Sky Sports: “Living for Sport” Schools Initiative
A large number of our pupils were involved in the above initiative, please read the full article here Sky sports initiative
Year 9 pupils Sylwia Majer, Matthew Davies and Lowri Morgan recently triumphed in the Young Presenter competition. The team prepared and presented a mini documentary entitled, “Social Media –An Unstoppable Force.”
Year 9 Option Booklet
With choices for GCSE/BTec being very important to all present year 9 pupils, we have today completed what subject choices are available to your child for next year 2014-15 when they enter year 10. To view this document please select this link: Y9 Option Book 2014
Our year 6 transition project is up and running with the primary schools from Abercynon, Perthcelyn, Glenboi and Pengeulan already had a session in the LEGO suite. Back by popular demand we have been making alligators and programming sounds and movements. Click here for the full report.
‘The Auschwitz Goalkeeper’ Inspires Pupils
Mountain Ash Comprehensive School had the privilege of Ron Jones’ company for a question and answering session. After watching Ron Jones on ‘The One Show’, the pupils studying GCSE Religious Studies, were eager to meet this inspiring gentleman who survived one of the most horrific periods in world history told his moving story to a captivated audience. Mr Jones began with his early life and how he found the love of his life before being called up to fight in World War II. He should not have been called up but it seemed fate that he would become and soldier and fight for his country. He explained to the children about his time in the army before he was captured as a POW and sent to Auschwitz. There, he worked alongside the Jews and saw first- hand the horrific treatment they received at the hands of the Nazis. Even though moral was low, it was football that kept the hope and belief in the British POW. He was goalkeeper for the Welsh POW team and this kept his spirit alive. Just before the end of the war, Mr Jones went on the infamous death march. Many others did not survive that march but Mr Jones’ grit, strength and determination saw him through this most awful ordeal. After giving this overview of his time as a POW the pupils were given an opportunity to ask some questions. At first the pupils were speechless, almost as if they could not believe what they had just heard. The pupils knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and soon found their voices. Questions ranged from: How did you cope when you returned home? Did you talk to the Jews? Do you think you have become a better person as a result of this experience? Mr Jones answered all the questions in an honest and humble manner and to the latter question responded with the experience making him a better person. The pupils could not believe that they were in the company of such a great and wonderful man. After the visit, pupils were asked to put their thoughts and feelings about the visit. Here are some of the responses:
During the visit with Mr Jones, I felt many emotions. When Mr Jones talked about his experience I felt upset as I realised how real his experience was. I believe that Mr Jones is an extremely amazing man and the story he shared was touching. I now appreciate the life I have because compared to others my life is easy.
The visit of Mr Jones made me feel shocked at how people can be so horrible to innocent people. I also felt privileged to have a life like I have and don’t take anything for granted.
As soon as he began talking I found him to be a very inspirational man. He described the horrors that he faced but always had high spirits and kept a smile on his face. He was very humble and kind and a clear inspiration to everyone he speaks to. I very much appreciate him for coming to talk to us and I wish him all the best for the future.
Mr Ron Jones is a very inspirational man. He has told me stories about his time in Germany and about the work he does for the poppy appeal in Tesco. I am very touched by Mr Jones and wish him the best for the future. I have a huge amount of respect for what he had to go through.
When he walked into the room, Mr Jones seemed a cheery man. Never would I have thought that he had had such a terrible experience.
The part of the story that had affected me the most was when Mr Jones gave a sausage to one of the Jews and the Jew made him a ring to thank him. Then he asked one of his fellow prisoners where ‘Josef’ was and he was told he had been gassed.
I was amazed by Mr Jones’ story and think he is one of the most fascinating men I am ever likely to meet in my life…..even though he said it took him a long time to recover I think he has used the experience to make him a better person.
To hear what he had to go through truly brought a tear to my eye. It was so nice to hear about his wife and how she helped him get back to normal life after the war had ended.
The stories Mr Jones told us made me feel only sorrow. The experience of not being able to talk to the Jews but wanting to help them, it made you feel sad that he had to go through these things.
The visit of Mr Jones was upsetting but he is 96 and still fit and healthy. It was amazing to hear his story and what he went through. It was nice to hear that his wife was waiting for him when he came home. He showed us photos of his football team. He said ‘being a POW has made him a better person today.’
The pupils will be consolidating this experience in January with a visit to the Nottingham Holocaust Centre where they will spend time with a Jewish Holocaust survivor.
Christmas Charity Raffle/Real Radio Visit
Every year at Christmas time, MACS raises money for various worthy charities. Since 1998, MACS has proudly supported five children in third world countries’ (through the charity Action Aid). Our sponsorship has enabled these children to attend school, to become literate/numerate and give them hope for a future free from abject poverty.
To read the full review please select this Christmas Charity Raffle
Big Pit visit
A group of over 40 Year9 pupils visited the National Coal Museum at Big Pit, Blaenavon on 18th November 2013. The group went 90 metres underground and toured the workings and tunnels of the former mine that closed in 1980.
Following the underground tour Ceri Thompson, the museum curator, gave a talk to the pupils about the World-wide importance of the Coal Industry in South Wales and how the industry has shaped the lives of all of us who live in places like the Cynon Valley.
The group then visited the Pit Head Bath Galleries and the Mining Galleries where an audio-visual display showed how the miners blasted and cut coal whilst underground.
Many of the children were visibly struck by how difficult and dangerous life was for our forefathers who worked in such conditions. In class the following day Connor Hayman of Year 9 asked ‘Can we go again Sir? ‘
Outstanding Teacher Programme
Three members of staff, including Miss Davies (Geography), Miss Cook (English) and Mr Mason (Science) are participating in the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP). The aim of the OTP is to further improve teaching and learning standards throughout the school through the sharing of good practice and the establishment of a coaching culture amongst teaching staff.
All three teachers have attended several courses at Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen, where they have had the opportunity to work with teachers from other schools to share good teaching ideas.
The school has introduced IRIS Connect technologies which will allow the OTP team to film themselves using innovative teaching techniques. This new technology will allow the OTP team to coach other members of staff in the use of these teaching techniques.
Jessicca Davies current Year 12, and Amy-Beth Evans who has now left the school to attend college were appointed as Gold Ambassadors for RCT last week.
Previously the girls were Silver Ambassadors for the school and Sports Leaders. Jess was actually Sports Captain last year.
This is a great achievement for not only the school but the Cynon Valley, the girls will be supporting Sport RCT, Sport Wales and their school and college to try and get more young people ‘ Hooked on Sport’ for life.
2013 GCSE exam results now in top 20% of welsh schools. Congratulations to our brilliant pupils and outstanding staff.
Record GCSE/Level 2 Results
There were smiles all round at Mountain Ash this morning as the school achieved it’s best ever results.
- 90% of students achieved the level 1 threshold
- 80% achieved the level 2 threshold
- 44% achieved the level 2 threshold including English and Maths
- 61% of students passed English
- 49% passed Maths
- 79% passed Science
- 70 students achieved the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification
- No pupil left school without a recognised qualification
Headteacher Huw Lloyd said
“ These are a landmark set of results for our school. The maths results are up by 17%, the English A*-C results are up by 5% and the Science A*-C results are up by 5%. The level 2 plus English and Maths is up by a full 12%. It is also worth noting that 70 students achieved the full Welsh Baccalaureate qualification which is a first for the school. Attendance rates are also up by over 5% over a 4 year period. I am confident that these results and the rate of improvement will propel us in to Band 1. It is fully deserved. Everybody has pulled together over the past few years: pupils, staff, parents, governors and indeed the whole community. What pleases me most is that this years results contain 25% more As and A* than ever before. It shows clearly that expectations have been raised and this can only bode well for the future. Results were so good that HTV decided to broadcast live from the school and 5 pupils opened their results live on air.
Some results are worth a mention
Shannon Barter 1A* 5A 1C and 3B and the welsh Baccalaureate
Gemma Bush 3A* 5A 1B and 1C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Victoria Campbell 2A* 4A 2B and 2C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Daniel Evans 2A* 3A 3B 2C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Rebekah Hawkins 8A* 1A 1C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Thomas Landeg 4A* 1A 2B 2C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Justyna Majer 2A* 3A 3B
Corey Meade 4A 3B 1C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Abigail ODriscoll 2A* 2A 1C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Natasha Taylor 3A* 4A 1C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
Lewis Bowen 1A* 3A 2C and the Welsh Baccalaureate
My heartfelt congratulations go to all of our students and their parents and guardians. It really has been an outstanding summer of results at A level and GCSE, and I look forward to seeing as many pupils as possible back in the Sixth Form
Headteacher Huw Lloyd was delighted with the school’s A level and AS results. “These are the strongest results that the school has had and I’m delighted for our pupils, parents and staff. There was a 100% pass rate at A level with 80% of the grades being at C and above . A further 70% of the cohort gained at least one A grade which is testimony to the dedication of our pupils and to the skill and commitment of our superb teachers. I was particularly pleased that 20 students gained A grades in the Welsh Baccalaureate. This is a first for the school and we are all thrilled that this valuable qualification is now a successful part of the curriculum at Mountain Ash. There were some remarkable performances, and particular credit must go to the following pupils:
Keely Simmons – 3As. Keely has won a place at the University of Surrey to study a 4 years masters in Psychology
Sarah Taylor – 3As and 1B. Sarah has gained a place at Bath Spa University to study Creative Writing.
Beth Willis – Gained an incredible 500 UCAS points!!. Beth has won a place at UWIC to study Sports Science
Jamie Nash – 2As , 1B and 1C . Jamie has gained a place at Swansea University to Study Geography
Rebecca Jones – 1A, 2Bs. Rebecca has gained a place at Nottingham University to study Theology
Ian Hodges – 1A and 2 Bs – Ian has gained a place at the University of South Wales to study Areonotical Engineering
Molly Probert – Gained 3 distinctions in her sport studies and will go on to study sport at Durham University
Holly Burford – 2As and 1 B – Holly will go on to study Nursing at the University of South Wales
These results reflect that the school is going from strength to strength and a total of 60 pupils will leave Mountain Ash for University, training or employment. We wish them all and their families the very best of luck for the future.
Merlin Sports will be setting up a shop at the school from 10am until 12pm on Tuesday 23rd July, Tuesday 30th July and Tuesday 20th August 2013 for those people who are unable to get to their premises in Treforest.
Annual Governors report to parents
A copy of this report is available to download Annual Governors’ Report 2013: There are also printed versions available, just ask your child to pick up a printed copy from the school office.