Gilbert & Sullivan HMS Pinafore, St John's College Hall - Wed 9 July & Thurs 10 July 2014.
Cathedral Choir Trip to Ghent and Bruges - Fri 18th - Sun 20th July 2014.
* Please also see the Early Years & Infants, Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form College webpages for more detail on the following news updates.
RHS Wheelbarrow Competition - April 2014.
The Nursery children were thrilled to take part in this year's 10th Anniversary Cardiff RHS Flower Show Schools Wheelbarrow Competition. Our entry was an Alice in Wonderland themed wheelbarrow. The children had a very messy time making the modroc teacup and saucer and even wore their wellies to avoid getting their feet wet!
We were very proud of the end product and were even more proud when our wheelbarrow was featured onITV Daybreak on 11th April.
I would like to congratulate all the Nursery children for all their hard work and thank R7 for their help with this project. It was a great team effort.
R15 Tenner Project Winners - April 2014.
Congratulations to the R15 Tenner Project winning team, 'H2 Woah'. The pupils made an impressive profit of over £350 from selling healthy water based drinks, from fresh organic local produce. The most popular drink was the 'Very Berry'. Congratulations to all R15's for their enthusiasm, energy and efforts to make the Tenner Project such a success. We look forward to running the same enterprise project next year with the current R14's.
Mrs Wood & Mrs Stone.
R15 History Trip to The American Museum, Bath - Fri 4 April 2014.
R15 pupils travelled to Bath for an informative day at The American Museum. Upon arrival we entered an historically accurate tavern at the time of the American Civil War. There we discussed how the history of slavery played an important part in the deplorable Jim Crow Laws in place at the beginning of the period we are studying in class.
After we had watched a fascinating film on the Civil Rights Movement and had a group discussion, we walked through the stunning grounds of the main manor house to the converted stable block. Here the students used their research and analysis skills on a wide variety of source material, including government papers, witness testimony, newspapers, audio recordings and photographs pertaining to major civil rights events in the 20th century.
A most enjoyable visit drew to a close with lunch in the picnic area. All agreed that the trip greatly enhanced the pupils' understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. Thanks to Mrs Hart and Mr Taylor who accompanied us on the day. R15 deserve to be complimented on their exemplary behaviour and attentive approach throughout the day.
Four talented young mathematicians, Daniel S, Richard D-S, Emma D-S and Aliza K (pictured here with their certificates and gifts), represented the school at the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Challenge held at Whitchurch High School on Thursday 3rd April. They thoroughly enjoyed the day and did very well in coming 4th out of 23 schools.
Young Enterprise Regional Final (L6th), Cardiff City Hall - Tues 1 April 2014.
L6th Trip to The National Particle Physics Master Class, Swansea University - Thurs 27 March 2014.
Sixth Form Oxford / Cambridge Conference, Liberty Stadium, Swansea- Thurs 27 March 2014.
Sport Relief Fundraising - Wed 26 March 2014.
Multi-sports activities will be held in the School Hall during first break and lunchtime, with a 50p donation for each activity. Raffle tickets will also be on sale from Monday 24 March at 20p each. Thank you for your support of this worthy charitable cause.
South West Regional Final of Rotary Youth Speaks (R16), Gloucester - Sat 22 March 2014.
Our R16 Public Speaking team was up early on Saturday to travel to Maisemore Village Hall in Gloucestershire for the South West Regional Final of Rotary Youth Speaks. During our visit we managed to find time to explore the centre of Gloucester, including its magnificent Gothic Cathedral.
Ryan M (Chairman), Dominie P (Speaker) and Bethan T (Proposer of the Vote of Thanks) put in a very fine performance, achieving second place overall behind an older team of sixth formers from Concord College in Birmingham. Our pupils can be very proud to have represented Wales and to have progressed through so many rounds to reach this prestigious stage in the competition.
Mr J. Neville.
Spring Concert, St John's College Hall - Friday 21 March, 7pm.
Tonight's performance was a resounding success, with an incredibly high standard of music making. Many congratulations to all the performers involved in tonight's concert which ended in a standing ovation!
R15 Enterprise - Fri 21 March 2014.
Congratulations to all R15 pupils who have launched their businesses and have started selling goods as part of their Enterprise project. Our budding entrepreneurs have been working extremely hard to make their businesses a success, with a start-up fund of just £10.00.
Congratulations to all involved.
Junior Book Club News - March 2014.
Junior Book Club members gave R J Palacio’s Wonder a standing ovation. Quiz winners, team Olivia (St David’s), also deserve a round of applause.
The theme of the next Junior Book Club is The Great War, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1. Book Club members can choose between two award winning, poignant and moving texts:
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo (aimed at older readers)
War Game by Michael Foreman (suitable for all, R8-R11)
Michael Morpurgo’s deceptively simple style makes Private Peaceful accessible to most but please be aware that it has been described as “an unflinching examination of the horrors of war” and therefore is not for the faint hearted. It is, however, the recipient of many awards, including the Carnegie Award, the Blue Peter and the 2004 Red House Children’s Book Award, the only award judged purely by children.
Michael Foreman’s beautifully illustrated, War Game, winner of the Smarties Grand Prize, has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the work of a major children’s author at his peak” and by The Guardian as “An unforgettable experience”.
The next Junior Book Club will be held in Circle Time on Wednesday 30th April. All those who have read a text, had it read to them or have listened to the audio book are welcome to attend.
L6th Students Attend Oxford University Law Day- Wed 19 March 2014.
Success in East Glamorgan Minor Chess League - March 2014.
The Chess Club has been competing in the East Glamorgan Minor Chess League since September with Aron Calist as the present captain. Between the schools entered in the league, St John's College came second, ahead of Howell's School in third. The pupils are determined to build on this valuable experience and aim to finish at the top next year! Particular congratulations to our participants, Aron Calist (captain), Ethan Chung, Daniel Siromani, Richard Discombe-Short, Callum McGarvey-Jones, Sanay Goyal, Ed Xiao and Nithin Michael.
R14 History Trip to the Somme- Wed 12-Fri 14 March 2014.
On 12th-14th March 2014, 27 pupils from R14, accompanied by Mr Taylor, Mr Cooper and Mrs Evans, visited the battlefields of the First World War in Belgium and France. This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the conflict and this made the trip all the more poignant.
The pupils visited numerous sites over the 3 days we were away including the town of Ypres, Wellington Quarry near Arras, Newfoundland Park, the Thiepval Memorial and the Welsh dragon memorial at Mametz Wood. Photographed here are Abi T, Zoe H and Fflur P, preparing to descend into Welington Quarry near Arras.
I would like to thank our excellent guide, Mr Tom Morgan from National Schools Travel, for his inspiring and insightful help during the trip and to all the R14 pupils. They were a true credit to the school.
'In a tightly fought contest in the Urdd theatre of the Wales Millennium Centre, St John's College came away triumphant, not only winning the Senior competition, but also being judged runners-up in the Intermediates.
The Senior team of Ryan Martin (chairman), Dominie Patel (speaker), and Bethan Thomas (Vote of Thanks), spoke on the subject "Freedom of Speech is an absolute inviolable right". Dominie Patel also won the prize for Best Speaker. The runners-up in the seniors were Gwynfor Dafydd, Luke Fletcher, and Nia Oatley of Ysgol Llanhari who spoke on "Should Britain be involved in International Affairs?
The Intermediate competition was won by King Henry VIII School Abergavenny whose subject was "This house believes that we need to put a little more love in our hearts for Arts in our schools". Cara Newsome was chairman, Emily James speaker, and Sumayah Jilani gave the Vote of Thanks. Emily also won the prize for Best Speaker. Runners-up were Joseph Shaw, Daniel Siromani, and Marco Aldridge of St John's College with the subject "Nuclear Power is the future of energy".'
Our teams can be very proud indeed of their successes against a total of 18 teams from schools across Wales in such a prestigious national competition.
Mr J. Neville & Miss Staples.
Happy St David's Day from the Nursery!
Success for Mostyn at the Middle School Eisteddfod
Llwyddiant i Mostyn yn Eisteddfod yr Ysgol Ganol - Wed 5 March 2014.
On Wednesday 5 March, our Middle School pupils gathered together in the school hall for our annual Middle School Eisteddfod. The pupils eagerly await this time of year when they can celebrate and embrace Welsh culture; both pupils and teachers have been working hard for months in preparation of our much loved afternoon of music, literary performances, celebration and friendly competition. Pupils competed in numerous competitions, ranging from stage competitions including Welsh and English recitation and solo instrumental competitions to homework competitions across the subject range. Homework competitions included designing a poster on a Welsh scientist and a French poster about their family, to name only a couple. It was a close competition, but this year, the winning shield moves from the house of St Davids, our winners for the past 2 years to our new winners; Mostyn!
Winners include Emily H in R13C for her captivating recitation of a Welsh poem ‘Pitsa’ and Harry and Holly J (both in R12E) for their equally impressive Art pieces. Harry created a mesmerising 2 foot dragon from papier maché, while Holly decided to bake a dragon-shaped cake for the competition!
The main award of the ceremony goes to Morgan R in R12L as he was crowned Bard of the Eisteddfod. Morgan was accompanied by Mrs Emms and Miss McManus to his chair on the stage, where he was draped in our national Welsh flag and presented with his certificate and prize before the formal ceremony closed with Morgan walking around his audience, as they congratulated and praised him for his exceptional achievement!
Llongyfarchiadau Morgan! Congratulations Morgan!
Cathedral Choir broadcast of Sunday Worship live on BBC Radio 4 to an estimated audience of 1.8 million- Sun 2 March 2014.
Nursery News- February 2014.
The Nursery children were pleased to go and visit Mr Petals and their allotment to check on their plants after all the bad weather. Mr Petals was in fine form and the children were thrilled to see all their plants and vegetables starting to grow.
Our new topic this term is 'Fabulous Food' and we are learning about healthy eating. We have been trying lots of new food, making creative work, learning about The Hungry Caterpillar, and we really enjoyed Breakfast Week where the children tried a new healthy breakfast item each day. During cooking we have made lots of healthy food items and have especially enjoyed making our own bread.
We have also had some new dressing up outfits. We think we look very smart in our new pilot outfit and have travelled to many different countries!
Welsh Department A Level Trip - Thurs 20 February 2014.
On Thursday 20th February, the pupils studying the Welsh A level course visited the Sherman Theatre along with their teachers to watch Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru's (Welsh language branch of the Welsh National Theatre) production of Blodeuwedd.
The story Blodeuwedd comes from the fourth branch of the Mabinogi. Saunders Lewis created a classic verse play with his unique interpretation of the old story. Completing the work soon after the Second World War, Lewis reminds us that nature is a dangerous weapon in the hands of man.
This interpretation of the play is actually set during the Second World War although Saunders Lewis wrote it for Medieval dress. The language used was very difficult for learners to understand. It is very poetic and similar in style to Shakespeare's work. But the students showed real interest and asked appropriate questions. It was a really good example of Welsh Theatre with many well-known Welsh actors and personalities attending.
We were very proud of the pupils.
Da iawn ferched.
Junior Swimming Gala - Thurs 20 February 2014.
The Junior pupils enjoyed a fantastic morning of swimming competitions on Thursday. Every pupil competed with
enthusiasm and team spirit which was rewarded with a paricipation medal. Thank you to all parents for their
support at the poolside and also all Junior and PE staff for their help during the event.
1st Mostyn - 258 points
2nd De La Salle - 214 points
3rd Bute - 206 points
4th St David's - 180 points
Well done to all the children involved!
Welsh Secondary School Catering Team of the Year award - Thurs 20 February 2014.
Many congratultions to the Cardiff Council Catering Team at St John's College who have been awarded the Welsh Secondary School Catering Team of the Year award, at the Vale Hotel on Thursday 20 February. Karen and Gillian (catering staff) attended the awards ceremony and had an enjoyable evening.
We congratulate the Catering Team on their success.
Sixth Form Boys' Football Team beat Howell's 3-1 - Wed 19 February 2014.
Sixth Form Historians Travel to Poland as part of the Lessons from Auschwitz Project - Wed 19 February 2014.
'After we had arrived in Poland, we travelled to the town of Oswiecim, where we walked around the nearby Jewish cemetery (The town of Oswiecim was renamed 'Auschwitz' by the Nazis when they invaded Poland).
We first visited Auschwitz I, the camp which was mainly used to house non-Jewish prisoners, before travelling to Auschwitz Birkenau, the death camp used to exterminate the Jews or 'gypsy' prisoners. The sheer scale of this four hundred acre camp had the largest effect on me during the whole experience.
Our day drew to a close at the Jewish war memorial in Birkenau where we listened to a memorial service led by a rabbi. It was highly emotional, especially as it was extremely dark by this point in the day. After the service we lit candles and placed them on the train tracks in commemoration of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who suffered and died on these tracks.'
Matthew Barbato (L6th).
R14 RE Buddhist Festival - Tues 18 February 2014.
On our final General RE lesson for this term, R14 culminated all their research and hard work on Buddhism by celebrating a variety of festivals celebrated by the followers of Buddha.
Pupils worked in groups to research such festivals as Esala Perahera, Songkran and Wesak. They found out about each festival's symbolism and reason for celebration, developing a presentation to deliver back to the group. Everyone should be commended on their enthusiasm and efforts today. The standard of work and manner in which pupils undertook this task was outstanding.
After each group presented their festival, they had a small party game to entertain the crowds relating to their particular celebration. These included a shadow puppet show, meditation station, rain dance, ice cube melting race and a blindfolded 'place the tooth in the mouth' to symbolise the festival of Buddha's tooth!
All pupils were rewarded with Thai crackers, chilli dip and chocolate cake washed down with a variety of tropical juices to complete the festival vibe! Well done, R14.
Mrs Crowley-Davies & Mr Milton.
Double Win at Rotary Youth Speaks Cardiff Area Final- Mon 17 February 2014.
St John's College public speaking teams are celebrating a double victory tonight following the Cardiff Area Final hosted by Cardiff Golf Club.
Many congratulations to Daniel S, Marco A and Joe S (R13) of the Intermediate Team and to Dominie P, Ryan M and Bethan T (R16) of the Senior Team who saw off strong competition from schools across Cardiff, including finalists, Cardiff High School and Whitchurch High School, to take first place in both competitions. Dominie and Bethan were honoured with the further accolades of 'Best Speaker' and 'Best Proposer of the Vote of Thanks'.
Our Intermediate and Senior Public Speaking Teams will now represent Cardiff at the prestigious Rotary Youth Speaks District Final on 7 March at the Wales Millenium Centre against teams from across South and West Wales - a very impressive achievement.
Miss Staples and Mr J. Neville.
Sixth Form Team Compete in Cambridge Union Debating South-West Regional Final - Fri 14 February 2014.
On Friday evening, sixth form debaters - Amreet and Will - travelled to Marling School in Stroud for the South-West Regional Final of the Cambridge Union Schools Debating Competition. As expected, the standard of debating was very high indeed. Our students held their own against two teams from Marling School, including a very strong team of U6th students who were the eventual winners of the competition. Will and Amreet can be very proud of their performances in such challenging debates on the legitimacy of force-feeding in prisons and limiting membership of animal welfare charities to vegetarians only. I have no doubt that the young gentlemen will find this experience invaluable for next year's competitions.
Mr J. Neville.
R12 History Trip to Cardiff Castle - Thurs 13 February 2014.
R12 Historians enjoyed a fascinating trip to Cardiff Castle on Thursday, which brought to life many of the aspects of Norman life that we have studied in class. Our visit began with an informative guided tour of the Georgian and Victorian parts of the castle, including architect William Burges's masterpiece, the 'Arab Room', with its Moorish gilded ceiling. The boys and girls were particularly enamoured with the imposing Banqueting Hall and the secluded Roof Garden.
Our next destination of our trip was the Steward's Room, which was lined with an array of helmets, body armour and weapons from the Romans through to the Civil War. Here the children learnt about developments in weaponry and armour across the centuries, with an interactive display of the mechanics of a model trebuchet which fired across the room. Especially enjoyable was the chance for the children to try on the chain mail and various helmets at the end of the demonstration. The boys and girls should be commended on their impeccable behaviour throughout the trip, and we are particularly grateful to Cardiff Castle for a thoroughly enjoyable visit.
Mr J. Neville.
Intermediate Mathematical Challenge Results - February 2014.
Silver Certificate - Queena L
Bronze Certificate - Matthew C, Andrea L, David T, Michael L, Selina A
Silver Certificate – David G (Qualifier for next round on 20th March), Milo S
Bronze Certificate – Dan J, Aliza K, Natsuki H, Robert F
Silver Certificate – Richard D-S
Regrettably, the Challenge coincided with the Sports Tour this year which meant that a number of very good mathematicians were unable to enter the competition this time.
Sports Tour to Malaga - Wed 5 - Sun 9 February 2014.
Click here for a full account of the Senior Sports Tour to Malaga.
Chess Success - February 2014.
Cardiff and the Vale Junior Chess Championships Results (Sun 9 February 2014):
Of the 250 children who took part in the Cardiff & Vale Schools Chess Championships at Cardiff City Council Offices in Atlantic Wharf, Daniel S was Champion of the Under 15 category and Ethan C was Champion of the Under 8 category. Ethan C has also been selected for the top sections of the Welsh Junior Championships in March 2014. St John's College is only one of two schools to have two county champions! Well done to all the St John's pupils involved.
Points out of 6 Position
U15 Daniel S 6/6 1st
U13 Aron C 5/6 2nd
Ed X 4/6 4th
Nithin M 2/6
U11 Irene W (1/3)
U9 Ollie S 4/6 4th
Oscar H 2/6
U8 Ethan C 6/6 1st
Many congratulations to all involved.
Minor Chess League Victory (Mon 27 January 2014):
Congratulations also to Aron, Ethan, Edward and Callum who each won their matches against Llandaff Cathedral School, culminating in a 4-0 victory for St John's College.
F1 in Schools Success for St John's College Teams - Wed 29 January 2014.
On Wednesday 29th January St John's College entered two teams for the regional finals of the F1 in Schools competition at Swansea Waterfront Museum. The members of team Stratos and team Velocity worked very hard over several months to prepare an exhibition, twenty page portfolio, a five minute presentation and the all important model F1 car for racing. The car was designed using CAD software (Autodesk) before being made at the Bridgend Waterton centre supported by EESW.
Team Stratos designed the second fastest car of the day and were highly commended for their display, folio and presentation.
Thank you to Morgan Cole and Belief who kindly sponsored this year's teams.
Team Stratos members: Mattew Westlake, Shaun Malloy, Natalie Lloyd Gale, Natasha Sturrock, Feyi Ajayi and Hannah Son.
Team Velocity members: Dafydd Skelton, Dafydd Evans, Tom McCann, Sam Xerri and Richard D-S.
If you would like to be involved in F1 in Schools, we meet every Tuesday lunchtime in room 3.5.
R16 Team Wins Rotary Youth Speaks Competition - Thurs 23 January 2014.
Many congratulations to our teams from R16 who competed in Thursday night's Rotary Youth Speaks Competition at Howell's School, Llandaff.
Team 1 consisted of Ryan M (Chair), Dominie P (Speaker) and Bethan T (Vote of Thanks), while Team 2 comprised Gwyn P (Chair), Tom M (Speaker) and Aditya N (Vote of Thanks). By coincidence our speakers both chose the topic of free speech.
Dominie: 'Freedom of speech is an absolute, inviolable right'.
Tom: 'It is sometimes justified for the government to restrict freedom of speech'.
The standard of public speaking was very high indeed. Our speakers balanced gravity of speech content with wit and highly persuasive argument. Despite competing against older teams of sixth formers from Llandaff Cathedral School and Howell's School, Llandaff, our R16 team was awarded first prize. Ryan, Dominie and Bethan (Team 1) now progress to the regional final on 17 February.
Added to the sixth formers' victory in the Cambridge Union Debating Competition last month, this has been an exceptional period of success for public speaking and debating at St John's College. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Mr J. Neville.
R13 Team Wins Rotary Youth Speaks Competition - Tues 21 January 2014.
We are delighted that a group from R13, who were entered for the Rotary Club ‘Youth Speaks’ Intermediate Competition held at Howell’s school Tuesday, 21st January 2014, won 1st place! They skilfully beat off stiff competition from The Cathedral School and Howell’s to win this prestigious award. They delivered their Team Topic: Nuclear is the future of energy with confidence, skill and demonstrated an ability to think on their feet and were highly praised by the judges for their polished performances.
Team 1: We would like to congratulate Joe S (chairperson), Daniel S (Speaker) and Marco A (Vote of Thanks) for their outstanding efforts. They were amply rewarded with a commemorative plaque and a £15 voucher each. Well done to you all!
We would also like to congratulate the runners up from Team2: Richard D-S, Idris K, Rowan D. All delivered their speeches with confidence and wit. Well done, boys!
The winning team will now compete in the regional final 17th February 2014 which will be held at Cardiff Golf Club.
On 14th January R10 and R11 pupils enjoyed a visit from a local author, Cathy Farr. She led a creative writing workshop for each year group where they were encouraged to create their own imaginary pet. Cathy Farr talked about her own books and what inspired her to write fiction. Pupils were also given the opportunity to purchase signed copies of her books.
This is what some of the R11 pupils wrote about her visit:
Joshua wrote, ‘When Cathy Farr came to visit, I found it very exciting. Cathy Farr is the author of the books Moon Chase and Moon Crossing. I have not yet read Moon Crossing but I found Moon Chase amazing. I really enjoyed her visit as we got to hear about what she did when she was young and what it takes to be an author.’
Ben wrote, ‘I particularly enjoyed Cathy Farr’s visit to St John’s as she was open minded and gave us top tips on how to write. It was interesting when she explained how she had created the great hounds in her fantasy land.’
R11 Clarice Cliff Designs- January 2014.
R11 started the new term learning about colour. We started out making a colour wheel and blending our own primary, secondary and tertiary shades before talking about colour association and how some colours are hot and some cold. After we had exhausted our experimentation we began researching a lady called Clarice Cliff.
Clarice Cliff was an Art Deco artist who specialized in ceramics. Her bold, colourful pottery captured the imagination of the pupils who soon began creating their very own designs for a tea set that can be viewed in the PE corridor on display. To complete our term and entwine all our knowledge we embarked on a clay plate project, using Clarice Cliff and seasons as our inspiration.
The R11 pupils rolled out their own clay and scored a pattern before they were fired in the kiln. After this, coloured glaze was added followed by an overglaze to add shine and protection. Days seemed like weeks as pupils waited for the plates to cool before removing from the kiln. However, once the plates were removed, the pupils were delighted with themselves as they viewed their individual, colourful works of art.
This has been fantastic term's work R11 and you have produced absolutely beautiful work. You should all be very proud.
Mrs Cooper & Mrs Crowley-Davies.
Primary Maths Challenge - January 2014.
Some of our pupils in R10 and R11 took part in this year’s Primary Maths Challenge, run by the Mathematical Association (MA). This year over 77,000 pupils in 2100 schools took part in the challenge. The questions posed involve problem solving and are quite challenging. Feedback on the MA website suggests that this was the toughest paper for about 5 years, so well done to all our pupils who sat the challenge. Congratulations to the following pupils:
Gold Award - Dylan O (R11)
Silver Award - Sachin P (R11), Jasmine S (R11)
Bronze Award - Benjamin A (R11), Luca A (R11)
Royal Institution Masterclasses- January 2014.
Two groups of talented young mathematicians from R14 and R15 have started an eight-week series of Saturday morning Mathematics masterclasses at the University of South Wales, Pontypridd. The pupils involved in the Key Stage 4 classes are Nila Jambulingam, Queena Lee, Tanya Chiganze, Michael Lingham, Matthew Chung and Joshua Chang. The Key Stage 3 pupils are Richard Discombe-Short, Emma Discombe-Short, Aliza Khan and Dan Josty.
The first class involved mathematical puzzles, which they all thoroughly enjoyed. However, Joshua, Matthew and Michael were particularly pleased with their very high score.
The masterclasses continue until the middle of March.
Junior Book Club - January 2014.
It would appear that Dodie Smith's classic tale of loveable Dalmatians, 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians', has charmed another generation of young readers. Congratulations to The Sheepdog team (aka St. David's) for winning a closely fought Book Club quiz this half-term.
The next Book Club text is 'Wonder', a debut novel by R J Palacio, published in 2012. Malorie Blackman, the current Children's Laureate, said of 'Wonder':
"What a gem of a story. Moving and heart warming. This book made me laugh, made me angry, made me cry".
The Financial Times said:
"When the kids have finished with this the adults will want to read it. Everybody should".
The next Book Club will be held on Wednesday 12th March, in Circle Time. All those who have read the text, had it read to them or have listened to the audio book are welcome to attend.
Oxford Union Schools Debating Competition - Wed 15 January 2014.
Last night, Victor, Abhinaba, Matthew, Amreet, Anikit and Sian of Lower 6th competed in the prestigious Oxford Union Schools Debating Competition, this year hosted by Howell's School, Llandaff. After each motion was announced, the teams were assigned different roles within the debate and given 15 minutes to prepare for each motion. The motions were certainly challenging, and the judges commented that the standard of debating was particularly high this year. Our students acquitted themselves very well against teams comprising mostly Upper 6th students, and were consistently praised for their clear speech structures and astute points of information. Congratulations to all involved.
Mr J. Neville.
R11/R12 Science Club Notice
Please Note - Science club will resume on Monday 3rd March, the first day back after half term.
On the last day of the Autumn Term the pupils enjoyed a performance of ‘The Sleeping Beauties’. This new version of Sleeping Beauty held everyone’s attention. Kavin said that he enjoyed the play because it was scary and mysterious. Arnav enjoyed the part where the sleeping beauties slept for 100 years. Both Sabit and Maddy thought some of the scenes were extremely funny especially when the maid was told to stop being so miserable. Oscar H. particularly enjoyed the music and the sound effects, including the thunder. Gabriel liked the fact it was different to what he had expected. No theatre trip is complete without an ice-cream or ice lolly and everyone enjoyed theirs. R10 said that it was a great way to end the term!
Concert Orchestra to appear on S4C - December 2013.
Earlier this term, the Concert Orchestra had the honour of performing works by Handel and Tchaikovsky for the S4C programme, Dona Dereidi, which will be broadcast during the week commencing Monday 16 December.
Art & Design A level group visit the National Museum of Wales and the Martin Tinney Gallery Cardiff - Fri 6 December 2013.
On Friday 6th December the Art & Design A level group travelled to the National Museum of Wales and the Martin Tinney Gallery Cardiff. The students were able to see a range of contemporary Welsh artists as well as the fantastic historical, Impressionist and modern collections.
As well as being a very enjoyable experience, the students were able to study a range of artworks and can include evidence of this in their sketchbooks.
Mr Moody & Mrs Armour.
Sixth Formers Win Regional Round of Cambridge Union Schools Debating Competition - Fri 6 December 2013.
Four teams of our Sixth Form Debaters took part in the regional round of the Cambridge Union Schools Debating Competition hosted by Ysgol Glantaf. William Thomas and Shaun Malloy deserve particular congratulations for their victory which sees them progress through to the next stage of the competition.
Mr J. Neville.
Public Speaking Success - Tues 3 December 2013.
Congratulations to our three R16 debaters who took part in the ESU Public Speaking Competition yesterday, hosted by Bishop of Llandaff School. Dominie P. (Speaker) gave a challenging speech to a receptive audience on the topic 'Freedom of speech is an absolute and inviolable right', while Ryan M. (Chairman) was entertaining as host to the proceedings. Bethan T. (Questioner) offered provocative questions to the guest speaker. Dominie, Ryan and Bethan can be proud of their confident and intelligent contributions and of their consistency as a team, all of which was commended by the judges.
Mr J. Neville.
Kids' Lit Quiz - Mon 2 December 2013:
Congratulations to our Junior team, Sophie Hale, Madeline Constable, Jack Aldridge and Luca Ateleanu on an impressive performance at the National Kids' Lit Quiz on 2nd Dec. The quiz is an annual literature competition for children aged 10 to 13. The quiz has heats in New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and China, winning teams qualify for national and world finals.
Wayne Mills, the quiz master, was the recipient of Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's New Year Honours list 2011 and the Margaret Mahy Medal in New Zealand for his substantial and distinguished contribution to literature and literacy. He launched the kids' Lit Quiz in 1991 to make children who love books as highly valued as school sports stars.
Questions cover a wide range of texts and therefore competitors require a good general knowledge of children's literature and authors. Those who would like to be considered for next year's event should start reading now. Staff would be happy to advise on suitable reading and further information can be sourced at www.kidslitquiz.com
Junior Book Club News - 28 November 2013.
The latest Book Club text, 'Twist of Gold' by Michael Morpurgo, was warmly received by Book Club members. All quiz teams were able to demonstrate a great empathy for the characters and an impressive knowledge of the setting, mid 19th century Ireland and America. Their depth of understanding provoked an insightful and interesting discussion. Congratulations to all who read the book and took part in the quiz, especially to the winning team, Mostyn 1.
The next Book Club will be held on Wednesday 15th January 2014. Many pupils are already busy reading the proposed text, 'The One Hundred and One Dalmatians', by Dodie Smith. Walt Disney based his 1961 film of the same name on this text and it therefore needs no introduction. It is intended to be a fun, mid-winter adventure to curl up with by the fire this Christmas. As always, those who have read the text or had it read to them are welcome to attend.
Yousuf A R14E wins Welsh Karting Championship 2013 - November 2013.
Many congratulations to Yousuf (R14E) who has been crowned Welsh Karting Champion 2013. He has also won the Llandow Kart Club karting championship for 2013. Yousuf races in Junior TKM. Well done, Yousuf!
Cathedral Choir Christmas Concert- Tues 26 November 2013.
The Cathedral Choristers can be very proud of their concert performance today to a large and appreciative audience at St David's Hall. The annual lunchtime concert featured a wide range of Christmas carols and music for Advent, as well as works by Schubert and Fauré performed by U6th pianist, Ethan Harris, and the Sixth Form Instrumental Ensemble respectively. Many congratulations to all involved for music making of the highest calibre.
R12 'Horrible Science' Trip - Fri 22 November 2013.
On the 22 November R12 went to see Horrible Science at the New Theatre. We were shown around Horrible Science world where we learnt new facts (sometime yucky ones) about Chemistry, Biology and Physics. We learnt all about bacteria, circuits, electricity and body bits. All pupils enjoyed the 3D boggle vision where we got to see body parts and planets flying their way towards us in second half of the show. Other schools present commented on the impeccable behaviour of our pupils.
R12 must be commended on their excellent behaviour. Well done R12!
R11 Victorian School Day (St Fagans) - November 2013.
On 12th November R11 pupils went to visit a Victorian school at St Fagans. They spent the day dressed as Victorian children and were taught in the same way as children would have been taught during Victorian times. R11 pupils then wrote a report on their visit. Here are some of their comments:
Ioan wrote, “At one point the school teacher (Mr Taylor) noticed that I was slouching, something that was very much frowned upon in those days. I thought he was going to give me a whack and I was so worried that I had butterflies in my tummy. I tried so hard not to laugh and so did everyone else.”
Stephanie wrote, ”When we got to Maestir School, Mr Taylor made us do drill – up, down, up, down all the time thinking, “A healthy body makes a healthy mind!”
Jasmine wrote, “Mrs Kloosterman, our pupil teacher, started stamping her feet and saying, “Left, left, left, right, left,” She told us to copy while she called out instructions. I do not know why, but for some reason, I found this really funny and I did my best not to laugh.”
Lloyd wrote: “Right in the middle of the lesson, Suyash received the Welsh not for speaking Welsh. You weren’t allowed to speak Welsh because it wasn’t the ‘language of the empire.”
The UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge - 18 November 2013.
The regional round was held in Cardiff University on the 18th November 2013, and our team won an admirable third place. The Sixth Form team worked very hard and can be very proud of their achievement. Congratulations to the team:
Morgan Foley, Song Zheng, Abhinaba Guha, Amreet Tripathy.
A big thank you to our Junior School pupils who raised approximately £310 for Children in Need. Our normally sociable R9 pupils were able to keep silent during their lunch break by using their mini boards to communicate. R10 ran two of the Pudsey Bear fundraising games and some enterprising individuals created their own fundraising competitions. Thank you to Ben D, Alex W, Katie W, Elizabeth L, Isabelle O, Ella H, Llyr B and Owen W for their ingenuity and donation of their own prizes.
Senior Maths Challenge 2013-14 - 7 November 2013.
Many congratulations to all Sixth Formers who took part:
1 British Mathematical Olympiad 1 Qualifier
6 Senior Kangaroo Qualifiers
The British Mathematical Olympiad 1 and Senior Kangaroo exams will take place on the 29 November 2013.
Na Jiaming did extremely well and scored a very high mark of 121 (out of 125).
Congratulations to all the students involved.
R10 Trip to Cog Waterworks - November 2013.
On a blustery morning R10 set off to the waterworks where they participated in a workshop about the water cycle. In groups the class carried out several experiments to increase their understanding of the processes of evaporation and condensation. Matthew, the course leader, was very impressed by the knowledge the pupils demonstrated during these activities.
Following lunch, the pupils were asked to consider what items we should and should not flush down our toilets and they had to group materials accordingly. This led to some heated discussions! Kavin and Srinetra became scientists and had the dubious task of adding a variety of substances to the water supply, including toothpaste, kitchen roll, wet wipes, shampoo, cleaners and things best left unnamed. We then had a tour of the waterworks and the pupils were able to see the various processes involved in cleaning our dirty water so it can eventually returned to the sea. Everyone agreed that it was very smelly, especially, during the screening process where larger items are removed. The depth of the filter beds was also a surprise to many pupils. All of the pupils said that they had learnt a lot from the visit and would be able to tell their parents how important it is to save water.
Top School in Wales again in The Sunday Times 'Parent Power'- November 2013.
R13-R16 Tennis Success – AEGON LTA Tennis Tournament, Bath University - Thurs 14 November 2013.
Joe W (R13), Callum F (R14), Kai B (R15) and Owen J (R16) started this tennis competition in April and had played at least 7 matches just to get to this tournament. We were already Welsh Champions and therefore had done extremely well to get to this stage. We left school at 7.15am to get the Bath in time for our semi-final encounter with QEH Bristol at 9.30am. All four boys put on a very good display but unfortunately we lost the match 6-0 in sets. However, the score does not reflect each set as they were close. The tennis on display was a pleasure to see and even the opponents’ teacher commented on actually how close this match was. Unfortunately, this loss meant we could not make it to the last 4 in the UK. However, we then had a 3/4th place play-off to determine whether we came 3rd or 4th in the South West competition and effectively 9th or 13th in the UK. The match was against St Peter’s (Bournmouth) who had lost heavily against an outstanding Millfield outfit in their earlier semi-final. This match was of great quality and St John’s ran out 5-1 winners! Every player won their singles matches and Kai B and Owen J collaborated well to win their doubles. Unfortunately, Callum F and Joe W lost the battle in their doubles match but it did not matter as St John’s College had secured out best ever finish in this tournament by far.
A special mention must go to Robbie G (R16) who played in the first four matches of the competition and helped us get to this particular tournament. A place in the last 4 in the UK at Bolton Arena unfortunately did not happen for us but to finish 1st in Wales, 3rd in the South West and 9th in the UK is an outstanding achievement for all the pupils involved. Congratulations for your effort, commitment and enthusiasm in getting so far in the competition. We as a PE department and school are extremely proud of our school competing in sport with the likes of St Peter’s and Millfield! Well done!
Lower 6th DNA Photocopying Workshop at Techniquest - November 2013.
AS Biology Students attended a half day workshop in the laboratories at Techniquest. They had to extract their own mitochondrial DNA from cheek cells (not painful at all!). As this DNA is maternal, there is no danger of these samples ever being used as a DNA profile! These samples were then subjected to amplification on a PCR machine and analysed by the students using electrophoresis. It was an early experience of working in a laboratory outside of St John’s College and the sixth formers can be commended on their enthusiasm.
Debating Matters Competition - Wed 13 November 2013.
Four colleges and schools, including our debating teams, were up for the Qualifying Round in this prestigious debating competition in Cardiff. Natalie Lloyd-Gale and Victor Alexa proposed that 'social media improves our understanding of major world events.' They were opposed by debaters from Cardiff Sixth Form College. Both Natalie and Victor gave clear and cogent arguments for the motion.
After their presentations, both teams were rigorously questioned by three eminent judges who 'took no prisoners' when challenging them. The teams were then subjected to further questioning from their rivals and the audience before summing up their arguments. The whole process, including deliberative time for the judges, took over an hour. Both teams sweated on the outcome and, after a unanimous declaration that there were adjudged neck-and-neck, the honours were narrowly awarded to our opponents.
The pointed, almost hostile, cross-questioning of both teams by the judges and audience gave that added frisson to the occasion, but Natalie and Victor acquitted themselves with aplomb.
All in all this event was a highly educational experience and a memorable baptism of fire in the cauldron of competitive debate.
R12 Educational Visit to Llangrannog - Fri 8 November 2013.
We have just returned from a fantastic residential educational visit to Llangrannog with R12.
All pupils were engaged in a range of activities including team building, orienteering, horseriding, skiing and even toboganning! We were relieved to have packed our waterproofs! Luckily the sun managed to make an appearance on Thursday!
We were pleased to hear many positive comments regarding our pupils' attitude and behaviour from the residential staff as well as staff from other schools.
We look forward now to hearing the new Welsh phrases they learnt around the school.
Diolch am ddod!
Mrs Emms, Mrs Lawrie, Miss McManus and Mr Jay.
Debating Masterclass for Seniors & Sixth Form - Wed 6 November 2013.
On Wednesday afternoon, our Senior and Sixth Form Debating Societies were delighted to welcome Miss Sarah Ingram for an entertaining masterclass on debating and public speaking skills. It also provided an excellent opportunity for some of the Senior School debaters to witness our more seasoned Sixth Form debaters in action. Our sincere thanks to Miss Ingram for such an enjoyable and informative event.
Mr J. Neville.
Joe R (R14) has passed his martial arts exam in kinetic self defence and is now working towards his brown belt - November 2013.
Readathon 2013 - November 2013.
Readathon is an event that helps three charities for seriously ill children: CLIC Sargent, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and Together for Short Lives.
Our annual Readathon took place the week before and during October half term. R12-R14 pupils were set the onerous challenge of reading as many books as possible and gaining sponsorship for their efforts.
The amount of money raised varied considerably amongst our pupils. There were a few high earners, in particular, who shone with their valiant efforts. The largest amount risen was £111 by Chloe Borek in R14, the second highest was Richard Discombe-Short in R13 who raised £60 and in third place was Isabelle Lugsdin in R12, who raised £39.50. There were also numerous pupils who had raised varying amounts between £20-40 – well done to you all.
Our total amount overtook last year’s remarkable efforts, an impressive £667.70. Well done to all R12-R14 pupils who took part!
R11 Enterprise Week - October 2013.
In October, R11 experienced the world of work for a week. They used their English, Maths, ICT and creative skills to run
their own businesses, taking on roles such as financial director, marketing manager etc. For four days, room 3.1 became a hub of creative ideas which transformed art and craft materials into Christmas cards, door hangars, puppets, pompom pets (a firm favourite with our Infant Department) and so much more. On Friday, R11 held a Trade Fair with a cafe and invited staff, pupils from across the school and parents to purchase the merchandise. The winning team was ‘Mini Makers’ who made a profit of £137. Thank you to all our volunteer parents and to pupils in R11 who worked very hard during the week. Monies raised will be donated to charity.
R9 Trip to Cardiff Library - October 2013.
At the beginning of October, R9 enjoyed a successful and informative visit to Cardiff Central Library. There were two main purposes to the visit. First, being able to look at the vast number of books available and secondly to learn about the library building and how it links to our geography topic. The children enjoyed a tour of each floor and learnt about the colour coded system for each one. They saw the silent piano on the music floor and at the very top of the building they found out about the materials used to build the library.
They also learnt that the library has no light switches and that the lights are operated by sensors to save the problem of lights being left on or used when they are not needed. The windows are special because they keep the heat out in the summer and the warmth in during the winter. The roof of the building is covered in grass and a bird of prey visits every day to ensure that the seagulls don’t eat it.
The children then spent some time exploring the children’s section of the library, learning about how to borrow books, sitting on the unusual book shelf seats and finally getting to choose a book to borrow! R9 really enjoyed their experience at Cardiff Central Library.
Nursery Allotment News- October 2013.
We have now made a scarecrow who is living on the allotment! His name is Mr Petals, chosen by the children. This is proving to be a great success and we have planted vegetables, herbs, flowers and daffodil bulbs ready for the spring. We are turning into Percy Thrower!
Welsh Department A level Theatre Visit - Mon 14 October 2013.
On Monday 14th October, the pupils studying the Welsh A level course visited the Millennium Centre along with their teachers to watch a Welsh language production called Wyneb Dros Dro. We met beforehand to converse and practise our Welsh in a different learning environment. The play dealt with modern family life and current issues and had a very interesting twist at the end to say the least! Eleanor, Elise, Sian and Sophie thoroughly enjoyed the evening and did very well conversing in Welsh throughout the night.
Da iawn, ferched!
Middle School Enterprise Activities - October 2013.
Middle School pupils yet again this year have been given the opportunity to participate in exciting enterprise activities to develop their key skills.
R12 had to demonstrate creativity and the ability to work as a team to design outfits out of raw materials such as newspaper and card, which were then presented by the team and judged by various teachers.
R13 took part in The Building Game, which looks at people involved in the building industry and how these people work together as a team to complete a building job successfully. Each team had a mini building company made up of:
• Project manager
• Site engineer
• Quantity surveyor
• General foreman
R14 had to work for a chocolate manufacturer called Valetinos Ltd. As groups, the pupils had to solve an over-production problem of one of the ranges called Strawberry Creams. It was decided that these chocolates would have to be sold as a special offer and each group would have to decide how best to tackle the problem. The groups were required to:
- Decide a new name for the chocolates
- Design, produce and decorate a suitable container, which held at least 20 chocolates
- Produce a sales logo and slogan
- Design an attractive poster, which tried to highlight the special attractions of the product as well as the brand name, slogan, price etc.
- Write and deliver a three minute presentation to explain their ideas.
All teachers present were very impressed by the standard in each year group. Well done everyone for putting in so much effort.
Middle School Book Club (R12-R13) - October 2013.
This half-term, members of Middle School Book Club are reading ‘The Wells Bequest’ by Polly Shulman.
It was an evening like any other for Leo Novikov. That is until a miniature version of himself appears before his eyes ...from the future! Not only that, he's riding on some kind of weird machine, with his arms wrapped around the most beautiful girl he's ever laid eyes on! He heads off to the New York Circulating Material Repository to do some research and meets Jaya, the girl from the future. Together they embark on a dangerous mission to save New York City ...a mission that will take them to the other side of the world, and to the other side of time.
A thrilling time-travel adventure that takes readers from modern-day Manhattan, across the world, and back to the time of Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain in the nineteenth century.
Wales Schools Debating Championships - Fri 11 October 2013.
Congratulations to Ross Lisney-Wilson and Abhinaba Guha (both of L6th) who performed very well indeed at the Wales Schools Debating Championships on Friday, combining compelling arguments and self-assured delivery. Although our team did not win the competition overall, Ross was awarded a certificate for 'Outstanding Debater'.
Mr J. Neville.
Senior Tennis Team through to Final 16 in UK Tennis Championships - October 2013.
Congratulations to Joe W (R13), Callum F (R14), Kai B (R15) and Owen J (R16) for an impressive win in the last 32 of the UK Tennis Championships V The Chase, Malvern. The four pupils are now through to the last 16 schools in the UK!
Chess Success - October 2013.
Congratulations to Daniel Siromani, Richard Discombe-Short, Aron Calist (all of R13) and Ethan Chung (R12) for winning their match against Howell's School (Llandaff) last Wednesday (9-10-13) with a score of 3-1! Meanwhile, Nithin Michael also won his first league game in division 4 against a very strong team from Barry on 23 September.
Daniel Siromani (R13) has recently played in division 1 for the St John’s College Senior Team. He has gained an amazing draw against a very strong opponent at Barry (23/10/13). Daniel also won his last game at St John’s helping the team to victory against Cardiff YMCA. These games are in preparation for Daniel’s World Chess Championship Games in November.
Many congratulations to all of our chess players on such impressive achievements.
Charles Williams (R12) is selected for Cardiff City Academy Development Team 2013-14 - October 2013.
Congratulations to Charles who is one of only 20 boys selected for the squad out of the more than 200 who trialled from across South Wales.
Charles will have a busy training schedule each week at the House of Sport next to the Cardiff City Stadium and at the Academy in Treforest and play regular matches. So far this season Charles has played friendly matches away at West Bromwich Albion, Hereford United and Weston Super Mare Town, and has up and coming fixtures over the October half-term holiday against Manchester City and Swindon Town both away from home. Charles can be very proud of this outstanding achievement!
Junior Book Week - September 2013.
The Junior Book Week took place from the 30 September to the 4 October. All pupils designed a front cover from a book and we had some outstanding entries, with well deserved vouchers going to the winning pupils to spend at the Book Fair. At the latter end of the week the Book Fair was open to all after school and it was well stocked with a variety of books for all ages along with fun stationery!
Jeffrey wrote ‘I enjoyed the Book Fair because there were loads of books to choose from.’ Ella E wrote ‘I enjoyed going to the Book Fair because there is lots of choice and they are all fun.’ Millie wrote ‘I liked the book fair because you were able to find a perfect book and there was stationery available for people who were running short.’
For a fantastic end to book week on Friday 4 October the Junior School welcomed back Enid, the Welsh Storyteller. Enid tells each year group original and captivating stories - all pupils were thoroughly entertained.
Eleri wrote ‘I thought Enid's story was spooky and exciting. It was very interesting and I would love her to come back next year.’ Theo wrote ‘It was a great story that I had never heard before. I would love to hear one again.’ Oscar H wrote ‘I thought that Enid's story was awesome!’
Thank you for supporting the Book Fair and happy reading!
Nursery News - September 2013.
The new children in the nursery department are really enjoying our new venture - an allotment - near forest school, where we plan to grow vegetables and flowers. We have had lots of fun weeding all the beds and we are going to make a scarecrow to make sure that the cheeky squirrels do not eat our crops!
Junior Book Club News - September 2013.
At the end of last term, Book Club members voted to read 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', as a summer read. J K Rowling obviously had them spellbound during the long summer holiday and the location of this half-term's Book Club, deep in Forest School, added a further touch of magic to the first meeting of the year.
As usual, pupils were divided into teams to be quizzed on their understanding and recall of the text. Their comprehension of the twists and turns of this complex plot proved to be outstanding. Congratulations to Gryffindor (aka De la Salle) for an impressive, winning performance.
The next Book Club text, 'Twist of Gold', by Michael Morpurgo, was also chosen by Book Club members. Set against the backdrop of Ireland gripped by famine in 1847, it follows Sean and Annie's struggle for survival as it takes them on a daring journey across America against all the odds.
Junior Book Club will next be held on Wednesday 6th November, in Circle Time. As always, all those who have read the book or had it read to them are welcome to attend.
St John's College - 'Academically hot and going from strength to strength, it had the top A-level results in Wales for the 13th successive year' - Country Life Magazine - September 2013.
Physics for a Brighter Future Conference, Cardiff University (Sixth Form) - Fri 20 September 2013.
Debate Training Day, Swansea Metropolitan University - Mon 16 September 2013.
On Monday, four pupils from R16 and L6th enjoyed an informative Debate Training Day at Swansea Metropolitan University ahead of the Welsh Schools Debating Championships this October.
Joe R Wins Battle of the Bands - September 2013.
As well as gaining a distinction in his electric guitar exam, Joe R (R14) recently won Cardiff Battle of the Bands 2013 for the second consecutive year. Many congratulations to Joe who is also making excellent progress in his classical guitar and piano studies.
Victories all round in Welsh and UK Tennis Championships - September 2013.
Many congratulations to Joe White (R13) and Callum Findlay (R14) on their successes in Welsh Junior Tennis Championships which took place in Cardiff at the end of the summer holidays. Callum won the U14’s singles and the U14’s doubles (with his partner Tom Thelwall-Jones from North Wales). Equally impressive were Joe's victories in the U12’s singles and the U12’s doubles (with his partner James Story from Cardiff).
Joe and Callum have since been selected to represent Wales in the under 14 and under 12 categories respectively at the Tennis Tri Nations event in Cardiff. Matches were played against Scotland and Ireland over the 2 days. Each country won an age group and Scotland were the overall winners. Many congratulations to Joe and Callum.
R12 and R13 Summer Reading Challenge
“In 1940, on average, boys from every background were reading six books a month and girls seven.” (Alex Quigley, NATE)
With this striking research in mind, our new R12 pupils and current R13 were set the challenge of reading at least three books over the eight-week summer holiday, to try and match boys' and girls' reading habits of the 1940s.
A website was created where pupils could record what books they had read and write a recommendation for other pupils. The challenge was met with great enthusiasm as 29 pupils took part, from both R12 and R13, and in total, they read 112 books over the summer.
A varied repertoire of literature was devoured during the course of the challenge: modern favourites like Harry Potter and contemporary fiction such as Wonder. Whilst some valiantly conquered classics Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine.
There were three pupils, in particular, who shone brightly. Harry Jones in R12, who read a total of six books, came in third place. In second place was Rowan Downie, in R13, who read a total of eight books over the course of the challenge. But, in the lead by far, was first place winner Holly Jones in R12, who read an astonishing 11 books! Holly, Rowan and Harry were given prizes and certificates for their gallant efforts; Holly, being an avid reader, was given Charles Lamb’s Shakespeare for Children, which is a brilliant and inspiring re-telling of Shakespeare’s much-loved, classic plays.
Well done to all of R12 and R13 who made this such a success! The English Department hope to run this challenge again next summer.
Reading is the staple of English as it enables us to develop our vocabulary, comprehension skills and our writing as well as develop insight into other worlds. For fervent readers, look out for our next literacy challenge: Readathon. More details will be given out in your English lessons.
GCSE Results 2013
These excellent results include several students with 10 A* grades and 10 A*/A grades.
Dr Neville (Head & Principal St John's College) commented: "Students, staff and parents are absolutely thrilled with these outstanding results combined with top A level results in The Times last week. They are all to be warmly congratulated."
* Top School in Wales at A Level for the 14th Successive Year - Fri 16 August 2013.
*(Registered with WAG, inspected by ESTYN, accredited by ISC)
St John's College is ranked No. 1 in The Sunday Times list of Top Schools in Wales recently published on Aug 4th 2013.
Medicine destinations include Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, King's College London & Liverpool and includes students gaining at least 3A* grades. Russell Group university degrees in Accounting and Finance are a popular choice with both girls and boys gaining A*/A in Maths and Further Maths combined with other subjects. Also popular are Civil and other branches of Engineering, and Law with other sought-after courses, including English at Cambridge University.
With such a high A*/A figure, many students destined for a wide range of top university subjects achieved A*A A, A*A*A, A*A*A* and even four top grade A levels.
ESTYN pointed out (Crown Copyright 2012) that:
"Throughout the school, there is a very strong sense of purpose, and a collective ownership and commitment to shared values and aims. The relentless emphasis on high expectations, particularly in the quality of teaching and learning has led to exceptional outcomes for pupils of all abilities."
We are absolutely delighted with these achievements and I wish to congratulate all our students, colleagues and parents most warmly.
The Sunday Times lists St John's College as Wales' No. 1 - Sun 4 August 2013.
Please click below to read the full article (St John's College is discussed in detail in the right-hand column):
On a sunny last day of term, R11, Mrs Kloosterman, Miss Sayce and Mrs Thompson, visited Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. It is a hands-on zoo, and working farm, just outside Bristol set in over 100 acres of beautiful countryside. R11 enjoyed a packed day getting close to many zoo animals like giraffes and lions, as well as feeding animals such as camels and llamas. Neil M, Sanay G and Shyon K were particularly taken with feeding the hens until the hens decided to chase them around their large aviary. Sid M bravely petted a very grumpy goat after much encouragement – well done, Sid. Some of the group went to an educational talk where they learnt about animals from other continents by handling jaw bones, teeth and animal hides and then came face to face with an enthusiastic Leopard tortoise called Terry and a python.
Mrs Thompson faced her fear and stroked the snake – how amazing! Finn M and Morgan O did us proud and were able to answer most of the questions posed. Many of R11, however, would also say that a highlight was getting lost in the maze (soon ably rescued by Mrs Kloosterman and Miss Sayce) as well as playing in the adventure playground where there were two very fast zip wires. And for those of us who are partial to homemade cake and ice creams – they had those too!
R8/R9 Trip to Bristol Zoo - July 2013.
To close the academic year the R8 and R9 classes embarked on a wonderful trip to Bristol Zoo. A fun time was had by all and the spectacle of the animals provided a great day out. For some pupils it was their first visit to the zoo, which gave them the opportunity to see animals that they had never seen before.
Elizabeth said ‘When we went under the bridge, the seals were going over our heads doing swimming tricks. It was really cool.’ Harshita described them as ‘very talented seals.’ Crina enjoyed the experience so much that she ‘wishes that she could have touched them.’ Another hot favourite was the butterfly enclosure where we were able to capture some fantastic photographs. ‘One of my favourite parts was in the butterfly enclosure as one butterfly landed on my nose!’ says a giggly Ella. Miss Knight and Elizabeth also experienced a landing from a butterfly too! Sayaam enjoyed the bats and was amazed to see them sleeping upside-down. The park and play area was another big hit with many of the children, where they had lots of fun swinging, jumping and climbing. The maze caused a lot of excitement too, although Matthew says at one point he got lost and had to be guided out by a friend. It was a fun-filled day for all involved.
R8/R9 Lego City - July 2013.
By popular demand, Electro-city workshop returned in July. The children from R7 to R11 were shown how to construct a model building by a real architect. This time they placed the buildings along a main road. The lights were turned off in the hall as the children switched on the circuits they had created to light up the model town. The teachers were very impressed by the space centre created by one group. Great fun was had by everyone.
Induction Week- July 2013.
R7 and R8 worked on a joint project about Space for the induction week. The children researched facts on our solar system and made models of the planets. Their imaginations were inspired by the idea of alien life forms. They made and painted clay aliens, as well as sewing puppets. One session involved the children making sandwiches or ‘alien fingers’. The taste testing session involved some interesting reactions to some of the flavours! The week ended with a games session on the front lawn which had to include space hoppers.
R10 trip to the International Centre for Birds of Prey - July 2013.
R10 ended the year by visiting the bird of prey centre in Newent. The trip began with an informative talk about the characteristics of some of the birds which the children were able to view at close quarters. During the visit the pupils were able to see two flying demonstrations each lasting 45 minutes. The exceptionally warm, thermal conditions allowed some of the birds to gain great height before they dived majestically to the ground to pick up their food. The children were also shown how the birds are trained to to fly off the leash and they realised how patient the trainers need to be to achieve success with the birds. The burrowing owls were very cute! Between the demonstrations there was time to visit the playground and the shop. The day ended with a well-deserved ice-cream. Everyone agreed it was a great day out.
R11 End of Year Assembly - July 2013.
R11 worked very hard to prepare for their end of year assembly which included a performance of 'The Undertaker's Apprentice' (based on the early life of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens). Lines were learnt extremely well and the acting was excellent. R11 also performed some musical pieces - all of which were of a high standard. Oliver Lau performed a recitation of the poem 'Overheard on a Saltmarsh.' Mrs Thompson, Mrs Kloosterman and the parents were very proud of them and wish them every success in R12.
R14 Biology Trip to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales - Fri 12 July 2013.
R14 enjoyed an interesting field trip to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales in Carmarthenshire to collect data from natural sources of the pollution in the area. The pupils used natural indicators such as lichen and pond species to determine the air and water quality.
Pupils found many varied species in the ponds such as Bloodworms, Caddis Fly larvae and Efts (baby newts!). They also became experts on crusty, shrubby and leafy lichen as air pollution indicators. Much data was collected regarding the water quality in the Gardens. Pupils measured the temperature, dissolved solids, acidity, and oxygen availability of the water.
Following a very busy and productive day, pupils returned to Cardiff with enough data for many hours of analysis. Well done, R14.
R12/R13 Trip to Wookey Hole - Fri 12 July 2013.
Pirate Day - Fri 12 July 2013.
On the last day of term the nursery children had a pirate day. We made a pirate ship on the front lawn, went on a treasure hunt, played treasure rounders and made a pirate den in forest school. We all dressed up and had a fantasic time!
Beach Trip 2013
The children in the nursery really enjoyed our trip to Port Eynon in the Gower. We went looking for crabs and shells and had great fun in the rock pool. There were lots of very wet wellies on our walk back to the bus! A wonderful day was had by all.
2014 Drama Production Announced - Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore
Rehearsals have already begun for the Senior School production of HMS Pinafore on 10th / 11th July 2014 (final date TBC).
A2 History Conference, University of South Wales - Tues 9 July 2013.
L6th historians enjoyed an excellent conference hosted by University of South Wales at the Treforest campus. A series of talks by members of the History faculty gave invaluable advice on what to expect from a History degree at University, advice on the application process and a range of suggested web-based research resources. We are very grateful to the University of South Wales for hosting us for a thoroughly informative day.
Mr J. Neville.
Staff V Sixth Form Cricket Match - Mon 8 July 2013.
St John's College staff and sixth formers enjoyed glorious weather for their annual Cricket Match at our nearby playing fields on Monday afternoon. This fiercely contested match resulted in a Sixth Form victory by 14 runs. Great fun was had by all.
R15 Work Experience Week- Mon 8 - Fri 12 July 2013.
R15 Work Experience Week is well underway with a wide variety of work placements for our students. Mrs Wood will be visiting a number of students in their places of work during the course of the week. Pictured here is R15 pupil, Lily E, who is working at Powell Dobson Architects this week. Good luck to all R15 pupils.
Sports Days 2013
Parents who wish to view all photographs from the Infant, Junior & Senior Sports Days 2013 and of our Sports Teams 2013 may do so by contactingMr J Davies directly:firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior Sports Day
On Wednesday 3rd July 2013 the Juniors attended their annual Sports Day at NIAC. The day was a huge success with all students participating in at least three events each. We saw some outstanding performances from indviduals as well as some excellent team performences in the relays and novelty races. The day came to a conclusion when L. Franklin, G. Wink and J. Morris raised the winners cup for Mostyn house. Congratulations to all involved.
House Winners 2013 – Mostyn
2nd Position – De la Salle
3rd Position – St David’s
4th Position – Bute
Senior Sports Day
A great day was had by athletes, staff and parents at this year's Senior Sports Day on Friday 5 July. Track and Field records were broken and all the athletes can be proud of their efforts! A full list of results can be seen via the link below:
Senior Sports Day 2013 was a great success and ran smoothly as always with both staff and pupils contributing to a wonderful day. Many records were broken as can be seen by the highlighted names above. All 60 metre hurdle and sprint times are records as this is the first year these events have been over 60 metres. This was to ensure all pupils, staff and parents could observe the whole race and this worked superbly as the atmosphere for these events was wonderful. A special mention must go to the U15 Boys 4 x 100m relay team from St David’s who were all outstanding in the final race of the day.
There were brilliant performances throughout the day including B. Leaman, B. Dimond, S. Wink, C. Findlay, J. Hill and G. Hall. However, the Champion Athletes of the Day 2013 went to J. Payne (R15) and A. Obuobie who were both outstanding. J. Payne won both the 60m sprint and the 200m sprint as well as contributing a huge effort to his team in the 4 x100m. A. Obuobie won the U15 girls javelin, high jump as well as the 60m hurdles, the 60m sprint and the 800m and therefore thoroughly deserved her award.
The competition between houses was extremely close throughout the day and it showed just how close it was at the end of the competition with only 60 points separating first and fourth position.
House Winners 2013 – Bute
2nd Position – St David’s
3rd Position – Mostyn
4th Position – De La Salle
There are many talented and skilful pupils within St John’s College and it was a pleasure to see the quality of competition and desire to not only win, but take part and contribute points for each house. The attitude, behaviour and commitment from all pupils present were fantastic. We are looking forward to next year’s competition already to see more records be broken and to see if a new house can become champions once again.
Junior Book Club - July 2013.
The final Book Club of the academic year, 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban', was held in the sunshine, in Forest School. Members were grouped into their St John's houses and each house was then assigned a Hogwart's house to represent.
The competition was fierce and all teams were able to demonstrate a very mature understanding of a complex plot. Congratulations to Slytherin (aka De la Salle) on an excellent, winning performance.
Book Club members have subsequently been invited to suggest a title to be read during the summer for September's Book Club. The top suggestions were put to the vote and Harry Potter won the day...again! 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' is the challenging and exciting next instalment in the series. As always, those who have read the text, had it read to them or have listened to the audio book will be welcome to attend the September 2013 Book Club.
Happy summer reading!
Matthew Barbato (R16) wins RWCMD Junior Conservatoire Chamber Music Prize - Wed 3 July 2013.
Many congratulations to Matthew Barbato (R16 Choral Scholar & Concert Orchestra clarinetist), who has been awarded the RWCMD Junior Conservatoire Chamber Music Prize. Matthew will be presented with his prize at a reception in the Seligman Studio following the Advanced Course Summer Concert this Saturday (6th July).
St John's College R15 Debating Competition with Ysgol Glantaf- Wed 3 July 2013.
St John's College was delighted to host our first Year 10 Debating Competition with Ysgol Glantaf on Wednesday. There were some excellent debating skills on display in each of the competitions, and both schools enjoyed the experience immensely. Our pupils were able to reflect on the debate over a refreshment break in the foyer of our new Sixth Form Study Centre, before the judges awarded certificates to each participant. We are very grateful to Mrs Katherine Kettle and Mr Steve Jenkins for their valuable feedback. We hope that this summer debating competition will become an annual fixture.
R10 Trip to Port Eynon- June 2013.
In June pupils of R10 enjoyed a ‘Pirate Activity Day’ at Port Eynon. Many came dressed as pirates with high hopes of finding treasure at the end of the day. First, though, pupils had to practise using grid references, map symbols and compasses. Soon the class felt confident about using maps and, once split into groups, they set off in search of the treasure. At each grid post they found a hidden stamp to complete their quest cards and a further clue as to the location of the treasure.
Lotte said that she had lots of fun collecting the stamps. Everyone found the treasure which included a teapot, a bottle of rum, tobacco and cigars! Fortunately, the children were keen to exchange their finds for a gold coin, which they were able to do so by answering a question about the day's activities. R10 were very enthusiastic with their responses. Besides finding treasure, the pupils played a human version of battle ships which allowed them to practise using grid references. Everyone was keen to ‘bomb’ their classmates in an effort to be the last person in the grid!
Finally the class had to make their own island in the sand and hide their gold coin. They had to use anything on the beach to add features to their island before drawing a map and marking the location of the treasure with an X. Their partner then had to use the map to locate the treasure. Only 2 gold coins were lost! Well done R10 you made excellent pirates and everyone agreed it was a great day out.
L6th English trip to Stratford to see Hamlet- Thurs 27 June 2013.
‘The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark’ by William Shakespeare
Undaunted by one of Shakespeare’s lengthier plays Sixth form students spent a day in Stratford. They visited Shakespeare’s birthplace and lunched in the picturesque centre of Stratford before attending the matinee performance at the Royal Shakespeare theatre.
The production was thrilling, inventive and deftly directed by David Farr with a compelling performance of Prince ‘Hamlet’ played by Jonathan Slinger and a wonderfully touching Ophelia played by Pippa Nixon. Despite the contemporary costumes this production proved: ‘the play’s the thing’ as the audience was moved to compassion, pity and even laughter.
A memorable day out and a valuable experience for all!
Sixth Form Reviews (Theresa Roberts, Joe Evans, Connie Sishton, Heather Courtney):
‘A magnificent modern take on this timeless tragic tale.’
‘Not a bad seat in the house!’
Mrs M. Bridge.
R16/L6th Cathedral Choir Concert in Bath Abbey - Fri 21 June 2013.
On Friday 21 June, the choristers of R16 and Lower enjoyed a post-exam celebration and trip to the beautiful city of Bath, and sang in concert in the picturesque Bath Abbey. Joseph Evans played a splendid piano solo by the Spanish composer Albéniz, and the choristers sang an impressive programme including Pearsall's Lay a Garland, Stanford Beati Quorum Via, and music for double choir by Schütz, amongst many others. The choristers were joined by three university choral scholars from the cathedral choir, and Robin Price, who was a cathedral chorister and pupil of St John's College before obtaining a place to study PPE at Oxford University, and a Choral Scholarship in the choir of Merton College.
Mr D. Neville.
R13 Latin Trip to Caerleon- Fri 21 June 2013.
R13 enjoyed an immensely informative trip to Caerleon Roman town. The trip began with a visit to the the Roman Amphitheatre where the pupils were encouraged to spot particular architectural features and use their imaginations to recreate the amphitheatre's impressive scale.
We then walked a short distance to the Roman Baths, which have been enhanced by state-of-the-art 3D projectors and sound effects to recreate an authentic atmosphere. Our informative guide directed us through the various stages of the bathing experience and demonstrated the ingenious methods used by the Romans to provide underfloor heating. The boys and girls enjoyed the interactive elements of the baths, in particular writing on a wax tablet, handling a strigil and especially trying on the gladiators' helmets and armour. R13 should be commended for their enthusiasm and attentive approach throughout the day.
R14 History Trip to the Somme - Wed 12 - Fri 14 June 2013.
On 12th June 2013 a party of 23 R14 pupils and 3 staff left St John’s College bound for the battlefields of the First World War. After a comfortable drive to the port of Dover and a smooth channel crossing, we arrived in the Belgian town of Ypres, the scene of fierce fighting throughout the conflict.
Our first stop was the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world, Tyne Cot, which contains the graves of 12,000 soldiers who lost their lives in the Ypres salient. This was followed by the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate which has taken place every day since 1926. Four pupils, George, Gabby, Daisy and Kai laid a poppy wreath on behalf of St John’s College in front of hundreds of people.
Our second day took us south into France and the Somme region, most famous for the battles of 1916. We visited a variety of battlefields and monuments including Vimy Ridge, Wellington Quarry at Arras and the Thiepval Memorial. Our final stop was the Welsh Regiment memorial at Mametz Wood where we laid another poppy wreath and held a minute’s silence. Despite the pouring rain this was a very moving occasion for all involved.
Our final day began with breakfast at our accommodation near St Omer and then a drive back to Ypres in Belgium. On the way we visited a small cemetery on the outskirts of the town to lay a wreath at the grave of Private George Parker, the great-great grandfather of Daisy T in R14. He was killed in action in the final months of the war during the German Spring Offensive of 1918.
Visits to the Flanders Fields Museum and Hill 60 were followed by our final stop at the grave of Ellis Humphrey Evans, Hedd Wyn, the Welsh poet killed in action on the first day of the battle of Passchendaele, 31st July 1917. This was another very poignant occasion where we laid our final wreath.
The trip would not have been the success it was without our guide, Keith Mallinson and our travel company, NST. I also wish to thank Mrs Evans and Mr Goode for accompanying us. Finally, our pupils behaved impeccably and were a true credit to St John’s College and their own families. As a school we are very much looking forward to visiting these places again next year and being part of the centenary commemorations.
R7 Castle Day - June 2013.
Following on from their exciting History trip to Cardiff Castle in May, R7 completed their study of castles by holding a Castle Day. All the children came to school dressed as a castle character whichincluded a king, a prince, a servant, several princesses and knights, and even a jester! A tournament was held in the morning with archery, aiming and stick horse riding competitions. The Royal Banquet was held in the afternoon when we ate decorated cakes and biscuits and honey sandwiches which the children had made in the morning. Medieval music and dancing followed, ending with the jester telling some jokes. A memorable day for everyone. R6 Forest School & Gardening - June 2013.
R6 have been busy with outdoor activities in recent months. During our Forest School sessions we have been bird watching, built our own birds nests and collected and pressed wild flowers. We have also drawn observational drawings of our garden in full bloom! We have recently planted sunflower seeds which have sprouted quite quickly, no doubt because of our ‘green fingers’! R6 have been enjoying the topic of water and the seaside and have made a very busy interest table. The children’s lovely artwork has made the classroom very colourful. We are looking forward to our future trips to the beach with the Nursery and to Newport Wetlands with R7.
Chess Club News
St John's College hosts East Glamorgan Mega Final
St John’s College Chess Club continues to flourish with 20-25 club members attending after school from 4-6 pm every Monday in room 0.1, led by Dr Howells and Tim Kett (Professional chess tutor and Welsh chess champion). All St John's College pupils aged 5-18 are very welcome to attend Chess Club. The best performing pupils from this year will be selected to play in the East Glamorgan chess league next year. These games are timed and take place at 7.30pm on Mondays, with home games at St John’s and away games at various locations around East Glamorgan.
Recently, the club had an internal chess competition to decide which pupils could be entered for the regional Mega finals to be hosted by St John’s College. From the internal competition Daniel S received first prize, whilst Aron C gained second prize with a remarkable third prize won by our youngest player, Ethan C, who is in our infant department! Furthermore, during the Mega finals at St John’s Ethan C and Daniel S won their age group, and will now proceed on to the highly coveted Giga final in the summer. Well done to all who participated!
The club has had many successes this year and gained numerous trophies, with impressive individual performances from many of our pupils in the East Glamorgan chess league, Vale of Glamorgan tournament and many other chess events. Our current Junior chess squad in Division 4 includes Daniel S, Karthik K, Edward W, Aron C, Nithin M, Praneet B. St John’s College also has a senior team which has been promoted to division 1 this year. This offers an opportunity for very good Junior players such as Daniel S to extend their play to the highest level in East Glamorgan.
Super Seven Book Club - June 2013.
Our R7 book club has had another successful term, with 18 members attending for an hour a week after school. The children have enjoyed reading The Chocolate Monster by Jan Page. We have discussed the plot and the characters and designed our own Chocolate Monsters. Our next book is Space Race by Marjorie Blackman.