The News Zone

All the latest from around the school...

In this section we bring you a round-up of all the latest goings-on in and around Gilwern. Click on any image to see it full-size.

October 2014

Outdoor Adventures

Year 6 have again made a visit to Tal–Y-Bont Outdoor Pursuits Centre, this time at the end of September, rather than in the usual Summer Term slot. The thinking behind the change of timing was to develop the independence and maturity of the Year 6 pupils, earlier in the school year, setting them up for a successful time at the head of the school. The trip was very popular amongst the pupils, with ALL THIRTY CHILDREN attending!

The visit lasted four days and three nights, with pupils taking part in six different outdoor activities during their time at the centre. The party left school on Monday morning and made the short bus journey to the picturesque village of Tal-y-Bont, near Brecon. They arrived at the converted railway station that was to be their base for the next three nights, with excitement levels high.

Having been welcomed to the centre by the outdoor education instructors, pupils were given a tour of their new surroundings and settled in to their rooms – making their beds and unpacking their clothes.

The first afternoon was then spent with pupils working in two groups. One group embarked on a hill walk, whilst the others engaged in a range of team building activities. The walking group went to the top of Tor-y-Foel, this allowed them to have breathtaking, panoramic views of Tal-y-Bont reservoir, the Sugar Loaf and even down into the Usk Valley. The team building group completed a series of tasks that required them to work closely together to achieve an end goal. They ‘crossed a river of lava!’, ‘butted a ball’, and ‘sent a ball down a drainpipe’, as well as completing several other tasks.

There was an early start on the morning of day 2, following a relatively good night’s sleep. Pupils made their own packed lunch for the day ahead and then enjoyed a large breakfast!

The pupils worked as three groups. Group one was transported by mini-bus to the nearby canal for canoeing lessons. They were made aware of the appropriate safety requirements of canoeing on a canal and then spent over ninety minutes paddling their canoes, taking in the wildlife and developing their stroke technique and canoe control at the same time. Group two meanwhile were taken gorge walking. This entailed walking up stream, through the water, over some quite challenging terrain. The ‘prize’ at the end of the walk was a beautiful waterfall. Although several children ended up very wet, it was an activity everyone enjoyed. Group 3 took part in archery. They were taught how to hold the bows and fire arrows safely. They engaged in a series of competitions as individuals and small teams. Several candidates to join Robin Hood and his Merry Men emerged!

The afternoon of day 2 saw groups rotate and try something different - the canoeists gorge walked, the gorge walkers attempted archery and the archers switched to canoeing. A full day of activities, which were thoroughly enjoyed by the pupils. By the evening, they were exhausted and an early night was enjoyed by all!

The morning of day three saw the pupils rotate activity for the final time, each group taking part in the one task they hadn’t done yet. Although different pupils enjoyed different activities, the general consensus of opinion was that the gorge walk was the best. The pupils seemed to LOVE getting muddy and wet for some reason?

During the afternoon, the groups from the first day swapped activity - hill walking and team building. By the end of the day, all pupils had taken part in all the activities of the week except one – orienteering!

The final morning of the visit saw pupils taking part in an orienteering activity on Buckland Hill. The children learned the skills required to navigate themselves around the hill using maps and markers quickly, building on skills they had learned in school. Several pupils demonstrated a real talent for this sport and it may be an activity they could pursue in the future.

Mr. Aylett, the trip leader said, “Another successful trip! Year after year Tal-y-Bont delivers a fantastic experience for the pupils who attend. Outdoor and adventurous activities are a vital part of the P.E. curriculum here at Gilwern and we continue to develop this area. The children gained much from the experience and have developed as young people.”

In all, the trip was a huge success, with the children developing outdoor related skills, but also their independence. They will look back on their time at Tal-y-Bont with fond memories in the years to come.

Blood, Bones and Gory Bits - Year 3

Year 3 have made a fantastic start to the Juniors. They have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the body in their 'Blood, Bones and Gory Bits' topic.

The highlights have been handling a pig's heart as well as the opportunity to take part in a workshop run by Amy's mum, Dr Barnes.

"I loved sticking my fingers into the artery of the pig's heart! It smelt disgusting when it was cut in half," said Livia Morton-Smith.

We are finishing our project this week by writing an explanation of how the heart works and also making our very own Frankenstein models which must include a brain, lungs, a heart and a liver.


Because we are happy...

Year One would like to say a big thank you to all the parents who joined us for our happiness celebration on Friday. I'm sure you will all agree the children did a great job of sharing all the amazing work they have done so far. Mrs. Millington can't believe it was only the fifth week of term, they have achieved so much already.

Pupils sang 'If you're happy and you know it' and showed off pictures and stories they have been working on. We enjoyed watching a lovely photo montage of everything we have done before sharing healthy fruit skewers and singing 'Happy' with the grown ups.

What will we get up to next I wonder?