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A very warm welcome to our first edition of The Mitre for the new school year. I hope you enjoying reading about the many exciting events at school.

I wish to offer my congratulations to the class of 2019 who excelled at GCSE and A level. Yet again, students have performed well above expectations and we are delighted for them (and their families). At GCSE, 87% of students achieved 5 or more A*-C including English and mathematics, while a staggering 48% achieved 5 or more A*-A. Against the governments new measure, the best 9 score, our students achieved (on average) a total of 449 points. This is the equivalent to nine strong B grades. At A level, we shared similar success stories and our performance in Year 12 was the strongest ever seen. This should give them a strong platform for the coming year.

The new school year has started very well and while I am only in Llandaff for two days per week, it is fantastic to see (and hear) the great work by our students and staff. Our Year 7 students (and new students in other years) have settled incredibly 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.

At the start of the new academic year we welcomed a number of new staff. Mr Jones joins us as Head of Mathematics; the science team are joined by Miss Jenkins and Mr Pollock; Miss Browning joins the art department; while Miss Collinson joins us as a teacher of psychology/science. Miss Williams joins the religious studies team; while we welcome Miss John as a cover supervisor. Finally, Miss Whelan, Mrs Morgan, Miss Salter and Miss Topping- Morris join us as Teaching Assistants; and Ms Coles-Riley and Miss Williams join us as Marion Centre Teaching Assistants. 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.

A number of our staff have had babies this year and we offer our congratulations to them and their families. Miss Calcaterra welcomes baby Nora; and Mr Elliott welcomes baby Amelia.

Sadly, at the end of the term we say goodbye to Mike Connor who leaves us as Rugby Development Officer to start a new regional post; and Karen Treasure who leaves us as Teaching Assistant to take up a role within the early year’s sector.

Our strong relationship with families is key to the success of helping each child reach 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 (Executive Headteacher)

‘Bishop’ aims for ‘World Class School’ Award/’Yr Esgob’ yn anelu at Wobr ‘Ysgol Ddosbarth Y Byd’

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Recently The Bishop of Llandaff was nominated for a ‘World Class School’ award – an accolade which can be achieved by only one school in the whole of Wales.

I felt a real sense of privilege when I was chosen to be part of the team that would put a video together to make our case to the judges. How would we come up with a production that showcased the loving, caring, supportive, academic, arty, amazing school that I believe The Bishop of Llandaff is?

Our ‘World Class School Award’ team of students had to think really hard about all the things we love and set us apart from other schools. We thought of our sporting successes, our fantastic musicians, the teachers and the structure they’ve built to support us.

From the minute we were building ideas of what it would look like, I knew that whatever we produced would be great. As a school, we are amazing – so even if we could capture 1 or 2 percent of that in the video I believe we have a chance in the battle for the World Class School Award!

Holly (Year 11)

‘Fantasic, amazing and super’: New students on their first weeks at The Bishop of Llandaff/Anhygoel, bendigedig, gwych: Myfyrwyr newydd ar ol eu hwythnosau cyntaf yn Ysgol Esgob Llandaff

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It’s that time of year again…on Wednesday 4th September we were delighted to welcome 180 fresh, new and sparkling Year 7 students as they began the next part of their educational adventure! Here, we present some reflections from four of these students

On my first ever day of high school, I walked through the doors nervously. A few teachers greeted me in with warm smiles. Next, I was shown to the hall, where many other children sat anxiously – but excitedly. Personally, I really didn’t know what to expect.

After a lovely welcoming assembly, we finally found out our new forms at The Bishop of Llandaff. My form class are lovely, kind and caring and I am glad to be with them.

My first lesson at Bishop was English; I enjoyed it very much and my form tutor, Miss Davies, is full of kindness and wants the best for us all.

After a few adventurous, but wonderful, days of finding my feet at high school I was starting to find my way around. I tried every subject and have figured out my favourite subjects are English, Maths and Music. This is because I find them fascinating and interesting.

I like Bishop because it is a great school with lots of support for each student and is a lovely place where everyone looks out for one another.      

My advice for a Year 6 student looking to come to Bishop next year would be – don’t worry or panic because everyone in your form is going through the same exciting change as you!

Lily (Year 7)

The first day of school was a chaotic blur of nerves, excitement and apprehension. It started off in the hall, where I was sitting next to a couple of my friends as Mr Ashment started to list the forms. The first, second and third forms had been listed and neither mine nor my friends’ names had been called out – yet. Then one of my closest friends’ names was called. She was also with a couple of other friends I knew so I reassured her and told her not to worry. Then it was down to the last two forms; in my head, I was preparing myself to not be with my friends, but then it happened. I was extremely lucky as I was with my best friends.

My first lesson was English, which is probably my favourite subject, as I love creative writing. Surprisingly, I never got lost on the way to any classes. I think this probably is because I had been here multiple times before for my sisters’ parents evenings. I found that I enjoyed most of the lessons and started to learn some new subjects as well as Music and German. 

What I like about Bishop is how many opportunities it gives you. I have already joined multiple clubs and have proved to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.

If I was to give any advice to the future Year 7s it would be to not worry because trust me, it will all be OK. Also, you should be prepared to make new friendships. Overall, the most important piece of advice is that you should be confident in yourself and everything will work out fine.

Lola (Year 7)

On my first day at The Bishop of Llandaff, I was very nervous because I had no clue about anything in school.  Mr Ashment gave a motivational speech that inspired me; he told us that this is a great school and very friendly – he was right! Although I found that I am not in the same form as some of my friends from primary school, I have made more friends in my form – 7CDV.

The lessons at Bishop are challenging but I enjoy them very much. I am growing in confidence and it is only my third week here. My favourite subject is definitely English with my form tutor, Miss Davies, who is the nicest teacher I have met so far in this school.

I like the way the school produces lunch so there is a meal deal line and a hot meal line. During my first week, the Year 7s would go to lunch early. I brought packed lunches and sat outside with my friends. On the first day, you get your fingerprint taken, so you can buy food and your parents electronically top it up.

The lessons are amazing and I learn a lot. As I have mentioned, my favourite lesson is English. The teachers explain everything you have to do clearly and if you couldn’t see or hear the demonstration they will show you again. If you are extremely good you can earn merits – they are like gold – the more merits you achieve the higher your chance of positive rewards. However, you don’t want any sanctions as that could mean you have detention at break or lunch.

The advice I would give to Year 6 would be to prepare for harder work but also to look forward to nice teachers. I would encourage you to go for every opportunity you can get, no matter what it is, just give it a go!

Leonidas (Year 7)

On the first day of school, I was absolutely petrified. The school was a hundred times bigger than my primary; I was sure to get lost and the temptation of my phone would be unbearable. But I knew this was the best school in Wales and I have to keep going. Luckily, I have lots of new and old friends supporting me.

Finding the lessons is a whole new level. A Block, C Block, D Block, English, Maths, Science and Art. It’s so hard, but when you are in the lesson it is amazing. I don’t really have a favourite subject; all the lessons are really interesting.

Bishop, so far, has been fantastic, amazing and super. I think I’ve got used to the ways of Bishop life. And don’t even get me started on the food – it’s delicious! I could be here all day saying how good this school is!

My advice for future Year 7s is to enjoy it, stay out of trouble, don’t mess around and if you do all of this you will go places. Even though the school might look massive when you first start you quickly get used to it and it can eventually fit it into your pocket.

Dominic (Year 7)

Return to Indonesia/ Dychwelyd i Indonesia

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At 2 am on 12th July, nine students from Years 11, 12 and 13 boarded a bus in Sophia Gardens to start the first leg of their 8000 mile journey to Buton Island off South West Sulawesi in Indonesia. One bus ride, four flights, two car journeys, a ferry crossing, a trek and six river crossings on foot later, they arrived in Camp Anoa.

Within nine hours of arriving they were out on surveys and hanging 40 metres up in the rainforest canopy. The team of Agnes, Gabby, Eira, Rebecca, Will, Bethan, Catrin, Morgan and Ethan spent their first week working with an international team of scientists and Indonesian guides to collect vital data to support the fight for conservation of the threatened forest. Regardless of the arduous conditions the group sang and laughed their way through bat netting, bird and butterfly counts, forest surveys and pit fall trapping for small vertebrates.

The second week saw them travel to the tiny Hoga Island (1km2) in the Wakatobi National Park via foot, truck and boats to complete their Padi open water dive training whilst learning about the coral reef ecology and its precarious future. The reefs in the “coral triangle” of Indonesia are the most biodiverse in the world and the group were amazed by their underwater experiences with turtles, sea snakes and a whole lot of fish! A visit to Kaledupa and the Bajau people (sea gypsies) who have been made to settle in a village built over the sea helped the group appreciate the meaning of their experience and the drive for conservation. After a final sunset on the beach, a karaoke hijack and some difficult goodbyes, they were on their 8000 mile journey home.

Thank you to all who supported this incredible group of students! They truly shone at every stage of their adventure. Their positive attitude, their teamwork and camaraderie, their warmth and enthusiasm and of course their commitment to every journey, trek, river crossing, survey, rainstorm, lecture, dive, snorkel and beach clean or plastic survey earned them the respect and gratitude of all who worked with them. I know they have great memories and I know they made only friends everywhere they travelled.

Mr Bassett (Science department)  

And here are some reflections on the trip from a few of the lucky participants…

Our expedition to Indonesia was unlike anything that I had experienced before, from climbing a forty-foot strangler fig in the middle of the rainforest to having a close encounter with a turtle while scuba diving in the Wakatobi region, one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. We also made many friends along the way, including the kids from The American School of Bangkok, and Izzy – an English girl who we ‘adopted’ and is now known as ‘Welsh Izzy.’

The opportunity that we had to travel to the other side of the world and have all these amazing experiences is something that I’ll always be grateful for, and to have friendships and memories that will last a very, very long time.

Finally, thank you to Mr Bassett and Ms Lansdown for their patience, support and encouragement (and to the ever present Mrs Bowen Jones)

Rebecca (Year 13)

We can both agree that the Operation Wallacea trip to Indonesia was the greatest experience of our lives. Bonding over our shared love of bengbengs (Indonesian chocolate bars) and our collectively foul smell, we made friendships that will last a lifetime – not only with each other but also with students from The American School of Bangkok! The whole trip was one long highlight: scaling 100+ feet into the rainforest canopy to see breathtaking views; waking up to a chorus of birdsong; delving into the rainforest on our daily hikes; and not forgetting the fascinating sea creatures we saw on our dives! It was the trip of a lifetime. Terima kasih!

Eira and Agnes (Year 13)

Girls’ Cross country/Rhedeg traws gwlad merched

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Well done to all students who competed in the first Cardiff and Vale cross country race of the season on 18th September at Pencoedtre High School, Barry. Some fantastic efforts by all. Huge congratulations to Hannah (Year 7), who finished 14th, and Sara (Year 13), who finished 16th, in their races against hundreds in their age groups. A special mention also needs to go to the 30 Year 7 students who represented The Bishop of Llandaff in their third week in high school. Da iawn pawb!
Mrs Griffiths (PE department)

Having a Ball…/Yn cael dawns fawreddog…

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It was lovely to receive a letter from Emily and the Soccer Aid Team, following last term’s excellent fund-raising event, which raised a total of £1453.96. The school was in fact one of UNICEF’s Top Ten fund-raising schools, which was a great achievement by all those involved.

As a thank you, UNICEF donated three footballs, which will be put to good use in future charity events.

The photo shows some of the students who were instrumental in the event’s success, receiving the gifts.

Mr Davies (School chaplain)

Year 7 Visit From A Special Olympian/Ymweliad Bl 7 gan Gampwr Gemau Olympaidd Arbennig

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One of our themes for our worship this term has been ‘Self-Belief’ and Year 7 were lucky to have a visiting speaker – a Special Olympian, Stephen Morris, who shared his story with us showing how self-belief has enabled him to overcome challenges to become a world class athlete.

The Special Olympics is a fantastic charity that works to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Stephen first entered the world of distance running in the early stages of his high school life, joining a lunchtime cross country group in Year 7. With support from his PE teacher, as well as other members of local running groups, Stephen soon found himself competing on a national level for Wales, and has since represented GB in the London and Rio Olympic Games, World Championships plus many more worldwide events. He is the current European record holder for the 1500m and recently beaten the European champion in an event overseas.

Not all was plain sailing for Stephen: he had some challenges in his school life with a learning disability and bullying. Again with support from his teachers, friends and family, Stephen was able to combat all of those challenges with self-belief, confidence and resilience to achieve world class status in his field. Stephen is keen not only to compete at the highest level but to spread the word of self-belief and wants to ‘inspire the next generation’ in whatever they set their hearts on achieving. He regularly visits schools and is an active member of the Twitter and Instagram community.

He has certainly inspired our Year 7 students, with a record number signing up for Cross Country. Go Year 7!

Mr Ashment (Head of Lower School)
Mrs Jenkins (Head of Economics, Business and IT)

Where Are They Now?/Ble maen nhw nawr?

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Following yet another set of excellent A Level results in Summer 2019, 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 3
Aston University 1
Bath Spa University 3
Birmingham University 8
Bristol University 2
Cardiff Metropolitan University 5
Cardiff University 11
Coventry University 2
De Montfort University, Leicester 2
Derby University 1
Durham University 3
Edinburgh University 1
Exeter University 7
Falmouth University 1
Gloucester University 1
Greenwich University 1
Hertfordshire University 1
Lancaster University 1
Leeds University 2
Liverpool University 1
Loughborough University 5
Manchester University 3
Nottingham University 4
Oxford University 2
Oxford Brookes University 1
Plymouth University 3
Portsmouth University 3
Reading University 4
Royal Holloway, University of London 1
Southampton University 2
Swansea University 6
Trinity St David’s 1
University of South Wales 5
University of the West of England, Bristol 7
Warwick University 1