Mock COP conference

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The Mock COP is a fantastic event held at the Welsh Assembly where students participate in teams of three, each representing a different country. We were Brazil and Australia. Size of Wales ran the conference along with CEWC as a model UN discussing climate change.

The Philippians gave a draft resolution and then countries began negotiating, proposing amendments. Size of Wales tweeted: “Climate change knows no war, no politics and no religion” Very wise words from  on behalf of Brazil .

CEWC tweeted: Final amendment to draft prpsd by , for every country’s statistics on to be available to public is passed.

The students found it great fun and a real eye-opener for how international politics works. It was brilliant to meet students from a range of schools all over Wales and the quality of discussion was inspiring. It’s also a fantastic venue so we will sign up for next year too!

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Highlights from Llangrannog

Each year Year 7 students are invited to go on a residential trip to Llangrannog, an activity centre in Cardigan bay run by fluent Welsh speakers. Here a few of our MAT pupils blog about their experience:

‘Wow! What a thrilling day! Today we have arrived at an exquisite destination called Llangrannog. It is filled with a variety of bewildering activities. I can just remember the exhileration rushing down my spine.

Our first activity was the low ropes. We also faced the ‘Wall of Doom’. I was very muddy after trying to get onto the wall. I thoroughly enjoyed the low ropes challenge, even though I fell over a number of times.

[The next day] Our day started with a high ropes course. When I saw the high ropes, I was absolutely terror-stricken. I did conquer the rope course even though I had fallen off at one point. I also managed to climb an extremely high climbing wall. After our climbing experiences we all set off for the swimming pool. We had an incredible time playing water volleyball.

After lunch, we all went tobogganing, which was my favourite part of the entire trip. Unfortuntaely, I did fall once during my tobogganing experiences. We then went go-karting, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Typically, my kart ran out of petrol. The sun then started to set over the deep blue waters. Our last activity of the day was skiing, which I adored;  I felt so free when I was skiing. The sky was dusky and it was a bright shade of orange.

I had an exceptional time at Llangrannog and I would love to go again. I did things that I never thought I would have done before.’ Lucy Stokes

‘Everyone was so excited to get to Llangrannog. The low ropes were fun and cool but I felt as if my fingers were going to snap off, like hitting the icicles off the tip of the roof. We had to pretend we were stranded in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.

For our tea we had a home cooked meal and around every hour the paw slush would open!

The following morning we all got dressed in our massively messy room. The high ropes were interesting: some people were scared and some were ready for the “adventure”. I remember everyone taking a step on each course was a “life changing”, “death moment” step.

Tobogganing was my favourite as it was so fun. Me, Ella and Millie were superglued to each other as we were having so much fun sledging. We would turn the sledge around as a joke and set ourselves a mission. We went backwards and made a train. The bottom of the steep hill was so wet that we would splash into the wet puddle and get soaked.

The next morning Lucy’s alarm didn’t go off so we woke up at ten to eight, only twenty minutes to get ready. Everyone was panicking, running around. Luckily we all packed the night before (phew!).

First we did horse riding. I, a girl called Hannah and Charlotte had a white horse called Diva. Diva didn’t like my friend’s horse Trigger so those two horses had to stay out of each other’s sight. I went first as my other friends were too scared and bribed me on first. The clip clopping noise was quite relaxing until Charlotte’s turn. Charlotte didn’t have the best relationship with our horse as on Hannah’s turn, Diva was a diva and tried to bite Charlotte’s elbow. After, when she was getting on the horse, Diva saw Trigger and started to charge at Trigger. Charlotte wasn’t able to get her foot out of the stirrup in time and horse kicked her back until Evan was able to calm Diva down.

Then we travelled back home, all thinking and knowing that we have had such an incredible experience in Llangrannog. We were all tired and wanted to go back home, but also wished we stayed longer. It was so fun. Such an experience. Such a trip! I loved it.’ Romilly Hodgkinson

‘At 1pm we arrived to the breath-taking scenery of Llangrannog. After an exciting atmosphere on the bus; all of Year 7 were glad to arrive. A ropes challenge is what we tackled first. As a treat the staff let us take on the Wall of Doom! The Wall was like the ones you get from Ninja Warrior. With a little help, we all made it.

Our next activity was teambuilding. We all had to stand on the bench and arrange ourselves in height and age order, without falling off. We all found it so hard, we collapsed on the floor laughing.

[The next day] After some cereal, we headed for the climbing centre. There we got kitted out with the correct gear, and we partnered up. My partner was Romilly. She did the high ropes first while I cheered her on and then we swapped. Suddenly as I stepped on the rope, my legs were trembling and shaking. I was terrified. However, with a little bit of support from my friends, I completed the course. Climbing was amazing. We practised by bouldering across the whole wall. There were 16 sections in total. We all made it to the top in the end. We were so proud.

Horse riding was scary. Me, Millie and Ella’s horse was called Trigger. Trigger was strong and aggressive. Ella, Millie and I found this difficult.

To end on a high, we trampolined. All too soon, we had to board the buses and head home. We were all sad to leave Llangrannog, but I’m sure it will be something we will never forget. Everyone had an amazing time and experience.’ Isobel Hill

 

Higher Education Roadshow

img_20170125_094727629This morning Year 10 and 11 enjoyed a fantastic presentation from the Higher Education Roadshow, an initiative from Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University. We saw the huge range of degree courses available – over 30,000 in the UK! It was fun to ‘spot the fake degree’ – who knew you could get a degree in circus performance or stand-up comedy? The point is, whatever your interest, there is a course out there somewhere for you.

We also learnt more about the amazing opportunities available at university to pursue your interests, through all of the extra-curricular societies. Some can even lead to a future career – presenting a programme on Cardiff Uni’s TV station gave one graduate the experience she needed to land a job with Sky Sports! Students were inspired to investigate courses and make the most of the opportunities available.

Many students don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing A Levels or a degree course, and the presentation gave us helpful pointers in thinking ‘What is my best subject?’, ‘What kind of career would I like?’ and recommended the UCAS website in finding out what grades courses require. It’s never too soon to start thinking about your future. Students can sign up to the HE roadshow newsletter to stay updated and follow them on Twitter @CDF_HigherEd.

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Interested in dentistry?

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Past pupil Jack McSweeney, Head Boy from 2012-2013, came in to speak to a room packed with students keen to find out more about dentistry and his experiences at King’s College London, the top university in the UK for dentistry and 4th in the world.

From Year 10 up to Sixth Form, pupils heard about Jack’s daily life working at Guy’s Hospital with a London skyline from the 26th floor, and about the state-of-the-art equipment he gets to use on a daily basis. He spoke about the rapport you can build with patients as a dentist, and the fantastic career paths you can follow. He also told us about volunteering opportunities, such as going to South Africa this summer with the Dental Wellness Trust. It sounds amazing!

Jack was also part of the interview panel this year and had lots of helpful tips for prospective students who might be interviewed, whatever their subject. He advised students to make their personal statements specific and to use their work experience effectively to keep a record of what they have done.

Jack is a fantastic role model and it was a reminder to all the students to work hard, have determination and perseverance and high ambition. We hope to see him again next year!

 

University Interviews

We ran a Q&A session with two students, David and Lucy, who just got back from their interviews at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. David is applying for Music and Lucy is applying for English. There’s a full audio recording available to download at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz4SeFqiEkAMLUZ6R19pS05NNkE/view?usp=drivesdk

Here are some of the highlights!

Why did you apply to Cambridge?

David: I can’t ignore the fact that it’s one of the top universities for research and I went to a day course there at Corpus Christi, which I really enjoyed.

Why did you choose Oxford?

Lucy: It’s a beautiful city, quite intellectual! The college I applied for was originally the first college women were allowed to go to.

When you arrived, there are so many stereotypes… Did you ever feel like you didn’t belong?

Lucy: Honestly, you turned up there and everybody was wearing  jeans and casuals, everyone was really normal. Lady Margaret Hall is doing a Foundation year where people from disadvantaged backgrounds who might have three B’s at A Level can be taught for an extra year if they see potential in them, which is quite progressive.

What did you have to do during your interview?

David: Music is a unique course and every college assesses it differently. When I went in and sat down, the guy just asked me to tell him about my musical experiences. I spent the next half an hour of my life talking to someone who teaches harmony and keyboard skills, a professor at Cambridge, and felt confused but also really happy that they were talking intellectually about a subject that most people think is quite dumb. That’s what the interview system is, they just want to know what your brain is like and how interested you are in your subject. Make sure that you’re passionate because I had just applied for Music because my sister was studying it then I wouldn’t have been able to hold a conversation for that long about it! Make sure you are 100% choosing the right degree course, and the further reading you do is the best way of getting to interview. If you actually read the books you say on your personal statement that you’ve read then you can show your passion and they will get out of you what they really want to get out of you.

Lucy: With the first interview it was definitely more of a conversation- it was, ‘look at this poem, what do you think?’ The second one, the woman kept asking me questions and not really responding to what I was saying. That was a lot harder. I came out and I was absolutely drained.

Back in Year 12, what were you doing to prepare and how did you go about reading beyond what you were studying for AS Level?

Lucy: We were doing Jane Eyre so you can use that as a starting point to read other things relating to that, then branch out until you find a gem you can actually talk about. You don’t need to feel guilty about doing the extra reading; you have to have interests outside of what you’re studying. It has to be the right course for you and doing the reading helps you make that decision.

David: As soon as your exams are over, you’ve got a whole summer to use if you want to do a course, or go on the Cambridge website, find the first year reading list for the course you want to do and get reading. I went on and found a few texts, I read them and I got an interview. It speaks for itself.

I think that’s a good point that whatever your subject, there’s always something you can read online that is relevant. It’s not going to impress anyone if all you’ve done is the course you’re studying. For any competitive university, they are all going to want to see that you’ve done more than turned up to lessons and done your work. They want to see a real interest. There’s this phrase, you ‘read for a degree’. Even if you’re doing Science there’s still a real volume of material to read.

Thanks everyone and hope this is helpful.