Gōng xi fā cái! Wishing you a prosperous New Year!
This was one of the phrases Ysgol Aberconwy pupils heard during the Chinese New Year celebrations from 8th to the 12th February.
Following the success of our Confucius classroom which was launched in 2013, we have been fortunate enough to get an insight into this wonderful occasion from our Hanban teacher Patrick Zheng, who has experienced the joys of the celebrations for many years in his home region of Guizhou.
Many pupils from years 7-12 experienced lessons which were slightly different from the norm due to a timetable which was revised in line with the Chinese New year celebrations, also known as the Spring Festival. Lessons were delivered by Patrick and several other members of staff who all got into the spirit of the celebrations.
Pupils learnt about the origin and traditions of the festival as well as other aspects of Chinese Culture. Activities included making dumplings, Tai Chi, making paper cuttings and lanterns traditionally used as decorations during the festival, Beijing opera masks, calligraphy, Chinese puzzles, and Chinese New year cards. Pupils also discovered facts about the Terracotta army, the story of Nian, the heritage of the dragon and the Chinese zodiac animals. Some year 7 and 8 pupils had a taste of the Mandarin Chinese language and soon discovered that learning the language is made easier by using pinyin (phonetic writing) as well as traditional Chinese characters.
Our assemblies were also based around the celebrations and were delivered by year 8 pupils who shared their knowledge of this special festival with the guidance of Mrs. Helen Samuel.
The GCSE Geography class were taken for the day to Anglesey on an educational visit. Once the minibuses had survived the side winds on the Menai Bridge, we parked up by the sand dunes and got on with the GCSE fieldwork. We were testing a hypothesis based around the impact of tourists on the environment, and were trying to see if the impact decreased with distance from car park.
The Year 11’s spent the first part of the morning looking at the impact of visitors on the environment near the Newborough Warren beach car park. They went on to look at how the environment faired further away from the car park & into the woods. The last stop was along a track into the woods, quite a way away from the car park, closer to Llanddwyn Island.
At each stop the pupils looked at footpath erosion, the impact of vehicles, noise, litter, and tourist facilities.
We returned with good data to write up our findings, and to create graphs to show our results. It was a good day, even if it was a bit windy.
A team of budding engineers from Ysgol Aberconwy recently took part in the first 'Lego League Trash Trek Challenge'. The students built and programmed their robot to complete various challenges, achieving great scores in all three rounds and even took the award for Best Robot Design! After finishing 2nd place overall, the team are hoping to compete again next year and progress to the national finals.
Congratulations to the pupils who have become Accelerated Reading Millionaires! The international scheme was introduced to Ysgol Aberconwy pupils in 2015. We have continued the programme with the current Year 7 & 8 pupils who have grasped the opportunity to become part of this prestigious club!!
So far, both year groups have read a staggering 992 books since September, which totals a fantastic amount of 41,323,865 words!
Below are the names of the Millionaires...
Edward Griffiths, Layla Johnson-Sanchez and Isaac Dean from Year 7. Mei Mei Doble, Katie Hopwood, Mia Davies, Marnie Cockrill & Charlie Fowler from Year 8.
On Friday 22nd & 29th January, Theatr Clwyd's Theatre For Young People visited the school and gave brilliant performances of the production 'Scattered'.
This is the story of when two worlds collide, as two teenage boys, Owen and Yasser, have a chance meeting at an abandoned allotment in the summer holidays. By digging beneath the surface and un-earthing each other’s stories the two boys explore the challenging questions we ask ourselves and struggle to answer. This is an original piece of theatre that provokes conversations and debate and aims to confront stereotypes surrounding asylum seekers and refugees.
Incredible performances were given by Daniel Graham (Owen) & James El-Sharaway (Yasser). Both actors conveyed their sense of desperation in their contrasting situations with consummate ease. Director John Young's interpretation of the captivating script was compelling and extremely effective. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed the show and their attention was held throughout by the wonderful cast.
After the performance, pupils were invited to take part in an engrossing discussion on matters of the play including their ideas on helping refugees, how the play could end & they were encouraged to ask cast & crew about performing and the origins of the play.
Pupils will also decorate some bunting with a message to be displayed in 'The Jungle', (Calais refugee camp) later this year.
Please click on the links below for more information.
Ysgol Aberconwy is proud to announce that it is now in its twelfth year as being recognised by CReSTeD as a school Maintained Sector teaching dyslexic pupils.
Ysgol Aberconwy is only one of three secondary schools in Wales to feature on this register and has recently been inspected by the CReSTeD team, approving it for the next three years. The inspection process is rigorous and takes all areas and aspects of the school into consideration.
Maintained Sector schools support SpLD pupils to access the curriculum; where there is an effective system of identifying SpLD pupils; where there is a withdrawal system for individualised literacy support and there is positive on-going communication between mainstream, SEN staff and the Leadership team.
Mr Gerrard, Head Teacher, Mr Mike Parker, ALNCo, and Mrs Helen Samuel from Aberconwy Base for Children with Dyslexia are delighted to have maintained CReSTeD status and comments made by the inspector may be viewed by clicking here.
To qualify as a Maintained Sector category school, Ysgol Aberconwy is responsible for:
- Implementing a thorough and rigorous process for identifying children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)
- Full support from The Senior Management Team and, in the case of schools, Governors, of the provision for SpLD pupils
- Measurement of the impact of the provision for SpLD pupils (using a system to regularly monitor the provision for pupils and to assess their achievements).
- Awareness by all members of staff of the necessity to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of SpLD pupils across the curriculum.
- Providing resources for learning appropriate to the level of need:
- IT provision relevant and of high quality, including up to date and regularly used programmes for SpLD pupils
- Axcess arrangements for all examinations sought as needed in compliance with Joint Council for Qualifications guidelines.
- Specific structured, cumulative and multi-sensory teaching materials to address literacy with SpLD pupils.
- An annual report for parents on the progress of pupils who exhibit SpLD.
- Provision for individualised lessons on a withdrawal basis, support staff communicate with mainstream teachers regarding the SpLD pupils
- An SpLD specialist teacher in the school and specialist support and advice as needed
- The Teaching Assistants responsible for in-class support having received specific training in SpLD and opportunities for regular Continuous Professional development in supporting SpLD pupils.
Ysgol Aberconwy Pupils Complete Course On Fire Safety
From 11th to 15th January Ysgol Aberconwy pupils from year 10: Sion Gughrill, Liam Crew, Emily Roberts, Shane Jones, Bobby Roberts, Conor Marr, Calem Edwards, Tony Roberts attended the ‘Phoenix Project’ at Llanfairfechan Fire Station.
They were trained in fire service drills including: hose safety, putting out fires, rescue from smoke filled buildings and vehicles, & low visibility search and rescue.
Proud parents and grandparents attended the demonstration on Friday 15th January in front of the Chief Fire Officer and Fire Association representatives, in which all achieved a Fire Service Qualification.
The pupils were commended on their excellent team work, accuracy and efficiency. They showed all the techniques that actual fire fighters are trained to use, including physical support for the lead firefighter, holding the hoses and back-up when moving blindly through burning buildings.
One student may be put forward for the next level of qualification.
On Friday January 15th, we were visited by Mewn Cymeriad (In Character), a drama group who worked with our year 7 and 8 first language Welsh classes and the Welsh A level group to help them practice using their language skills outside the normal classroom environment.
They produced a performance piece called 'Mordaith y Mimosa' - The Voyage of the Mimosa, telling the story of the Welsh people who emigrated to Patagonia in 1865.
This piece was an interactive production in which the students were a part of the script - an example of using their Cymraeg outside the classroom at it's best!!
Tim Penn, Founder of Signature Leather, visited the school on Friday 15th January at the invitation of Miss J. McAllister, head of MFL. He had a positive and important message - that languages and business go hand in hand!
Tim, also a qualified teacher (PGCE) delivered his message through amusing and thought provoking anecdotes using both his background and career in business and sport. As a former jockey Tim was based for one year in Chantilly near Paris.
He underlined that it was his ability to speak French and later German that enabled him to break into new markets, meet clients and establish strong relationships across diverse cultures.
As well as enthusing the pupils, Tim was very keen to show them how getting the gist is what is essential when communicating in a foreign language. His company’s world-wide sales are generated through close collaboration and partnership with partners in Germany, Hong Kong and North America with Japan and China next on the list of target markets.
Year 8&9 (U14) Conwy Netball Group Stage
Game 1: Vs Bryn Elian
Aberconwy started really well, with Mia Rawling scoring the two opening goals of the game with two well taken shots. The game continued in the same manner with Mia then scoring another great team work from Aberconwy. We had a very strong start, and soon again Mia scored with a great long shot. Aberconwy were able to open a great 8 goal cushion with some great transitions from defence to attack to lead 8-0, being superbly led by Jeannie Duncan.
Our strong defence allowed for Hannah Partington to then get onto the score sheet. Our passing game seemed to be a strength creating many opportunities. Bryn Elian get their first score of the game, but Aberconwy continue to pull away with excellent communication between the Aberconwy team and a flourish of goals, we end up victors over a very determined and hardworking Bryn Elian side.
Final Score – YAC 16:1 Bryn Elian
Game 2: Vs Eirias
The game against Eirias was one which was so closely fought throughout. YAC started the brighter with early goals from Mia Rawling and Hannah Partington following good support from the centre Isabelle Williams. Our tight defence allowed for the attack to flourish and with two more goals from Hannah we started to build a lead. Eirias, with a very good side strong in all areas finally sprung to life with a quick flurry of goals to take the lead.
Aberconwy then sprung back into life with two more goals from Mia Rawling to regain the illusive lead following great teamwork from Isabelle and Elin Watson. The lead chopped and changed between YAC and Eirias, with an outstanding performance from Isabelle who constantly found free space to allow the game to flow for the YAC attack. The game was a great contest of two evenly matched teams who cancelled each other out to end in a draw. Both sides progress onto the Conwy Finals Night. Llongyfarchiadau i bawb.
Final Score: YAC 10:10 Eirias
Squad: Elin Watson, Mia Rawling, Isabelle Williams, Hannah Partington, Alice Dyson ©, Jeannie Duncan, Molly Kewley, Charlotte Stevenson, Rebecca Freestone, Callie James
Information for report provided by Jeannie Duncan and Callie James.
The sounds of beat boxing was heard on the corridors of Ysgol Aberconwy in the week before Christmas with the visit of Ed Holden aka Mr Phormula to the school on Friday December 18th. Mr Phormula was working with a group of Year 7 and 8 Welsh pupils in creating a rap about the History of the Welsh Language and their opinions of being bilingual. The pupils performed their rap with Mr Phormula and a CD was made!! Budding rap artists in progress!!! Mrs Sioned Williams, Head of the Welsh Department said “We, as the Welsh Department are extremely proud of what the pupils have achieved with Mr Phormula! We would like to thank Branwen and Rhydian from Urdd Conwy for organising this workshop and to Mr Phormula himself for his hard work today.” This workshop is one of a series of workshops/activities held this year for students studying Welsh.