Headteacher’s Welcome/Croeso’r Prifathro

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A very warm welcome to our Winter edition of The Mitre for 2017/18. A special thanks to the team of staff and students who work so hard to put our content together. I hope you enjoy reading about events at the school.

During the season of Advent, Christians are challenged to “prepare the way of The Lord”. In an increasingly secular society we are all challenged to think about what Christmas actually means to us today. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas while there are pressures of spending, grabbing a deal (whether on Black Friday or Cyber Monday) or waiting in anticipation for the latest high street Christmas adverts! However, all of these things potentially dilute the true meaning of Christmas. This Christmas season, I hope, regardless of any religious beliefs or backgrounds, each member of our community is able to feel the appreciation of their friends, family and loved ones at a time when we are called to stop and listen to the “Good News”. This has been a wonderful term for the school (albeit it has flown by!) and I hope you enjoy reading about the many examples of “Good News” events and activities in our newsletter.

In the summer, we were delighted to see our students achieve so well in their examinations. At GCSE, student outcomes were exceptional against the reformed qualifications and our current Year 11s have set a wonderful platform for future success, having achieved incredibly well in numerous modular and linear papers. At A level, again our students did themselves, their families and the school proud with record-breaking performance, particularly at A*-A with nearly 40% of grades at the highest levels. I should like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of our students on these remarkable outcomes. Also, I wish to thank our incredible staff, who yet again, have helped secure some of the best results in Wales. They are unstinting in their support of all our students and I am sure you share my thanks to them all.

The new school year has started incredibly well. 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 smart and are fine ambassadors for the school. Whenever we host visitors, they universally comment on how our students are both articulate, friendly and welcoming. This is a credit to the students themselves, and to you, their families.

During the term we said goodbye to a number of staff. Aimee Miles (PE) left to take up a post at St Teilo’s; and Michelle Dawkins (Science), relocated. We wish them well in their new careers. We are thankful to Laura Jones (PE) who stood in for the PE department this half term but leaves us at the end of the month. We welcome Miss Jones (Science Technician) to her new role and hope she has settled in well this term. We also look forward to welcoming back Mrs Sully (PE) after the break, who will return to her role as Head of Year 8. Thank you to Miss Owen for filling in while Mrs Sully was on maternity leave. Miss Cowley (Mathematics); and Ms Dolan (Head of Inclusion) have left us to begin their maternity leave. We wish them well. If you wish to contact the Inclusion team in Ms Dolan’s absence, please contact Mrs Bird, Acting Head of Inclusion.

A key factor in our success as school is the strong relationships we seek to maintain with families. With around 1300 students, it is not possible to get things right all of the time. However, as always, we welcome feedback from families as to how we can improve further. Also, a reminder that if you have a concern which 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)

Where are the now? / Ble maen nhw nawr?

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At the end of the 2016-17 school year we said goodbye to another outstanding cohort of Year 13 students, who are now looking forward to beginning an exciting new phase of their lives in higher education. The destinations of the class of 2017 are shown below. As usual, news of our past students is always very welcome, so if you are a past student of the school then please get in touch to tell us about your successes!

Bath University 1 BIMM(British and Irish Modern Music Institute) 1
Birmingham University 10 Bournemouth University 1
Bristol University 5 Cardiff University 10
Cardiff Metropolitan University 5 East London University 1
Exeter University 2 Imperial College, London 1
Keele University 1 Kent University 1
Leeds University 1 Liverpool University 1
Liverpool John Moores University 1 Liverpool Hope University 1
Manchester University 2 Nottingham University 2
Oxford University 2  Plymouth University 1
 Queen’s University, Belfast 1  Reading University 4
 Royal Holloway University, London 1  Southampton University 2
 University of South Wales 8  St Andrews University 1
Sussex University 1 Swansea University 8
Trinity St David University 1 Warwick University 2
University of the West of England 7

Outstanding exam results in 2017 / Canlyniadau Syfrdanol Arholiadau 2017

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The Bishop of Llandaff High School are again celebrating another set of stunning A level and GCSE results following the summer exams. Nearly 40% of A level grades were at A* or A, a record for the school, while 87% of all outcomes graded at A*-C. The overall pass rate was 99%. Some notable performances included

Aaron, who achieved 4A*s and an A grade. Aaron intends to read medicine at Exeter University.

Gwynfor, who will study earth sciences at Oxford having secured 3A*s and 2As.

Isobel secured 2A*s and 2As and will read Law at Warwick University.

Bethan will study PPE at Birmingham after achieving an A* and 3As.

Claudia secured 2As, a B and a C grade and will study Criminology at Nottingham.

Amy will read English at Birmingham University after achieving 4A grades.

Other exceptional achievements include Rosie, who joined us in the sixth form from St Martin’s, Caerphilly and gained an A* and 3As; Adriel, who achieved 3A*s and an A; and Matthew, who secured an A* and 3Bs. Finally, two of our students have opted to travel further afield this autumn. They are Thomas, who will study divinity at Harvard University following his 2A*s and 2A grades and Ben, who achieved 3A*s and 2As. Ben will eventually read PPE at Princeton. However, prior to commencing his studies in America, he intends to undertake development work in Sierra Leone as part of his gap year, fully funded by the university.

Headteacher, Marc Belli, commented: “I wish to congratulate our students on a remarkable set of examination results. They have been an incredible year group and have contributed so much to our school community. These outcomes are a reflection of their talents and they are fully deserved.”

A week later, there was more cause for celebration as our GCSE students secured an outstanding set of GCSE results with 84% achieving 5 or more A*-C including English Language and mathematics. Under a new set of qualifications and supporting headline measures the school is delighted to report a staggering 41% of students achieved 5 or more A*-A with 15% of the year group achieving A*-A grades across the board. The 37 students who achieved straight A/A* grades were:

Angelo, Nia, Eleri, Rhys, Ethan, Restam, Angela, Janice, Harry, Rebecca, Amy, Timothy, Jonathan, Jerin, Ryan, Olivia, Catrin, Katy, Charlie, Cathy, Rodoshi, Rhys, Beth, Kate, Alice, Samuel, Katie, Daniel, Matthew, Chloe, Emily, Gwennan, Abbie, Rose, Jack, Grace and Miriam.

While other notable performances were seen by

Evie: 1A*, 5A, 5B             Sam: 1A*, 4B, 8C

Caitlin: 3A, 5B, 5C           Sophie: 2A, 5B, 4C

Claurindo: 2A*, 3B, 6C     Joshua: 5B, 2C

Headteacher, Marc Belli, added, “I am incredibly proud of the achievements of all our students today. We find ourselves in a unique period of curriculum change, where it is very difficult to make meaningful comparisons with the performance of previous years. However, against more demanding specifications and revised key performance indicators, our students have demonstrated their wonderful talents with these excellent results.”

Under new management!/Dan reolaeth newydd!

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The first year of BOL Radio was a busy one. From live bands to election debates, there were plenty of things to report on. Now we’re a term into year two. Under new management, there are big plans ahead.

We’ve got a wonderful new team, bigger than any of us were expecting. With a massive 33 members, we’ve become like a close-knit family. The new additions are doing amazingly well, and it’s so great to see them enjoying themselves in such a different environment.

We’ve even added some new shows to the mix. From Raving Reviews on the latest books and films to Celeb Goss with highlights from the entertainment world, our presenters are working their socks off to give our listeners the best content possible.

That’s not to mention the people behind the scenes. Our producers and news team have improved so much already, and they’ve only been doing this since September!

There are so many opportunities for us as a team to broadcast on school events later in the year. But for now, we’re just loving our time in the studio, and appreciating every opportunity we get as it comes.

If you’d like to contact us, you can tweet us @BOLHS_Radio or email us at RadioStation@bishopofllandaff.org.

You can also listen to our content live here: http://www.schoolradio.com/users/bishop-of-llandaff/player or on catch-up here: https://www.mixcloud.com/BOLRadio/

Elena (Year 13)

Two reviews of The Cherry Orchard/Dau adolygiad o The Cherry Orchard

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On the 19th September, we attended the Sherman Theatre to watch a modernised performance of The Cherry Orchard, a comedy originally written by Anton Chekhov. This production was reimagined by Gary Owen and Rachel O’Riordan and set in Pembrokeshire in 1982, during the Thatcher government – quite a change from the original setting of Russia in 1903. Committed socialism was shown through the character Ceri, alcoholism through another and somewhat optimistic hope through other members of the family. Another main theme that was presented, as arguably a side story, was love and the class divide, portrayed through Anya (Morfydd Clark) – an upper class entitled university student – and Ceri (Richard Mylan) – a lower class wannabe music producer. With no set “main character”, enough focus was placed on each character and all characters had a somewhat equal impact on the plot.

The stage layout was naturalistic yet slightly minimalistic at the same time – only certain key aspects of furniture (table, chairs, bookshelves etc.) were used to imitate a well off, traditional country home. This was effective as more audience focus was on the actual actors’ riveting interactions rather than the setting.

My favourite character in the production was Dottie, portrayed by Alexandria Riley. Even though she was belittled by the other characters for being lower class, and as a child essentially, since she had been working at the house from a young age: she still treated Rainey as a mother figure. She was still strong and able to defend herself and have a laugh with the other characters, such as opening the play with pranking Lewis with putting lipstick on him whilst sleeping! Overall, the night was greatly enjoyable with a great cast and show, and even seeing some famous faces in the audience!

Rachel (Year 13)

 Gary Owen’s completely new imaginative interpretation of The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov is an amazing play about the reality of everyday life mixed with gently heart-breaking messages hidden within. Entering the theatre, the atmosphere became quite mysterious and I didn’t know what to expect; there were sounds of the sea being played which really did pique my curiosity and I couldn’t wait for the story to unfold. The set of the entire play did not change, which I was quite amazed by as they made it work really well. The lighting and a couple of props were altered so that the audience could tell the time of day, but that was all.

The characters were all very individual and I felt that they all had their own story to tell. Rainey (Denise Black) had to be, in my opinion, the strongest character. In the beginning I actually didn’t like her that much but as the story went on I grew to know her more and it seemed she just didn’t really know what she wanted until the very end because of her traumatic past. I really liked that each character had their own story, which we learned about as we got deeper and deeper into the play. There were lots of humorous parts in each scene and even though it was a three hour long play, I did not get bored at all. (How could I, because at the end of each scene a 1980s song was blasted, definitely waking me up during any sadder, duller parts). As well as laughing, there was crying too. There were so many emotional scenes that were soon interrupted by a character entrance but it really made me sympathise and feel genuinely sad for the characters.

I would highly recommend anyone (you don’t have to be a drama lover) to see this play, as it is a great interpretation of the original and I would definitely see it again!

Lucy (Year 12)

Success in the Marion Centre/ Llwyddiant Yng Nghanolfan Marion

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Once again, our students from the Marion Centre have been out and about, developing their skills and talents. Here are some details:

Hassan has completed a 12 week programme of work experience with the Ford Motor Company, Bridgend. He has shown great commitment in attending the programme as it required getting up early on a Saturday morning and working for three hours. Congratulations, Hassan – this has been wonderful preparation towards your chosen career pathway of automotive design.

Four students from Dosbarth Penderyn have been attending Cardiff University’s Discovery Project this Autumn Term.  The project fosters links with students in order to support a smooth transition from Sixth Form to Higher Education. Congratulations to Danny, Hassan, Joe and Elliot.

Congratulations to four of our students who achieved their Black belts in Karate after studying for eight years. Jalen, Elliot, David and Joe. 

We are pleased to announce that St David’s Hall’s outreach programme for young composers have again requested Claurindo to attend the composers’ event in the coming Spring Term. Claurindo attended the event successfully during February half term 2017. Well done, Claurindo!

Marion Centre 

 

Senior Maths Challenge 2017/Sialens Mathemateg Hŷn 2017

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The Senior Maths Challenge is a UK-wide competition undertaken by thousands of Year 12 and 13 students each year.  This year’s competition took place on November 7.

Congratulations go to the following who gained certificates for outstanding individual performances:

 

Silver Award

Javid, Year 13

Rhys, Year 12

Kieran, Year 12

James, Year 13

 

Bronze Award

Angelo, Year 12

Rebecca, Year 12

Matthew, Year 12

 

Thanks and well done to all who took part.

If you want to have a go at some of the questions from this years challenge paper have Click Here. Answers at the bottom!

Mrs Bill (Maths Department)

 

School book fair/Ffair llyfrau Yr Ysgol

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Thank you to everyone who supported the school book fair this November.  It was a great success! Due to your support we were able to select a lot of free books for the library, including the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Bad Dad, Alex Rider, Never Say Die and many more.  It was a great experience for us too.  We loved helping out and selling the books to you all.  We’ve made many good new friends because of being involved with the book fair and we are looking forward to helping out again next year.

Joseph (Year 7)

Our Trip to Indonesia/Ein Taith i Indonesia

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There aren’t many things we would travel fifty-two hours for, but Indonesia was worth it. After a bus ride, three planes and an 8 hour car journey on a broken track, the fourteen of us were bundled into the back of two open top trucks in order to travel into the centre of the rainforest. This was when it started to feel real. You’d think we would be prepared for rain in the rainforest but rain in Indonesia is a very different thing. It’s huddling under a shelter with thirteen other people we didn’t know very well, watching the ground liquefy and wondering how we were going to survive ‘Jungle Skills’; it’s bonding with the locals who made bracelets for us to pass the time; and, seeing their amazement at a wine gum. More importantly, it’s living in a completely foreign community but it feeling like home.

In Buton, we lived in Camp Anoa for one week and carried out conservation work with the volunteer scientists, from all over the world. The locals guided us as we walked, ensuring we did not fall. We experienced the ‘mandi’, which is a shower of sorts. It is a wooden room with a bucket of river water and a scoop. If we didn’t feel like spending our time in the mandi, there was a river 10 metres away where we held diving competitions and washed our clothes on a quiet day.

The walks were all tiring but rewarding (even ‘transect death’, as it was affectionately known) and coming home to a meal of rice and eggs became routine. When the rain stopped and the firepit unflooded we were able to sit around in the evening looking at the stars, learning about Indonesian life and drying our clothes on sticks. Leaving Camp Anoa was difficult for many of us. We received a poem and awards as a goodbye which left us feeling emotional on our hike back to civilisation. Halfway through our trip, we already knew it would be a difficult journey home.

Hoga Island was a completely different experience. An open top boat ride allowed us to sleep under more stars than we thought could exist, eventually arriving at the mysterious island in 

the dark with only shadowy figures to lead us off the boat. We walked sleepily to beach huts; our homes for the next week. We were lucky enough to have huts that faced out onto our own private beach where we could make campfires and hang our hammocks from trees to sit in the evening. At night when we walked along the beach we discovered the bioluminescent creatures in the sand that lit up as we walked, leaving ghostly blue footprints behind.

Our goal for the week was to qualify as Open Water Divers. We were taken on two dives a day and nothing could have prepared us for what we saw under the water. Breathing underwater is a feeling like no other, particularly when you’re swimming next to fish you’ve only ever seen in Finding Nemo.

Perhaps one of the most eye-opening experiences of the whole trip (it’s incredibly hard to pick one) was our visit to the tiny fishing village of Sampela on our last day. The children we saw there had next to nothing but were the happiest children we have ever seen. They were fearless; tightrope walking over planks of wood over the water without even batting an eyelid, while we all held hands and prayed we’d make it. After packing up our wetsuits and saying goodbye to the resident gecko in our mandi we were back on the open top boat, the beginning of our journey home.

Laura-Jayne and Celyn (Year 13)

 

Our ‘Foodie’ Trip to France/Ein taith ‘Bwydwyr’ i Ffrainc

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“I love studying Food and Nutrition at GCSE so going on this trip was an amazing opportunity for me and all my foodie friends! We left on Thursday 30th of November but we wouldn’t arrive until the very early hours of the next day. On the bus we met our wonderful driver for the weekend, Carwyn from Schools into Europe. We had to drive from Cardiff to Folkestone where we caught the shuttle, which is a train which cars, buses and coaches can drive onto. As soon as we got to France, we headed straight to the hotel for a well-deserved sleep before the excitement of the next day.

We began Friday by going to a popular little French bakery, where we were taught all about making bread and were shown how to make croissants. However, none of us were very good at making the croissants the right shape or remembering the ingredients in French! Learning about making bread was really interesting. We saw the difference between mass-produced and handmade bread. After taking a group selfie in front of the building, we got lunch at a small “Super Marche”, which is a shopping centre with a supermarket in the middle. It was very hard figuring out our way around with all the signs being in French but we all made it back to the bus just in time to go to our next stop. We went to a lovely shop where we did lots of different activities. We started by making some brioche people, which looked easy but they were actually very tricky to shape. We had to roll a head and cut out arms and legs for our people but it was really hard to get everything in proportion. They tasted amazing, so we didn’t mind. Later we saw how crepes are made and we all got to flip our own! Luckily no one dropped them and we all enjoyed our crepes with some orange juice. We also got to decorate some yule logs with chocolate butter cream icing which was messy but fun. After that we made our way back to the hotel for dinner and a couple of rounds of bilingual bingo. A big thanks to Lewis for translating all the numbers Mademoiselle Penacq was calling in French!

On the Saturday we took a day trip to Belgium! We first visited a chocolate factory where we learnt how different types of chocolate products are made and we even got to decorate our own bars of chocolate. We also got to go to the chocolate shop next door which had the biggest amount of chocolate I have ever seen! Altogether we bought enough chocolate to last a year but it was money well spent. Next, we visited a cheese factory where they showed us how cheese was originally made and we even got to try four different cheeses which all tasted great. Finally, we went to the Lille Christmas Market. It was unbelievably busy but we managed to have a wander around and even buy some presents for friends and family. It was so busy it was a miracle we didn’t lose anybody in the mass of people.

Our final day in France began with a visit to a biscuit shop where they showed us how they made, cut and coated their biscuits. We also got to try and buy some of their delicious biscuits which was a great treat. When we finished, we went to a huge “Super Marche” called “Cité Europe”. It had two floors and four exits so we had a hard time not getting lost! We spent a few hours shopping and having a good look around before we had to get back on the shuttle and drive back to school.

The trip was an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so grateful for the chance to go and I would like to say a big thanks to all the teachers who took us but especially to Mrs Rees who organised it and made sure we all had a fantastic time!”

Georgia (11TP)

Kids lit quiz 2017/Cwis Llên plant 2017

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This term Joe, Henry, Ben, Lexi, Esther, Emma, Emily and Gwilym were selected to be part of the ‘KIDS LIT TEAM’. We have been practising questions prepared by Mrs. Sturcbecher and Mr. Donovan all term in preparation for the quiz on 22nd November, which was the Welsh heat of a national competition. There were two teams for the school, a girls’ team and a boys’ team and as you can imagine, we were both very competitive!

 On the day of the quiz we left school at ten past three in a mini-bus, kindly driven by Mr Joyce, to Howells School in Llandaff.  We were shown up to the massive library where we were able to have another quick practice! We were then taken down to the sports hall where we had to find our tables.  We were up against 27 other teams! There were ten rounds, each with ten questions. The boys’ team won the Harry Potter round (we played our ‘joker’, meaning that points were doubled for that round) and we each won a free book! The girls had their highest score in the Animals round.

We didn’t win overall – that honour went to Monmouth Boys’ School – but both of our teams did really well. Finally, we had a team picture taken. Howells School was massive, with secret corridors and stairs everywhere (just like Hogwarts!) We think the teams were glad they didn’t go to school there as we wouldn’t stand a chance of finding our way around! Overall it was a great experience and we hope that we will be able to make the team next year.

Special thanks to Mrs. Sturcbecher and Mr. Donovan for preparing us and arranging for us to be a part of the competition and to Mr. Joyce for driving the mini bus!

Gwilym and Lexi (Year 7)

It all led up to this!/Gwnaeth e i gyd arwain at hyn!

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The United Kingdom Youth Parliament’s annual sitting in the House of Commons took place on November 11th and I was delighted to represent the young people of Cardiff in parliament that day.

The Commons falls nothing short of the most spectacular place I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking in. Walking through the Members’ Lobby was a humbling reminder of the significance of parliament throughout our country’s history and in our politics and made the whole experience that much more surreal.

After being successful in becoming the regional representative for Wales before the sitting took place, I was tasked with delivering the summation speech after the ‘Curriculum for Life’ debate had taken place. Being a topic I felt very passionate about, I couldn’t help being massively excited (yet all the more nervous) for the chance to voice the concerns of millions of young people directly in front of the government’s dispatch box.

Before the excitement had all died down, BBC Wales had very kindly invited me to contribute to a panel discussion on ‘Wales Live’ about the current state of politics in Wales, alongside the possibilities of lowering vote to 16 and expanding the Welsh Assembly from 60 to 80 elected members. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the varying opinions on the panel and hope my contribution at least raised the profile around lowering the vote to 16 in some viewers’ minds. Having mince pies with Jason Mohammed at the end of the show was also a nice perk.

Altogether it’s been a very exciting term and I have felt very truly honoured with the opportunities I’ve been presented with. The support from my peers and members of staff has been truly overwhelming and I’m very grateful for The Bishop of Llandaff community who I feel have been by my side through all this.

David (Year 13)

 

Gymnastics news/Newyddion Gymnasteg

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The Bishop of Llandaff gymnasts team have been flying high again this term… On 17th November, a Year 7 team took part in the Cardiff and Vale Novice Gymnastics competition, coming second to Glantaf by a mere 0.2 points and qualifying for the Welsh finals. The qualifying team – Hannah, Lexi, Eleanor and Seren – competed in the Welsh Finals on 27th November, with the same routines – but Mrs Griffiths still made us practise non-stop!

At the end of the competition, Mrs Griffiths told us we had done very well but wouldn’t tell us our scores, so we waited in suspense for the final results. There was a bit of confusion when the announcer said “In third place, Bishop…” We were all about to stand up when they said “Hedley”! Second was Caerleon, and then finally, the big moment: “In first place…Bishop of Llandaff!” We were all very excited to stand on the podium and receive our medals. Mrs Griffiths was very proud of us, as we are now Welsh champions! Mrs Griffiths informs us that this is the first time in fifteen years that The Bishop of Llandaff have become Welsh champions in this competition.

 

Lexi (Year 7)

Fencing News/Newyddion Ffensio

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Once again, Bishop of Llandaff students have scored a significant success in the world of fencing, with four students being selected to represent the Wales Region in the annual Cadet Winton Fencing Competition to be held this year at Millfield School in Somerset on the 16th and 17th December 2017. Oliver and James from Year 10 will compete in the Men’s Foil section, Morgan, also from Year 10, in the Men’s Epee, and Amy from Year 9 in the Women’s Sabre.

The Cadet Winton fencing competition is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The event, for fencers aged 18 and under, was founded by the humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton, who organised the rescue of 669 children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War, and his brother Bobby Winton. Sir Nicholas brought the children to Britain, battling bureaucracy at both ends, saving them from almost certain death, and then kept quiet about his exploits for half a century. 

The competition provides a unique opportunity for both boys’ and girls’ teams from regions across England, as well as from Wales, to compete in events across all weapons, including épée, foil and sabre, promoting teamwork and a healthy, competitive spirit.

Mrs L Kloss

Bienvenue Nolwen

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Notre assistante de français cette année s’appelle Nolwen Cincotta. Elle a vingt-deux ans et son anniversaire c’est le vingt-neuf janvier. Elle habite à Dunkerque, dans le nord de la France, mais maintenant elle habite à Roath, Cardiff. En France, elle habite avec ses parents, et ses deux chats qui s’appellent Peanut et Minouche.

Nolwen a les cheveux bruns, longs et raides, et elle a les yeux marron. Elle est timide, amusante et, heureusement pour nous, elle n’est pas méchante !

Dans son temps libre, Nolwen aime sortir avec ses amis, écouter de la musique électronique et aller au cinéma. Elle est venue pour apprendre l’anglais, et elle ne voulait pas aller en Angleterre. 

Agnes (Year 10)

Adventures in Iceland/Anturiaethau yng Ngwlad Yr Iâ

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 Day 1 – The journey: We woke up at 5am – that itself was a challenge! After crawling onto the bus we departed for Heathrow Airport (seeing Nick Clegg in the departure lounge!) We boarded the plane   feeling enthralled about the adventures ahead. Whilst in the air we were treated to the Icelandic luxury feeling of what felt like first class and Ellis had started making her music video (linked at the end!).   After landing in Keflavik Airport we regrouped and made our way outside. The landscape was barren; there was endless flat land, a bitter cold wind and very few people. After the coach ride to the hotel in   Reykjavik, we were greeted by the snowy mountains that lined the horizon. We were awfully confused in the hotel by an eggy smell that emerged from the bathroom – it was in fact the water that   contained small levels of sulphur.

 Day 2 – Golden Circle: We began our first day exploring Iceland on a guided coach tour around Reykjavik. It was such a pretty place – the town was rustic and   full of old traditional Icelandic buildings. We saw the Icelandic parliament, which wasn’t far from the ports where fishing has taken place for hundreds of years. The   coach then drove us to Pingvellir National Park, where we stepped from the Eurasian tectonic plate to the North American tectonic plate in one step. Here, the land   moves three inches apart every year, which has created a huge canyon that can be walked through. The movement of the plates had also created hundreds of     crossovers with waterfalls and rivers, which made the most beautiful sight for our first day. We knew it would only get better.

 The next stop was the Geysers. These were hotspots where boiling water would shoot from the ground, creating a steam cloud which only lasted for a few seconds.   This was caused by convection currents making the hot water rise above the ground. After this, we went to try the Icelandic cuisine – chicken nuggets (which were  £7)!

Next were the Gulfoss waterfalls, about 45 minutes down the road. This was Luke’s favourite stop and by far one of the most amazing things he’d seen. The natural power of the melted glacier water has  created a huge waterfall, with 4,900 cubic metres of water falling per second. We could see a wasteland covered by a huge bulging white glacier, hundreds of miles in the distance.

The next trip was to Kerio Crater, a collapsed volcano crater flooded by a spring. We walked the whole way around it and dipped our hands into the freezing water that lay within the dead volcano. The final trip for the first day was to Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant, and persevering through our exhaustion, we learnt from a lady in sandals about the sulphur in Icelandic water.

 Day 3 – South Coast Day: This was the day we met Dora – what a lovely lady! On the way to the first location Dora told us some interesting facts about the storms that often hit Iceland,   exclaiming “the caravans often turn over and kill the occupants, but that’s life!” After seeing miles of relic cliffs we arrived at our first location – The Skogar Museum. This was like the St Fagan’s of Iceland. There was a collection of old houses, a church, a boat, bones and   even a lamb with two heads… interesting! We spent time exploring the culture of this Icelandic village. We then went to Skogafoss, one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland at 60 metres high and 25 metres wide. Although the best view of the waterfall was from the bottom, we had the  opportunity  to walk up many stairs and see the waterfall from a height – this was exhausting. The power of the water from the bottom was mind blowing and Jess’ legs were like jelly.

Next we visited a glacier. After some confusion in lessons about what a glacier actually is, we got the chance to see a real one – it was absolutely massive. We sat and had lunch on what we thought was a hill – in fact it was an active volcano that would have destroyed the whole of South Iceland if it had erupted – what an exciting place to eat our sandwiches!

Next stop was the ‘beach of death’ also known as Black Sand Beach. After having a huge lecture from the tour guide and teachers about how dangerous the beach was and how many people had recently died there, we were all pretty nervous to go on the beach – Jess was so nervous she had to link arms with Miss Kettlewell. The golden rule for this beach was ‘DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK!’ I don’t think any of us had walked backwards for that long in our whole lives! We quickly took pictures and left the beach. The atmosphere was harrowing due to the sneaker waves that visit the beach frequently.

Next we visited a breathtakingly beautiful waterfall called Seljalandsfoss, which was 65m high. Walking behind it was definitely a highlight of the trip – we got drenched, but it was worth every second.

Day 4 – The Last Day in Iceland: As teenagers, we struggled with yet another early start but this was the day we were all excited for – we were going whale-watching. At first the boat was pretty steady, with a few people feeling a little peaky here and there, but as we got further out to sea the majority of people felt very unwell. We crawled around the boat to take pictures whilst waiting to see the whales. ‘9 o’clock!” the captain shouted, but by the time the whale had surfaced, the brief moment had gone and the majority had missed their photo opportunity. We did eventually get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some whales.

Feeling unsteady from the whale watching trip, we had a 10-minute walk around Reykjavik, before setting off again for the Blue Lagoon – the part everyone was looking forward to most! We were greeted by the intense bright colours of the water. We took our pictures and applied lots of conditioner in our hair, before heading in to the thermal spa. We spent at least four hours there, enjoying the heat, drinks and face masks that were made of silica. We spent so long in the water we left looking like prunes! We then went back to the hotel for our last evening and an early night sleep, in preparation for journey home.

Day 5 – The Journey Home: Waking at 4am, we boarded the coach and set off to the airport. After a lot of stress at the check-in, two hours later the whole group was reunited and had boarded the plane. Luckily for Miss Kettlewell, she had the pleasure of sitting next to Luke! We arrived in London three hours later and had a sing song all the way back to Cardiff.

Unfortunately, we arrived back at school in readiness for our 9am geography revision session the following morning…

We want to say a big thank you to Miss Kettlewell, Miss Evans, Mr Gardiner, Mrs Jones and Miss Smith for an amazing trip which we will remember forever!

Follow this link to see the music video we made documenting our trip, directed by Ellis:

https://youtu.be/um7BHP0hYec

 

Jess and Luke (Year 12)

 

‘Tocynnau Iaith’ – Bathodyn ‘Clebryn Cymraeg’/ The ‘Welsh Chatterbox’ Badge

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As a school we have been using our ‘Tocynnau Iaith’ system since 2011 to reward the incidental use of Welsh around the school.

Since the last Eisteddfod the students have been continuing to earn their tickets and points earned for each and every one of these ‘Tocynnau Iaith’ will go towards the next Eisteddfod. This year we have introduced a further initiative for students which we hope will further incentivise them to use their Welsh and give them individual recognition for their efforts. The new initiative is the ‘Clebryn Cymraeg’/’Welsh Chatterbox’ badge which will be presented to successful students at the end of each half term in their House Assembly. To earn this badge the students will need to have earned 50+ ‘Tocynnau Iaith’/Language Tickets within the half term period.

For the first half of Autumn term 2017-2018 the following students have been successful. Llongyfarchiadau/Congratulations to each and every one of them for their efforts and positivity in speaking Welsh to staff. 

  Enw/Name Ty/House
1 Hannah David
2 Josh John
3 Roxie-Jo Paul
4 Ben Teilo
5 Matthew Teilo
6 Dolcie Teilo
7 Tia Teilo
8 Elizabeth Teilo
9 Megan Teilo
10 Kate Teilo

 

Well done! – Da iawn! to all those students who are earning these tickets. Remember they will count towards next year’s Eisteddfod results – so daliwch ati/keep up the efforts!

Mr Davies (Welsh Department)

 

Festive cheer for Llandaff 50+ group

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14th December saw our annual Christmas lunch where we invite members of Llandaff 50+ into the school for some Christmas fun. Intergenerational work is hugely beneficial for everyone involved. The 50+ group was established to assist people of 50+ to live fulfilled lives; to provide education and learning opportunities; and to provide social and emotional wellbeing opportunities – which are so similar to the aims of our school. So much fun was had by all, jokes told and deep conversations had. We enjoyed  entertainment from our talented musicians, not to mention a veritable feast made by the canteen. We look forward to inviting the group back into school in the new year to complete a computer course alongside our students.

 

 

 

Ms Lloyd (RS Department)

Graduation Programme

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Congratulations to the students who achieved awards in the first set of results for the term.  Over 100 students have now achieved the Novice Award, 26 have achieved the Apprentice and 2 have achieved the Graduate! The next set of awards will be for the full term and will be presented in January.

 

Miss Leighfield (Assistant Head)

School Council news

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This year, the setup of School Council has changed so more people can get involved. We have created a Congress, involving three main steps. It starts with the elected form representatives, who will take student ideas to one of the three committees –  the Environment and Resources group, the Learning group, and the Well-being and Community group.  These groups discuss priorities and work on projects. For example, the Student Learning Group are working on a project called ‘What makes a good Bishop learner?’ and have come up with the attributes of a good, effective learner. Their work will be shared with the whole school in the new term.  The Student Executive, who were also voted into the positions by other students at the beginning of term, decide on the main priorities. example, the learning committee are working on a project called ‘at makes a good bishop learner’ by coming up with attributes of a good, effective learner.

Already this year, we have made some of the changes that students have requested. For example, we have put mirrors in both the A block and E block toilets, added more benches outside and made sure there is a private space in Key Stage to talk to teachers.

Currently, we are discussing with teachers the possibility of adding leggings to the girls’ P.E uniform, including first aid training in PSE lessons and promoting the use of technology in lessons.

We’re also starting to work towards an award called the Rights Respecting Schools Award, a scheme run by UNICEF that focuses on children’s rights and promoting them in school, so we are teaching both students and teachers about the rights that children have.

 

Agnes and Ayo (Year 10)

Our Adventures in Storey Arms

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Our recent stay at the Storey Arms outdoor pursuits centre in the Brecon Beacons was a fantastic experience, where we tried out exciting new activities such as kayaking and gorge walking. On arrival the friendly staff of the centre showed us to our slightly less than luxurious accommodation, where we gratefully left our overloaded bags and we then all gathered in the hall where we were put into groups. Unfortunately, the weather was dreadful so instead of walking up the hill to see how far we could get – the view is known to be spectacular –  we trekked to the nearby waterfalls, which, in their own way, were equally alluring.

After a brief return to the centre for some much-needed food, we got into our Tellytubby waterproofs and we were off again, this time walking along a long road called the Drover’s Trail where we were told about some of the fascinating history of the area. An exhausting but very fulfilling first day!

The next day we were up bright and early and then, clad once more in our waterproofs, back in our groups for a visit to the nearby lake and a spot of kayaking! If you think kayaking looks easy, think again, because many of our boats capsized and I managed to lose one of my lost my wellies.  A big thanks to Mr Ward and to Chris, the member of staff looking after our group.

Visits to Storey Arms are always action-packed and that evening we were challenged to follow the string trail. In case you were wondering, this consisted of us holding onto a string which guided our way through the pitch black forest – scary! A special thanks to Mr Ward for helping us get up the waterfall.

It was the next day gorge walking and orienteering on the next day and on the final day we did rock climbing and team building. At the end of the visit we were exhausted but we had, hopefully, acquired some life-long memories of our experiences. A big thanks to all the staff from Storey Arms and school for supporting our learning experiences. I can thoroughly recommend it!

 

Heidi (Year 9)

 

Urdd Swimming Gala/Gala Nofio’r Urdd

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On Friday 8th December The Bishop of Llandaff High School took part in the Urdd Swimming Gala, an event for Years 7, 8 , 9, 10 and above, at Cogan Leisure Centre. Our team included Hannah, who took part in the 100m freestyle and butterfly, Molly, who competed in the 100m freestyle and breaststroke, and Georgia, who participated in the 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley. We competed against many other schools, successfully completing all the races and doing very well. The Year 7 girls then took part in the relays, with Hannah doing the butterfly, Emily doing the backstroke, Georgia doing the breaststroke and Molly doing the freestyle, all as part of the individual medley relay. We came second in this event to Glantaf, as we did in the freestyle relay. However, all their team were Cardiff swimmers and not everyone from The Bishop of Llandaff was a Cardiff swimmer! We all did really well and left with good memories. We are now looking forward to competing in the Urdd National Swimming Finals in January.

Hannah and Molly (Year 7)

Student of the Month/Disgybl y Mis

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We continue to be impressed by the efforts and achievements of so many of our students across the school again this term. Every month, we recognize a student in every year group who has impressed in their work ethic, attainment and/or contribution to school life. It is always a very difficult task for the Heads of Year! To this end, even more students will be invited to attend an end of year celebration, as well as taking part in the KS3 Golden Ticket/KS4 termly reward voucher system. This year, we have recognized Olivia, Cait, Daniel, Kate, Phoebe, Morgan, Edward, Harri, Savannah, Liam, Mia, Louise, Amy, Emma, Amira, Millie, Katy-Lou, Danny, Leo, Sam and Maddie. We look forward to recognizing more students next term.

 

Mrs Bowen Jones (Assistant Head)

Thinking Outside the Box?/Meddwl y tu allan i’r bocs

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On 13th December the eminent mathematician Rob Eastaway visited the school to talk to a group of mathematically-minded students from Years 11, 12 and 13 on ‘Intuition and the Counter-intuitive’. While this may seem a little esoteric to those of us who are not of such a mathematical frame of mind, the talk itself was anything but. Rob challenged his audience to solve some mathematical problems which sometimes crop up in everyday life and whose answers are not what you would expect. For instance, if there are 23 people in a room, what are the chances of two of them sharing a birthday…?

If you’re intrigued by this question, head over to Rob’s website www.robeastaway.com or get hold of one of his many books.

Mr Bonnett (Editor, The Mitre)

Carol singing at Rookwood Hospital/Canu carolau yn Ysbyty ‘Rookwood’

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Last week we went to visit the patients in Rookwood Hospital to sing them carols while they enjoyed their Christmas lunch. Thesmall brass band and a few singers made their way to Rookwood Hospital on Wednesday 13th December, where we sang all the classics such as ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘We Three Kings’ and ‘Deck the Halls.’ The brass players played the carols whilst we all sang along. It was a very warming experience for us and the residents. The staff were very thankful for our enthusiasm 

and they enjoyed it too. The patients all joined in singing with us and they had a great time! The old folks loved our visit; they all felt very festive and excited for Christmas.

 

Amy (Year 9)

Bishop of Llandaff students visit Oxford/Myfyrwyr Ysgol Esgob Llandaf yn ymweld a Rhydychen

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After three hours, we were finally there, at our destination: Oxford University. We made our way to Jesus College, where we filed into a lecture hall. A lecturer answered all of our questions about applying to Oxford, and informed us that you really don’t need to be rich to be accepted into the University, just passionate, dedicated, hardworking, and have an enquiring mind.

After that, we had a tour of the grounds, and took in the wonder of the institution. We even caught a glimpse of the famed ‘ivory towers’! After lunch in a very impressive dining hall, we sat for a while under a massive portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, which was worth several million pounds. Once we were done with food, we had the highlights of the ‘Oxford Experience™’. We once again sat in the lecture hall, where we had an impromptu lesson on the politics of language and communication. It gave us a real taste of what it would be like to be an Oxford student.

When the day came to a close, we were all sad to be leaving. Most of us cannot wait to see Oxford University again, hopefully as future students!

Ellie (Year 10)

Joy to the World/Llawenydd i’r byd

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Friday 8th December 2017 saw one of the school’s annual traditions – the Christmas carol service in the stunning setting of Llandaff Cathedral. Here we present two reflections on the evening – the first from a Year 7 student experiencing the service for the first time, the second from a Year 13 student who has attended every service since 2011 and for whom this year’s was her last as a student of The Bishop of Llandaff.

I felt a mixture of emotions at my first carol service as a Bishop of Llandaff student: excitement, panic and worry. It was all worth it, however, as it turned out to be a thrilling experience to play in an orchestra and sing along with the junior choir. We had been to the rehearsals, learned all the songs and now we felt prepared for the big night.

Our rehearsals were so much fun because we played lots of songs that we know and love and the teachers were really supportive. As we wanted to make it a fun concert for the audience, we included some popular carols such as ‘Hark the Herald’ but we also performed a variety of music such as hymns and folk music. Senior choir even sang an African song called ‘Adiemus’. Lots of people were involved in the concert and they all said they

 really enjoyed it. I even sang a solo in the concert! I was really nervous but many people supported me to get through it. As it turned out, I really enjoyed it and lots of my friends and family came to watch.

I think everyone did really well in the concert and I hope to continue performing for people. Thank you to everyone who has helped me with the concert, especially Mr Ashment and Mrs Lloyd. I have made a lot of new friends during my time rehearsing for the concert.

Henry (Year 7)

Friday 8th December was my last ever Christmas Carol Service at The Bishop of Llandaff. I’ve done the carol service every year since I started in Year 7, when I was the only flute in the orchestra and could barely sing. Now, I’m first flute, leading a bunch of wonderful people who I’ve become incredibly close to, and an alto in senior choir, singing out the harmony at the top of my lungs. In Year 7 the thought of having to do a Bible reading in front of everyone would have made me instantly throw up, but not only have I now done that, I did it in Welsh.

It’s been the highlight of my year, every year, for the past seven years. But even though it’s all over now, I had such an amazing night. I got to spend hours with all of my favourite people in a beautiful cathedral, performing carols with descants that I’ve now memorised by heart, listening to my best friends sing hymns and perform monologues, never feeling more proud of them than I did in that moment.

I’m going to miss it more than I can ever put into words. I am so thankful for every moment I’ve had with these wonderful, talented people. I want to say a huge thank you to Mrs Lloyd, Mr Ashment, Mr Smith, Mr Reid and Revd Williams for putting this night together. I will forever be grateful.

Elena  (Year 13)

Our forthcoming production/Ein cynhyrchiad i ddod

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Yes, it’s nearly time for that wonderful occasion in The Bishop of Llandaff’s rich offering of cultural treats – the school musical! Auditions for ‘Grease’ took place in September and amidst much excitement at the huge amount of

 talent on display, the cast list was issued and the callbacks began. Now, rehearsals are in full swing with songs, dancing and lines being eagerly learned. The excitement is mounting and when we return in January we will be flat out. Make sure you get your tickets when they are released in the New Year.

 

Performance dates are as follows:

Monday 12th February 2018 (7 pm)

Tuesday 13th February 2018 (7 pm)

Thursday 15th February 2018 (7 pm)

With a matinee on the Monday for local primary school students.

 

Mrs Lloyd (Head of Performing Arts)

Celebrating Christmas

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On the last day of term students from all year groups gathered together in the hall for the traditional carol service. Students – many of them in festive jumpers to raise money for the Amber Project – enthusiastically joined in with the time-honoured rendition of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, no doubt inspired by Rev Williams and Mrs Lloyd demonstrating the ‘actions’. Year 12 student Claurindo impressed everyone with his self-composed song ‘Jolly 

Christmas’, everyone was up on their feet again to join in with ‘Gloria in Excelsis’, and the big band played a very entertaining medley of Christmas tunes. But there were quieter, more reflective moments too, notably Rachel’s heartfelt and expertly delivered monologue from the point of view of Mary. All in all, it was a great way to end a long and tiring term, and Rev Williams and Mrs Lloyd in particular deserve our thanks for the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into putting on the event.

 

 

 

Mr Bonnett

English Department