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Headteacher's Blog Post - Friday 22nd March 2024

Spring is certainly truly upon us here at Bishop Vaughan, with the daffodils blooming around the school grounds, the Rosary Garden springing back to life and the longer hours of daylight being uplifting for all of us. The sense of renewal and positivity that Spring offers has certainly been reflected each day in the life of the school this term, with our pupils embracing each new opportunity made available to them and making progress in all areas of their lives.

March started in a most vibrant way with the most entertaining and celebratory Eisteddfod. The talents showcased by our pupils were as impressive as they were diverse and we are most grateful to the Welsh department, the Performing Arts Department and their pupil ambassadors for the excellent planning, preparation and delivery of this event.

On Tuesday 5th March, 30 of our Year 7 pupils joined with schools across Swansea to take part in the ‘Bigger Picture’ festival at Swansea University. This was a celebration of the various faiths and cultures that exist in the Swansea community, and our pupils were delighted to attend as representatives of Bishop Vaughan School.  In an environment that encourages equality, diversity and inclusivity, the Bigger Picture Festival promotes freedom and opportunity to pupils to share, explore, question and understand the varied faiths and cultures that are represented in the community and beyond.

The Year 11 Healthcare classes ran a truly excellent interactive Health and Wellbeing event for our Year 7 classes this month. Pupils designed their own campaigns and activities to promote a range of topics from healthy eating to avoiding risky behaviours. The resources they planned contributed to their Health and Social Care GCSE non-examined assessment and both year groups thoroughly enjoyed this invaluable experience.

Some of our pupils received further examination results in this month and we offer our congratulations to Brooke, Mary and Riya on achieving outstanding results in the Latin Level 1 examination which they sat in January. Equivalent to half of a GCSE course, these pupils have achieved A* and A grades in this course, which is taken over and above their existing studies and on a much-reduced time allocation! Their achievements are therefore all the more impressive! They are now progressing to Level 2 (GCSE) and we wish them every success. Students from throughout the schools across Swansea have now joined BVS pupils online in learning Latin, offered by Mrs. Richardson, and we now have a new group of nearly sixty learners from across the city joining our course. New pupils are welcomed!

7E throroughly enjoyed the Para Sports Festival Launch Day on 14th March, this being held in Swansea University's sports complex, in celebration of the Para Sports Festival returning to Swansea in the summer. The pupils had the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of sports, including dance, wheelchair rugby, Boccia, golf and many more options. They even appeared on the Wales evening news bulletin!

As referenced in previous blogs, our Pupil Voice Group has developed the Pupil Entitlement Charter and it has been great to see the ways that our pupils have engaged in the activities offered in connection with the Charter commitments – from the learning of new skills to the trips, masterclasses and clubs in which our pupils engage. This month’s visits to Cardiff Castle, which fulfil the Charter commitment to ensuring that all pupils have the opportunity to visit a Welsh castle or other heritage site, were enjoyed by all who took part!

Our pupils’ Lenten preparations for Easter have, as always, provided beautiful opportunities for reflection, and our individual acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving have collectively permeated the whole school community. The Lenten lunch, held on the penultimate Friday of this term, was a lovely occasion, offering staff and pupils the opportunity to gather and to raise funds for our chosen charities. It has been heartening also to witness the atmosphere in the Lenten assemblies, with their poignant and moving focus on the Stations of the Cross, and our pupils have made thoughtful and meaningful contributions to our Lenten prayer wall. Very many took up the opportunity to access the Sacrament of Reconciliation offered by our school Chaplain, Father John, in the final week of this term.

This month, we have also seen the terms of office for no fewer than five of our exceptional school Governors draw to a close. We are grateful beyond measure for their selfless service to the school, with all of the sacrifices of their time that that has involved and with the school benefiting so greatly from their expertise and experience. We offer, therefore, our heartfelt thanks to Mr Jason Williams, Mrs Helen Fage and Mrs Christine Steward as parent Governors, and Mr Phil McCarthy and Captain Keith Dias as Foundation Governors. Each has truly modelled servant leadership and we hope they will continue to be a part of the school in the years to come.

I wish you a blessed remainder of Lent and a joyous Easter!

Mrs Pole


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