Headteacher’s Message/Neges y Prifathro

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Welcome to the latest edition of our termly newsletter.

As we eagerly await the celebration of Easter, we reflect on the busy term and the many memorable events. The Lenten season was opened by Bishop June who led a Eucharist for students. During her homily, Bishop June explained how we can all become ‘better people’ by sacrificing our luxuries and doing ‘extra things’ in order to become closer to God. Throughout Lent students have been raising money for a number of worthwhile charities, in addition to our weekly ‘charity chips’ programme. These initiatives, driven by students are a clear indicator of their desire to give back to others. As always, I am immensely impressed by their ideas and commitment to helping others. During the last week of term, the school community celebrated our unique Welsh Christian identity with the annual Eisteddfod celebrations followed with whole-school Eucharist. These events not only remind us of our Christian mission but also reinforces how lucky we all are to be members of such a wonderful school community. Thank you to everyone who has helped make these occasions ‘special’.

At the end of the term we say goodbye to a number of staff who leave us for pastures new. Emily Knight (Cover Supervisor) will take up a PE teaching post in West Monmouth School; Nick Johnson (Head of Faculty: Business, Economics and IT) will take up a post within Cardiff Local Authority’s visual impairment team; our teaching assistant, Pauline Tintinger leaves us to pursue another career; while earlier in the term, Samantha Payne (Psychology) left to join the police force. Finally, at the end of the term we say goodbye to Linsey Lamont (Head of Art) who is relocating to Scotland to establish her own business after ten outstanding years of service to the school. We thank Linsey and all of our departing staff for their dedicated service and commitment to the school.

During the last week of term, we welcomed back Mrs Dodwell (Head of English) following her maternity leave and, after the Easter break, Mrs Jenkins who will return to her role as Head of Faculty: Business, Economics and IT. I am sure both will slot back into the family very quickly!

As always, it has been an action-packed term and I hope you enjoy reading about some of what has been happening. Thank you once again for all you have done as parents and friends of the school to support us. On behalf of everyone at the school, we wish you a happy and relaxing holiday and a joyful Easter.

Marc Belli (Headteacher)

Fy mhrofiad cyntaf gyda’r Urdd/My first experience with the Urdd

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On Saturday 30th March, I went to Llangrannog in West Wales to spend the day in the Urdd site to compete for the Bobi Jones Medal. Considering I’ve never been to Llangrannog before, this experience was incredible.

The day consisted of non-stop Welsh speaking; we introduced ourselves to people competing as a ‘hot seat’ task alongside our judges. We also had to bring in an item that was special to us and talk about it – we could ask questions to find out more about each other because of this too! Afterwards, we had team building exercises; so we had to work together, all six of us, to complete a variety of challenges… without speaking English!

We had our lunch and then went outside and learnt how to make fire, the old fashioned way! During this time I had a scheduled chat with the judges on different topics, such as if I’ve enjoyed my day, why I’ve chosen to learn and carry on with Welsh and what hopes I have for the language in the future. I had to go and talk in front of a camera afterwards too – which was another new experience for me!

However, after an eventful day I earnt second place: the person who came first deserved it! Plus I found out that we are in the same accommodation and doing the same course in University, so it won’t be the last time I see them anyway. I’m now keeping in contact with all of the participants as we bonded so well in the space of a day.

I didn’t tell anyone about this to begin with, as I didn’t even think I could do the audition to film myself speaking Welsh, let alone go to West Wales and speak to people I’ve never met before. This experience has really encouraged me to carry on learning the language and I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the support.

Bethany (Year 13)

Student of the Month/ Myfyriwr y Mis – Jan, Feb, March

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January

Jessica (Year 7); Thomas (Year 8); Abianne (Year 9); Luna (Year 10); Ellie (Year 11); Thomas (Year 12); Olivia (Year 13)

February

Morgan (Year 7); Thomas (Year 8); Rachel (Year 9); Liam (Year 10); Tasnim (Year 11); Georgia (Year 12); Chloe (Year 13)

March

Kefe (Year 7); Emma (Year 8); Josh (Year 9); Dafydd (Year 10); Cerys (Year 11); Will (Year 12); Rebecca (Year 13)

Exploitation Ambassadors – Helping Educate Our Students/Llysgenhadwyr Ecsbloetiaeth – Yn helpu addysgu ein myfyrwyr

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The school was invited to participate in a programme organised by Cardiff Local Authority to help educate young people about the exploitation of young people in this country and abroad.

Several high schools from across the city were present and enjoyed informative sessions from different agencies such as South Wales Police and Barnardo’s, covering hard hitting topics such as: Unhealthy Relationships; Use of Social Media and issues of Sexting; County Lines and Knife Crime; Ethnic Minority Support, Grooming and Trafficking.

The four students involved now have the title of Exploitation Ambassadors and the challenge of creating a programme to educate students in school about the problem and to help raise awareness of it. Related stories populate the news on a very regular basis and the school feels it is very important for our students to be aware of the issues so that they themselves could avoid involvement in such activities and also to help prevent someone they know becoming involved.

The team are currently developing the programme and plan to implement it after Easter, working closely with an appointed member from the Local Authority. More information will follow in the summer term when the team will also present their programme at County Hall at the end of June.

Mr Davies (Chaplain)

Our visit to Dr. Faustus/Ein hymweliad a Dr. Faustus

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On Friday 25th January the English Literature students of the Sixth Form set out to see the production of one of our A Level set texts, Doctor Faustus, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London. It was a long journey but upon arrival at the theatre the excitement was tangible. The production, held in a small, candlelit theatre, had an unexpected twist as the characters of Faustus and Mephistophilis were changed from male to female. We watched Jocelyn Jee Esien as Dr Faustus and Pauline McLynn as Mephistophilis work their magic on the stage and many who saw it said it helped the character of Faustus to be seen in an alternative light and in a way that reflects both men and women. Below are the thoughts of the amazing leader of the trip, Miss Lansdown, and those of some of the students who went:

‘The emphasis on Marlowe’s humour within the production was particularly striking, especially in Pauline McLynn’s presentation of Mephistophilis. It was interesting to see the successful decision to gender-swap the central role, an increasingly common trend within modern productions. Jocelyn Jee Esien was outstanding. Overall, it was an impressive production in an intimate, atmospheric setting.’  (Miss Lansdown, 2nd in English)

‘I have really enjoyed studying the play in my English Literature lessons, so it was really exciting to see it come to life on the stage. Ironically, it was performed on Shakespeare’s stage and not Marlowe’s, but this did not affect the performance. It was very interesting seeing this interpretation of the play as most of the characters who would usually be male, were female. It was amazing to go to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as well; because of the way the stage was set, most of the audience were above the stage looking down. Where we were, we didn’t have seats, so we stood at the top and looked down, which was quite scary! Overall, it was an amazing opportunity to go and see this performance and I would like to thank all the teachers who made this trip possible’ (Georgia, Year 12)

‘The trip provided me with an invaluable opportunity to see Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus on stage. Seeing the play in action allowed me to explore more ideas regarding the play, especially because it was performed in such a different way to how it is depicted on the page; with perhaps the most notable difference being that the majority of the cast were female. The relationship between the female Faustus and Mephistophilis appeared to be far more intimate, with the dynamic between the characters being one of unmatched closeness. This was particularly evident in the scene where Faustus and Helen of Troy interact, with Faustus saying ‘give me my soul’, to which Mephistophilis appeared a tad more than simply dismayed! Seeing Faustus in such a contrasting way to how you first imagine it when reading the play was really refreshing, and I believe it will help me greatly when revising for my exam.’ (Olivia, Year 12)

A big thank you to all those who organised this trip and to those who contributed to this article! The students appear to have thoroughly enjoyed the play. I hope they will run this trip again next year!

Gabriella (Year 12)

Preparing for the Eisteddfod/Paratoi at Yr Eisteddfod

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The school Eisteddfod is always one of the highlights of the year, but such a major event in our calendar takes many weeks of careful preparation. Here, all four of our house teams tell us about the work they have been doing in the build-up to this year’s event, which takes place on Thursday 11th April. Watch out for a full report on the events of the day in the summer edition of The Mitre!

It’s been an uphill battle for the St. David House Team – anyone who attends assembly every week will know our constant scramble to keep up with the other houses’ Tocynnau Iaith numbers! Although our lengthy motivational speeches may be tiresome to listen to on occasions, we truly believe that the enthusiasm and effort within the house has rocketed in the last few months and will pay off on the day! Go St David!

Alice (Year 13) St. David

In the beginning, Eisteddfod preparation was very difficult and confusing (especially for the banner). We had accumulated a huge variety of many different ideas but had then been confused as to where to apply them. However, we have decided to include what we feel are the best ideas that allow us to stand out from the other houses and win this year’s Eisteddfod!

For banner, as mentioned previously, we found it hard to start off in the right way but the incredible support and team work within the whole house enabled us to begin creating a banner with multiple interpretations and depth. Also, to do this we allocated a select few of people so that it got done efficiently alongside other preparation.

For stage performances, it was a little rocky at the start with people not turning up to practice, but things soon began to pick up after motivation from the team and getting others to sign up in replacement. Now we are just finalising routines and can’t wait to perform them on stage.

Overall, we are very excited for the day and overwhelmingly happy that we all pulled together as a team, which we believe has resulted in a team-wide confidence that we will win the 2019 Eisteddfod!

Janice (Year 13) St. John

The school Eisteddfod is definitely one of the best events of the school calendar. From banner painting, to poetry writing, to performing on stage, there are so many different aspects of Eisteddfod that are all equally enjoyable and important. Many of the house team members have participated in both on and off stage events in the Eisteddfod from Year 7 throughout their time at high school, and consequently, know how rewarding extra-curricular events like this are both for students and staff.

We at St Paul house have been gathering ourselves together in preparation for the Eisteddfod. The house team this year have been very lucky as there have been so many younger students wanting to participate in all types of Eisteddfod events, and we can’t wait for the ‘big day’ to present all of our hard work to the judges! May the best house (St Paul) win!

The St. Paul House Team

St Teilo has worked tirelessly to ensure that we can work as a team and maintain continuous pride in our house. We are proud of what we have achieved this year, but to do well in Eisteddfod would top it off for us! The rehearsals so far have been excellent as the students participating have put in constant effort to get stuck in with what they have to do, ranging from the on-stage competitions to departmental and our banner competitions. We promise to entertain everyone and put on a show come the day of the Eisteddfod. We have a team of people and a house with a wide range of talents which we’re sure will be shown brilliantly, on stage and off-stage. We can’t wait to see what the day has in store: win or lose, we can definitely say that our house has worked to the best of its ability.

The St Teilo House Team

Bishop musicians showcase their talents/Cerddorwyr Yr Esgob yn arddangos eu doniau

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Thanks to the hard work of the Music department, our inaugural ‘Spring Showcase’ was held on the 2nd April. Here, some of the participants give their thoughts and feelings about this musical extravaganza

I really enjoyed performing in the school’s Spring Concert. It was a great night filled with so much amazing talent, not just from our school but also from Llandaff City Primary. The day before the concert we all had a great day off timetable, spending time together playing instruments, singing and getting everything ready to perform. Then before we knew it, it was time for the real thing!

Along with taking part in the Choir, Orchestra and Big Band, I played a trombone solo called “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King. It was quite nerve-wracking standing up by myself in front of so many people and it didn’t help that I tripped over a cello on the way up… But once I started playing I was fine and I really enjoyed it. After that I got a big round of applause before relaxing and listening to all the other brilliant performances that followed me.

Caitlin (Year 9)

The Spring Showcase was a brilliant night of music. It started with a full day rehearsal on the Monday before the concert, with students from Llandaff City Primary School coming up because they were our special guests. The day was exciting because we knew we would be performing the following night.

The day of the concert arrived and preparations were starting in the hall. When the time to perform finally came we all gathered along with parents in the hall. The opening number ‘Africa’ was a joint number with all the choirs.

There were a number of different acts and performances from Years 7 to 13, featuring bands, solos, duets, orchestras and choirs, and including our duet to ‘Hallelujah’. We really enjoyed performing at our first concert in Bishop and hope it will be the first of many. The spring showcase was a success!

Matilda and Jess (Year 7)

On the 2nd April, the school held its very first Spring Showcase, including performances from large ensembles, solos and duets. It was a night to remember, especially with the opening number, ‘Africa’ by Toto, which transformed the main hall into a wild savanna! It was lovely to have our guest musicians, from Llandaff City Primary, to join the concert. The orchestra and choir put on some breath-taking performances and it was fulfilling to collaborate with the primary school and create a performance that included the primary school choir, our junior choir, the senior choir and the band!

It was a stunning display with the help of the tech team and lighting which perfectly added to the atmosphere: it was so satisfying to see the different talents that we all share. For example, the orchestra performed a piece written by a Year 11 student! There were brilliant instrumentals on the trombone and piano whilst emotional classics like ‘Hallelujah’ created an engaging set of acts.

Bethan and I had the opportunity to host the show, which was both stressful and extremely enjoyable! It was great to have the experience and try something new. Overall, I really enjoyed the night and it was a really fun evening. Next stop: BGT!

Shivam (Year 10)

The Spring Showcase was an amazing experience for all! It started off with some hand made noises to create the image of a rain forest, which was very effective. From the thunder and rain noises came in a drum beat and ‘Africa’ (by Toto) started, which was a combination of both our choir, Llandaff City Primary School choir, and our band. Another of our ensembles was a piece called ‘Curiosity’ which was composed by a Year 11 student called Michael and performed by both orchestras. The concert also consisted of bands put together by students, many instrumental and vocal solos, the big band, the amazing Llandaff City orchestra and choir and ‘Bishop’ choir and orchestra. The concert also flowed really well due to Morgan and Shivam’s talks between each act!

Trystan (Year 8)

The school’s Spring Showcase was truly a wondrous evening bursting with talent and musicality. Being an avid musician myself, I was keen to take part in and help out with as much of the show as possible: taking part in the orchestra, big band, senior choir, and a few other small ensembles. In particular, I was allowed the opportunity to write a piece for the combined orchestras of Bishop and the Llandaff City Primary orchestra. Having been given such a challenge, seeing the piece come to life was a surreal experience that I will never forget. The whole evening was a joy to be part of: from the very first to the very last act.

Michael (Year 11)

Marion Centre Residential Trip/Taith breswyl Canolfan Marion

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At the end of March a group of thirteen students from the Marion Centre had an opportunity to attend Ynys Hywel Outdoor Activity Centre, Cwmfelinfach for a three day residential trip.

The first day was spent building campfires, dens and roasting marshmallows. The evening was spent relaxing and playing board games.  Following breakfast on the second day of the visit the students went on a mountain hike, enjoying a picnic lunch when they arrived at the top. The students also enjoyed a visit to a farm. The afternoon was spent completing an obstacle course followed by a movie.

On the final day the students completed a different obstacle course, this time wearing blindfolds, before making their way back to the Marion Centre. It was a most successful visit enjoyed by all and the students hope to plan another visit soon.

Mrs Knowles (Marion Centre)

Quiztastic – News from the Bishop PTFA/Newyddion gan GRAC Yr Esgob

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Well, it’s been a busy time for the Bishop PTFA. The annual Quiz Night took place on 1st February 2019 and as anticipated, it was a fun night with a packed out hall. Parents helped us raise over £1000 on the night, so a big thank you to everyone who came. It was a hotly contested race to the winning spot with only a few points between the top three, but you’ll see from the pictures that the winners and runners up were delighted. 

We also delivered another ‘Donut Day’. Lots of hungry students converged on the PTFA volunteers at breaktime and we sold a record breaking 300 doughnuts in ten minutes! A very successful morning’s work. We will continue to sell doughnuts on the last Thursday of each term so please remember to send your children in with £1. We have also confirmed arrangements for the following

Summer Barn Dance (Yee-haw!!)

Fri May 17th

featuring live music from Pluck and Squeeze

(of Gavin and Stacey fame)

Tickets £10 including entry and hot food

These events can’t succeed without your help, so please come along and support us.  

Whilst we are looking at longer term options for fundraising to support the purchase of outdoor furniture, we are keen to start making our funds available for investment in the school. With this in mind, the PTFA will be inviting school departments to bid for funds to support their activities. We also hope to engage with the student congress and ringfence some funds for the students to come up with some ideas for projects. 

A special thank you to the parents who kindly made a generous donation to the PTFA this year. We are always grateful for the contribution from parents – both financial and in kind. Securing raffle prizes for our events is always a challenge, so if you can help us with this, please let us know.

Our meetings usually take place at the school on the second Monday of every half term at 6.30pm and new members are always welcome. Even if you can’t commit to the meetings, we would welcome suggestions for fundraisers and always appreciate ‘hands on’ help at events that are staffed by our volunteers. If you think you can help or want further information, please email bowenjonesj@bishopofllandaff.org. You can also follow us on twitter @BOLHS_PTFA for the latest news.  

I look forward to seeing you at the next event!

Tina Cottrell (Chair, BOLHS PTFA)

Harvard comes to Cardiff/Mae Havard yn dod i Gaerdydd

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On Monday 11th March, we had a visit from a recruiter from Harvard University in the US. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a freshman straight from Boston like in the movies. A group from Year 10 spent Monday morning learning about how to apply to an American university and taking part in some entertaining activities such as building straw skyscrapers (which we all failed at, except for one lucky group!)

As it turns out, applying to an American university is rather different than applying to one here in the UK. For example, in the application, they would rather hear more about you as a person than your academic qualifications. During the morning, we were given a selection of headings of essays and told to write the introduction to our own using one of these. It was surprisingly difficult, at least in my opinion, to choose from such a broad range but once we got underway, it was a breeze! Our group had a variety of different topics which were really engaging.

Mr Gordon led us all throughout the morning. He is a very interesting person, who clearly has a lot of experience in university education. At one point, he gave us a taster of what an American interview would be like; I volunteered to take part. All he did was ask questions purely based around me and my life, which was different from how I imagine British interviews to be like. It was little experiences like this throughout that kept us all engaged, especially the sweets at the end!

Overall, Mr Gordon provided a broader perspective of where we could go for higher education. The journey to Harvard starts in Year 11 and although we’re not quite there yet, it’s certainly worth considering. I’m sure that all of us will give much thought to a potential future over the Atlantic.

Liam (Year 10)

Help our garden grow/Helpwch ein gardd i dyfu

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It’s been a very busy term in the Marion Centre Garden as the ‘Help our Garden Grow’ development programme continues. The sensory garden is being redesigned with the long term goal of creating a more purposeful outside learning space. The ongoing project is a huge task but due to the efforts and hard work of students, staff and volunteers the space is really taking shape and students are benefiting from accessing the area, which is very pleasing.

Prior to half term all Marion Centre students took part in a gardening week. Despite the dreadful weather all classes participated in digging and clearing the garden and helped to build raised planters. During the half term holiday parents and staff also contributed by giving up their time to help load another skip!

This week the students have been preparing potatoes for planting by the process of ‘chitting’ – it’s been quite an interesting process watching how quickly the tubers sprout, and who knew that potatoes have a right and a wrong way up?! The students are looking forward to the time when their potatoes are ready to harvest and they can use them to prepare some delicious meals.

Mrs Knowles (Marion Centre)

‘Something Bishop this way comes’ – our visit to Macbeth at the Millennium Centre/Ein hymweliad a Macbeth yng Nghanolfan Y Mileniwm

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On 21st March, a group of Year 9 students had the opportunity to visit a theatre production of Macbeth in the Wales Millennium Centre with the Drama and English departments. Thursday’s matinee performance was definitely the most enjoyable school trip of the year so far, and not just because we were able to miss afternoon lessons! The National Theatre’s tour of the UK and Ireland seems to have been very popular, with a sold out run in London, and will come in very useful when studying Shakespeare next year.

The play’s dark, eerie and visually daring nature added to the tense atmosphere in the auditorium and left many people inspired to look a little deeper into Shakespeare’s works. Also, the large, bridge-like set created a different perspective and angle in each scene by moving around the stage and having many alternating purposes, a particular highlight being when it was used to create a fairly realistic beheading!

Personally, my favourite part of the play was at the very start when three mythical witches spoke creepily from the tops of high trees which they crept up and watched the action from. Their deep breathing in time together and echoed tone really set the scene very well and created so much tension – it was very unsettling. Overall, this play was so much fun and I recommend theatre productions of Shakespeare plays to all. Thank you so much to the Drama and English departments for arranging this trip.

Emily (Year 9)

We All Like to Play…/Rydyn ni i gyd yn hoffi chwarae …

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A former student, Matthew, approached the school last term, showcasing a charity he has a close link to. The charity is call East African Playgrounds and aims to raise money to purchase play equipment for children in Uganda. Uganda has the fifth highest number of refugees of any country in the world and many of these refugees are children who just want to play and have a little bit of fun in their lives. Play is recognised as a right for children by the United Nations and is a key component in their growing up and development.

The school staged a non-uniform day on 29th March and raised £800 for this worthwhile cause. If you would like to know more about the charity’s work, please take a moment to visit their website at www.eastafricanplaygrounds.org

Mr Davies (School chaplain)

‘Read for Good’ Readathon 2019/’Darllen er da’ Readathon 2019

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Congratulations and thank you to all those who took part in the Sponsored Readathon, raising money for ‘Read for Good’. We managed to raise a fantastic £209! The money raised buys books and takes the power of stories to children in hospitals via mobile bookcases and resident storytellers. A special congratulations to Year 7 students, Kefe, who raised a massive £66.50, and Oreo, who managed to read ten books in the two week period.

Mrs Sturbecher (LRC manager)

You’re Having A Laugh… – Comic Relief 2019/Rwyt ti’n cael hwyl ….. – ‘Comic Relief’ (Rhyddhad comig) 2019

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Once again, 2019 is the year of Comic Relief and the school wanted to celebrate this key fund-raising event with a number of activities. Firstly, in time-honoured tradition, a non-uniform day was held and staff and students were encouraged to wear something red. As you can imagine, Welsh rugby shirts were a very popular choice.

Throughout the day, there were several additional activities. A cake and sweet sale organised by students in Years 7 and 8 raised an excellent £185, backed up for those who wanted something savoury in the shape of a pizza sale, which raised a further £75. No day would be complete, though, without something unexpected, which is exactly what happened when some Year 10 students went around school in inflatable T-Rex costumes, ably supported by the Honey Monster! Finally, a Year 7 student raised nearly £40 by holding a sponsored silence, which was a great achievement too. So, in total, the school raised a healthy £1248.80 for Comic Relief and had a little bit of fun in the meantime.

Mr Davies (Chaplain)

Pastoral News/Newyddion Bugeiliol

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Spring Term 2019 has proved to be another excellent term with many students acknowledged by their teachers for their outstanding efforts and attainment in subjects across the curriculum as well as commitment to school life, including Jessica, Lucy, Abianne, Luna, Ellie, Dylan, Grace, Thomas, Tom, Olivia, Morgan, Thomas, Rachel, Liam, Tasnim, Georgia and Chloe in our Student of the Month initiative.

In addition, there is a large number of students with a 100% attendance so far this academic year – a fantastic effort. Similarly, a significant number of students in each year group, who have been acknowledged with only positive comments from their teachers this term, will be entered into the end of term Golden Ticket raffle. To continue to demonstrate such a positive attitude towards their learning and organisation is commendable indeed.

We would like to wish all our students and their families and carers a happy, safe and restful Easter holiday but also take this opportunity to wish all those students sitting their external exams at the start of next term all the very best for their preparations during the coming weeks.

Mrs Bowen Jones (Assistant Head)

Expressing myself through music/Mynegi fy hun trwy fiwsig

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In March, the Year 8 worship band, of which I am a member, played in the Year 8 Eucharist. It’s not always easy to play – in fact I messed up twice during the Eucharist – but despite this, I really enjoy playing for the worship band. It’s really fun and rewarding as it’s an opportunity to get a good musical reputation and to play at different events. What’s more, it’s good to be in a group with like-minded people and talented musicians.

Recently, Henry, our pianist, got into School of Rock – The Musical in London’s West End, something we are all very excited about as aspiring musicians. However, for me, playing in the school worship band isn’t just about getting the experience and playing really complex pieces of music, it’s about being able to express my relationship with God, and using the talent I feel He has given me in the best way. This, for me, was highlighted during the recent Year 8 Eucharist.

Callum (Year 8)

Bishop student is off to Harvard University/Myfyriwr Yr Esgob yn mynd i brifysgol Harvard

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Nine essays and countless hours spent staring at my computer later, I am going to Harvard! Through the Seren Network, I have been lucky enough to receive a full scholarship to the Harvard Pre-College Program with four other Welsh students. We will be flying to Boston for two weeks where we will live, study and cram for exams in one of over three hundred possible subjects. However, I have been assured it is most definitely not just work; we will be meeting other students from all over the globe and doing lots of very much non-academic activities (including a compulsory trip to see a Red Sox baseball game)! It is such an amazing opportunity that I am incredibly grateful to have, and cannot wait to begin – watch out for a full account in a future edition of The Mitre.

Verity (Year 12)

Bishop students visit Oxford for ‘Women in Science’ day/Myfyrwyr ‘Yr Esgob’ yn ymweld a Rhydychen am ddiwrnod ‘Gwragedd yng Ngwyddoniaeth’

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On 20th February, five students, including myself, shortlisted from over six hundred applicants, had the privilege of attending the ‘Women in Science’ day hosted by Oxford University. This day consisted of three talks from female academics, designed to encourage more women into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers.

Upon arrival, we received timetables and an introduction to the day before we split into the groups they had already assigned us to: sadly, the three of us who travelled together were all separated! My first talk, in Trinity College, was delivered by Anna Hoerder-Suabedissen on neuroscience- specifically the development of the brain during embryonic growth and development. All in all, I found that talk particularly interesting but difficult to make notes on due to my evident lack of knowledge in neuroscience. After the first talk, we were taken to the dining hall, where the food, as usual, was amazing (and free). After finishing lunch, a few students from Oxford took us on a tour around Trinity College, where we were able to learn more about the student life and details about particular courses available. I personally found it to be a valuable experience to be able to talk with current students, who shared with us what their average day consisted of.

We then walked over to Jesus College where the day continued with a chemistry talk from Lisa Thompson. She discussed an early-stage technology-HydRegen- which is currently under development at Oxford University. I personally found this talk easier to understand as it was heavily based around utilising enzymes in order to make purer and safer drugs. Following this, we headed to our last talk of the day, titled ‘Perceptions of Scientists’ from Ellie Armstrong. This was loosely based around modern-day stereotypes of women in science and ways in which many have worked to overcome these stereotypes in recent years in order to make STEM careers a more welcoming pathway for women to take. As the talk came to an end, all groups were walked back to Trinity College where we had our plenary talk before departing.

Overall, I found the day to be extremely interesting and, although I attended not knowing what to expect, I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity in talks, as well as being able to talk with first year students. Thankfully, the group I’d been placed into covered fields I was interested in and managed to avoid topics I didn’t have any particular interest in. Although I’d like to believe that the day would’ve been equally as enjoyable if I’d been in the group with all the engineering talks. The event was an excellent opportunity to have a taste of what a STEM career may consist of.

Jayne (Year 12)

Our visit to Italy/Ein taith i’r Eidal

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In February half term the Geography department took 50 students from Year 11, 12 and 13 to the sunny south west of Italy.

After flying from London into Naples, the journey from the airport to our hotel in Sorrento was out of this world! Sorrento is a coastal town known as the City of Orange and Lemon Groves, as the streets are lined with orange and lemon trees. A country where they allow pasta as a starter… we had arrived!

We had an amazing spot, with our hotel looking out over the Bay of Naples – meals with a view! Also, our rooms had balconies overlooking the sea and we had a communal room between all of our bedrooms where we all gathered to play games in the evenings.

When we arrived we were tired but nothing was going to stop us from having our first adventure! We all got the local train from Old Town Sorrento into Sorrento City Centre, which was the first ice cream and slice of pizza stop of the trip! We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the area before we got the train back. After using public transport and our GCSE Italian language skills, we felt like we’d really achieved something special that evening.

We spent the morning of the second day wandering the ruins of Pompeii, the famous preserved ancient city that was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Our tour guide Laura was amazing – it wouldn’t have been half the experience without her. She taught us so many interesting things about this ancient city. For example, archaeologists have only excavated roughly half of Pompeii, and have decided to leave the rest untouched, which was a surprise to many of us; the sheer size of what we saw had us thinking they had uncovered the whole city. They decided not to excavate anymore to keep it safe. We saw the preserved bodies, the original artwork, shops, and houses, all with the view of Vesuvius behind us. It truly was a spectacular experience.

That afternoon, we piled back on the coaches and began the trek up Mount Vesuvius, where we would be dropped off half way and hike to the top. After getting about half way, it began to snow, so when we got to the top we could not see a thing. To quote our bus driver: ‘if you get off now, you’ll be spending the night up there!’ So we had to go back down before we got stuck!

Instead, we visited one of the other towns buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, called Herculaneum. This smaller city was destroyed by pyroclastic flows (fast moving clouds of gas and ash). In an attempt to escape these flows, the people of this city, rushed to the sea, and now dozens of skeletal remains can be found in the boat houses. Herculaneum, like Pompeii, was unbelievable. To be freely walking around the homes and businesses of those alive nearly 2000 years ago was very surreal. The original stone oven was still in the bakery, original tile floorings and paintings were everywhere!

The following day, we took a hydrofoil to the island of Capri, in the Bay of Naples, where we explored the shops and took a boat tour around the whole island – of course, making sure we identified all the geological formations around the island, including caves, arches and more. We went into the crystal clear blue waters of the Blue Grotto where so many A list celebrities have gone before us.

That night, we went authentic pizza making! We all dressed up and were taught how to make the pizza, starting with the dough, and we then picked our toppings and had the chance to flip our pizza dough in the air before we watched it go into the huge pizza oven. That evening we were entertained with Italian dance while we tucked into our masterpieces!

On the final day, we toured around the beautiful Amalfi Coast and on to Rovello, stopping at all of the famous tourist stops along the way. The boat trip around Capri was many people’s favourite part of the whole trip, so we were super lucky when on our tour of the Amalfi coast – with a bit of haggling – we were offered another boat tour to see the stunning sights of the Amalfi Coast and Rovello!

Overall the visit was a huge success, and lots of fun. Thank you so much to the Geography department for organising this trip.

Agnes (Year 11)

Welsh Department News/Newyddion Yr Adran Gymraeg

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Eisteddfod 2019

Well, the preparations for the 2019 annual whole school Eisteddfod are now in full swing.

The Welsh department has been busy in preparing the documentation used in the run up to the Eisteddfod which this year will be held on Thursday 11th April.

From the start of the Spring Term the Eisteddfod officials in the Sixth Form have been working tirelessly in promoting the Eisteddfod and the various competitions and, most importantly, arranging practice sessions and rehearsals with the various participants. As a department we greatly value the hard work of these students in making the Eisteddfod a success at an already busy time of the year. I cannot stress enough that without you Eisteddfod officials, the event would not be possible.

The Art department has long decided on a theme for the banner competition. In 2019 the houses will be required to create/paint a banner on the theme Dathlu Amgylchfyd Cymru Celebrating the Welsh Environment. With these banners we look forward to the school Sport’s Hall being transformed into a colourful, creative and thoughtprovoking venue.

The details of the various departmental competitions have already been circulated and I am aware that students have been hard at work in completing the tasks required. We cannot stress enough the importance of these competitions as they allow for students who may lack the confidence to compete on stage to make a valuable contribution to the Eisteddfod. I wish to emphasise, as always, the importance of really making a big push with the collection of ‘Tocynnau Iaith in the run-up to the Eisteddfod. The Tocynnau Iaith result has a significant impact on the overall Eisteddfod totals – so keep up the efforts!

I’m sure that this year’s Eisteddfod will be a success yet again and we look forward eagerly to the various competitions which will allow our students to display with pride their musical, dancing and performing talents.

You will be provided with the results of the Eisteddfod competitions in the next edition of The Mitre.

One piece of lovely news to end on a really high note – one of our Year 13 Welsh students, Bethany, has succeeded in getting through to the last stage of the Urdd Eisteddfod’s Medel Bobi Jones (Bobbi Jones Medal) competition. For this event Bethany had to make a video recording of herself speaking Welsh. Bethany competed against many other Welsh Language students from across Wales at the Llangrannog Urdd Centre over the weekend of March 30 – 31st and came second overall. Llongyfarchiadaumawr – many congratulations! You can read Bethany’s article on the competition elsewhere in this edition of The Mitre.

Mr Davies (Welsh department)

Hay Scribblers Tour 2019/Taith Ysgriblwyr Y Gelli Gandryll 2019

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Recently, a group of Year 8 students visited Swansea University at the Hay Scribblers Tour, where we spent the day with three very different authors: Emma Carroll, Jenny Valentine and Karl Nova.

Emma Carroll led us through different ways to create the plot of a book. We looked at random photos and had to think about how places might smell, if they were abandoned, what was on the floor and so on. By the end of the workshop we all had some great ideas that could be used to write a novel.

This was our first introduction to Karl Nova and his work, so we were excited to visit his workshop. Do you like poetry? How about RAP? Well, did you know that RAP is actually an acronym for Rhythm andPoetry? Karl is a RAP artist and performer and has “reluctantly” written a poetry book. He performed some of his RAPs and got us to join in. At the end of his workshop he did some ‘freestyling’ and we had to give him words to include. Gwilym gave him the word ‘Llandaff’ and Karl managed to fit it in to his song with ease.

We spent the day doing various creative workshops, brain warm-ups, and learning new ways of finding inspiration for when you have writer’s block. I even got ideas for a new theatrical script!  

Afterwards we took a very informative tour of Swansea University, which has its own theatres, shops and even a travel agency. They have all the sports that you can think of, from archery to skiing.  They even have a Quidditch team! (Which we would love to happen at Bishop…)

All in all it was a very inspiring and interesting day out.

Polly (Year 8)

School radio under new management/Radio’r Ysgol o dan reolaeth newydd

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Over the past year, the school radio station has changed hands and has had many a successful show! Since Rose and I took over the station as manager and assistant manager respectively, there has been a huge amount of excellent content produced by students in Years 10-13. The management team (Rose, Jack, Sam and me) have written, presented and produced some one-off shows, including the Remembrance Day broadcast last November. We wanted to make it special not only as it was Remembrance Day but it was also our last year in school, and it turned out really well! We pre-recorded the show and it included written pieces from past and present members of the armed services in the school, poems, and music from Ludovico Einaudi. The broadcastwas played during the school assembly and we received really positive feedback from students and teachers.

Since then we have been able to upgrade some of the hardware in the studio for an even better broadcast quality and we are hoping to carry out a live broadcast from the school Eisteddfod on 11th April. If you have the time, it would be great if you could tune in via the school website!

Greg (Year 13)

Inspiring visit from Royal Shakespeare Company actors/Ymweliad ysbrydoledig gan actorion Cwmni Brenhinol Shakespeare

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What an amazing opportunity we had meeting some of the actors from The Royal Shakespeare Company’s highly acclaimed current production of Romeo and Juliet! It was so exciting, as an A level drama student, to get an insight into how professional actors rehearse and get into their role. I was actually surprised to see how similar our drama lessons with Mr Smith are to their exercises and warm ups.

For me, the most interesting thing to see was how the actor playing Lord Capulet took on his role on stage; I met him in the workshop in school and got to see him in this very serious role at the New Theatre. He really captured the character in a way I have never seen and I felt so inspired after the performance. Not only this, but working with them is really helping me with revision for the Drama A2 exam, and I’m happy to say that the biggest part of homework for drama is to see more theatre!

Lucy (Year 13)

Swimmers make a SPLASH!/Nofwyr yn gwneud sbloet!

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Marion Centre students took part in a two week intensive swimming course at SPLASH Central on Ocean Way earlier this year. Students were given opportunities to develop their skills in the water by experienced coaches who led by example and worked alongside individuals in the specialist pool.  Staff, students and parents were thrilled with the success of the programme. A follow up questionnaire identified improvements in students in areas such as concentration levels, general happiness and life skills independence, as well as improved organisation. The Marion Centre would like to extend our thanks to the SPLASH Central team for working with such positive focus. Well done to all of the students who received certificates for their hard work, dedication and progress!

Mrs Vielle (Marion Centre)

Remembering the Holocaust/Yn cofio’r Holocawst

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On Friday 25th January students from The Bishop of Llandaff Church-in-Wales High School headed to Cardiff City Hall to take part in the Holocaust Memorial Day assembly. This annual event comprised several speeches from charities and performances by a choir which included several of our own students. We heard a woman’s account of her experiences during the Holocaust and ambassadors talked about visiting Auschwitz. Wreathes were then placed on stage, before the assembly ended. All in all, it was an incredibly informative and moving event which gave us much to reflect on. 

Oliver (Year 9)

Giving students a voice/Rhoi llais i fyfyrwyr

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VocalEyes is a digital platform to encourage and promote student voice throughout The Bishop of Llandaff and other schools. We were introduced to VocalEyes last year due to our position as form representatives and, over time, it will help us develop our digital skills as well as our understanding of participatory democracy. Cardiff is vying to be a Child Friendly City by 2020 and giving young people a real voice, which can lead to actual change, will help us achieve this!

To further our knowledge, we attended a training session led by Cathays High School. During this course we learnt how to use VocalEyes and how it could benefit us as students. We then created our own accounts so we could share ideas online with the wider school community. We also created a school group so our students can make suggestions, rate ideas and get involved in discussions.

As well as sharing ideas to be rated, VocalEyes allows us to undertake specific roles and responsibilities designed to improve our digital skills. These jobs include, project coordinators, news reporters, video makers and project researchers, to name just a few. As Year 8 students we are responsible for moderating content and training and promoting VocalEyes to Year 7 students. We personally like VocalEyes as it is a safe and secure way to make suggestions and have our opinions heard.

Going forward, we will continue to introduce VocalEyes to more students in the hope that we engage more users. We hope students will enjoy using it and it proves to be a successful digital platform for student voice in the future.

Lila and Bibi (Year 8)

Year 7 student Neriah is one of those who have benefited from using VocalEyes, and writes:                  

VocalEyes is used to help students communicate the things they would like to change about the school, or ideas for improvement. Transportation was the most common problem that came up, but VocalEyes can also be used for issues such as school facilities.

VocalEyes can be used for many purposes – for instance, we can receive and respond to students’ requests but we can also see what other schools are doing. That is a bonus because we are able to see how other schools are improving and if need be we can use some of their ideas to enhance our school. It is also good in terms of saving money. If other schools have tried something, we can learn from them.

VocalEyes is also very good for analysing where the school may need a bit of support to improve itself. Moreover, the students of the school are able to have access to something that will enhance their learning.

Neriah (Year 7)

Bishop students attend ‘Citizens Cymru’ event/Myfyrwyr ‘Yr Esgob’ yn mynychu digwyddiad ‘Dinasyddion Cymru’

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On Monday 4th February, several students from The Bishop of Llandaff Church-in-Wales High School attended an assembly by Citizens Cymru at Cardiff University Students’ Union. During this event the new First Minister, Mark Drakeford, was introduced; and when asked what he wanted to improve in Wales, one of his comments was ‘we need to make the simple business of voting more accessible’.

After this introduction, Citizens Cymru asked him to comment on some of the following matters: The Real Living Wage, banning letting agency fees and dignity in social care.

Citizens Cymru stated that 1 in 4 Welsh workers earn less than the real living wage and a quarter of them do not earn enough to support themselves and their families. Rowan Hughes, of Unison, stated that ‘there is still a long way to go’ so that every worker gets paid fairly. Principality stadium worker Ahmed Awed told the assembly that under 20’s only had to be paid 5 pounds an hour! He also said that ‘when you are paid the minimum wage, organisations are saying that they wish that they could pay you less, but the law will not let them’. The First Minister answered that he agreed that this was a problem, but the government ‘recognises that it is not easy for all workers to get  paid the real living wage immediately’ and this may be true, since it would be hard to change how organisations do business; however some believe that this may be an excuse.

After being presented with the issue of letting agent fees and hearing several emotional stories from people that this issue had affected, along with the comment that letting agencies must be told that ‘they cannot charge these fees’, Mr Drakeford told the assembly that there was currently a bill being prepared which would effectively ban letting agent fees and that he hoped that it would be looked at quickly and approved.

The assembly then moved on to the issue of dignity in social care, and a woman came up on-stage to talk about her mother,who had been under duress whilst in social care due to the flaws in the system – ‘she deserved better, and so did the care workers who looked after her’ she stated. Several speakers also stated that ‘many people are leaving care work because they are not respected’ and ‘care workers and the person cared for need to be given dignity’. Mark Drakeford said that ‘the answer to respect in social care does not rely on the government alone’ but that the government had made progress by banning zero-hour contracts in Wales. He said that ‘we all have a responsibility to act together for the common good’.

The First Minister finished by saying that ‘we need to have courage’, and I think that this is a message that we should all live by.

Oliver (Year 9)

Bishop student wins prestigious music award/Myfyriwr ‘Yr Esgob’ yn ennill gwobr fiwsig fawreddog

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Hi, I’m Ethan from Year 9, and although I’m extremely busy with my rugby commitments, I still manage to find time to follow another passion of mine…singing!

I’ve been a chorister with the Parish Choir at Llandaff Cathedral for nearly six years and I also sing cantor (soloistchorister) during the school holidays. I’m also a member of CCVG Youth Choir, Only Boys Aloud and for the second year running, I’ve been offered a place with The National Youth Choir of Wales. As a result, I will be spending part of mysummer at Lampeter University on their residency course,followed by concert tours around Wales and other events throughout the year.  

The journey of my latest achievement began last year on Saturday 17TH November 2018, when I attended an audition in Maesteg for the first round of “The Dunraven Welsh Young Singer of the Year 2019” competition.  A few days later I was very excited to receive an email saying I had been successful and had been chosen as one of three finalists in the 11-14 year old age category!  I then had two months to prepare a tenminute recital comprising two contrasting pieces.

The live finals took place on Saturday 23rd February 2019 in the Dora Stoutzker Hall at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It was a great evening and a great experience, although the timing of the event could have been better as I wasn’t able to watch the Wales v England Six Nations game!After all the finalists had sung, the adjudicators made their decision. Although I was in complete shock at the time, I’m over the moon to have been awarded first place and announced as the “Welsh Young Singer of the Year 2019”. I was awarded an engraved glass trophy along with £500 prize money.

Ethan (Year 9)