at Ysgol Aberconwy have been working tirelessly over the last few months on this year’s musical… School of Rock!
On Wednesday 22nd November at 7pm the stage was set, the lights were on and the students took to the floor for their opening night.
Their hard work and dedication for this year’s performance was clear to see, from the lead characters through to the supporting roles and the songs local primary pupils were involved in, everyone had rehearsed their roles and gave a performance fit for Broadway.
With three evening performances and an afternoon community performance, students continued to outshine themselves and surpass audience expectations with their amazing talent and skills.
The school hall has never felt as alive as it did last week, with music filling the corridors during rehearsals, there was certainly a buzz of excitement throughout the school.
Hazel Brookes, a former student attended the community performance on Thursday afternoon and she mentioned how delightful the performance was “I’m so glad I was able to attend the performance, as it certainly brightened up a dull and wet afternoon. The level of confidence from the students was fantastic to see and they all did a great job. Well done!”
Margaret and Philip Jones, from Llandudno Youth Music Theatre also attended the community performance… “We loved every minute of the show and it was great to see it staged in such a different and unusual way to normal school performances. Having the stage in the centre of the hall worked so well for this musical, it was pure rock and roll.”
School Governor and Conwy Councillor, Emma Leighton-Jones also stated, “The show had a lovely feel good factor and a powerful message of the transformative nature of music in our lives. Each member of the cast performed superbly - great singing and dancing and all lines learnt to perfection.”
Well done to every student and member of staff involved in this year’s production. The standard of this year’s performance has been amazing; we can’t wait to see next year’s performance already!
On Friday 17th November, students from Ysgol Aberconwy joined the nation in fundraising for Children in Need 2017.
Students and staff across the school took part in a variety of fundraising activities from sport sessions to challenges and from tombola raffles to own clothes day.
The competitive spirit could be felt throughout the school, with the highly anticipated Ysgol Aberconwy Bake Off. Some members of staff highlighted their hidden baking talents, which even Paul Hollywood would have been impressed by!
However, the real fundraising highlights came from the students themselves…
With Year 10 students Joe Nicholas and Jack Owens raising over £200 by shaving their hair off, Year 7 students Caitlin Finnegan and Leah Birchall raising over £200 for sponsored walks, Crystal Forbes in Year 7 also completed an Indy climb raising £90 and Year 8 twins Jaydon Parry and Connor Parry together raising over £140, with Jaydon completing a sponsored run and Conor offering to carry out additional chores.
Mr Jones, teacher at Ysgol Aberconwy stated “This is the result of a fantastic team effort from the whole Ysgol Aberconwy community. I am overwhelmed by the support we have received and would like to thank everyone that has supported us with their time, effort and donations. This is a great indication of how innovative and enterprising Ysgol Aberconwy students can be in fundraising for such a great cause.”
Well done to everyone who took part in raising over £2,500 for Children in Need 2017!
Ysgol Aberconwy marked ‘Restart a Heart Day’ on Monday 16th October by training over 650 students in basic First Aid and CPR procedures in one day!
Restart a Heart Day is an annual initiative, which aims to train as many people as possible in CPR in one day, so that more people know these life saving skills.
Staff and students at Ysgol Aberconwy attended training slots throughout the day and they are now part of the British Heart Foundation’s Nation of Lifesavers. By learning CPR, they’ve armed themselves with the skills that could help save lives in our communities.
Currently in the UK, just one in ten people survive a cardiac arrest. However, in countries such as Norway, where CPR is more widely taught, almost four in ten people survive.
Abby Battle (Year 7) commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed the training. A member of my family had to have CPR so I believe everyone should know these life saving skills”
Benjamin Payne (Year 11) explained, “I was shocked to learn that if you suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK you have less than a one in ten chance of surviving. Training like this is so important because I would want to help if I was ever faced with such a situation”.
Rhydian Jones (Teacher) stated, “On behalf of Ysgol Aberconwy we would like to thank Carwyn Roberts, Jamie Brown, Nerys Owen and Sean Clark for giving up their valuable time to deliver the training and share their expertise with both staff and students. We are also grateful to the Welsh Ambulance Service for offering this invaluable experience and look forward to welcoming them back to Ysgol Aberconwy again next year.”
For more information about Restart a Heart Day visit, www.bhf.org.uk
We'd like to thank the performers from Collingwood Learning who delivered 'Mirror Mirror' today to our Year 8 pupils.
This new theatre and workshop programme tackles Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and enables students to learn what CSE is, how grooming works, how they can keep safe and how they can get help.
The project is being delivered in schools across North Wales and is being sponsored by the North Wales Safeguarding Children’s Board, in partnership with Barnardo’s Gwella Project.
For more information please visit www.collingwoodlearning.co.uk
Students at Ysgol Aberconwy celebrated their GCSE achievements this year.
They were joined by BBC Radio Wales who visited the school to share in students’ success and experience the live reactions and expressions of students discovering their grades.
Ruth Dean stated, “I was so nervous about receiving my results and to find out my grades just before going live on national radio was scary, but once I knew what I’d achieved (10 A* and 1 A) I was over the moon! In September, I’ll be returning to Ysgol Aberconwy Sixth Form where I’ll be starting my A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Welsh Baccalaureate.
Ruth wasn’t the only one pleased with her results, as she was one of a group of exceptional students celebrating their grades: Mim Allardice (7 A* and 4 A), Rhys Bailey (1 A*, 4 A and 5 B), Nicole Coulson (1 A*, 7 A and 2 B), Lana Flood (2 A*, 7 A and 1 B), Nathan Purchase (7 A, 3 B and 1 C) and Jaxon Webb-Dunn (3 A*, 4 A and 4 B).
Headteacher Ian Gerrard was delighted with the levels of success and stated, “This is a big day for our students, many of whom will be glad the wait is over as they can now see the results of their hard work and determination. As a school we’re proud of all our students and their achievements, and we’d like to say congratulations to each and every student who received their grades today.”
Ysgol Aberconwy is looking forward to welcoming students back into the school’s sixth form in September.
Aberconwy students are celebrating outstanding A level successes with A and A* grades (or equivalent) making up over 30% of all results.
Some exceptional performances were achieved by Joseph Macmanus (A*, A*, A*, A*), Danielle Pinkerton (A*, A*, A*, B), David Jones (A*, A*, A*), Helena Griffiths and Anna Hughes (A*, A, A) and Megan Roberts and Chloe Taft Jones (A*, A*, B).
Many of the school’s students are now looking forward to going on to study a wide variety of exciting degree courses: Mathematics, Computer Science, Criminology, Media Studies, Fashion Design, Applied Medical Sciences, Theatre and Performance Design, Yacht and Power Craft Design, and Politics at Universities across the UK such as Southampton, London, York, Warwick and Cardiff.
Headteacher Ian Gerrard congratulated students and staff, saying he was very proud of an exceptional group of young people who have achieved their potential and who are now moving on to study interesting and challenging courses. He added, “We wish them well for the future and look forward to hearing of their continued success in the years to come.”
A huge well done to all students in Hiraethlyn House at Ysgol Aberconwy! Through their tireless fundraising efforts throughout the year, they’ve raised an impressive £747 for the Welsh Air Ambulance.
Students Geneva Henson, Nina Rowlands and Arran Shackleton presented Medwyn Hughes with the monies raised by their school house team.
Mr Hughes commented “I’m overwhelmed with the support these students have given to raising funds to keep our helicopters going. As a charity we’re delighted Ysgol Aberconwy have continued their links with fundraising for the Welsh Air Ambulance and we’re very grateful to receive this cheque from the school.”
To find out more about the Welsh Air Ambulance Charity and how you can get involved visit www.walesairambulance.com
Throughout the year our Year 10 Welsh Baccalaureate students have been busy working towards their 10 hours of voluntary activities.
The main activities they’ve been involved in have ranged from developing the school garden and pond area, to planting trees, and painting, cleaning and enhancing changing rooms at a local football club.
This week they’ve also helped the school welcome local Year 6 pupils during our transition week, as these pupils will be starting with us in September.
Through our transition week we aim to make the process as smooth as possible for Year 6 pupils, so they feel welcome and supported, as its daunting moving from primary school up to secondary school.
Our Year 10 students supported pupils getting to know teachers and staff at the school and more importantly finding their way around the buildings.
We’d like to say thank you to all our Year 10 Welsh Baccalaureate students.
Conwy Youth Service celebrated on Friday 23rd June, after winning the ‘Outstanding project promoting cultures in Wales’ award.
Hollie Owen and Stephanie Morris, Year 10 at Ysgol Aberconwy, travelled down to Cardiff, to represent the project team at the ceremony and were delighted to win the award.
Conwy Youth Service were shortlisted to receive a Youth Excellence Award for community and project work within Conwy, following their successful ‘Understanding our heritage’ project.
Throughout the project, the team of 10 young people, seven* of which attend Ysgol Aberconwy explored the Welsh history throughout the county of Conwy and visited Conwy Castle, Plas Mawr, the Great Orme Copper Mines, Penmachno Mines, Nant BH Outdoor Education Centre.
On the night Hollie led the project team onto the stage where they were joined by Tommy Lyness, Professional Youth Worker for Conwy Youth Service to receive their award.
“It was a nerve-wracking experience walking up to collect the award with the team, as you have the fear over tripping over, but I’m pleased to say we all managed to make it up on stage without a stumble and with huge smiles on our faces,” said Hollie.
Stephanie summed up the whole experience as, “exciting and rewarding. It was our first time down in Cardiff and we loved every minute of it. We really enjoyed being part of the ceremony and meeting other youth club members, but the best bit was winning the award.”
A huge well done to Conwy Youth Service and everyone involved in the project team.
*Chloe Benjamin, Hollie Owen, India Molloy, Stephanie Morris, Francesca Roberts, Ruby Flowers & Adele Hughes