Haverfordwest High VC School Autumn Term 2018

A message from our Headteacher, Mrs Jane Harries.

I would like to thank you all for your support and patience during the first term of our new school. We have faced many challenges, some of which still need our attention, but I must say pupils, staff and parents have embraced the new school with enthusiasm. We particularly appreciate your support in helping us to establish the high standards for our school uniform, which has not gone unnoticed within the local community with many people commenting on how smart our pupils look. The school is highly dependent on parental co-operation and I would be grateful for your continued support in this matter.

This has been a long and challenging first term so school will close at 1.15pm on Friday 21st December. Shuttle buses will operate as usual leaving each site at 1.20 to transfer pupils to the bus that will transport them home. Term recommences for pupils on Tuesday 8th January 2019 as we have an INSET day for staff on Monday 7th January.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year - Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.

Building International Links - 2018

This term has seen HHVCS reestablishing some historical links with Haverfordwest's twin town in Oberkirch, Germany. Early in the Autumn we enjoyed hosting part of their visit to Pembrokeshire and we are very much looking forward to forging stronger relationships with our twinning counterparts. As a result, we have now started a German Language Club which is strengthening the skills of our learners.

Herzlich Willkommen!

Japan Exchange Continues at HHVCS

Some very lucky students - and equally lucky teachers - had the opportunity of a lifetime this October to visit Japan. During their trip they had the chance to learn origami skills, see the wonders of Miyajima Island with their host families and visit local schools. Pupils at Yuki East Elementary School also taught them a traditional dance. During their final few days they visited Hiroshima Peace Park, dressed in kimonos and learned a traditional Japanese dance.

December saw the return visit from Mr Yanagida and his fellow Japanese visitors. They have followed a full programme of exciting activities to learn about the culture here in Wales, including meeting the mayor, making welsh cakes, a superb visit to Fenton Primary School as well as trips to Solva, St Davids and the delicious Trwffl chocolate factory. This has been a superb opportunity to learn about new cultures across the world and the team at HHVCS is planning even more events for the years to come.

Building a strong school community and providing support to those around us who need it most has also been a priority for us

Our generous and kindhearted pupils have donated gifts to this year's Patch Charity appeal to help make Christmas that little bit more special for families in Pembrokeshire, they've raised £1812.48 for Children in Need, supported BOBATH at a Year 7 PSRU tournament, bought scrumptious cakes at the Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning, taken part in the Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day and selflessly given time to raising awareness of issues around male mental health by supporting the 'Get the Boys a Lift' campaign. Here is our 1st XV team sporting their charity t-shirts, a campaign we will be continuing to support this year.

Datblygu a Dathlu Cymreictod

Here at HHVCS we have been busy promoting bilingualism in line with the Welsh Government's Cymraeg 2050 strategy. Our choice of form names - BRO UCHELGAIS - literally translates to 'a place of ambition' which is our vision for the school; a place in which all students strive to be the best that they can be. This term has also been filled with some exciting activities to help celebrate the skills of our learners. We have been working closely with the Urdd and Menter Iaith Sir Benfro as we begin our journey towards achieving our Siarter Iaith/Cymraeg Campus Bronze Award.

Diwrnod Shwmae, Su'mae 2018

Students and staff alike shared their favourite Welsh words and created a great display on our main corridor to inspire others to use their bilingualism. The Welsh Department also voted for the most improved students in each form class. These lucky students took part in a Menter Iaith workshops on October 15th and had loads of 'hwyl' practising their Welsh.

Ymweliad Mr Phormula - Beatboxing Workshops

Diolch Mr Phormula am ddod i HHVCS! A big thanks to Welsh champion beatboxer, Mr Phormula, who came to hold surprise beatboxing workshops for our Welsh rewards students in Key Stage 3 and 4 in December. Everybody enjoyed learning all the techniques and listening to the freestyling - especially with one student's challenge of using the longest Welsh word in existence, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch! He celebrated the benefits of being bilingual, even in the rapping world, as it makes him unique - it's even led him to collaborate with The Pharcyde, Jungle Brothers, Boy better Know, Plan B, Professor Green and legend Krs-One! Watch his HHVCS freestyle session here.

Beth sydd nesaf? What's next?

  • Diwrnod Miwsig Cymru - 09/02/19
  • Diwrnod Dydd Gwyl Dewi - 01/03/19
  • Taith yr Urdd i Langrannog/Glanllyn - date to be confirmed

Youth Parliament of Wales

Congratulations to Rhys Lewis of Year 11 who has been elected as one of the first ever Welsh Youth Parliament members. What an achievement!

Rhys represents the Preseli Pembrokeshire area and his key issues are: funding for extracurricular activities, securing more help for MAT students and looking for change in compulsory GCSE subjects. He is looking forward to campaigning on the issues you care about and amplifying your voice on a national scale.

First Minister's Visit

October saw Mr Carwyn Jones, then First Minister, visit our site as part of his 21st Century Schools tour. The current Prendergast campus is the chosen site for our new build and we are excited to see how the plans develop.

Have you logged on yet?

Are you looking for the latest information and updates about our school? Did you want to know all about our new Learning Areas? Have you downloaded our school calendar yet? We have our own website which includes all of the important details about HHVCS. Everything you need is at a click of a button, so make sure you visit soon.

We also have our own Twitter and Facebook page which have daily updates about our achievements and successes.

Awards and Accolades

Accelerated Reader - Raising the Bar

Haverfordwest High VC School has been honoured with a national award for its commitment to improving and encouraging literacy skills. The school was ranked as the top performing secondary school in Wales in the 2018 Renaissance Awards. The awards honour the best performing schools from across the country in terms of their implementation of best practices for reading, and student growth in reading attainment – as measured by Renaissance Star Reading and Renaissance Accelerated Reader (AR).

Pembrokeshire Young Achiever Awards - 2018

Our extremely deserving winners!

Well done to three very deserving winners at this year's Pembrokeshire Young Achievers Awards, 2018. Winner of the Young Inspiration Award was Toby Williams from Year 7. The Young Carer of the Year Award went to Bethan Walters from year 9. And the Young Sports Star of the Year was awarded to Seth Morris from the Sixth Form. A heartfelt congratulations to all winners and nominees.

Pembrokeshire Historical Buildings Trust

The Humanities Department would like to congratulate 14 year 8 pupils for their excellent achievement in the Pembrokeshire Historical Buildings Trust competition. All pupils submitted a project on a local medieval building in the county and made it through to the final. An awards ceremony was attended where all pupils involved received a certificate and cash prize. A special commendation is needed for Harry Nichols who achieved overall second prize in the competition. Congratulations to all pupils involved; the judges commented on the high calibre of entries this year. Well done to Megan Wells, Iestyn Morgan, Gemma Tucker, Thomas David, Aliyah Wright, Jack Nicholas, Alfie Barnett, Cerys Davies, Jamie Bromley, Lea Goffin, Libby Banner, Isabel Grehan and Freya Prout.

Pembrokeshire Sports Awards - 2018

Congratulations also go to our learners, staff and supporting clubs who have helped develop the world of sport not only in HHVCS but in the community too. Mr Duncan Hart from our Behviour Team, was runner up in the Contribution to School Sport category for his coaching role. The former Sir Thomas Picton IZB (Wheelchair Basketball) team won the title of Junior Team of the Year, whilst the amazingly talented Seth Morris won Male Achievement of the Year for his multiple accolades in the world of surfing. The tenacious Libi Phillips was runner up in the Junior Disability Award, and Alfie Wheeler was voted Winner in Student Contribution to School Sport for his part in squash. HHVCS would also like to extend a very special thank you and congratulations to Strength Academy Wales (SAW) – winners of Club of the Year. Their contributions to extra curricular sporting activities in the county have helped a number of our students reach unbelievable heights in the world of weightlifting, including Lotty Whalley and Dan Davies who just returned as gold medal winners at the Welsh Weightlifting Championships.

LNG Collage Competition - 2018

Three talented year 7 students won the LNG collage competition securing a £1000 prize for the Art Department. Their task was to depict an event in history, and our entry was based on HHVCS's association with Japan. They depicted the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and the entry will be published in the 2019 LNG calendar.

Youth Bank Grant Award - 2018

Congratulations to Bethany Walters and Sophie Scott for securing a grant fund of £480 through Youth Bank on behalf of the school's Health and Well-being group. The money will be used to buy equipment and art materials to support the project and continue to engage pupils with the support of our Youth Work Team.

Helping Promote Inclusive Sports

Huge congratulations to one of our inspirational year 8 students, Libi Phillips, who had a great time speaking to 2nd year students studying for their PE degree at the University of Wales, Trinity St David, Carmarthen. She delivered the talk with her typical passion and sense of humour, and shared her experiences of inclusive sport, as well as the impact it has had on her day-to-day experiences and well being.

County Netball Champions - 2018

Congratulations to our Year 10 team on becoming County Netball Champions! They scored and incredible 64 goals and won every match!

Our Under 16s County Netball Champions - well done girls!

Swimming Successes

Congratulations to the following swimmers who qualified and competed in the Swim Wales Winter Championships held in the Swansea National Pool the term. The pupils competed against some of the best swimmers from all over the UK. Sean Barrett took Gold in the 100m breastroke, and Henry White took Silver in the 200m Individual Medley, 50m and 200m backstroke. In addition all swimmers took personal bests in all their strokes: Amy White, Amy Knowles, Sophie Krol, Louisa Twigg, Francesca Robinson, and Megan Thompson. The swimmers train up to 15 hours a week on top of a school day. That takes dedication, commitment and a huge amount of focus. The results speak for themselves.

It was a successful evening in Tenby for the Urdd 2018 Swimming Championships. Out of the 24 pupils who swam, we have 11 swimmers going through to represent the school in the National Finals taking place in Cardiff in January. Congratulations everyone!

Duke of York's Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award

This term we launched the iDEA, a programme that helps our learners develop digital, enterprise and employability skills. This independent study programme consists of a series of online challenges and events that lead to industry recognised awards. In a digital age, these awards help our learners stand out from the crowd. iDEA is about lifelong learning, for anyone who wants to develop their skills and we are pleased to announce that we have already had some successful applicants who have achieved the bronze award. These are: Matthew Phillips- year 13; Anna Long and Ellis McCanch-Jones - year 10; Rebecca Laugharne - year 9; Annika Harries and Katy Roberts - year 8. But there is more, Rebecca, Katy and Annika have also secured the silver award! Excellent work!

1000+ hitting new heights with HHVCS Rugby

The inclusion focus through different forms of the game has be a great success at HHVCS this term. Here are the stats - 441 girls and 495 boys have taken part in a Scheme of Learning for Rugby 7s and 15-a-side rugby during their KS3 lessons. Over 150 girls and boys at KS4 chose to participate during rugby for their weekly games lessons. More numbers ... Our 8 rugby teams - from Year 7 to the Senior Boys have played forty five 15 a-side fixtures with a further 8 being cancelled due to the weather. Impressive!

From the lessons, 202 boys have been attending weekly rugby training during lunchtime and after school. Great dedication right there! The girls' age groups have seen close to 100 attend some extra-curricular taster sessions ahead of the girls focus in the spring and summer terms. The prediction is that HHVCS girls will match the boys' participation for extra-curricular clubs in the next term as interest during lessons has been outstanding.

NEXT TERM…In the spring term the focus shifts to girls' extra-curricular rugby, Yr 9 and and the Senior Boys Cup, Rugby 7s extra-curricular - not forgetting our exciting new partnership with Porfield School and our mixed ability rugby. Looking for a New Year’s resolution? Get involved in rugby!

A big thank you to all the staff who make the above possible and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all our rugby teams at HHVCS.

Upcoming Events

  • 15th January - Year 9 and Year 11 Options Evening
  • 22nd January - Year 9 Choices Event Pembrokeshire College
  • 5th February - Internet Safety Day
  • 11th - 23rd February - Lines of Enquiry: Expressive Arts Exhibition (Milford Haven)
  • 21st February - St David's Day Concert
  • 23rd February - 2nd March - Italy Ski Trip
  • 18th - 19th March - Year 7 Crime of your Life Event
  • 28th March - HHVCS Composer's Platform Concert
  • 11th - 13th April - Expressive Arts Trip to London

6th Form News

Our sixth form students have had a very busy term at HHVCS. Working to support others has been a big focus with our very well supported MacMillan coffee morning, and our ‘Reverse Advent Calendar Appeal’ in December. Plans are underway to support the local ‘Get the Boys a Lift’ charity raising awareness of Mental Health in the new year. In addition to this, we also hope to support the fundraising for Amy and Dan as they head to Africa to provide education aid to children who don’t have the same access to education as we do.

Our SEREN network was launched in early October, offering students extra curricular opportunities to access universities, guest speakers and University style talks to raise aspirations. 13 students benefitted from a short residential at the National SEREN Conference in Newtown, where Kirsty Williams, AM for Education, shared a continuing commitment of new opportunities for sixth form students. Sharing the stage with the minister was our Head Boy, Tom Long, who shared his experiences of the SEREN network and his visit to Yale University last summer. He was one of a very small cohort selected to be part of the Yale Young Global Scholars programme.

Building a Reading Culture

At HHVCS we firmly believe that reading is important because it develops the mind. The mind is a muscle and, like our bodies, it needs its exercise. Understanding the written word is one way the mind grows in its ability. This is why we have invested so much time and effort into the Accelerated Reader programme.

We congratulated one superb Year 7 reader who had read nearly 3,000,000 words by the end of November. Collectively Year 7 have achieved amazing results with Accelerated Reader this term. They have read over 60 million words and taken over 2,200 quizzes. Their progress was recognised in a Christmas assembly with over a hundred pupils receiving a certificate and a Christmas selection box for exceeding their reading targets. The top form were 7A for having the most pupils achieving their reading target, will they be beaten next term? Keep reading over the Christmas break and come back in January ready to strive for your new target!

Year 8 have so far read 24,947,085 words and are well on their way to achieving their targets. We have also held the Scholastic Book Fair which gave our learners time to buy a fantastic range of books at discounted prices. Over £700 pounds was spent gaining us some library rewards to stock up on new and exciting books for 2019.

Extra-Curricular Successes

We recognise that not all successes are related to the levels and grades achieved in the curriculum subject areas.

At HHVCS we are proud to celebrate the achievements of our students in their pursuits outside school. There have been countless successes in the world of weightlifting, music, dance and equestrianism, as well as in scooting, netball, rugby, football and swimming. In addition to this, we have our dedicated Duke of Edinburgh's Award team who have been guiding our bronze and silver learners through their expeditions this term. We also have a number of extracurricular clubs running at the school, including our Eco Club who are starting a Litterless Campaign in 2019.

If you would like to share your child's success with the team, please email schoolnewsletter2018@gmail.com or inbox our Facebook page so that we can celebrate their achievements too.

Music Successes

Valero Secondary Music Festival

Congratulations to all of the pupils who participated in the Valero Secondary Music Festival. It was great to see so many talented pupils taking part. Special congratulations to the Open Class winners:

  • Open Strings - Mia Childs
  • Open Percussion - Sara Llewellyn
  • Open Vocal Ensemble - Janthine Aburido, Eleri Edwards and Leah Bower
  • Instrumental Duo - Rhys Lewis and Rhianna Wade.

Listen to our Open Vocal Ensemble winners here.

National Successes

Congratulations to Sara Llewellyn who has secured a place in the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain and National Youth Brass Band of Wales. What an achievement!

Christmas Concert

Our first Christmas concert at HHVCS was an absolute delight. The audience were treated to a plethora of musical delights from the various school orchestras, the smooth Jazz Band , the beautiful singing of the vocal ensemble and the harmonies of the boys' group - with some of our very talented male members of staff! Sara Llewellyn's melodic marimba piece, which was followed by the percussion group's brilliantly timed beats, was a delight to hear. And the talent didn't stop there! The flautists and Mia Child's cello performances were equally enchanting. Huge congratulations also go to the Expressive Arts Department for managing to coordinate a full school choir which included not only staff, but pupils from year 7 all the way up to the Sixth Form. They ended with a fantastic performance of Take That's Shine which really raised the roof. A special thank you also goes to the peripatetic teachers who have supported the staff at HHVCS in ensuring this evening was a success. And, of course, well done to each and every pupil for the hours of rehearsals and to everybody who came to support on the night.

If you missed out this year, make sure you secure a seat in our next production - keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook and Twitter page to find out what the Summer Term has on offer!

Top scholars are making the grade!

Several pupils from Years 9 & 10 were selected to take part in The Scholars Programme this year. "The Scholars Programme recruits, trains and places doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in schools to deliver programmes of university-style tutorials, which are supplemented by two university trips". Following a day at Bristol University, the groups have enjoyed tutorials in their given subjects looking at environmental sustainability and forensic science.

They are working towards a dissertation that will be awarded university-style accreditation and are being pushed and challenged as independent learners. It is a fantastic project that really gives pupils a taste of what academic life beyond school has to offer, and it's sure to raise their aspirations when they later consider applying to the country's top universities.

And finally ...

The Staff and Governors at Haverfordwest High VC School would like to wish you a very, Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Thank you for all of your support in helping us on our journey to Achieving Excellence Together.


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