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YGTCS Autumn Term Newsletter Celebrating Our School Community 2020

A message from our headteacher

Charlotte Leaves - Headteacher

Welcome to our Autumn Term newsletter. As we are all aware, this term has been unlike any other but despite the disruption we have experienced, it has been wonderful to have our pupils back in the classroom. We truly believe that our pupils are better off in school: no matter how good blended learning is, there is no substitute for being in a classroom with an expert teacher. We know that it is there that our pupils will get the best educational experience, and make the best progress. We also believe that the normality and structure of a school day is good for mental health and wellbeing. Of course, it is not quite as normal as any of us would like. Our extra-curricular programme is currently severely limited and we have not been able to hold our big events such as Open Evening, Prize Evening or Xmas Factor. We have had to adjust to new ways of sharing and celebrating the fantastic work of the school.

In September, following an intense day of interviews, we appointed our outstanding Pupil Leadership Team. We will be working closely with the new team throughout the year, as they focus on key areas of development such as transition, health and wellbeing and destination pathways.

Open Evening is always one of the highlights of the Autumn term, with staff and pupils having the opportunity to share all that YGTCS has to offer. This year, we endeavoured to replicate the ‘on-site event’, providing as full an experience as possible, but from the comfort and safety of your own homes.

Our annual Prize Giving ceremony has also gone virtual this term, allowing us to continue to recognise and celebrate the wonderful achievements and successes of both our current and past pupils throughout the last academic year.

We were thrilled to welcome artist Nathan Wyburn in November. Nathan, a contestant on ‘Britain’s got Talent’, is recognised for his NHS mural depicting a key hospital worker in scrubs. He will be working with our Year 8 artists on their collective piece that will recognise 2020 as ‘The Year the World Stood Still’. We anticipate that this work will be showcased in Bedwellty Park over the forthcoming weeks.

At the start of December, our brand new, state of the art catering suite was completed. This fantastic resource will provide superb opportunities for learners to embrace new challenges and further develop their cookery skills.

As we approach the end of term, it is that time when I find myself reflecting on the events of the past year, but my reflections this year are somewhat different as 2020 has been truly extraordinary. Conversation exudes terminology once unknown, and yet now so familiar, as we discuss lockdowns, social distancing, shielding and blending learning. The routines of wiping down desks, hand sanitising, face coverings and year group bubbles are now the norm and since September, we have unfortunately seen cases, in both staff and pupils, resulting in periods of self-isolation throughout the first term. Everyone has been disrupted. My own child has been sent home during this term to self-isolate due to positive cases in their year bubble, and I really do understand it from both sides, as both a parent and a Headteacher. I understand the frustrations, I understand the inconvenience. I understand the upset. I understand the anxiety. None of us want to be in this position: we all wish it was different but unfortunately wishing will not change the reality of education whilst we continue to be gripped by this pandemic.

But there is so much hope as we move towards 2021. The promise of a vaccine allows us all to look ahead to a time when we can welcome our families and friends back into our homes, bursting ‘bubbles’ and making up for so much lost time together. We will never forget 2020, with all its hardships and heartache, but we have, and will continue to grow from this experience and we will, as always, continue ‘Working Together for Success’.

Stay safe and Nadolig Llawen iawn i chi gyd.

Blended learning

mathematics

We welcomed our year 7s to Tredegar in September and started exploring the topic “2020 – the year the world stood still” with both years 7&8.

We developed lessons linked to key topic areas in mathematics and explored, number patterns with the R-rate, data, graphing and averages. We even looked at social distancing using shape and space. We had a chance to look deeper, exploring number with; Fibonacci, Pascal’s triangles, Golden spirals as well as Kaprekar’s constant.

We have also been exploring our times tables and www.ttrockstars.com competing against each other in classes and year groups. With our overall winner being Kida Davies from year 8. Watch this space for more competitions coming in 2021

We have our puzzle of the week in full flow, setting weekly challenges for all pupils, offering PRIDE points for all entries and extra bonuses for first entries. These have been hotly contested between years 7&8, with year 9 coming in a close second. This is the first steps to our UKMT challenges as we move into 2021.

English

‘All About Me’

We have had a lovely time getting to know our new Year 7 in the English department. As part of our scheme of work ‘All About Me,’ we ran a competition across the whole year group to see who could best produce a mood board that artistically represented them as a person – their likes, hobbies and personality. It was a delight to see the wonderful entries. Miss Carson’s Year 9 Literacy Ambassadors in 9/1 helped judge the competition and the winners were:

1st: Nyrie O'Connell Burke (who was awarded a £10 book voucher and chocolate)

2nd: Layla Powell (who won a set of highlighters and chocolate)

3rd: Tayanii Burr (who won chocolate)

Highly commended pupils received five pride points each:

Ava Weight

William Keeble

Heidi Prothero

Ella-Marie Powell

Harrison Waters

Year 7 pupils then used their mood boards to deliver a presentation to their class all about themselves. What an excellent start to English – well done Year 7!

Science & Engineering

We would like to thank pupils & parents/carers for their continued support with Home Learning. We are working closely with Learning Coordinators to help support any technical issues being experienced at home. Pupil work has been exceptional in many areas and we encourage all our learners to continue their tasks to the best of their abilities. We have just a few examples of exemplar work to share with you.

We thank The Royal Academy for the grant money we have been awarded for Tomrrow's Engineers Week 2020 (£250), Putting the 'E' into STEM (£2000), British Science Week 2021 (£200) and for STEM club (£200). We look forward to sharing more images with you as and when we carry out activities. Please follow us on Twitter @Science_TCS

Our Y11 pupils will have the opportunity in the Spring Term to apply for £2000 scholarships thanks to The Panasonic Trust Fund. The scholarships are for Future Engineer Awards, where pupils apply to Coleg Gwent for one of their Engineering qualifications in either Motorsport Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. These are all Level 3, full time qualifications where pupils can either go on to University to do an Engineering degree afterward, or, apply for an apprenticeship. The scheme is run through Mrs Dobbs and any pupil interested, who is targeted at least a 'B' grade in Science and Math (both preferably), please make your interest known ASAP.

pupil work

An 'eggcellent' piece of work from Cyrus Doswell's 'Naked eggs' experiment demonstrating osmosis. Fantastic job Cyrus!

Cyrus Doswell Year 9

Fantastic modelling at home during Blended Learning. Thanks Tilly Jones, Year 7 for being a role model learner!

Tilly Jones Year 7

Kenzie in Year 7 blew us away with his COVID-19 Vaccine label design. What was even better was when OXFORD UNIVERSITY REPLIED!!! Take a look at their reply below.

A superb booklet of information about viruses and vaccine development by Jay Morgan, Year 8. We were so impressed with it that we used it to role model to our Year 7 learners. Well done Jay!

Jay Morgan Year 8

Cymraeg

CRIW CYMRAEG UPDATE ON OUR PROGRESS TOWARDS GWOBR EFYDD CYMRAEG CAMPUS TYMOR YR HYDREF 2020

S’mae! Dros bythefnos ym mis Tachwedd eleni rydyn ni, y Criw Cymraeg, wedi bod ati yn casglu tystiolaeth er mwyn cefnogi ymgais yr ysgol i ennill Gwobr Efydd Cymraeg Campus. Roedd meini prawf gyda i ni i’w dilyn wrth wneud hyn ac roedd angen i ni nodi pa dystiolaeth roedden ni wedi ffeindio i gefnogi 10 pwynt y targed cyntaf, sef ‘Sefydlu Ethos Gymraeg Gweladwy’. Llwyddon ni i ffeindio tystiolaeth i gefnogi pob un o’r deg pwynt, ac felly rydyn ni’n hyderus ein bod ni wedi cyflawni Targed 1 erbyn hyn. Ar ôl gwyliau’r Nadolig byddwn ni’n ffocysi ein hymdrechion ar yr ail darged sef ‘Manteision Dysgu Cymraeg’ a gobeithiwn y byddwn yn cyrraedd gofynion y 10 targed yn eu cyfanrwydd gan ennill y Wobr Efydd erbyn diwedd tymor yr haf 2021.

S’mae! During the course of a fortnight in November this year, we, the Criw Cymraeg, have been collecting evidence to support our aim to achieve the Bronze Award for Cymraeg Campus. We had a success criteria that we had to follow while doing this and we had to record the evidence we found to support the 10 points of the first target area ‘Establishing a Welsh Ethos’. We succeeded in finding evidence to support every one of the 10 points and are therefore confident that we have achieved Target 1 already. After the Christmas holidays we will be focusing on the success criteria for Target 2 ‘The Advantages of Learning Welsh’ and we hope we will succeed in achieving all the requirements of each of the 10 target areas in order to gain the Bronze Award by the end of the summer term 2021.

Art, Design & technology

Year 7 & 8 pupils have been impressing the Artist they have been studying Vic Lee from London. Vic Lee created the Corona Diary 2020 (a visual diary) showing all his illustrations. Illustrator Vic Lee has documented his experience of the coronavirus pandemic in a graphic diary. An Illustrated and typographic journal of experiences and news stories every day, our pupils have produced some outstanding work and their own page of their lockdown experience in the style of Vic Lee’s work. They even impressed the artist so much that he posted on Twitter and Facebook about the Art departments and schools approach to dealing with the pandemic. Well done Year 7 & 8 superb work by you all and we are very proud of you too!

EXPRESSIVE ARTS

'2O20, THE YEAR THE WORLD STOOD STILL'

The Art Faculty gives you Nathan Wyburn!

We are so very proud and extremely fortunate to have welcomed Nathan to the Art department in November. Nathan spent some time with our Year 8 pupils discussing his work of amazing celebrity portraits

Nathan s a Welsh Fine Art graduate who specialises mostly in creating iconic celebrity portraits and ‘Pop culture’ imagery with non-traditional mediums such as Food (Marmite on Toast, Sauces, Sugar, Chocolate, Beans, Pizza, Sweets etc), along with other everyday items

Due to the uniqueness of Nathan's artistic flare and the popularity of his work, he has been featured on several TV shows including Britain's Got Talent 2011 reaching the semi-finals, This Morning, Blue Peter, Sky Portrait Artist of the Year, The Jimmy Fallon Show, and the TODAY show in Australia & Good Morning America.

Famous names that have all received a piece of Nathan’s work include HRH Prince Charles, Dame Shirley Bassey, Mariah Carey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Jacksons and Keifer Sutherland to name a few. With the likes of Christina Aguilera, Marcus Rashford and Sir Tom Jones sending their approval via social media.

Nathan has paid tribute to the NHS with a new piece of artwork made up of hundreds of photographs of health workers. He then brought all the pictures together to create an image of a nurse wearing a protective mask, with the words "thank you".

The art took only about four hours to complete but I hope its impact will last in people’s minds for many months and years ahead.”

Cardiff & Vale Health Charity have produced large banners of this iconic image, which are proudly displayed at the entrances of each hospital throughout Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Our Year 7 & 8 have been inspired and plan to create our very own Tredegar Expressive Arts piece of Art and to work with Nathan, this large work wil be unveiled soon with a private unveiling at Bedwellty House.

All our pupils were excited to have the opportunity to have a Q&A with the artist and a book signing when he visited. We look forward to sharing this work with you very soon Watch this space!

music

This term is usually a very busy one for the music department! Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, the first event of the school calendar, Prize giving,’ was unable to take place. Usually this would be the first opportunity of the year for pupils to showcase their talents and perform in front of an audience. Open evening also had to be done differently this year. Year 7 would typically come together as a choir to welcome parents and year 6 pupils before they embark upon their tour of the school. The event was organised in a virtual manner this year, so that meant the music department had to get creative! Year 7 was tasked with the job of re writing the song lyrics to a well known, upbeat and happy song that was designed to inspire the Year 6 pupils watching our Open Evening event, ‘virtually.’ They did an absolutely fantastic job of describing our school where they conveyed not only their enjoyment of being a pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Tredegar Comprehensive School but also their pride. Da iawn to our budding song writers in Year 7!

The department were delighted to get back to providing our pupils with lessons where they could experience ‘practical music-making.’ Whilst ensuring that all safety regulations were adhered too, pupils were able to develop their practical skills on keyboards and ukuleles this term.

The music department have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the Art department to form the Expressive Arts team. We have thoroughly enjoyed developing a piece work under the theme of ‘2020 - The year the world stood still.’ Pupils have been developing their acting skills particularly this term and have created some Oscar worthy performances! In lessons we have discussed our ‘Lockdown’ experience and the impact that this has had on us. We were inspired by artists such as Max Boyce with his ‘Coronavirus Poem’ to the group ‘Diversity’ who performed a stunning routine on Britain’s Got Talent where they created a routine encompassing all the skills and areas that we explore in Expressive Arts, whilst focusing on the ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement as well as COVID-19. We also explored other mediums that can be used to express ourselves such as song/rap. Pupils went on to write about their own Lockdown experience and consider how this could be made into a piece of theatre, incorporating music, visual images, dance, acting and digital media.

Here is a monologue written by Year 8 pupil Louie Dole, who describes his feelings on '2020- The year the world stood still'

‘2020 – The Year the world stood still’

2020 wasn’t as bad as people thought.

Although everything in the shops was already bought.

Then it came down to essentials that were necessary

The prime minister took away our freedom, now THAT is a necessity.

But then all of a sudden, another disease was born,

That stabbed all we stood for like a thorn.

The people of the black race were victimised and hurt.

As the police of America treated them like dirt.

From protests to vandalism, they soon rose.

To avenge George Floyd and their heroes.

If it wasn’t for them the police would have won.

Whilst we would have been disgusted by racism.

Sadly, now today the death toll rises.

But hopefully soon the jab will be given like prizes.

We stay indoors for now sadly.

But if not for that, we would suffer badly.

After October Half Term

The Music department began the festive period early, with rehearsals for the Christmas concert running through until the end of term. However, again, we had to do things differently this year, so the music department decided to create a ‘virtual’ Christmas Concert. As always, any pupil keen to get involved was able to participate. The musical items and rehearsal process both had to be considered and carried out carefully in order to adhere to all guidelines. Our pupils as always, have shown dedication and commitment to rehearsing and recording independently as well as demonstrating enthusiasm and perseverance. The department and all the pupils involved, hope you enjoy watching our ‘virtual’ Christmas concert!

forest school

The forest school site is now all set up and up and running, something which we are very excited about!

The first forest school session for Year 8 happened on the 9th of October. The pupils really enjoyed going to the site, and getting really muddy. They even managed to 'cook' (mostly burn) marshmallows :)

geography

This term has been a bit different from previous Autumn terms! We would have usually made quite a few outdoor visits by now, but this year we have been limited because of the situation we all know about has happened in 2020! However, this has given the department an opportunity to focus on the future and in particular the continuing preparation for the new Curriculum for Wales. The department has continued its collaboration with subjects in the Humanities Area of Learning and created more themes for pupils currently in Year 7 and 8 and for future pupils who enter these year groups. This includes ‘Inequality’ in Year 8, where pupils will investigate the inequalities within a country in the EU, Italy in this case. Pupils in Year 7 have been introduced to ‘Humanities’ through the basics to Geography by looking at the continents & oceans of the world, the map of Europe and the British Isles.

Following this, pupils in Year 7 will investigate the Humanities theme of ‘Who am I?’, where they will look at physical and human geographical maps of Wales to establish what makes Wales, Wales! What gives us our sense of identity? And, how our landscape has shaped us and continues to shape us?

Pupils in Year 8 will experience the theme of conflict, which was successfully delivered to pupils in Year 8 last year. In geography, this is an opportunity to see how natural resources can lead to conflict, particularly in countries in the Middle East.

Year 7 will finish by looking at the Humanities theme of ‘Natural Disasters’, a classic in Geography is volcanoes & earthquakes and how these events impact on humans around the world!

This Autumn term has also given all pupils in Year 7 and 8 an opportunity to explore the cross curricular theme of ‘2020 – The year the world stood still?’. Pupils in Year 7 and 8 investigated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it may affect future birth rates? Pupils studied how the last major global pandemic (Spanish Flu) had a major impact on birth rates in 1922, this was partly due to the far greater number of younger people who died compared with the current pandemic. However, with the uncertainty and introduction of social distancing created from this pandemic, will this been a deciding factor in reducing the number of babies born in the early part of 2021? We shall wait and see!

Lots to look forward to as we enter a new curriculum landscape over the next academic years in the Humanities area of learning! Hopefully, the Spring term newsletter will feature some of the usual outdoor experiences pupils normally have! Have a safe and enjoyable Christmas!

HISTORY

Year 7

Year 7 have all settled in very well to their first term here in the History Department at Tredegar Comprehensive School. They have all thoroughly enjoyed their first theme this academic year – ‘Coronavirus Vs the Black Death – which is worse?’ Pupils have learnt all about another global pandemic that effected many people’s lives in the Middle Ages, the Black Death, and were able to draw on lots of similarities and differences between this and the current global pandemic we find ourselves in the middle of! We finished the topic feeling very grateful for our wonderful NHS and the fact that medical knowledge and technology has improved greatly which has meant that we have seen a lot less deaths than the 20 million who were killed as a result of the Black Death.

Year 8 & year 9

As part of our whole school theme of ‘2020 the year the world stood still’ pupils in year 8 and 9 have been investigating the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd and consequent Black Lives Matter protests that were held across the world in 2020. Pupils carried out an enquiry to help them understand what has happened to black lives throughout History so that they could understand why these protests were so important, what they were and are still fighting for fighting for and what we can do today to ensure as citizens of the world that we continue to fight for equality for all.

Spring term

Year 7 and Year 8 are now very much looking forward to starting their Humanities topics in their History, Geography and RE lessons, after our Christmas break in preparation for the New Curriculum 2022. The New Curriculum is centred on 4 key purposes. These four purposes have been the starting point for all of our decisions on the content and experiences developed as part of the ‘Humanities’ curriculum to support our children and young people to be: healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society. As well as enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work. The themes we have designed for our Year 7 and 8 pupils will help them become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world as well as healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society. These four purposes have been at the heart of our new ‘Humanities’ curriculum and we are feeling very excited about starting these with our Key Stage pupils next term.

Year 7 pupils will be looking at the theme ‘Who am I?’ where they will learn about their identity and culture through looking at the History of Tredegar – an industrial town that has changed greatly from its origins where there was nothing but a few scattered farms. It was one of the first ‘iron towns’ of its time and offered many opportunities to the migrants that flocked here looking for work.

Our Year 8 theme is ‘Conflict’. Pupils will look at the big question of ‘how has and is conflict shaping the world we live in?’ We will begin our study by looking at a ‘day that shook the world’ – 9/11 and then began looking at the causes, events and consequences of this event.

ks4 history

For our GCSE classes, this term we have focused on:

1. Catch up = recapping and ensuring our pupils all have a developed and thorough knowledge and understanding of the topics covered during our Home Learning period.

2. Content – we have focused on ensuring that the course content needed in the WJEC specification has been covered fully so that we are fully prepared and ready for the GCSE announcements to be made in January. We are thrilled to announce that all of the content needed for Units 1 and 2 have now been taught in detail!

3. Revision, Revision, Revision – The key to success in the History department is pupils being fully prepared for the GCSE Exams they will sit. This is primarily achieved through in depth revision. However, pupils must find and develop their own ‘revision style’. This term we have spent a lot of time trialling different revision strategies and then assessing the impact of these through sitting ‘past paper tests’. Not only does this help pupils develop and find their ‘revision style’ but also prepares them fully for the exam they will ‘sit’. By completing past paper tests, pupils will not only assess the success of the revision tool they used but also help them with time management (one of the biggest hurdles they face in the History paper) and help them fully understand the exam requirements and techniques needed for each question. These tests are also helping us build a bank of evidence of their progress and achievement in History.

Here are some useful revision strategies that pupils have been trialling and have produced this term:

We have been very impressed with pupil’s maturity and responsibility in getting themselves fully equipped and ready for whatever 2021 throws at them in terms of the ‘History assessment’ – we are ready for whatever that may look like! Well done all and keep it up!

Mrs D’Amato & Miss Williams

music & performing arts

2020 has been a tough year for us all and our pupils deserved to end the school year by having a little fun.

Thank you to each and everyone of our performers who participated, you are all wonderful!

A special thanks goes to Asyia Ilahi, Year 10 who spent many hours editing the clips and creatively putting them all together in a wonderful video.

To access the performances, please click the button below.

PSE / HEALTH & wELLBEING

2020 has been the most challenging year for our young learners, living in an unpredictable world during unprecedented times. More than ever it is important for young people to take personal responsibility for keeping a healthy body as well as a healthy mind. Added to this it is imperative to gauge knowledge and understanding of the world around us and the role that young people play within the local community and the wider world. It is for these reasons that as part of a whole school theme, Health and Wellbeing lessons for years 7 and 8 have focused on self-care, coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques. Mindfulness activities and creating a personal wellbeing toolkit has been the focus of these lessons.

Additionally, learners will the importance of healthy relationships in Year 7 and in Year 8 learners study rights, responsibilities and political systems. This has allowed learners to explore their role as citizens and how this impacts on democracy in Wales, the UK and Europe.

action for children

Ysgol Gyfun Tredegar welcomed back ‘Blues Busters’, Lois and Jemima, from Action for Children. To support the emotional health and wellbeing of our younger pupils in the school, Year 7 pupils participated in the ‘Bouncing Back’ programme. This was a two week programme which addressed the impact COVID-19 has had on young people and looked at coping strategies and relaxation techniques. Feedback from pupils was extremely positive and gratefully received their ‘wellbeing first aid kits’.

Some of the feedback from our Year 7 pupils included:

“This experience has boosted my confidence and I had amazing advice”
“Bouncing Back has amazing staff. They’re funny, energetic, hilarious and more importantly they really helped me to understand what and where I need to go for help.”
“This has highlighted the importance of physical and mental wellbeing.”

y7 miss yates

It has been an exciting yet challenging start to the academic year for Year 7 pupils who have made their transition from respective primary schools during such unprecedented times. We are extremely proud of the resilient attitude shown by pupils who have settled in well to their new school and have already accomplished so much.

Pupils of the month

The following pupils have been commended for their work and attitude to learning and have been identified as role models by their Learning Coordinator, Miss Yates. Pupils received certificates and praise postcards were sent out to parents by Mrs Leaves, Head teacher.

September: Rio Jai Duggan, Seren Protheroe, Maddie Edwards, Eli May Bees, Luke Davis, Ianis Constantin

October: Rosie Lang, Mason Rowe, Tilleigh Edwards, Ella-May Chidley, Evan Walsh, Ani Mincheva

November: Emme Gadd, Izzac Thomas, Teagan McCarthy, Tristan Healey, Kenzie Russell, Owen Powell-Phillips

December: Keira Wade, Isabelle Nix, Tynisha Kehely, Rylee Lucas, Ella Price, Lewis Gardiner

A special prize was also awarded to Ianis Constantin for the first pupil to achieve 100 Pride Points by October half term. This was a challenge in itself but Ianis achieved 104 points!!!

YEAR COUNCIL REPS

Pupil voice is highly valued at Ysgol Gyfun Tredegar Comprehensive School. We are proud to announce that Year 7 representatives have been elected to form part of the School Council. Huge congratulations are extended to Rosie Lang and Aneira Powell who were appointed by the Senior Pupil Leadership Team. It was agreed that Rosie and Aneira’s letters of application were outstanding in that both expressed how important this role was as part of whole school improvement. Pob lwc merched!

Y8 mRs cavender-morris

Wow... What a term! I can honestly say that it was a term like I have never experienced in all my years of teaching but I was total overwhelmed by the resilience and determination of every pupil in year 8 to do their best on their learning journey. I would like to thank all the pupils and the parents for their support in these unprecedented times. Most Pupils have engaged amazingly well with the new blended learning approach and we have seen some incredible examples of pupils’ work. I am so proud to be the Year 8 learning coordinator and I am looking forward to sharing with you lots of success and celebrations we had this term.

The Maths department held a Year 8 Times Table Rock stars Competition during Autumn Term. A massive congratulations to Kida Davies, Cordell Morgan and Megan Blake , who were our top 3 scorers of the year group. Fantastic work!

This was a KS3 competition and the overall Winner of the TTRS was our very own year 8 pupil Kida Davies. Well Done Kida!

Huge Congratulations!!! This year’s prize evening to celebrate achievements for the previous academic was a very proud event. Two amazing pupils were awarded the Year 7 Prize in the virtual Prize Giving. Theo Caniff for showing resilience and being hard working and Cerys Bound for achieving academic excellence and being an outstanding role model to others.

During anti Bullying week 2020 pupils were asked to enter a poetry competition. We had a large number of year 8 pupils enter and the standard was extremely high. The year 8 winners chosen by the Anti Bullying ambassadors were Macey Thomas, Emme Campbell, Holly Jones and Layla Roach. Congratulations girls and a massive Well done to everyone that entered!

Year 8 raised a staggering £822.60 for the charity Lepra UK demonstrating themselves as effective ethically informed citizens and we received our certificate this term to display in the school reception area. A fantastic achievement Year 8.

I am thrilled to announce that Archie Hares and Verity Jones have been appointed as Year 8 representatives as part of the school Council for 2020-21. Their applications were selected by our Head Boy and head Girl. Llongyfarchiadau!!

It’s been a challenging period over the year with pupils required to self-isolate. Just a reminder to parents that if your child has to self-isolate or is working from home please encourage them to log on the google classrooms to access their work, parents can monitor the work they are producing via class charts. Please contact the school if you need assistance with log in details.

As we continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in this ever-changing world around us and work through these difficult and unprecedented times please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be support to your child, I am always here to help and support. Wishing you all a Nadolig Llawen and Blwyddyn Newydd dda, Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year 2021.

y9 mrs green

Firstly I would like to thank all the pupils and the parents for their support in these unprecedented times. Most of the pupils have engaged well with the new blended learning approach and some fantastic examples of work have been seen.

Year 9 took their options subjects via google classrooms in June, and after a term of their new options they are progressing well and engaging well the different subject areas.

The Maths department held a Times Table Rock stars Competition during Autumn Term. A massive congratulations to Emilee, Madison and Bonnie, who were our top 3 scorers of the year group. Fantastic work!

To celebrate achievements for the previous academic year 2 pupils were awarded the Year 8 Prize in the virtual Prize Giving. Jun Chen for being hard working and an excellent role model and Tia Wetten for showing resilience and being hard working.

If your child has to self-isolate or is working from home please encourage them to log on the google classrooms to access their work, parents can monitor the work they are producing via class charts. Please get in touch with the school if you need log in details for either.

As we continue to adapt and work through these unprecedented times remember that I am here to help and support you all. Stay safe everyone.

Y10 miss williams

As a history teacher I have no doubt that 2020 will be studied from many years to come. The global pandemic that virtually made the world stand still! For many of us 2020 has been a very challenging year personally, professionally and as a local community. As a year group there has been a lot of upheaval with self- isolation and distance learning. Many pupils have flourished with distance learning and are very mature independent learners. Their efforts and attitude to learning are to be commended. Well done all of you! Others have struggled with his type of learning environment and I sympathise with many of you and the ‘battles’ that you might have had with our lovely teenagers. However, this is the environment we currently find ourselves in and it needs to be tackled head on. Pupils need to take ownership of their learning, with encouragement and support from both home and school. It is an extremely difficult time, but determination and resilience will ensure success.

Looking back at y9

I am immensely proud of all the pupils in my year group and we had many successes throughout year 9 academically and personally.

I had the privilege of awarding 7 pupils awards for their efforts throughout year 9 and I have listed the pupils and awards below. In ‘normal’ circumstances there would have been an evening of celebration and recognition of their success.

Academic Prize

Dylan Edwards

Attitude to Learning

Lois Powell

Outstanding Learner Prizes (School and distance learning)

Asyia Ilahi

Josie Morris

Tegan Rhydderch

Max Godfrey

Jake Powell

y10

As a result of circumstances and the time that Year 10 have missed in school this section is not as full as I would have liked it to be. Despite all the challenges that the year group have faced I am so proud of the ‘can do’ attitude that the majority of pupils have shown. Also how they have engaged with lessons when they have returned to school.

Keep up the positive attitude Year 10!

Sporting achievements

Throughout the year group there have been many sporting successes.

Max Godfrey has represented Blaenau Gwent U15s in rugby and the team were unbeaten all year. Max has also represented Caerphilly School’s in football where he was voted Players Player of the Year. Excellent achievements Max, keep up the hard work!

The following pupils have all represented the District Rugby Team

Charlie Birch, Max Gregory, Lewis Prendergast, Jamie Reynolds and Dylan Edwards.

Charlie Birch was awarded Coaches Player of the year for Blaenau Gwent U15s Rugby. Well done Charlie, excellent recognition for all of your efforts and hard work.

y11 mr howells

Pupils are now nearing the end of their secondary education journey with the focus very much on learning content to ensure best possible outcomes. They must ensure that they grasp every opportunity to be best prepared for summer assessment and the next step of their education / employment journey.

As always, pupils are reminded of the need for organisation, perseverance and resilience throughout this challenging year but are also reminded of the many support networks we have in place to assist.

Senior Pupil Leadership team 2020-2021

Congratulations to Isla Coffey and Joseph Williams on being appointed Head Girl and Head Boy following a rigorous process. Well done also to Ellie Jones and Luke Jones who were appointed as Deputy Head Girl and Boy respectively. A special mention also to those pupils awarded Senior prefect status along with those announced as prefects in making up our extended Senior pupil Leadership Team for 2020/21. All were required to undertake a challenging process that will certainly prepare them for future interviews and college applications. All were excellent candidates and very worthy of their appointments, well done all.

Anti Bullying Ambassadors 2020-2021

Congratulations to 8 of the pupil leadership team who have been appointed as Anti-bullying ambassadors for the school. Our Anti Bulling Ambassadors for 2020/21 are Joseph Williams, Liam Newman-Schofield, Dewi Davies, Millie Wooldridge, Abigail Prescott, Jessica Perkins, Eiry Jones and Emily Paul.

Parental engagement

Thank you to parents/carers for your continued support and engagement throughout our recent mentoring process. Despite being in a slightly different format, it was an extremely worthwhile process where current attainment, future targets and aspirations were discussed in order to best support Year 11 pupils in their final, most important, months at school.

Y11 GCSE ASSESSMENT UPDATE

To see the most up to date information we have regarding the GCSE Assessments 2021, please click the button below.

Useful Documents

There has been a specific section allocated to Year 11 on the School website. Use the ‘Parents & Pupils’ tab to locate the section titled ‘Year 11 – Mr Howells’. Useful documents will continue to be added throughout the year. Click the button below to access our website.

Future pathways

A reminder that all pupils have been invited to join the Year 11 Pastoral Google classroom where there is a variety of information to support the transition to college or a future career. The Classroom Code is yvtlrtb

A bluebird

Congratulations to Ellie Jones who has been awarded a contract as part of the Cardiff City Women’s senior squad. She has already made her debut and is making a good impression.

Literacy

Give Me Pride in 5!

Pupils have recently been introduced to a new whole school Literacy initiative: Pride in 5. Pride in 5 encourages pupils to take pride in everything they write. The initiative aims to support basic written accuracy and highlights the importance of proofreading skills. Pride in 5 posters are displayed in all classrooms to remind pupils of these essential writing skills. Also, there are PRIDE Points galore on offer for demonstrating good literacy skills across all subjects with the introduction of a ‘Pride in 5’ PRIDE Point. #YGTCSpride #Pridein5

National Poetry Day 2020

KS3 classes celebrated National Poetry Day on October 1st. National Poetry Day is an annual celebration that encourages all to share a poem. This year’s theme was ‘Vision’ and pupils were inspired to write poems about their vision for the future. Pupils read the poem ‘Planet for Sale’ by Sue Hardy-Dawson as a springboard to creative writing, generating lively and thought provoking classroom discussion. The poems produced showcased poetic prowess and there were particularly inspiring efforts from 81B, 82C and 9/1. Pupils were awarded National Poetry Day ‘See it Like a Poet’ badges to commemorate the day.

After this celebratory event, many pupils who took part requested to join the Literacy Ambassadors Creative Writing Group, confirming the power of poetry and its role in boosting confidence and fostering creativity.

Literacy Ambassadors Creative Writing Group

This academic year, the Literacy Ambassadors Creative Writing Group has been created to provide enrichment opportunities for pupils with a passion for creative writing. Unfortunately, the ability to meet, share ideas and provide mutual support in the writing process has been hampered by current restrictions. Nevertheless, the ‘virtual’ pen is mightier…

The talented group have been ‘meeting’ through Google Classroom and members are currently working on poems for a National Young Writers competition: ‘Imagine’. Excellent entries have been submitted from Rhiannon Wooldridge (Year7), Luke Davis (Year7), Carys James (Year 8), Isabella D’Amato (Year 8), Anabelle Brown (Year 8), Ella Colwell (Year 8), Gracie Davies (Year 8), Laci Roberts (Year 8) and Jay Morgan (Year 8).

‘Imaginations can be ignited anywhere; it’s the one thing the pandemic cannot restrict!’

Accelerated Reader: The Journey Continues

With Christmas fast approaching and thoughts turning to warm, cosy evenings at home, what could be better than to curl-up with a good read? Accelerated Reader may be taking a slightly different format this academic year than it has previously, but it is still a fantastic way to enjoy reading and celebrate success.

Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 are able to access their AR quizzes from the comfort of their own home, by requesting their personal login details from Mrs Williams-Griffiths and using the dedicated Renaissance Place website.

So therefore, once they complete their chosen title, whether that is their own copy of a book, or a digital version via BorrowBox or Amazon, they can still enjoy taking a book-quiz just as they have done previously when using the programme. PRIDE points are awarded for taking quizzes, with further PRIDE points on offer for higher-level pass-rates and 100% correct results.

At present our current Year 8 pupils are leading the way with Kida Davies, Carys James and Cerys Bound all having independently taken and passed many AR quizzes since their return to school in September this year, via their bespoke login facility.

Year 9 has taken up the challenge too, with Madison Harris undertaking her quizzes via the website and starting out on her AR journey once more.

Year 7 are new to the programme, and letters have been sent to parents and guardians outlining how their child performed during their first STAR test, alongside some guidance on how they too can access the programme and grab their slice of the success! Any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Williams-Griffiths for further details.

Enthusiasm for the programme by the pupils and determination to succeed is the key to AR here at YGTCS and our pupils have already accrued a healthy blended-learning Word Count of 991 238 so far...let's make this unique year of learning an opportunity to raise the bar, set the challenge and go full-throttle into our reading, pupils of KS3!

We look forward to sharing regular updates on pupil's progress as time goes by, and will leave you with this thought; in a year which has been challenging and on occasions difficult to comprehend:

"The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go!" ( Dr Suess)

How true is that! When we were not able to physically travel as much, in a book we could still go anywhere 🙂.

The pupil leadership team 2020/21

Head Boy - Joseph Williams & Head Girl - Isla Coffey
Head Boy & Head Girl with their Deputies, Luke Jenkins & Ellie Jones
The full list Senior Pupil Leadership Team 2020 - Including their areas of responsibilies

Anti-bullying

At Ysgol Gyfun Tredegar Comprehensive School we believe that all pupils have the right to respect and to feel safe. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should know how to deal with such incidents and who to tell.

We have a zero tolerance approach towards any form of bullying. We encourage an open culture where everyone within the school community has responsibility for reporting and recording incidents of bullying. Every reported incident will be taken seriously and appropriate action taken with those involved. Anti-bullying is everyone’s responsibility!

What is bullying?

The ABA (Anti-Bullying Alliance) defines bullying as: “the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological.

It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.” Bullying is not relationship conflict or ‘banter’.

What to do if a pupil is being bullied?

TALK TO SOMEONE!

• There are 8 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors from Year 11 who are Eiry Jones, Jessica Perkins, Joseph Williams, Liam Newman-Schofield, Emily Paul, Dewi Davies, Millie Wooldridge and Abigail Prescott. Pupils have been formally trained by Anti Bullying Alliance.

• Ambassadors can be identified from the anti-bullying noticeboard and the school website. Pupils can communicate with any of the ambassadors who will inform the relevant members of staff. Pupils and parents are reminded to report any incidents to the relevant Learning Coordinator. Incidents will be recorded and investigated as per school policy.

• Designated Safeguard Leads will be involved if matters persist.

• A copy of the Anti-Bullying policy can be found on the school website. Mr P Maddy is the link governor for Anti-Bullying.

• There is a dedicated section on our school website for further information.

Anti-bullying week 2020

Anti-Bullying Week (16th – 20th November) was a tremendous opportunity for our school to raise awareness. This included a poster competition for Year 7 and a poetry competition for Year 8 whereby the theme was ‘United against Bullying’. The competition was judged by our Anti Bullying Ambassadors who concluded the following results:

Year 7 winners of the poster competition were:

1st place – Layla Powell

2nd place – Martha Duggan

3rd place – Seren Protheroe & Summer Mantle

Runners up – Tea Wilkins and Rosie Lang

Year 8 winners of the poetry competition were:

1st place – Macey Thomas

2nd place – Emme Campbell

3rd place – Holly J Jones & Layla Roach

Odd Socks day 2020

Odd Socks Day was also held on Monday 16th November to promote diversity and difference within our school community and the wider world. It was excellent to see so many of our pupils and staff taking part.

Interactive anti-bullying information tool for parents and carers

This is a free interactive anti-bullying information tool for parents and carers. There has been some amazing feedback, with over 85% of parents finding the information they were looking for. It aims to give you information about bullying in an interactive way.

There is also a parents’ guide to anti bullying available on our school website from the Diana Award. Click the button below.

Support

Our school website has dedicated a section to Wellbeing which can be found under the COVI-19 tab and offers a range of resources to support learners and their families. You can click the button below if you would like to be taken straight there.

Work Related Learning

For any pupil who wishes to discuss future pathways with our school careers adviser, Mr Nigel Skym can be contacted by email: nigel.skym@tredegarschool.cymru or nigel.skym@careerswales.gov.wales

Further information can be found on the Careers Wales website. To access, click the button below.,

The new curriculum for wales

Since September, Year 7 and Year 8 pupils have been immersed in a Cross Curricular learning journey in each of their subjects across the school. To see more information about the type of things they have been doing, click the button below.

COMMUNICATION

School website

Click the button below to take you there

school mobile app

Class Charts

If you don't have a parent code, please contact the school. A parent guide can be found by clicking below.

School twitter

TWITTER @YGTredegarCS

Credits:

Created with images by Annie Spratt - "Christmas background - pine, eucalyptus, berries" • Anton Scherbakov - "I was walking in the center of Moscow through the crowded fair and realized that some decorations looks like small beautiful stars in the sky. Don’t you think so? :)" • kaboompics - "calculator scientific numbers" • qimono - "bacteria medical biology" • niekverlaan - "violin violinist music" • maciej326 - "globus earth world" • Unknown - "Free picture: beach, sea, sunset, ocean, water, balance ..." • geralt - "learn student laptop"