Headteacher’s Welcome

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A very warm welcome to our first edition of The Mitre for 2018-2019. I hope you enjoy reading about the many exciting events at school.

I wish to offer my congratulations to the class of 2018 who excelled at GCSE and A level. Yet again, students have performed well above expectations and we are delighted for them (and their families).

The new school year has started very well. It is hard to believe that we are fast approaching half term! Our Year 7 students (and new students in other years) have settled well, with many already helping at key events, such as open evening. We are very grateful to all our families for supporting us with uniform, as always. Our students look incredibly smart and are fine ambassadors for the school. Thank you to the many families who have been able to attend one of our parent information evenings, even if that has meant listening to me comparing the success of global giants Google versus the forgotten retailers, Blockbusters. However, it does reinforce the message that we must continually seek to improve and innovate so our students can be successful in the world of work not yet realised.

At the start of the new academic year we welcomed a number of new staff. Mr Johnson joins us as Head of Faculty: Business, Economics and IT; the mathematics team are joined by Miss Philipps and Miss Highfield; Miss Davies and Miss Harkins join the English department; Miss Shepherd joins the science department; Miss Morgan and Mrs Huball join the languages department and Miss Lewis joins us in history. We also welcome a number of new additions to our support staff. These include Miss Cullen and Miss Knight as cover supervisors; Miss Moreno, Mrs James, Mrs Lewis, Miss Tintinger, Mr Aherne and Mr Jones join the Inclusion team as teaching assistants. Finally, Mrs Tahirkheli joins us as our new receptionist. In the next few weeks we will also be joined by Mr Cox as our new Network Manager, following the departure of Jon Carolan who served the school superbly for the past eight years. I am sure you will share our warm wishes for our new members of staff who will seek to help provide your child gain a high quality experience at school.

We continue to strengthen our relationships with families to help each child achieve their potential. As always, if you have any concerns please do let us know. If a concern relates to classroom learning, in the first instance I would ask you contact individual teachers, through to subject leaders; while pastoral concerns are initially addressed by form tutors and then heads of year. This is designed to help address issues as quickly as possible. For details of staff contact details please visit the staff list section of our website.

Finally, a reminder to keep an eye on our website and twitter feed @bishop_llandaff for information about key events. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to another successful year together.

Marc Belli
Headteacher

Achievements in Aberystwyth/ Campau yn Aberystwyth

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In the summer of 2018, Elliot and Hassan from the Marion Centre both successfully completed a summer of extra study at Aberystwyth Summer University. They were given the opportunity to study a variety of additional subjects, including Film Studies; Philosophy; Marketing for Business; Computer Science; Drama; and Film Practical. Their specific programme of study included three subjects and an assessed personal project, during which, Elliot was praised for gaining some of the highest marks for both Drama and Philosophy.

They were also required to complete core skills modules, which linked to expectations at Higher education, all whilst living and socialising as students for the six weeks. The experience means that both students now have some clear guidance about what life as a student in higher education looks and feels like. Elliot and Hassan celebrated their success alongside their peers in an award ceremony on 24th August.

We are all very proud of their achievements!

Mrs Evans
Marion Centre

Duke of Edinburgh/ Dug Caeredin

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Recently, 6 groups of year 10s (including myself) embarked on our very first Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) expedition for our Bronze award. As many of you may know, the DofE Bronze Expedition consists of 2 days and 1 night of camping and walking in the wild outdoors. One of the major challenges our group faced was the navigation. During our practice, we managed to get lost: Mr Ward was not too happy! Luckily, we were able to use landmarks to work out where we were and navigated our way back on the right track. When we arrived at the campsite, we had to set up our tents. This, for me, was a particularly fun but tough activity as I had never camped before. Unfortunately, it had been raining all day, so it was extremely important that we didn’t let the inside of the tent get wet. Eventually, we all had our tents up and it was time to cook! Our group had something a little out of the box – Chow Mein! The next day we walked for another few hours until we reached the finish. By the end, we were all exhausted and cold. I think I write for everybody when I say that we were immensely glad to finally be home. Although it was an extremely trying weekend, with navigational challenges, rain and freezing temperatures, it was all worth it when I look back. I learned how to camp, navigate and work outside of my comfort zone.

Silver? Challenge Accepted.

Shivam Singhal, Year 10

Where Are They Now?/ Ble maen nhw nawr?

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Following yet another set of excellent A Level results in Summer 2018, our former Year 13 students are off on new adventures at a range of universities all over the country, as shown below. We are always pleased to hear news of our past students and their achievements, so if you are a former student of the school then please get in touch to tell us about your successes!

Aberystwyth University 4, Aston University 1, Bath University 4, Bath Spa University 1, Birmingham University 4, Birmingham City University 2, Brighton University 1, Bristol University 2, Cardiff Metropolitan University 6, Cardiff University 15, Coventry University 1, De Montfort University, Leicester 1, Durham University 1, Essex University 1, Exeter University 8, Goldsmiths, University of London 1, Harper Adams University 1, Imperial College, London 1, Liverpool University 3, London School of Economics 2, Loughborough University 1, Manchester University 1, Manchester Metropolitan University 1, Nottingham University 2, Nottingham Trent University 1, Oxford University 3, Oxford Brookes University 2, Plymouth University 1, Portsmouth University 1, Queen’s University, Belfast 1, Reading University 3, Royal Holloway, University of London 1, Sheffield University 1, Southampton University 3, Strathclyde University 1, Swansea University 7, University of South Wales 8, University of the West of England, Bristol 6, Warwick University 3, Winchester University 1 & York University 1

Visitors from France/ Ymwelwyr o Ffrainc

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In July two students from France, Louis and Tom, visited our school for a few days. 

Tom joined Year 7 and Louis joined Year 10, each of them shadowing students from our school. They each joined in enthusiastically and we all had fun, especially on Sports Day, where they competed with St Teilo house, now the reigning champions, with Louis placing second in the 100m race and fourth in the 200m race. 

It was a great experience for everyone and we all made memories and friendships that we won’t forget. 

We’re grateful to the school and teachers for making this possible, and helping us form lasting connections with new people and different cultures.

Agnes, Year 11 

Roald Dahl Day/ Diwrnod Roald Dahl

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Marion Centre students celebrate Roald Dahl day/ Myfyrwyr Canolfan Marion yn dathlu Diwrnod Roald Dahl

On 13th September, the Marion Centre celebrated all things Roald Dahl, an adopted son of Llandaff, and world famous author. With the help of Year 8 librarians, the Marion Centre library was turned into a Dahlian wonderland. Classes entered into the spirit of Dahl’s wild and wonderful world by drawing favourite characters from his books. There is now a wonderful gallery of characters in the Marion Centre Gallery – Oriel.

Mrs Evans
Marion Centre

PTFA

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Support Your PTFA

Cefnogwch eich CRAFf

Following a very nice sunny summer break, the PTFA met last week for their first planning session of the year.  The school has installed new benches, as a result of funds raised by the PFTA. However, we would still like to install outdoor shelters and further equipment which will really make a difference to students. To achieve this, we hope to raise further funds through our fundraisers throughout the year.

If there are any parents who would like to make a donation or can help with sponsoring the purchase, we would love to hear from you!

Following the annual success of the PTFA Quiz Night, we plan to hold the next one on Friday 1st February 2019, so please save the date. We are also considering plans for a Summer Barn Dance, so keep an eye on Twitter and watch this space for further details. These events can’t succeed without your help, so please come along and support us. 

In addition to these fundraisers, we will continue to have a presence at school events such as open evenings and Bishop’s Got Talent throughout the school year, and don’t forget to sign up for the 100 club if you haven’t done so already.  We will also be holding a number of ‘Doughnut Days’ and will be on site selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts to students – usually during the week leading up to half term. The next one is planned for Thursday 25th October so please remember to send your child into school with £1. 

Our meetings take place at the school on the second Monday of every half term at 6.30pm and new members are always welcome. Even if you can’t commit to the meetings, we would welcome suggestions for fundraisers and always appreciate ‘hands on’ help at events that are staffed by our volunteers.

If you think you can help or want further information, please email bowenjonesj@bishopofllandaff.org .  You can also follow us on twitter @BOLHS_PTFA for the latest news. 

I look forward to seeing you at the next event!

Tina Cottrell
Chair, BOLHS PTFA

Bishop of Llandaff student winds prestigious essay prize/ Disgybl Ysgol Esgob Llandaf yn ennill gwobr draethawd fawreddog

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The Julia Wood Competition is an essay prize awarded by St. Hugh’s College Oxford, which looks for the best history essay written by current Sixth Form students. This year I was fortunate enough to be one of the winners of this award for my essay ‘Re-Peel: An assessment of Sir Robert Peel’s influence on the Receptivity of the Conservative party to Reform’, which was essentially focused on the reforms that took place during Sir Robert Peel’s time in politics in the 19th Century. It’s something that will make a lot more sense if you’ve taken A-Level History, but it’s a really interesting period to read about nevertheless.

This year the judges chose to split the prize fund between four of us, awarding £150 to each (totaling £500), which was nice! Out of the four, I am the only student attending a state school, which feels like such an achievement! I was also invited to an essay prize lunch on the 22nd September, which gave me an opportunity to wine and dine with the dons and students. It was quite the experience, with roasted fig salads and citrus cured salmon!

If you are reading this and are eligible to enter, then I’d say that it’s 100% worth giving it a go – you’ve got nothing to lose. If you’re looking to do a history-based degree at University, it’s a fantastic idea to out on your personal statement, whether or not you win!
If you’d like to read the essay, it’s available here

https://www.st-hughs.ox.ac.uk/prospectivestudents/outreach/julia-wood-site/

Jack, Year 13

Fundraising for Indonesia 2019/ Codi arian at Indonesia 2019

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Nine of our current Year 11, 12 and 13 students will be travelling to Indonesia to take part in a two-week Biological Research expedition with Operation Wallacea. This is our third expedition to this site and we hope to build on our successes with the 2015 and 2017 teams.

Rebecca, Ethan, Morgan, Catrin, Bethan, Will, Eira, Gabby and Agnes will travel with Mr Bassett and Miss Lansdown to Indonesia next July.

 The expedition will be a mixed expedition with university academics and students also participating.  The objective of the visit is to help with a major biodiversity   survey of a rain forest National Park on Buton Island. Whilst based in a forest camp the group will learn some basic jungle survival skills and how to carry out the   various surveys. They will then trek into one of the more remote camps where they will be living in hammocks and help with forest and habitat surveys. The group   will have the chance to join biodiversity teams working on dung beetles, butterflies, moths, amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals and bats. 

 For the second week the group will go to Hoga Island to participate in a marine survey of reef ecology, where they will be diving twice a day and learning how to   identify the corals, invertebrates and fish. 

 The group would welcome any fundraising support, with each student identifying some activities to help raise money. However, anyone can support the group by   using the following link to raise cash for the group as they shop https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/bishopofllandaffindonesia2019/

 It’s a really easy way to raise money for us – you just use the easyfundraising site to shop online with more than 3,300 well known stores such as Amazon; Argos;   John Lewis; ASOS; Booking.com; eBay; Boden; and M&S, and when you make a purchase the retailer sends us a free donation at no extra cost to you.

Please support the students if you can!

Mr Bassett
Science Department

Hitting the Right Notes/ Taro’r nodau cywir

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Hi! I’m Ethan from Year 9. You might know me from the Rugby field but I also have another passion, which is singing. I currently sing for the choir at Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Youth Choir, and Only Boys Aloud. I enjoy performing in various organised events throughout the year.   

On Saturday 5th May 2018, I entered my first singing competition, The South Glamorgan Festival for Young Musicians. My first category was ‘Song from Theatre & Film’ for which I sang ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables. I was very happy to be awarded a Silver medal. The second category was Classical and Traditional Song. The song I chose to sing was one taken from my recent Grade 5 exam pieces, ‘Where’er you Walk’ by Handel, and I was extremely pleased to be awarded the Gold medal and presented with The Gwyneth Hatton Memorial Bowl. I enjoyed the experience very much; it was relaxed, informal and fun, and it was good to receive written feedback from the adjudicators.

Several days after the competition I received an email from the festival organisers, inviting me to perform at their Annual Gala Concert held in Cardiff on Saturday 19th May. I was surprised but felt very honoured to have been asked as only a small number out of the 200 or more competitors are chosen each year.

Ethan, Year 9                     

Our Trip to America/ Ein taith i America

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There aren’t enough words or pictures to describe how incredible this trip was, but here is a brief overview

Day 1 Travel day

The coach picked us up from the front of school at 7.30am ready to embark on our epic journey! We flew for 10 hours from Gatwick to Los Angeles. Luckily there was plenty of food and in-flight entertainment and we were filled with excitement for what was to come! When we arrived in the US we met Martha for the first time. Martha was our coach driver and drove us over 3,000 miles in the space of 11 days! Martha played a huge role in our experience. She was also a complete treasure, always giving us local knowledge and advice and making sure we had the best possible trip. Thank you, Martha!

Day 2 Los Angeles, Hollywood, Universal Studios, Downtown Disney

After an amazing sleep in our first hotel (we stayed in seven hotels in total) we filled up at breakfast and then made our way to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Whilst there, we saw stars for many celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Michael Jackson. We also stopped at the Grumman and Kodak Theatres (where they host the Oscars) and caught a glimpse of the iconic Hollywood sign. We then spent the rest of the day at Universal Studios, which was one of the highlights of the trip. By this time the temperature was around 55 degrees (as it was for most of the tour) so we went straight to the Jurassic World ride to enjoy being soaked by the gigantic log flume! The T-Rex that jumped out at us at the top certainly added to the terror! Every ride we experienced in Universal was phenomenal. The studio tour, which we initially thought was a tour of the sets, included three 4D rides. One was a 4D experience of a dinosaur fight in Jurassic World, another an earthquake in a tube station and the last, a Fast and Furious car chase. They truly were phenomenal! The views of LA from Universal were outstanding. From there we ended the day by having dinner at Downtown Disney. To truly put the cherry on top of our first day in America we saw in the fireworks before making our way back to the hotel.

Day 3 Route 66

Day two was our first of two travel days. We had to accept the journeys if we were going to see all that there was to see on the west coast. Luckily, the coach journeys were all filled with laughter, driving games, cards, music and singing! Firstly, we stopped at the small town of Seligman on Route 66, which was the inspiration for ‘Radiator Springs’ in Pixar’s ‘Cars’. Finally, after entering Arizona, we completed the day with a trip to ‘Cruiser’s’, a classic American diner. Route 66 and Williams, Arizona were exactly what we thought the ‘off the beaten track’ parts of America would be like. The people were so lovely, and always eager to let us know the best places to go and tell us about the local area.

Day 4 Grand Canyon

After being greeted by an American Ranger, we walked up a path and then were met by one of the greatest vistas we have ever seen! As we looked out over the 18-mile-wide, one mile deep and 277-mile-long Canyon, the group were moved – some even shed a few tears! The Grand Canyon is breath-taking. The photos do not do it justice. We walked from Bright Angel to Mather Point with constant views of the canyon on our left. We also had an opportunity to learn about the geology of the Canyon and learned of the volcanic and fluvial influences in its formation, which was fascinating. That night we stayed at a hotel within territory retained by the Navajo Nation (A Native American Tribe). It was so calm and tranquil, the food was incredible, and it felt like an honour to experience their culture first hand.

Day 5 Navajo code breaker, Monument Valley, smooth water rafting

We were unbelievably lucky on the morning of day five. We were surprised with a talk from a Navajo code breaker from World War Two, who told us about the amazing contribution of the Navajo people to the war effort. Peter was one of only seven code breakers left. We were all completely mesmerised by his talk on their war efforts. Please do look up the Navajo code breakers because it is truly fascinating! From there we went to the infamous Monument Valley. This was the epitome of a stereotypical American desert landscape and every western film you have ever viewed will have been filmed there! After lunch we took a 3 hour smooth water rafting trip along the Colorado River. It was beautiful! However, it was pushing 50 degrees again so we all enjoyed a good dip in the river. Little did we know that around the next meander we would be hit by the first monsoon of the season. Despite getting soaked, everyone enjoyed singing in the rain, and we saw waterfalls cascading down the sides of the canyon, which we were told was a rarity!

Day 6 Bryce Canyon, Las Vegas

Today we travelled to Bryce Canyon which was amazing but very different to the Grand Canyon. It was much smaller so it was easier to get our heads around. We walked around the canyon to ‘inspiration point’ which had spectacular views.  From Bryce Canyon we drove to Las Vegas, where spent the evening walking down the strip, eating in Bubba Gump’s and riding the ‘New York New York’ rollercoaster. It was the best rollercoaster of the trip, with amazing views over the crazy Vegas lights and was as high as some of the skyscrapers!

Day 7 Hoover Dam, Las Vegas

On day 7 we visited Hoover Dam, a concrete arch-gravity dam in the black canyon of the Colorado River. We toured the dam, descending more than 50 storeys in an elevator, to the hydroelectric generators that are powered by the water flowing through it. Halfway across the dam is the boundary between Arizona and Nevada so the time zone changes as you walk across the state line. We visited a shopping mall, before spending our second evening in Vegas. We went to Fremont Street which was insane with so many people and lights, as well as the Fountains of Bellagio which were incredible!

Day 8 Barstow, swimming

Today was our second driving day; however, we stopped at Barstow shopping outlet, where we all made the most of the unbelievable discounts on designer clothing. We were provided with VIP discounts on top of the outlet discounts; numerous handbags were purchased! By this point in the trip we were all tired and we arrived at the hotel early, so we had time to relax after a very enjoyable but busy few days. We were all allowed to unwind and enjoy ourselves with a swim before bed, and a much-needed early night!

Day 9 San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Car, Pier 39

San Francisco was a favourite location for most of us; a brilliant place to end the trip. The temperature was cooler, the views were amazing, and it was a lot more relaxed. We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, stopped at the look out point and, of course, took lots of pictures! We had lunch in Union Square before catching the iconic San Francisco cable car from one side of the city to the other, from which we saw much of the city including Lombard Street. In the evening we went to Pier 39 which looked amazing lit up in the dark. Pier 39 had an incredible atmosphere, there were plenty of restaurants, including a Hard Rock Café. The pier is inhabited by seals so we had lots of photos of the adults sleeping whilst their pups played around them!

Day 10 Alcatraz

After leaving our final hotel, we took the boat to Alcatraz Island which gave us great views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Alcatraz was fascinating but unsurprisingly felt very cold and isolated. We had a radio tour of the island and prison, where we learnt about the escape attempts and famous prisoners, such as Al Capone. When we got back to Pier 39 we were able to go shopping to buy any last-minute souvenirs, eat lunch at Hard Rock Café, and finally, see the sea lions for the last time. Unfortunately, we then had to make our way to the airport for our journey home.

Day 11 Home

After what can only be described as a truly once in a lifetime trip, we all enjoyed a good sleep on the ten-hour flight home to Gatwick and then again on the coach back to school. We were all completely wiped out!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who played a part in giving us this incredible experience. We will never forget it!

Rebekah and Emma, Year 12