Lorenzo Cutts, Year 12 at Ysgol Aberconwy, is not only studying for his AS levels, he also spends time each week training in the Snowdonia Slalom Eryri Club.
Lorenzo first started kayak lessons at a local swimming pool four years ago. After two years kayaking he joined the slalom club and soon progressed to canoe slalom in open waters.
After talking to him about his experiences, he admitted the first time he went out into real water conditions was really scary, but he explained “that’s the best way to build up your experience, especially in learning to get out of a ‘capsize’.”
He first started in division four in the UK and has progressed over the last couple of years into division one. But that wasn’t down to luck, he’s spent many hours each week, during the competition season (March – October) practising physically for fitness and strength, whilst also mentally walking through each course, so his plan is in place for each race. Outside of the competition season (November – February) he increases his training hours and puts himself through a tough schedule, to ensure he’s ready for the upcoming competitions, which take place across the UK.
Lorenzo explains, “When it’s race day you’re filled with so many emotions. Before the race starts you do feel really nervous however, once the race is underway you get the thrill of adrenaline running through your body. When I‘ve had a good ‘run’ the sense of achievement is amazing and makes you want to do it all over again. If my times are slower than I had hoped for, I focus harder on training for the next race!”
Not only is he succeeding in his passion for Canoe Slalom, he’s achieving fantastic results in the classroom too, which only goes to show through hard work and dedication you can achieve anything.
Lorenzo is almost half way through this season, he only needs three wins or 4,750 points from five races to place him in the Premier Division for the UK, watch this space…
Ben Foggo, Year 10 student at Ysgol Aberconwy, travelled to Austria last week to represent Wales at the Junior Battle in Austria. Ben was one of 11 specially selected Welsh Weightlifters, to fly over to Austria and compete in the U17’s category.
He faced some tough competition from across Europe, but this didn’t faze Ben as he went on to winning gold and becoming the European Weightlifting Champion in his category.
The talented Welsh weightlifter completed a 65kg snatch and an 80kg clean jerk, which took his overall competition total to 145kg, that’s almost three times his own body weight!
Not only that, he achieved a 19kg competition PB (personal best) and also through his hard work and commitment, he’s qualified for the British U20s event, all at only 14 years old!
Ben who trains at NW1 Weightlifting Club in Llandudno said, “Leading up to the event I felt confident and ready for the competition. Although I was prepared, I felt overwhelmed to have won gold in my category. My ultimate goal is to reach the Olympics, which I’m determined to do.”
“As a school we’re proud of our students achievements and in particular their extracurricular successes. Well done and congratulations on behalf of everyone at Ysgol Aberconwy,” Stated Mr Ian Gerrard, Headteacher.
This is only the beginning for Ben, with his hard work, dedication and passion his only way is up.
Hollie Owen and Stephanie Morris, Year 10 at Ysgol Aberconwy, have been specially chosen to attend the Youth Excellence Awards in Cardiff, taking place at the end of this month.
Conwy Youth Service has been shortlisted to receive a Youth Excellence Award for community and project work within Conwy, following their successful ‘Understanding our heritage’ project. Through the project they’ve challenged the traditional youth club programme and introduced the ‘Understanding our heritage’ project, which allows young people to explore the Welsh history around the county of Conwy.
The ambitious local Welsh history project for young people aged 13 to 19, included after school, weekend and residential opportunities, to absorb the sights, smells and tales of Conwy. The young people involved have spent in excess of 100 hours each, out of their own time to dedicate themselves to the project over the last 18 months.
Throughout the project they’ve visited Conwy Castle, Plas Mawr, the Great Orme Copper Mines, Penmachno Mines, Nant BH Outdoor Education Centre and exhibited their work at Mostyn Art Gallery.
As a school, we’re especially proud of Hollie and Stephanie and their involvement, dedication and commitment to this project.
Tommy Lyness, Professional Youth Worker for Conwy Youth Service, explained why they’d be chosen to attend the awards, “Hollie and Stephanie have been part of the project from the beginning. They’ve always got involved with all the tasks of the project with no hesitation and they’ve helped others to gain their accreditation. They’ve been determined to see the project through to the end and for their rewards, we’re delighted to invite them to attend the awards.”
Understandably Hollie and Stephanie are looking forward to visiting Cardiff and attending the awards ceremony. As Hollie said, “We’re both really happy and proud to have been invited, as a reward for all our hard work and we hope to win and bring back the award, to show the rest of the team involved in the project, friends and family.”
We wish Conwy Youth Service all the best with the upcoming nomination and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you all.
On Friday 9th June a group of Ysgol Aberconwy students from Years 7, 8 and 9 attended the All Wales Boat Show, which took place at Conwy Marina, next to the school. The show is in its third year and is a celebratory festival of all water-based activities, which is unique to the region.
Students from the first language groups spent the day with staff from the Urdd, communicating through the medium of Welsh. They also got the chance to dip their toes in the water, which gave people visiting the marina something to smile about. With students letting out screams as their canoe wobbled on the water, to another group of students going around in circles, in the wrong direction on their raft, they were quick to realise they all had to communicate and work together to head in the direction they were meant to.
Overall the children had an enjoyable day and as Jayden Parry, 7HC, stated “We’re lucky to have opportunities like these near our school. We’ve learnt lots about team work, whilst having fun at the same time.”
Many thanks to members of staff from the Urdd, Conwy Marina and the organisers of the All Wales Boat Show, for involving our students in such a prestigious event in the area.
Four Year 7 students joined forces to organise a charity dodgeball tournament to raise awareness of the JDRF charity. On Wednesday 17th May 2017 Ysgol Aberconwy held the tournament, which was open to students from Years 7, 8 and 9.
After weeks of planning, Sophie Jones, Lowri Lewis, Millie Jones and Tesni Hunter saw their hard work and efforts come to fruition, with students participating in the tournament to help raise money but more importantly awareness about type 1 diabetes.
The group of students chose the JDRF diabetes charity, as they know someone who’s been diagnosed with diabetes at a very young age and wanted to do something to raise awareness.
The JDRF charity fund research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. They also offer support and a voice to people living with type 1 and their families. This condition affects 400,000 people in the UK, with over 29,000 of them children, so it’s close to their hearts.
As you can imagine there were a couple of mishaps with the ball during the tournament with Lowri bearing the brunt of it, but overall it was a successful event.
Well done to you all for your hard work, dedication and commitment.
Ysgol Aberconwy is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.
Tesco have teamed up with Groundwork to launch a community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.
The school’s eco-project to develop green spaces in the school grounds and the school’s garden area is one of three projects shortlisted in the region to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.
Voting is open in stores throughout May and June. Customers will cast their vote using a token which they should request at the check-out in store each time they shop.
Please help us to fund this project which will improve the environment and provide excellent learning opportunities for students for years to come!
Here at Ysgol Aberconwy we run the Accelerated Reading Program. At its heart, Accelerated Reader is simple.
A pupil reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. Children respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.
We encourage all year 7 and 8 pupils to participate in the program, one quiz every half term, which is six a year.
We’re delighted that Amy Saxon has read 50 books to achieve her 2,000,000 words and passed 42 quizzes!
Amy is hoping to reach 3,000,000 before she starts Year 8!
Well done Amy!
Ysgol Aberconwy pupils receive prestigious Welsh Livery Guild Award.
Ysgol Aberconwy pupils, Chloe Bailey (Year 13) and Ben Payne (Year 10) have been presented with their Worshipful Livery Company of Wales award on Wednesday 17th May 2017 by Jean Bryson, after successfully passing a formal interview which took place in March 2017.
During the process students at the school were carefully selected and put forward by teachers. After a formal interview process Chloe and Ben were successfully chosen by the interview panel to receive the prestigious award.
The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales was set up to promote education, arts, science and technology and through their awards they’re able to develop the talents of young people throughout Wales. Jean Bryson explained “the standard of Ysgol Aberconwy candidates was high during the interview process and we selected Chloe and Ben, as we saw them as conscientious students who have a wide range of interests both inside and outside of school.”
Both Chloe and Ben were presented with framed certificates and awarded £250 each to support their ongoing educational needs. We caught up with Chloe, who is currently sitting her A Level exams and has applied to study Politics at the Queen Mary University of London, to find out what she thought about the interview and more importantly what she’ll be using the money for…
“I was nervous before the interview as I hadn’t had a formal interview before so I didn’t know what to expect however, the interview panel made me feel at ease. I was surprised and grateful that I had been chosen as one of the successful candidates to receive the award and the money will be going towards a brand new laptop, which will help me during my studies at University.”
Mr. Ian Gerrard, Headteacher, stated “As a school we’re immensely proud of what Chloe and Ben have achieved and we’re delighted they’ve received support and recognition for all their hard work in and out of school. Long may their studies continue once they leave Ysgol Aberconwy and we look forward to working with the Guild in the future.”
Crafnant House is proud to have raised over £800 for Ty Gobaith on the Charity Day. Together with the money raised by the sixth form Christmas Fayre, the total came to £1171 - an outstanding amount for a very worthwhile charity. The pupils, Ben Payne, Hollie Owen, Michael Corcoran, Joshua Wynne, Erin Hughes, Lucy Birtwhistle, Sasha Jenkins, Aaren Hill and Annabelle Protheroe were extremely proud to present the cheque to Beverley Bradley, from Ty Gobaith. Well done Crafnant!
On Tuesday 31st January 88 year old Arek Hersh and his wife came to visit Ysgol Aberconwy to speak to all Year 10 and Year 11 pupils as well as many Sixth Formers about his experiences during the Holocaust. Arek, a survivor of Auschwitz, spoke to the pupils about how as a young boy his life changed forever as result of the actions of the Nazis. All pupils found the experience to be incredibly moving and they took much away from his talk. Mr Roche, Head of History at Ysgol Aberconwy said that ‘to have the honour to be able to listen to Mr Hersh relay his experiences of the Holocaust and then to be able to ask him questions at the end of his talk is something that both pupils and staff will not forget for a very long time’.
On Thursday 8th December our Modern Foreign Languages department hosted a careers event for year 9 pupils from across Conwy County and Denbighshire. A range of workshops were provided by North Wales professionals in which they provided information about their field of work and the benefits and opportunities for employees with foreign language skills in their respective businesses. The professionals delivering the workshops were from industries such as banking, geology, commerce, and academia. Feedback from the different schools who attended was positive and the vast majority of pupils who attended said they were definitely considering, if not would definitely be continuing their foreign language learning into year 10.
There is a common misconception that foreign language skills are only needed if you wish to work abroad or want to become a translator or teacher. Our careers event showed pupils that foreign language skills can open many doors later down the line, regardless of what career path they may eventually embark upon.
A huge thank you must go to our visitors for volunteering to come to Ysgol Aberconwy to deliver their workshops and to help promote the value of having foreign language skills. And a special mention must go to our Language Ambassadors without whom the day would not have run so smoothly and been so successful. Merci beaucoup, vielen Dank, muchos gracias, diolch o galon.