This blog entry was taken from the WWF UK blog. Read more WWF blog entries here.
As Mondays go, I’ve had one of my most inspiring!
I’ve been in the company of the Eco School Council at Llangewydd Junior School in Bridgend who have been sharing their wishes for the planet’s future with the Welsh Government minister Jeff Cuthbert.
I listened in as the pupils spoke to the minister about the ‘National Conversation’ on the future of Wales.Since I left the school on Friday, each pupil (that’s 400 in total) have written a wish for the planet – see our photos on Facebook. And amazingly the school has transformed the back of their hall into a huge montage of beautifully decorated stars on animal shaped constellations.
The school is supporting WWF’s Earth Hour which takes place on Saturday, 29th March and pupils presented their ‘Earth Hour’ wishes with the minister which covered topics such as safe cycling, protecting forests, reducing pollution and protecting endangered species (this echoes our #welshwish initiative which you can join by clicking here).
The pupils quizzed him on the role of the National Assembly for Wales, his job as the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty and whether he enjoyed the role, which he responded with a definite yes.
He explained that he’ s leading the Welsh Government’s ‘National Conversation’ on the future of Wales and encouraged the children to get involved in the process.
Food for thought – some of the 400 wishes the pupils have written on stars.The headteacher, Mrs Davies, said that the school runs annual elections which includes pupils forming political parties, each with its own manifesto! She suggested that the parties could consider including the Future Generations Bill in their manifestos.
In fact, I think political parties’ manifestos would include many more commitments to protecting the environment for future generations if they were prepared by these pupils!
Well done Llangewydd Junior School…can I spend more Monday mornings with you please?
A massive well done to all of Year 4 for their fantastic Christmas performances - you were all amazing. Thanks again to everyone for their continued has supported. Wishing you all a very Merry Chistmas and a wonderful New Year from all in Year 4.
Mr. Carwyn Jones, Wales' First Minister, along with Councillor Huw David and Community Councillor Cheryl Green, came to Llangewydd this morning to congratulate the school on its outstanding ESTYN inspection report. Mr. Jones said that he had read the school's inspection report and was proud of the school's significant achievements, particularly its "excellent prospects for improvement", "excellent teaching" and "excellent learning experiences". He also said that the outstanding inspection report was testament to the hard work of the whole school community - the headteacher, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils, parents and governors. The First Minister went on to praise the "excellent practice" of the school and was sure that we would continue to improve, going from strength to strength."
During his visit the First Minister met Mrs. Davies, pupils and staff. In a special assembly he took time to answer questions from Alex-our Head Boy, Keeleigh-our Head Girl, as well as members of the school's leadership team and members of the School Council. They asked some impressive questions such as "Do you think it is important that schools support charitable causes?", "How can schools promote a healthy lifestyle?" and "What does your job involve?". Mr. Jones chatted to Llangewydd's pupils, explaining how delighted he was about our successful inspection. As our AM, the First Minister was particularly pleased that a Bridgend school had received such high praise from ESTYN's school inspectors.
Today everyone at Llangewydd was tickled pink as we held our 'Pink Friday' to raise money for breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Care. Everybody was encouraged to wear something pink and to make a £1 donation towards Breast Cancer Care. Breast cancer is a terrible disease that affects so many people's lives and it is important to raise money to fund cancer research and the search for a cure.
A successful cake sale was held to raise money for the nominated charity. Thanks to everyone who made and sent in so many delicious cakes. William Tippett's mum also organised a raffle to raise money for Breast Cancer Care with prizes including a Tesco hamper, vouchers for Ceri's Cake Creations and a heart canvas. We had a fun day all dressed in pink whilst raising money for a worthwhile cause. Well done Llangewydd!
Today Mrs. Brookes, a librarian from Bridgend Public Library, came to a special assembly to present certificates and medals to the children who took part in the 'Creepy House' reading challenge during the Summer holiday. Over thirty children completed the challenge successfully.
Llongyfarchiadau i bawb sy wedi wneud y sialens darllen yn ystod y gwyliau'r Haf. Congratulations to all these great readers from our school who enjoyed reading at least six books this Summer. Over the six weeks of the holidays, they received special 'Creepy House' bookmarks, fridge magnets and stickers as they completed each stage of the reading challenge. If you are not already member of Bridgend's public library, why not think about joining? The library has a vast choice of exciting books to read and enjoy.
We are the Welsh entry for the Schoolovision Song Contest 2013.
The competition, run in the similar way to Eurovision, links schools from nearly 40 countries from across Europe.
Each school records a song in their own language or about their own country, films a video, then uploads it to the competition blog (schoolovision2013/blogspot.com). The other schools watch these videos and then vote to choose their top ten songs.
This Friday, the live voting will take place through a videoconference to decide on the best school song in Europe.
Our school has been taking part in the competition as the Welsh entry since the very start of the eTwinning project in 2009 and are very proud of our past achievements - our best result so far was 5th overall in 2011.
The competition has deservedly won many awards for linking schools, collaboration and communication across Europe. Watch our video here, then visit the competition website to watch and leave comments for the songs from all the other schools competing this year - click on the schoolovision title to get there!
Y Ddraig Goch.
Eisteddfod Dydd Gwyl Dewi Arbennig yn ein ysgol ni. A Special St. David's Day Eisteddfod at our school.
Today was a special day at Llangewydd as we celebrated St. David's Day with our exciting school Eisteddfod. The hall was a sea of scarlet as we all sat in our house colours, many of us dressed in our national rugby jerseys or in traditional Welsh costumes and wearing our daffodils and leeks. The excitement was building as we waited for the day's competitions to begin.
Yn edrych ymlaen i'r Eisteddfod.
After weeks of hard work in class, we looked forward to a day of on-stage Welsh and English recitations, singing, dancing, the announcements of who had won the class-based competitions in writing, Welsh writing, handwriting, Art and IT and of course the chairing of the bard. At the start of our school Eisteddfod, the house points were: Tŷ Gwyrdd - 444 pwyntiau, Tŷ Coch - 398 pwyntiau, Tŷ Aur - 380 pwyntiau and Tŷ Glas - 384 pwyntiau. The judges were ready, Miss Jury and Mrs Page were ready to count all the points throughout the day and so the competitions could begin. Very exciting! Gyffrous iawn!
Yn cystadlu ar y llwyfan. Competing on stage.
The on-stage competitions got underway with Year 5 singing the traditional Welsh song 'Ar Lan Y Mor'. In each of the singing competitions, the judges were listening for tuneful singing, accurate pronunciation of words as well as more technical aspects such as pitch, timing and breathing at appropriate places. The judges commented on the high standard of the singing throughout the day and had to make some difficult decisions at times as each of the competitors were so impressive.
Yn cystadlu ar y llwyfan. Competing on stage.
Everyone in the hall clapped and cheered as children from their houses took to the stage to take part in competitions. How brave they were to sing and recite poems in front of a hall full of children, teachers and staff! Finalists had put so much effort into learning both Welsh and English poems off by heart. Again the judges were amazed by the high standard of the poetry recitations. Bendigedig! Judges focused on the accuracy of the recitations as well as the children's use of pace, expression and movements to bring the poems to life for the audience. We all thoroughly enjoyed listening to each of the poetry recitations and they brought a smile to our faces.
Dyma ein cerddorion bendigedig!
Throughout the day, the house point totals were announced and the competition became more and more exciting with not many points separating the leading two houses - Tŷ Gwyrdd and Tŷ Coch. Instrumentalists had an opportunity to earn points for their houses by performing a piece of music for the school. Carwyn and Dafydd both wowed everyone with how well they played the piano. We were amazed at the standards they have achieved. Mr. Evans had better watch out! You could have heard a pin drop as Cerys sang Adele's 'Someone Like You' with such sophistication, accompanied beautifully by Celyn on the piano. We all enjoyed listening to the violinists and the brass instrumentalists who have made such great progress with their music. Llongyfarchiadau i chi gyd! Congratulations to all of you!
Mae'r côrau tŷ yn canu. The house choirs sing.
The morning's competitions closed with the much anticipated 'House Choir' competition where each house had to sing the Welsh song 'Y Plant Dyn Ni'. There were much needed house points at stake - 50 for the winning house, 40 for the runner-up, and 30 and 20 for the third and fourth-placed houses respectively. Miss Hatch and Mrs. Evans, the judges, listened to each house choir singing, making notes about their performance. They looked to see whether each choir knew the words, as well as listening carefully to their diction, their pitch, their tempo. They also looked to see how well each house sang together as a choir - with one voice. It was a close run thing but the judges' final adjudication placed Tŷ Glas in first place just ahead of Tŷ Gwyrdd. Llongyfarchiadau i dŷ Glas!
Dawnsio Gwerin Gwych!
Our Eisteddfod continued after lunch with some traditional Welsh folk dancing by Mrs. Evans' class. Dawnsio gwerin gwych! Dressed in traditional costumes, the children danced in time to the Welsh folk music Cylch Circassian. We all clapped along as the dancers danced rownd a rownd with their partners, weaving in and out of each other and changing direction.
Home-School models were on display.
At points throughout the day, teachers announced the winners of competitions that had taken place in classrooms in the weeks leading up to the Eisteddfod. These included IT, Art, Writing, Welsh Writing and handwriting competitions. Again the judges had been impressed by the high standards of the work produced in all year groups. The winners of the Home-School tasks were also announced and everyone could enjoy looking at the colourful models/items on display around the school hall. Year 3 had made some impressive Chinese dragons. Year 4 had made models, mobiles and all sorts of other items on the theme of 'Space'. Year 5 had made some eye-catching Welsh shields whilst Year 6 had been challenged to make something useful out of a plastic takeaway food container! All the staff at the school were amazed by how inventive and creative you had been with your home-school tasks. Bendigedig!
The Chairing of the Bard. Cadeirio'r Bardd. The exciting climax to the day soon arrived with the chairing of the bard - the highest honour of the day awarded to the pupil in Year 6 who had written the best poem in the poetry competition. As tension mounted, Mrs. Davies talked to the school about how difficult it had been to judge the poetry competition owing to the high standard of so many of the poems written. Year 6 had been asked to write a poem titled 'The Sorrows of Winter' .
Ein bardd bendigedig! Our fantastic bard!
Each pupil in Year 6 had submitted a poem to the competition using a nom de plume to keep their identity secret. Before the nom de plume of this year's bard was revealed, Mrs. Davies announced which pupils had been in close contention for the ultimate accolade. Abby Pye, Teigan Watson and Caitlin Rees were joint second runners-up with Mia Thomas and Shannon Treharne joint first runners-up. Finally the moment had arrived! Silence fell around the school hall as Mr. Morrison called out the name of the winning poet, asking if they were in the hall one......two......three times: "Oes______________yn y neuadd?" Each time, the Eisteddfod sword was almost removed from its sheath but was returned as everyone in the hall called out "Heddwch." On the third asking, Celyn stood up to be revealed as Llangewydd's bard of 2013.
Yn gwisgo'r ddillad bardd. Wearing the bardic robes.
As everyone around the hall clapped and cheered, Celyn was escorted to the stage where she was dressed in the bardic robes before sitting in the bardic chair to be crowned. Mrs. Davies invited Celyn to read her poem to the school and everyone agreed that its high quality made Celyn a most well-deserved bard. Llongyfarchiadau i Celyn!
Mae tŷ gwyrdd yn ddathlu. Green house celebrate.
As it approached a quarter past three, it was time to reveal which house had earned most points and so won this year's Eisteddfod. In fourth place was Tŷ Aur, in third place was Tŷ Glas, the runners up were Tŷ Coch but winning our Eisteddfod 2013 were Tŷ Gwyrdd! Tŷ Gwyrdd clapped and cheered in celebration as their House Captains came to the front of the hall to be presented with the Eisteddfod trophy by Mrs. Davies. It was an exciting end to what had been a memorable day punctuated by some outstanding performances and achievements. The day ended with everyone standing to sing our national anthem 'Mae hen wlad fy nhadau' with pride.