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Posted: 05.09.13

The Neuadd Takes Centre Stage At The Beginning Of A New School Year

In welcoming the pupils and staff to the new academic year, Head of Christ College Mrs Emma Taylor said: “Welcome, too, to this wonderful new facility; Y Neuadd Goffa: The Memorial Hall. It is a wonderful addition to the school and I look forward to seeing many memorable performances in here over the coming years.” Mrs Taylor added that we were welcoming a large number of new people to the Christ College community this week; nearly a hundred new pupils and 10 new staff. She added: “Many of you already seem very settled and comfortable here; I am sure that over the coming days you will become more and more at home and I hope you will all be very happy and successful with us.”

Mrs Taylor then went on to introduce the new staff including Mr Goodrich (Head of Humanities and Subject Leader of Geography) and Mr Ling (Director of Music a tutor in Alway House). In Languages we welcome Miss Jones, our new French and Welsh teacher, and Miss Evans, who will teach Spanish. Miss Norris completes the Geography Department and is resident tutor in de Winton House. We also welcome Mrs Goodrich, who will teach Psychology and Junior Science, and Mrs Sandhu in the History Department. Many of our Sixth Form pupils have already encountered our new rugby and hockey coaches during pre-season training. Mr Jonathon Goodridge is our senior sports assistant and Director of Rugby, while Mr Chris Marriott is assisting with hockey coaching alongside Dr Phelps. We have a new French Assistant, Mr Anthony Alet, and a new Sports Assistant, Mr Ceitho Williams. In her concluded welcoming remarks, Mrs Taylor said: “I am very excited to have so many talented and enthusiastic staff joining us.”

The summer holidays were full and exciting for many of us, not least for the sports tour parties to Canada and South Africa. These hugely successful tours take a great deal of organisation and the staff who made it possible for them to take place were warmly thanked.

One key date for many in the holidays was exam results day, and there were many outstanding achievements from our pupils. The Upper Sixth Leavers did very well indeed, and are as we speak preparing to head off to their universities or gap year placements. No fewer than 13 of them achieved 3 A grades or better. In the Lower Sixth, too, there were some strong results, with 14 pupils achieving 3 As or better. We also had the joy of the GCSE results and the current Lower Sixth were congratulated on a very strong performance as a year group. No fewer than 20 pupils of them scored 8 or more As and A*s. New pupils to Christ College were also congratulated on an excellent set of results.

Results of last year’s Associated Board Music Examinations arrived during the holidays, and congratulations were passed to the following:

  • Abbie Gould passed her Grade 1 violin with distinction and Tilley Thomas passed Grade 1 piano with merit. Thomas Kiss gained Grade 2 piano, Ashley Fletcher gained a merit in Grade 2 double bass, and Phoebe Sussman passed her Grade 3 singing with merit.
  • Artai Hernandez passed his Grade 3 Saxophone with merit, Maya Lewis passed Grade 4 clarinet, and Hannah Greatbatch passed Grade 4 singing. Oliver Price passed Grade 5 clarinet and Samuel McIlroy gained his Grade 5 Theory.
  • And at the very top level, Douglas Evans and Hamish Sennett both gained distinction in Grade 7 cello, while Sophie Rudge passed her Grade 8 singing, also with distinction.

Candidates for LAMDA Speech and Drama awards also received their results during the holidays and awards were presented to:

  • Acting Solo Grade 1: Abbie Gould, Hannah Mathias (with Distinction) and Teisha-Lani Lewis (with Merit). Acting Duologue Grade 1: Phoebe Sussman and Emma Leute (both with Distinction).
  • Acting Duologue Grade 2: Jet Treasure-Jeffreys and Charlotte Taylor with Merit. Acting Combined Grade 2 Lenka Halpin and Ella Valentine (with Merit).
  • Grade 3 Using Spoken English – Lilian Palmer (with Distinction), and Grade 3 Acting Duologue Jack Bell (with Distinction) and Daniel Cummings (with Merit).
  • Grade 4 Using Spoken English – Emma Pryce, Mari James and Emily Devoy (all with Merit). Grade 4 Devising Drama – Anna-Mae Barlow, Ben Draper, Sam Lawrence and Hannah Greatbatch (with Merit).
  • Grade 5 Using Spoken English – Matthew Dempsey (with Distinction), Grade 5 Acting Solo – Georgia Grady and Saoirse Fitzpatrick (with Merit).Grade 5 Musical Theatre – Aisling Tarpey (with Merit).
  • Grade 6, Bronze Medal Speaking in Public – William Thomas, Patrick Dempsey, Mali Wyn and Sky Treasure-Jeffreys (with Merit) and Hugh Perkins (with Distinction).
  • And at the highest grade, Grade 8 Gold medal acting solo – Cara McNaughton, and Grade 8 Musical Theatre – Holly Taylor (with Distinction).

Biology Challenge Awards were then presented to the following pupils:

  • Bronze Awards to Alana Thomas, Rosie Evans, Harry Peach.
  • Gold Award to Matthew Dempsey.

Every year Always House pupils take part in the local Lions Club Peace Poster Competition. This year the winner of the competition was Will Bush, who not only won the local competition but went on to win the regional one as well. Will received a medal for achieving the best net score in the Wales Under 13 golf championship that took place over the holidays.

A number of other pupils also achieved significant sporting success over the over the summer. Lauren Williams and Hugh Carthew represented Wales at Polocrosse. Amelia Reynolds and Annabel James competed for SE Wales in Wales Inter-Regional Championships last Saturday. Amelia won 2 gold medals and Annabel, a silver medal. Amelia also represented Wales in August at the Celtic Games. Issy Morris won a silver at the British Triathlon Championships on Saturday held at Eton Dorney and won a gold medal at the Welsh Athletics Championships a couple of weeks ago. Cari Lewis won gold and silver in U40kg and U44kg Welsh Judo Championships. Back in July, Shupal Sheresta won the national schools junior hammer title and at the same meet, Jacob Williams came 2nd place in the Hammer throw and Tom Birch won a bronze medal in the junior shot putt. Mrs Taylor added: “There were many other sporting and other achievements that haven’t yet hit the headlines but many congratulations to all of you on your successes!”

In expectation of sporting successes to come, our two senior captains, Alex Davies (1st XV Rugby Captain) and Ariadne Bridge (1st XI Captain of Hockey) were introduced to the assembly and received our best wishes for the season to come.

In her concluding remarks to the school, Mrs Taylor said: “I hope you have many good memories of your summer holidays. In our family, surfing is the latest craze, and this time last week we were on a beach in Pembrokeshire with several young people doing just that. It may not surprise you that my role was driver, observer, photographer and occasional reluctant lifeguard, rather than an active participant. But it gave me a chance to reflect on how unlikely surfing is. Who would have thought that a fully grown human being could stand on a thin piece of board on top of a rapidly moving mountain of water? It doesn’t sound possible, really. But with a bit of training and plenty of practice, surfers do just that. And there is one more crucial element to success; key to it all is the belief that they will indeed get up; they commit to the wave, put the skills they have learned into action, and up they get. Confidence is key; if they hesitate they will certainly miss the wave or fall off the board. Confidence brings the exhilaration of riding the wave; loss of self-belief the frustration and exhaustion of falling time and time again.”

She continued: “And that reminded me of our school motto. ‘They achieve because they believe they can’ and made me think a little more deeply about what it means. It is not just blind faith; we don’t simply screw up our eyes and try hard to believe that we can do something. No, this belief is based solidly on the knowledge that we have the resources we need to do well, and that we can therefore commit ourselves to the task with true self-assurance, expecting to succeed. And we gain this confidence by applying ourselves, learning skills, training, practising and listening to the advice of our teachers and coaches. It is our job as a school to give you the confidence that you can do well, whether academically or on the sports field, in the music school or on the stage. But your job is to commit yourselves to the task; to listen, respond, and apply yourselves so that you can have justified self belief, and can take the risk, catch the wave and have the exhilarating experience of success. Good luck to you all this term and may the Christ College motto be true of all of us as we develop the self-belief to succeed.”

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