Hello, and welcome to the Llantwit School Report webpage. The committee is made up of a group of Year 9 pupils, who enjoy the subject of English and are interested in the prospect of a pupil-run journalism committee, frequently reporting news, both local and afar to the site’s visitors. As part of this BBC-run scheme, we meet weekly to discuss recent articles and issues that matter to you. Using research and interviews, the committee aims to provide up to date and detailed insights of as many different types of stories, affecting areas and people both local and world-wide.
If you have any stories that you’d like us to report on, then e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to share your story on our webpage.
It's been a hectic day but the School Report team here at Llantwit Major have been true professionals and written, researched and recorded some excellent reports. They battled major problems with the film editing suite so check back later for their filmed reports; for now, here are the written versions. Well done team!
Should Wales follow Scotland in lowering the voting age?
Many believe that sixteen year olds do not know enough about politics to vote, and are concentrating on upcoming or present or exam conditions. This could affect the way they vote and who they choose.
But is lowering the voting age a good idea? Figures show that in 2007 Welsh assembly government elections 43.7% of people voted. Then in 2011, 42.4% voted.
However, In the 2010 UK general election, there was a UK turnout of 65.1%. Letting 16 year olds vote could help these poor figures rise and maybe stop Wales lowering percentages and instead help them rise.
So where will the debate lead us? Will sixteen year olds be allowed to vote or not? Well, in Llantwit, many here have mixed views.
Has the horse meat scandal changed our eating habits?
Since the first report of the horse meat scandal in February 2013, the story has hardly left the headlines. But how much has it altered our attitude towards food?
Big shop Sainsbury’s revealed that their sales have gone up by 7.1% since they have denied their products containing horse meat. However, Tesco's sales have reportedly decreased by 2%.
A recent poll tells us that 44% of us are taking more time looking at ingredients, and that confidence in the products has been lost.
An interview with Miss Newbrook, head of home economics, gives us an insight to what someone who works with food daily feels about this matter: 'I think it is really bd that the inclusion of horsemeant wasn't on the labels of food packets. I think that's what has annoyed consumers. However, horsemeat is edible and is eaten widely across some countries, it is in fact, lean meat, so overall will do you no harm.
The cooks in the school’s canteen have also told us they have discontinued beef until they are 100% sure everything is as it should be.
Should Girls be Geeks?
On International Women’s Day, Lady Geek (campaigning technology agency) took over two girls’ schools in London to teach them what a career in tech would be like.
But are all schools taking the same measures to involve girls in technology?
The Editor of Wired Magazine, Olivia Solon says,
“When I was at school I thought IT classes were really boring. It was all office work and preparing to be a secretary. We didn’t have the option to code, create any music, we didn’t build websites, we didn’t make games, we didn’t build robots and we didn’t make any films.
But in a modern society, has this changed?
Jodie, about to make her GCSE options tells us,
“I couldn’t do systems as there were only three people interested and I was the only girl.”
With internet culture changing and involving teens more and more, social media platforms such as YouTube are allowing people to rise to fame by making videos. With people like Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil having their own show on BBC Radio 1, the IT profession should be at its peak.
Even popular novelist John Green and musician Alex Day have been acquiring fame VIA YouTube. Surely this will encourage the youth of today to create IT content and take an interest in computers.
And Hank, I’ll see you on Tuesday.
School Report Team 2013
Hi, my name is Bianca. I’m the Editor in Chief for School Report.
Proof-reading each story that is presented and make sure it is clear, concise and correct is part of my job. Most importantly, I am responsible for making sure that everyone is working effectively and is on target.
| Hello, I’m Rosey and I am also the Production Editor for School Report.
I’m responsible for the visiable outcome of the project, editing articles and columns. I do this to ensure that the final project is presentable, interesting and appropriate.
|Hi, my name is Dafydd. My title is the Script Writer. It is my job to plan what the news readers are going to say when on air. I also have to write articles for the news.|
Hiya, my name is Nia and I am the researcher for School Report. My job entails getting people to come for an interveiw, but most importantly I am the person who will liaise with interveiwees and potential stories.
Hi my name is Amber and I am the Researcher. I find the news! Its my job to research stories by the next meeting so we can decide what news stories we want to produce. I have to be on the lookout for any stories and have a good initiative.
Students from this school will be making the news for real on 21 March 2013 as they take part in BBC News School Report. We aim to publish the news by 1600 GMT on the News Day, so please save this page as a favourite and return to it later. In the meantime, take a look at what our students produced last year.
‘On track and running (and jumping and throwing) smoothly’
Drawn from nations around the world such as Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand and Botswana, many past, present and future Olympians have based their pre-Olympic training regimes here in the capital, Cardiff. With less than ten days to go until the opening ceremony, the athletes are making the most of both their final training sessions, as well as their first of many press and media opportunities with professional journalists as well as our own School Report Team. Preparations for all aspects of the games were well underway as the athletes took time out of their training schedule on the 17th of July to provide their views on their inspirations, aspirations and appreciations to the awaiting media leading up to this summer’s Olympic Games.
Diversely broad in facilities, Cardiff is an ideal campus for the athletes’ training – offering acclimatisation and leading sports facilities, as well as local support and relaxation. With the approach of the London Olympics imminent, the 22 teams of over 1000 athletes, both Olympic and Paralympic, are gaining valuable experience and preparatory advice ahead of the2012 games. They’re also gaining the support of local school pupils in taking the time to share their experiences as children during past Olympics with them.
With such a large event in prospect, it’d be easy to lose all focus on one’s surroundings; however a certain event that was hosted in Cardiff has undoubtedly allayed this possibility. On the 18th of July, the Welsh Athletics International Meeting took place to showcase many of the world-class Olympic athletes that have chosen to base themselves in Cardiff in the build-up to London 2012. The event attracted the attention of the local media as well as many young aspiring athletes and inspired spectators. The 25,000 people capacity stand was almost filled to the rafters as athletes from the Welsh Schools Championships as well as members of the public flooded in to give their support to the likes of the American 400m hurdles World Record Holder, Kerron Clement, as well as Trinidadian 200m runner and new Cardiff International Sports Stadium Record Holder, Emanuel Callender.
During the media session on Tuesday the 17th of July, two members of Llantwit’s School Report Team were able to interview several of the athletes from Trinidad and Tobago, Botswana, New Zealand and Wales to gain an insight into the views and opinions of past and present Olympians. Trinidadian sailor, Andrew Lewis, revealed he thinks that “it’s always important to give back to the youth. If [he] can help other people, other youth coming up to get that (Olympic) opportunity, that would be every good for [him] to have given help in any way that [he] could have.” Paralympic javelin thrower Holly Robinson also demonstrated of her work, inspiring the youth in that “[she] went to a school the other day and [she] was able to meet some disabled kids and it’s just so cool because […] they lightened up [her] day.” From these comments, it’s easy to see just what a largely vital role that these Olympic and Paralympic athletes play in inspiring and helping the youth of the world to achieve their goals in sport.
Through the promotion of the Olympics, as well as the athletes themselves, Cardiff has attracted the publicity and achieved the recognition from around the continents that has the potential to make Cardiff a truly iconic venue in the worlds of both international and intercontinental sport. The Olympics is the world’s most recognised sporting event; with Cardiff fast becoming a location of equal importance, a new scope has emerged for even greater events to be hosted by Wales’ capital city in the future.
Reported by Richard
A’shore’ing plain sailing for the future watermen of Trinidad and Tobago
An insight into the life of a waterman
Reported by Richard
For the past 40 years, the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago has seen little in the way of sailing success; however the laser class lends an Olympic opportunity to a rising talent.
Trinidadian sailor Andrew Lewis is hoping to rewrite his nation’s sailing records in his first Olympic Games. Aiming to emulate the achievements of Ben Ainsley Lewis is looking to inspire a new spectrum of successful sailors for the Olympic years to come.
On Tuesday 17th of July, during a track-based training sessionn Cardiff International Athletics Stadium, he expressed his views on the Olympic Games, both in the past and in the present; as a youth and for the youth.
“It’s always important to give back to the youth…if I can help…other youth; that would be very good for me”
When Lewis isn’t busy training for major championships, he takes the time to teach a group of 40 disadvantaged children from the area the fundamental aspects of sailing; encouraging their determination, sportsmanship and respect. The club has been running for three years now and as Lewis maintains, “the kids come from nothing…but it’s still about learning to sail”.
Lewis revealed that he’s “been given a fantastic opportunity and [he’s] grateful for what [he’s] been given”. Lewis also commented that “the youth are the upcoming future of the world…I love working with kids…I’m always working with them as much as possible”.
“Being around the ocean…I was given the opportunity to be a waterman”
During Lewis’ early years, he always wanted to learn “how to sail, water-ski…swim” and reflects on “those different kinds of opportunities…as a youth” both gratefully and fortunately; this is the driving ethic behind Lewis’ efforts to “[give] back to the youth”. Having grown up around the waterways, the scope for future successful Trinidadian sailors can only grow far greater with the training that Lewis offers the youth.
“Certainly inspired by the Olympic Games and the Americas Cup”
Having been involved in sailing the waters of Trinidad from an early age, Lewis is always aspiring to better himself and looks at “the top athletes…guys like Bolt…how successful they’ve been” to “get inspired to do so”. Whilst he “can only see for the sky to be the limit…[he] can see how far an Olympic athlete can make it. In [his] sport (sailing)…a guy by the name of Ben Ainsley” particularly inspires Lewis in his Olympic achievements and successes on a world stage.
“I hope to sail my best Olympics possible; it’s my first one”
In what is to be Lewis’ introduction to the Olympic stage, he wishes to medal in London in his chosen laser class; for the last 2 Olympic Games, he’s been following the competition intently and so reaching the final on Monday 6th of August is to be his main aim, however he must first progress through the qualifying rounds from Monday 30th of July to Saturday 3rd of August. In the Beijing Olympics, he “tried to make it…and didn’t, but [he] didn’t give up and [he’s] here today”.
With his infectious positivity and dedication to all aspects in the sport of sailing, Lewis’ success, as well as the success of the children whom he so generously coaches, will be evident in both the near and distant future. In working with such commitment for the sport, Lewis is sure to be ‘one to watch’ in the upcoming laser class sailing events, both on the world and Olympic stages.
Guys and Dolls: The Review
The pupils from Llantwit Major School drama club have worked extremely hard in producing and performing yet another amazing school production. This year’s show was ‘Guys and Dolls’ and all involved should be extremely proud of themselves.
Audiences were whisked back to the roaring twenties to a story of frustrated romance and cut-throat gambling. The intertwining stories of Nathan Detroit (Dan Lewis) and Sky Masterson (Yegor Young) created a memorable night in Llantwit Major School. It had just the right amount of comedy, romance and suspense. The music and Yegor Young’s choreography were fantastic. The highlights included Nicely Nicely’s (James Williams) rendition of ‘Sit down, you’re rocking the boat’, the exotic scene of Sky Masterson taking Sarah Brown (Alice Peters) to Havana’s finest café and a note-perfect performance of the song ‘Adelaide’s Lament’ by Hannah Kendall.
So all in all, drama teacher Mrs Richard’s final production ensured that she left on a high note. She commented “Their [the pupils’] hard work and enthusiasm has paid off in a high-quality performance”. She shall be missed greatly and we hope that she will return next year to watch the next fantastic show from Llantwit Major School.
Introducing Ms Williams
Llantwit School, like most schools, get one or two new teachers each year. Ms Harris the old head of RS left half-way through the year; Ms Williams took her place and became the new head of RS bringing new ideas. She was able to give some of her time so we could find out more about the ideas and see how she has enjoyed her first year.
The first thing that was asked was if her first couple of months at the school were everything she expected them to be. She revealed that she “enjoyed it immensely,” meeting new pupils and teachers was also a highlight she also believes the pupils are “bright, intelligent and enthusiastic.”
Ms Williams spoke about how she felt when she first found out she got the job. She said she was “thrilled, delighted and tremendously excited” about teaching at this school. She also confirmed that she has no regrets coming to the school.
One of the ideas Ms Williams brought to the school is the ‘Teacher Toolkit’. Ms Williams explained it was an idea from her previous school, while she was at her old school the idea was shared at a national inet conference. The toolkit is all about enhancing the teachers’ learning, equipping staff with resources and raising standards in the classroom. She also remarked that she was “a member of the Llantwit school teaching and learning group;” the group decided to use the ‘Teacher Toolkits’ idea at this school. She also mentioned that they will begin to use the toolkits in lessons “from September.” The actual kit involves some interactive practical resources and some posters that teachers need to “find room for on their walls.” She didn’t want to say much more on the subject because she wanted the rest to be a surprise.
Since this is enterprise week Ms Williams spoke about her feelings on the week, “I think it is a fantastic opportunity for pupils in other years to work together.” Ms Williams’s old school did do enterprise week but it wasn’t at this time of year and not all pupils participated.
On a final note Ms Williams also had some advice to give year six pupils who are moving up. She believed that the pupils should get their bags ready “the night before” so they aren’t in a rush in the morning. Ms Williams also thought it would be a good idea for the year sixes to join lots of club next year so they can meet new people and make new friends.
Llantwit Major School: The Upgrade it’s been Waiting For
Enviroment is an important part of the learning process. A suitable learning environment has been proven to improve attitudes towards learning. However in today’s economic climate finding the money to invest is becoming increasingly difficult. Llantwit Major School in particular has been waiting for a number of years for funding towards the refurbishments of school buildings, and now finally the school will receive the money it needs.
On March 13th Paula Ham, the head of service for strategic planning and performance and Jane Wade, the operations manager for the property section came to the school to talk about investing into the school.
They told reporters that plans are in place to invest £12 million in the school: “Very positive news “.
Very positive news indeed. Although the school has been slowly improving facilities for example the new toilets that were built earlier this year. Many staff and pupils feel an upgrade is well overdue.
We asked Paula and Jane what their jobs consisted of. Their reply was:
Oh it includes all sorts of things like planning and making sure we provide enough places for pupils but at the same time we don’t want to make too many place. I also cover catering which includes school meals. I am also responsible for transport of those with disabilities. I also help with funding. If a school is having trouble managing their money I step in and help.
Well I basically I look at buildings for older people as well as leisure centres and toilet blocks. I also issue the licenses for things like ice cream vans and renting a field if you have a horse. Things like that.
So investments are well on their way towards rebuilding the school and its facilities. So bring on 2015 as it will be a very exiting year.
Interview by: Kieran and Luke
Report by: Kathryn and Elen
View report on the Llantwit School premesis upgrade:
Vocational Courses report
Peter Hargrave: The Study of Stars and the Universe
On Tuesday March 13th Dr Peter Hargrave, a cosmologist from Cardiff University shed some light on the complicated topic of the formation of the universe and the study of stars. The head teacher, Dr Browne and two sixth form students studying cosmology for A level also attended the interview.
Due to recent expeditions and results Cardiff University has become one of the world’s leading departments in cosmology and the study of dark energy and matter.
Dr Hargrave had previously visited the school to explain cosmology in greater detail to the sixth formers studying it as well as Dr Browne.
One of Hargrave’s latest projects was BLAST. This was a Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope. The balloon was launched in the Antarctic and the expedition began in 2006. It was sent up to a height of 120,000 feet above the earth’s atmosphere to examine wavelength in the distant universe that would otherwise be unattainable to measure from earth itself. The Balloon was carrying 1.5 tonnes of highly advanced, extremely expensive equipment to conduct the experiment, and by the time the balloon had left the earth’s atmosphere it was the size of the millennium stadium.
We wish Dr Hargrave luck with his future projects and expeditions, as well as his upcoming marriage that will take place in a weeks’ time. Good luck Peter.
Banana Sandwiches, Somersaults and Backflips
An insight into a gymnast’s life.
Reported by Anna and Kathryn
Llantwit Major School has a history of talented pupils going on to become successful sports personalities. It’s nice to know that, despite their success, they remember their roots.
Tom Roberts, a member of the Welsh gymnast team, is just one on the long list of the school’s sports success stories. He’s about to embark on an exciting multi-million pound project in Dubai, where he will be working as a project manager helping to prepare new gymnasts for the 2024 Olympics.
He returned to school, a day before heading out to Florida to compete for Wales. Before he left, he was interviewed about his future and also his past at the school.
“I took it literally and did a somersault over the vault…people bounce!”
Unlike most professional gymnasts, Tom’s gymnastic career didn’t start at a young age. He was in Year 8, watching a school gymnastic performance rehearsal when Mr Francis, a member of the PE department, asked him to step in for an absent student. He told Tom to “run at the vault and jump over it”. Tom “took it literally and did a somersault over the vault.” It was then that Tom realised he was quite good at gymnastics and joined the Barry YMCA Gym Club. He trained in the Top Squad for about seven years, and then decided to use his knowledge to teach gym.
Tom was asked if the first time he jumped over the vault was literally the first time he did gymnastics. He revealed: “Yeah, I didn’t know what I was doing! But I got back up and had another go.” He said “it doesn’t matter if you fall over, how you fall over, if you just forget about it and try to move on ... You just got to get up and have another go! And enjoy it! There is nothing to be scared of; people bounce!”
“It’s like riding a bike.”
When asked if he would miss competing and training he said, “I will miss competing and training… yeah, but I don’t think I’ll ever quit training it. It’s like riding a bike.” He thought it was great to do a backflip for the kids he teaches every now and then. But he did say “sharing the knowledge is enough to keep me going.”
“If you want something you’ll work at it.”
Unlike many professional gymnasts, Tom started at a much later stage. Asked if he had a lot of catching up to do, he answered: “Big time, yeah. Initially when I started…I was very, very behind.” Tom revealed that he wanted to be as good as them, so “I tried my best and worked really hard.” He encouraged that, “If you want something you’ll work at it…you’ll get there, you will get there.”
Questioned on his feelings about the upcoming project, Tom explained he thinks it is “very exciting” and he commented on how he was “very lucky” to be a part of it: “…very excited to see talent. I’m more bothered about people enjoying themselves and having opportunities, and giving people opportunities.”
Tom revealed that he would be searching for new talent “across the whole of Dubai...[In] one hundred and fifty schools and twelve gymnastic facilities.” He said the “best part of the job” was that he gets to work with “loads of nationalities”.
“I have a passion about the sport.”
The job is for twelve years. When asked if it would be a big commitment on his part he answered: “Even if I only do three years out there, those three years will be the best experience of my life…. I have a passion for gymnastics; I’m not doing it for money; I’m doing it because I have a passion about the sport.”
“You can’t experience it unless you’re actually doing it yourself.”
When asked what helped him to succeed in his career and reach this standard, Tom remarked that he “enjoyed throwing himself around”. He also admitted he liked “proving people... wrong, because a lot of people said [he] was never going to be a good gymnast because [he] started it too late.” He said he loved “that feeling of swinging around the bar, letting go and hoping that you land on your feet and not your head is an amazing feeling. You can’t experience it unless you’re actually doing it yourself.”
“Banana sandwiches, funnily enough”
When asked if he had problems with nerves Tom answered “no” he didn’t; he “enjoys being in the arena... and likes the challenge... [it] tests you as a person” But he did explain it “can be quite nerve-racking for someone who isn’t used to it.” Tom revealed some ways how he kept his nerves at an arm’s length; he said that “forgetting everything around you, taking things right back to the start, and beginning with the basics” is crucial. He also relied on “banana sandwiches, funnily enough, they were what controlled my nerves.” He said it “settled [him] right down and gave [him] lots of energy.”
“Everyone has their bad days…”
A lot of younger gymnasts aspiring to his standard would want to know what advice Tom would have for them. He said: “If you want something don’t care about what anybody else says, you just got to do it... You just got to know what you want and just go for it.... Everyone has their bad days... but the bad days make the good days even better!” He especially encouraged boys (who normally are teased more than girls) “How cool are you when you can do a back-flip and no one else in school can? It’s pretty cool!”
Tom’s enthusiasm and positivity is inspiring, and will ensure his success in Dubai. Llantwit School wish him the best and look forward to seeing his efforts in the 2024 Olympics.
Updated Friday 27th January 2012
Rare Breed of Turtle washes up Dead on Llantwit Coastline
Luke investigates news from the local area
A short while after Christmas a rare occurrence happened in the small coastal town of Llantwit Major. Two sea turtles had washed up dead on the welsh coast. The first turtle was found a day or two after Christmas and the second was found on Tuesday 3rd January by a woman who was walking her dog.
The marine conservation society warned people to keep an eye out for the two turtles and report any sightings of them. The endangered species which are Kemp ridley sea turtles are commonly found in and around the Gulf of Mexico. They were near extinction in the 1980’s due to hunting in large numbers and mass egg collection on the nesting sites.
Experts suggest that due to recent storms that have generated surface currents, the small turtles had been forced from the warmer waters where they inhabit into our colder seas which has resulted in their deaths.
The society said “These turtles could not have survived in our colder waters but they could have been rescued if we were notified earlier”.
“It is essential that if anyone sees any other breed of rare turtle, that you report it immediately,” said other experts.
Updated Friday 13th January 2012
Clash of the Champions
Reported by Kieran
Llantwit Major under 14’s Football Team are gearing up for an epic first round clash in the Tesco Cup against St. Albans on Saturday 14th January 2012. The two sides have never met before and are both the reigning champions of their league, Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan league and St. Albans in the Cardiff league.
Llantwit have enjoyed relative success this season however they have not matched the success of their previous three seasons in which they have gone unbeaten. Llantwit defender Richard Dangerfield had this to say ahead of the game: ‘As current Cardiff champions St. Albans are definite to be challenging opponents, however we as a team are always looking to challenge ourselves and so are looking forward to what should be a competitive game.’ So good luck to Llantwit, we’re cheering you on!
BBC SCHOOL REPORT NEWS DAY
Thursday 15th March
Don't forget to check in and see what we've achieved!
Updated Friday 13th January
What's coming up in 2012
Reported by Kathryn
The hampers have been made, the carols have been sung, the holidays are over, and we’re back in school. It’s a new year and now we’re looking forward to the upcoming events for 2012.
The annual Eisteddfod is taking place on March 2nd this year. The celebrations for St. David’s day are also a chance for pupils to show what they can do. The festival usually creates great excitement; everyone is eager to see both the acts we’ve seen and enjoyed before, and also the new talented acts making their debut. The auditions will be taking place on Thursday the 2nd, 9th and 23rd of February at 3 o’clock in X11. Mrs Davies, who’s organising the event, said it will be a “huge mix of entertainment”.
On St David’s day itself, World Book Day is returning. This is a chance for both year 7 pupils and staff to enjoy the day dressed as their favourite book characters. It’s always interesting to see the array of colourful and creative costumes and try to predict the winner of the competition. “It will be a fun way to celebrate the fun of reading. I look forward to seeing the array of costumes this year,” said Miss Morris, the organiser of the day.
This year will also see a new occasion, which the school has not taken part in before: BBC News Day. During this day, pupils will get a chance to act like real journalists for a day, faced with the task of preparing, writing and editing a news story all before the 2pm deadline. This will be a fun and challenging day for all involved.
The school drama company will be returning with another summer show, ‘Guys and Dolls’. This will be the second show Mrs Richards (leader of the drama department ) will produce. Mrs Richards told us it will be a “fantastic evening of musical talent”, and after last year’s great performance of ‘Back to the 80’s’, expectations are high.