25 pupils and 3 members of staff from Mountain Ash Comprehensive School travelled to Krakow during their half-term to visit notable landmarks within the city and on the outskirts. The main purpose of the trip was to visit Auschwitz in its 70th year of liberation.
Pupils embarked on their journey in the early hours of Monday morning and arrived at their Polish base mid-afternoon. They immediately started to explore and get their bearings of this beautiful city.
The first place of interest was the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Just a short bus ride saw us arrive at this UNESCO listed attraction. We were taken deep into the mine and guided through the various chambers, only to be amazed at every turn and through every door by the craftsmanship of the miners. With over 300 steps to travel down into the mine it was well worth the exercise. The pupils learnt of the history of the mine and of the legend of Princess Kinga. The highlight of the visit was the Chapel of St. King. A truly memorable experience.
The afternoon saw a visit to Schindlerâ€™s factory and an insight of the life of the Jew before, during and after the War. There was also reference to life in pre-war Krakow and the fate of the city under Nazi occupation. Pupils had the opportunity to look at pictures, artefacts and media that aided their learning on this topic. The pupils then toured the Jewish Quarter of the City and learnt of Jewish life in Krakow. The route goes through the Kazimierz area of the city. It begins in the Jewish ghetto, pupils stood on the square and were surrounded by chairs, a memorial to those Jews who were killed during this period of history. The empty chairs signifying the loss of life and possessions. As we walked around this part of the city there was a clear distinction between the past and the present.
The most significant part trip was the expedition to Auschwitz. We were lucky to have a superb guide who captured the attention of the group from the outset. The pupils were encouraged to empathise with those, who 70 years before, stood in that spot, in the cold, bleak weather and who would have been clothed in just a thin set of striped pyjamas. There was an eerie silence throughout the visit as the pupils hung onto every word that was offered on this most inexplicable period of history. The pupils remained respectful at all times. They learnt that Jews or prisoners that were sent to Auschwitz rarely lasted more than 6 months. The places that were shown on the news during Holocaust Memorial Day were made a reality as they the pupils explored the museum at Auschwitz and the actual death camp at Auschwitz Birkenau. We laid roses as a mark of respect to those who perished in the gas chambers and in celebration of those prisoners who against all the odds, showed defiance to Hitlerâ€™s â€˜Final Solutionâ€™. With courage and determination they were able to come out of this period of history alive and through these testimonies we are able to learn about the dark side of humanity and try to prevent it from happening again.
The pupils were clearly moved by the visit to Krakow and hereâ€™s what some of them had to say:
â€˜An emotional few days but well worth the visit, learnt so much and Iâ€™m so glad that I was given the opportunity.â€™ Emily Thomas
â€˜A life changing but very enjoyable experience, you see the photos but actually being there is surreal! Would definitely advise people to go and see and stop such a terrible thing happening again.â€™ Morgan Dove
â€˜The trip was thought provoking and inspiring you realise how lucky you are to live the life you wish without scrutiny.â€™ Jarrad Williams
â€˜Amazing experience! Everything we visited really makes you think about how lucky we are and how people must have felt to have to survive such hardships.â€™ Ffion Morgan
â€˜Moving and breath taking, a trip showing both the beauty and horror of Poland.â€™ Jack Jones
â€˜It was an interesting insight and experience of the events that took place in the Second World War.â€™ Elliott Hodges
â€˜An emotional rollercoaster with its ups and downs. A great experience in Krakow that came with a range of emotions throughout the trip, from the sadness in Auschwitz to the laughter in the Old Market Square with some great people.â€™ Katie Manning
To view out latest newsletter please select this link:Â Newsletter
Welsh Department Notice â€“ GCSE ORALS
The second round of controlled assessment oral tasks will take place after half term from Tuesday 24th â€“ Friday 27th FEBRUARY. Your child has now been allocated a day and time which they can view on the department notice-board outside Room 117 (attach photo). They will need to turn up to Room 115, 5 minutes before their allocated time (attach photo 2 â€“ if allowed). This time they will be part of a pair / group and others will be relying upon their presence. This assessment accounts for 20% of their final grade and the follow-up written task is worth an additional 10%. This will be completed in their next lesson in the following week.
For those pupils who were unable to sit the 1st controlled assessment in November â€“ they have also been allocated a time on the Tuesday. This is their FINAL opportunity to take the assessment.
Duke of Edinburgh
We are proud to announce that our 2014 DofE programme has seen 14 young people through to completion. Well done to Corey Mead and Gareth Richards for achieving their GOLD awards this season. 5 participants achieved their SILVER- Aimee Gardner, Tyler Lewis, Thomas Jenkins, Callum Richards and Ffion Morgan and 9 have completed their BRONZE- Connor Hughes, Ellie Hughes, Lois Griffiths, Shannon Wills, Cameron Gray, James Harvey, Harry Landeg, Bethan Owens and Thomas Pullman.
There has been an exciting array of extracurricular activities used by participants for the 4 sections like drumming, drama and driving for SKILLS, boxing and cycling for the PHYSICAL and for the VOLUNTEERING section young people have helped out in afterschool clubs, junior schools and charity shops.
Exmoor and Pembroke were the favored locations for the participantsâ€™ EXPEDITION section.
About DofE programmes
A Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is so much more than a ‘pat on the back’ for completing a programme of activities. It is recognition of a young personâ€™s successful journey of self-discovery and development, renowned by employers and universities for the qualities young people have who’ve achieved a DofE Award develop. Its balanced programme develops the whole person – mind, body and soul, in an environment of social interaction and team working.
There are three progressive levels of DofE programmes which, when successfully completed, lead to Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. To achieve each one, participants must complete a programme of activities in four or five sections that involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.
With our help, participants select their own programme of activities and set themselves goals or targets. It’s not a competition or about being first. It’s all about self-development.
This term we have 15 new young people wishing to enroll for their BRONZE award. Each will be required to begin and continue to one of the sections in order to prove their commitment before they are officially enrolled in early April as our 2015/16 group.
DofE drop in is every Wednesday 3.30-4.30 and school lunch time on the 1st Monday of every month in the E3 community room.
Recent Sporting Success
This term has been a very successful one so far for the MACS PE department. Our year 9 Rugby team reached the last 16 of the Welsh Cup, representing the Cynon Valley. Unfortunately, we lost to an undefeated Ystalafera side, who were very impressive on the day, but all the boys had a great experience.
Our football teams are enjoying a number of successes. The years 7 and 8 teams are playing really well and are enjoying and unbeaten run with local teams.
We have begun a senior team combined of year 11, 12 and 13 pupils from Mountain Ash, St Johns and Aberdare. In our first game we played Tonypandy Academy and disappointingly drew 3-3 after a three goal to zero half time. However, considering this was the boys first time playing together, the gelled very well and the game was highly entertaining. We look forward to our next game against Treorchy.
In gymnastics a number of year 7 pupils have excelled in a local Tournament, Tyler Morgan won individual gold, Logan Morris individual silver, Caylin Morgan Individual silver, and the year 7 team won silver overall. All pupils have been attending lunchtime and after school clubs working very hard to compete. Many Thanks to Mrs Seaborne and the 5 x 60 department for getting the pupils prepared.
Finally, our year 11 Football side have reached the final of the Taff Cup, which will be played on Penydarren 4G AstroTurf on March 11th, we hope you can all make it to show your support, kick off is at 3:30 pm. Please keep following us on Twitter at @MACSPE for updates, departmental information and fixtures.
As noted in various press outlets MACS was one of the schools who had their category changed at the very last minute. We were a yellow school as agreed by the new Central South Consortium and the LEA, but now find ourselves in the amber category. This is at odds with the huge progress made at the school in recent years. Although we do not agree with the mechanism introduced at the very last minute to measure progress, particularly those in receipt of FSM, we do accept the challenge laid down by these new performance measures and will continue the drive to raise standards across all areas of the school.
Huw Lloyd- Headteacher
Inclement Weather Procedure
When bad weather forces the closure of the school, we will change the telephone welcome message to inform anyone who dials the school number, we will also post a message here and on the schools twitter account: @macsrct. We also inform BBC Radio/TV Wales and it will also be posted on the RCT website. The school does not use Facebook for communication so please use one of the procedures listed here.
5X60 RCT GYMNASTICS COMPETITION
On Thursday 29th January 2015 Abercynon Leisure Centre hosted the third annual RCT 5×60 gymnastics competition. The competition welcomed 172 young people from 10 RCT schools with year 7 competition held in the morning and year 8&9 and year 10&11 competition held in the afternoon.
Full report here:Â Gymnastics 2015
Safer Internet Day/ Week at MACSÂ Â
Safer Internet Day 2015 will be celebrated globally on Tuesday 10th February with the slogan â€˜Letâ€™s create a better internet togetherâ€™.Â Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. For SID2014, over 650 organisations got involved, reaching 25% of children and 18% of teenagers.Â The UK Safer Internet Centre â€“
a partnership of three leading charities; Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation â€“ provide resources for children, schools and families, and tools for getting involved at www.saferinternet.org.uk.
Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and 31 national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.Â The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. Ultimately, a better internet is up to us!
UK Safer Internet Centre
In addition to coordinating Safer Internet Day, the UK Safer Internet Centre delivers a wide range of activity to promote the safe and responsible use of technology:
- founded and operates an e-safety helpline for professionals working with children in the UK
- operates theÂ UKâ€™s hotline for reporting online criminal content
- develops newÂ educational resourcesfor children, parents and carers and teachers to meet emerging trends in the fast-changing online environment
- delivers education sessions for children, parents, carers, teachers and the wider childrenâ€™s workforce
- shapes policy at school, industry and government level, both in the UK and internationally, and facilitates youth panels to give young people a voice on these issues.
A fantastic morning was had by all at MACS. Our first EVER staff pantomime was a roaring success (oh yes it was!) many thanks go to all the amazing staff involved both on and off stage. Merry Christmas to you all, Nadolig llawen i chi gyd!
To view the video please click the picture below:
To view this past terms newsletter please select this link:Â Autumn 2014
Friday 21st December Arrangements
Pupils and Staff will be finishing at 12.45pm on Friday 19th December 2014.Â School will then commence on Monday 5th January 2015.
Wishing all staff and pupils a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
YEAR 8 Mountain Ash 10â€™s Rugby Tournament
As a PE department we wish to ensure that every young person enjoys a quality rugby experience therefore we work with a number of organisations to ensure that we achieve this goal. To read the full article please clickÂ here
YEAR 5/6 Hockey Festival
Wednesday the 12th of November 2014 Mountain Ash Comprehensive School held their first Hockey Festival. 130 year 5/6 students attended the festival with their class teachers to enjoy a fun filled day of hockey skills and fun games. To read the full article please clickÂ here
Exciting new menu now available, please follow this link to view it.
Best in RCT
Owen Emson-Moore has worked extremely hard this term on mastering the use of Microsoft Office â€“ Word, as part of the Microsoft Academy qualification he is studying.
His exam result put him in the top 30 pupils in RCT and he was invited to Microsoft UK Headquarters in Reading. Here he was given the opportunity to tour the facilities, speak to interns about the career opportunities available and see some of the new products soon to be released.
The afternoon was spent taking part in the RCT Microsoft Office Specialist Championships where he sat the Word exam with pupils from other schools in RCT. Owen produced an outstanding result and was awarded first place as the highest scorer for the exam. He received a Nokia phone and his result has put him in a very strong place to be included in the UK Championships later this academic year where the prize is a trip to the USA.
The deadline to pay the deposit for Glan Llyn is fast approaching! Get your money in ASAP to Mrs Thomas to secure your place! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to improve your Welsh whilst having a great weekend away with friends at the same time!
PE Department Twitter
The PE department have move informing pupils regarding fixtures and other important information onto social media ‘Twitter’. Take a look here: PE Twitter
Young Writers Success AGAIN!!!!
Congratulations once again to 18 of our pupils who entered the â€˜A Twist in the Taleâ€™ Young Writers competition and have been selected to have their work published. Congratulations to the following pupils:
Chloe Davies, Cian Cartwrigh,Â Ellie Williams, Emily Boyce,Â Kian Campbell,Â Shannah Mabbitt,Â Elliemay Hawkins, Emma Kingston,Â Elys Fisher,Â Tia Williams,Â Isabel Withers, Chloe Edwards,Â Georgia Parfitt, Jack Davis,Â Chelsea Davies, Katie Edmunds,Â Kian Jones, Marcus Jones.
All 18 poems have be published in the ‘A TWIST IN THE TALE’Â book, this book will be kept in the British Library and further libraries across the UK and Republic of Ireland. This book will also be kept in the library section of our LRC for all to read alongside the Mini Sagas, Express Yourself Through Poetry and The Poetry Games books containing our other previously published authors.
Llongyfarchiadau, congratulations to all.
As you are aware, we have made a number of improvements to our security over the summer, which will result in a safer environment for your child to be educated. The main features are automatic gates at the front of the school, and centrally controlled internal doors.
We understand that the automatic gates may prove a slight inconvenience when visiting the school, however I am sure you would agree that this is a price worth paying in terms of the improved environment.Â Parental letter informing about security gates etc
Sixth Form Car Use
A decision has been taken by the CVC for numerous reasons that Form SixÂ students are no longer permittedÂ to travel from site to site inÂ their own cars and must use the consortium transport providedÂ Sixth form use of gates