Maesteg School Autumn/Winter Newsletter - Issue #2





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Maesteg School Newsletter
Maesteg School Newsletter
Welcome to the Autumn/Winter Term newsletter!
We really hope you enjoyed the new mobile friendly newsletter in the summer term, the best way to enjoy all of our news in the palm of your hand.
After a good rest over the summer, pupils and staff have been working hard since starting back in September, with our Year 7 pupils really settling in well to life at Maesetg School.
With plenty going on and lots to celebrate, let’s get started with Issue #2 of our newsletter. You can also keep up to date with the latest news by following our Twitter (MaestegSchool) or our newest social media channel on Instagram (MaestegSchool)
You can also visit our website for up to date news and information.
#maesteg21 #motivatedtostrive

In This Issue:
It’s been another busy term at Maesteg School - here’s a taster of what’s coming up in this issue:
  • Headteacher’s Welcome
  • Introducing: The Senior Prefect Team 2021-22
  • School of the Future: Harly Videan
  • Meet the New Champ: Josie Lewis
  • Respect, Wellbeing + Paying It Forward
  • Charity Update
  • Shwmae Sumae Day 2021
  • A Snippet of Sport
  • Pupils Poems: Publishing Young Writers
  • Christmas Signing: Sign along with us!
  • A Christmas Celebration
Welcome: Headteacher Helen Jones
Autumn Winter 2021
Autumn Winter 2021
A massive thank you once again to all our staff, students and parents for coping with the issues this pandemic continues to throw at us. This term began so promisingly with the re-opening of after-school clubs, sporting fixtures and rehearsals for our drama and music groups and we saw the tangible benefits that these activities brought to our school community. Our children and teachers thrive when learning together in a less formal environment and our after-school clubs have been better attended than ever before! It saddens me that in the new term, in order to keep our community safe, we will need to revert to the measures associated with ‘very high risk’ and temporarily postpone these activities once again.
Breakfast Club re-opened this term: A great way to start the day
Breakfast Club re-opened this term: A great way to start the day
An exciting feature of this term has been our ‘Respect’ curriculum which aims to teach our children the characteristics and values we want them to possess and demonstrate both inside and outside of school. When our young people demonstrate these values, they are rewarded with tokens. These tokens are then ‘donated’ into a charity box of their choice so that they pass on their reward to someone who needs it most. This ‘Ripple Effect’ was created and developed by and for our students with the support of Miss Eve Rebane and is proving to be a very effective means of motivating our young people to think about their actions and the impact that these actions have on others. 
Showing kindness to others continues to be a focus at Maesteg School. We have raised money for charities such as Noah’s Ark, Latch and Young Minds, Children in Need and Movember. We have also supported ‘Hello Yellow’ Day to raise awareness of Mental Health issues and created our own ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative to enable our community to demonstrate acts of kindness to one another with some very heart-warming results. In the last few weeks, we have worked hard to collect Christmas gifts to donate to people in our community who may not have gifts given to them in order to show love and kindness this Christmas. I continue to be humbled by the selflessness and generosity of people in this community and I am privileged to lead a school where the focus of our pupils and our teachers is always how we can help others.  
Mrs Scudamore
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Sienna Down and My Year 11 GCSE PE class giving up their free time to support others in the community! If you would like to donate any presents it’s not to late get in touch 🙌😊@MaestegSchool @MaestegMAC #kindnessmatters #community
Our young sports stars have also achieved some outstanding results this term with many pupils earning Welsh representation in their chosen sport. A personal highlight for me was the news of Josie Lewis (who continues to prove that she is a force to be reckoned with) becoming Welsh Boxing Champion for her weight category. This pupil is an outstanding role model for young people, showing great courage and resilience and refusing to be intimidated by an opponent with a lot more experience. 
The Autumn/Winter Term has also seen the appointment of our new Senior Prefect Team led by Head Pupil, Harly Videan. This new team of proud amabassadors has clear vision and ambition for the pupils of Maesteg School and I look forward to working alongside them this year. They have been the driving force behind the charity work of the school and have gone above and beyond to do wonderful things for others. Taya Cordell, our Senior Prefect for Inclusion, has also managed the incredible feat of teaching all of our year 7 students to use sign language which culminated in a beautiful video of Signed Christmas songs that was sent to our local care homes for the residents to enjoy. 
In order to fully appreciate the talent that thrives in Maesteg School please read the newsletter in full, making use of the hyperlinks to read the full stories and please watch the video made by our year 12 BTEC students of our Christmas Concert to truly benefit from our Christmas Spirit! 
On behalf of our school community, Thank you, ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!’
Sienna & Seren show off their Christmas creations
Sienna & Seren show off their Christmas creations
Introducing: The Senior Prefect Team 2021-22
The Senior Prefect Team 2021-2022
The Senior Prefect Team 2021-2022
Every autumn, as the leaves begin to turn, Maesteg School introduces a new Senior Prefect Team to start the campaign and with so much going on this term, Mr Brooks couldn’t wait for the new team to get started.
“I am very proud of our newly appointed Senior Prefect Team and all they have accomplished in such a short space of time,” said Head of Sixth Form Mr Brooks.
“This year we were inundated with applications for a spot on the team and a chance to become the Head pupils of Maesteg School. We pride ourselves as a Sixth Form Team on the work the senior prefect team are involved in and the opportunities they provide for keys stage 3 and 4 pupils.”
“After a thorough application and interview process that included an interview with the Senior Leadership Team the successful team was appointed. Harly Videan is our new Head Pupil with Abbie Steele and Navraj Gill being appointed our Head Girl and Head Boy respectively. The Deputy Head Girl and Boy spots went to Sophie Thomas and Joseph James. In addition, three senior prefects [ambassadors] were chosen; Bethan Thomas, Kieron Davies and Taya Cordell.”
Harly Videan / Abbie Steele / Navraj Gill
Harly Videan / Abbie Steele / Navraj Gill
“I very much look forward to working with the team this year and supporting the ideas they have for an inclusive program of activities to support the continued improvement of Maesteg School,” said Mr Brooks.
The team have already been making positive waves, with their enthusiasm and drive towards this term’s charity events. More on Children in Need and a host of other charity work later.
Meet our team!
Meet our team!
MrBrooksRSL6 on Twitter: "Great to see our newly appointed @MaestegSix Senior Prefect Team working out their ideas @MaestegSchool #leadership #motivatedtostrive…"
School of the Future: Harly Videan
Year 13 pupil Harly Videan has recently embarked on a mission to encourage young people to debate the things that will shape their future.
Upon returning to school in the spring, Harly enrolled with the ‘School of Future’ to build a business plan that he could pitch to his cohort.
All from his bedroom desk, Harly got to know his 58 peers and eventually pitched against 9 others from across the globe including students from Germany, India and the US.
Harly’s concept is called ‘Open’- an online debating platform that includes podcasts, online group discussions and a community of young people who want to fight for a better future.
We caught up with Harly to find out more about this exciting project.
A huge congratulations Harly, this is an incredible achievement! How did you feel when your pitch won the heats?
It felt really good to win in the initial heats, but my attention immediately turned to the next heat! I was a bit scared at first, but I psyched myself up for the next round and was ready to go.
Did you have to adapt your idea for the next round?
Yes, I did, the turnaround time for competition is fast, so you do your best to form your idea quickly and make your business plan as sound as you can in the time given. I got to the semi-final too, which was such a strong field. I managed to get down to the final 20, at which stage I had to do a 3-minute pitch to an online audience of 150 people. It was frightening to see the timer ticking down as I spoke, knowing that this content would be presented on YouTube and other social channels.
 What an experience Harly, this is life changing stuff!
Despite not getting through to the final, this experience has been a huge eye-opener for me, which has been fun and informative at the same time.
Has there been anything that has surprised you about going through this process?
It has been fantastic to meet (virtually) people from across the globe, and I have made quite a few friends from Germany in particular. This has led me to learn the German language, which has been a fun challenge and I really can’t wait to visit one day.
Head Pupil, Harly Videan
Head Pupil, Harly Videan
We are very impressed with your ambition Harly, what could the future hold for ‘Open’ from your perspective?
For this year I want to really focus on school, so this stuff may have to go on the backburner right now. But I’d love to look at starting a business in the future and I feel like this experience has really set me up for that. I am really interested in studying ‘Electronic Engineering’ at University and so my hope is that I can combine my new found knowledge with further education to build a platform for a potential business to grow from.
As well as this fantastic news, you have also been selected to be our Head Pupil. Congratulations! How are you feeling?
After sending off my letter of application, I was really pleased to be shortlisted and asked to interview. The interview went well, and I was able to answer a variety of questions from the Senior Leadership team. I managed to deliver my vision for the role of Head Pupil and my drive to keep trying no matter what happens during these strange ‘Covid times.’
It was a really proud moment went they announced that I was Head Pupil and Mr Brooks handed me the official badge, which I wear with pride on my blazer. The whole prefect team are really excited about what we have achieved already this term and what 2022 will bring!
Josie's a Hit: Meet The New Champ!
Mrs Scudamore
Raising Aspirations striving high! Josie Lewis our sports ambassador ans SOHKs apprentice shows all of us hard work, determination and drive you can achieve anything 🥊🥊🥇🏆#MotivationMonday #motivetostrive @MaestegSchool
Josie Lewis’s grandfather is a boxing coach and having caught the boxing-bug from him, she began to train with him and her uncle. It didn’t take long for everyone to see that Josie had real skill in the ring and so she began to coach primary school children before the first lockdown.
During Covid times, Josie found a real passion for the sport and so began training towards her first bout. We caught up with Josie, fresh after her victory in the ring in which she became the Welsh Youth Female 54kg Champion for 2021!
Josie, congratulations on an outstanding victory! How are you feeling right now?
Amazing! I can’t believe I have actually won the title, although I’ve been training hard the opposite fighter had twenty fights beneath her belt, so to beat her feels like an incredible achievement.
Champion: Josie Leigh Lewis
Champion: Josie Leigh Lewis
How did the fight go?
I thought it would go the distance and I was prepared for a long bout, but I managed to knock her out in round 2 and the ref declared the fight won. It was incredible to have all my family and friends in the crowd cheering me on, I could hear them, and it helped drive me on.
Wow Josie, this sounds fantastic – we are so proud of you! What’s next for you in 2022?
I’m aiming BIG for 2022 by going all out for the British title. In March there is another Welsh title available, and so if I win that, I can be considered for the British title which would of course mean another fight later in the year. Next year I will also be continuing my work with the School of Hard Knocks, where I help disadvantaged children to build confidence and resilience by participating in different sporting events.
We love your ambition Josie, you are a trailblazer in your field and we wish you all the best with your plans for 2022!
Thank you, 2021 has been a personal highlight for me with winning the title and growing as a person and a boxer. I’m going to allow myself a chilled Christmas break but will be back on it with the diet and training in the new year as I want to achieve my goals for 2022.
Respect, Wellbeing + Paying It Forward
We caught up with Miss Rebane who explained how the launch of the Respect Curriculum at Maesteg School is making waves amongst the pupils and staff.
“This year we have started the Respect Curriculum at Maesteg School. The idea is to eventually work towards the Unicef Rights Respecting Schools Award,” said Miss Rebane. 
“This term’s focus has been self-respect, thinking about our identities and how we can change our mindset so that we take responsibility for our actions, know our boundaries and can be more positive towards ourselves and each other.”  
Respect Curriculum: Working together for the wider community
Respect Curriculum: Working together for the wider community
“Many of our students applied to be Student Ambassadors for the Children’s Commissioner and those selected have been working hard on her missions alongside our wellbeing champions. It is wonderful to see them so dedicated to making their school and wider community a better place. Bethan Thomas, one of our senior prefects, has been leading this and is doing a wonderful job of inspiring our younger students,” added Miss Rebane.
“Perhaps the most exciting thing we have introduced is the Ripple Rewards which allows students who have embodied Maesteg School’s ethos of RESPECT to choose a charity to ‘pass it on’ to. Each fortnight tutors, progress leaders and members of the senior leadership team award students who have demonstrated kindness and respect with a token which they put into a box for one of the charities we decided upon as a school. At the end of the year these tokens will be counted and the charity pot our Sixth Form are working hard to raise money for will be distributed between our charities.”  
“Last year we raised nearly £2000 for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital during our end of year wellbeing day in the summer. We are hoping to raise even more money this year to donate. This year students chose to sponsor: Race Equality First, Young Minds and Latch Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity.  I’m really proud of our students and their commitment to their school and community and I’m really excited to have been given the opportunity to work with them. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things they are bound to achieve next year.”
Leading on from Miss Rebane’s news, Maesteg School continued to support charitable events this term, from Children in Need to Movember. Enjoy some tweets and YouTube highlights from the last term:
Maesteg School
𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙊𝙣𝙚 & 𝘼𝙡𝙡 ! 💛🥰🖤
What an effort from @MaestegSchool pupils and staff to make a memorable ‘#HelloYellow Day’ 🙌🏻🙌🏽🙌🏾
It’s been wonderful to support @YoungMindsUK and each-other as we make a stand for all things mental health! #maesteg21 #motivatedtostrive
Maesteg School
If you have been wondering what our ‘Pay it Forward’ jars are and how pupils have been demonstrating acts of kindness this week, then check out this video!
#AntiBullyingWeek #maesteg21 #motivatedtostrive
Children in Need 2021
Children in Need 2021
Maesteg School
What a wonderful day we've had for #ChildreninNeed 2021! We've raised a grand total of £807.55🙌
Combine this with the donations we've collected on our #FoodDrive and together we have helped to transform young lives! Well done to everyone involved!☺️ #motivatedtostrive 💛🖤
#ChildreninNeed2021 was a huge success and mainly down to the hard work behind the scenes from our Senior Prefect Team. To top it all off, we even had a tweet from Pudsey himself! Video highlights from the day are below:
Look what we got up to for CIN21
Look what we got up to for CIN21
Maesteg School
#𝙼𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛𝟸0𝟸𝟷 has been a blast, with some of the most fabulous mo-growing action we've ever seen! We're proud to have raised a whopping £𝟿𝟽𝟺 this year for @MovemberUK Movellous work everyone 🙌 #maesteg21 #motivatedtostriv
Maesteg School
𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙂𝙞𝙛𝙩 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 💝
Pupils have been busy wrapping your donations. There’s still time to give, so if you’re out shopping, please pick up something extra that could make a big difference this Christmas✨@MrsScudaPEWell
#maesteg21 #motivatedtostrive
Maesteg School
Whilst staff weren’t teaching today the Well-being faculty & Santa Clause delivered lots of gifts to Caerau, Garth and Bryn Celyn residential home - he’s been very busy indeed!🎅🏻 #HoHoMotivatedtostrive #maesteg21
Shwmae Sumae Day 2021
Mrs Melbourne encouraged us all to invest in the Welsh language this term as we celebrated Shwmae Day as a school:
“A fantastic day for both staff and pupils trying to outdo each other in the development of their ‘siarad Cymraeg’. So many students were striving to improve their Welsh, with them all using their key vocabulary from across the curriculum,” said Mrs Melbourne.
“Staff were amazing challenging and motivating not only students but each other to be the best. Ymlaen Maesteg what a fantastic day!”
Shwmae Su’mae Day, 15th of October, 2021
Shwmae Su’mae Day, 15th of October, 2021
A Snippet of Sport
There has been some wonderful sporting achievements this term as well as the appointment of our new Rugby Hub Officer, Mr Rhydian Davies.
Here are some highlights from the last few weeks of term:
Mr Davies - Year 10 Progress Leader
Introducing our Year 10 @Bdsru15s representatives.

Outstanding work boys! Keep it going now!
Tondu RFC
‼️Huge Congratulations‼️ to @SamCreber on being selected in the Welsh under 18s squad. Da iawn Sam! #wheelers #ole 💙❤️
Maesteg CS Rugby
Congratulations From everyone at @MaestegCSRugby !!🏉

Great achievement!!👏🏽

Good luck mate ⚫️🟡
Mrs Scudamore
Congratulations to our Senior dance team who came 3rd in the UDOIT Welsh School Street Dance Competition 2021 and have qualified for the British final 👏👏 very proud special thanks to Tom Edmunds 😊@MaestegSchool @udoitdance #motivatedtostrive
Maesteg PE HWB
Best of luck to @MaestegSchool Iestyn Jones (Year 10) as he starts for @FAWales Under 15 wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 tomorrow v Slovakia 🇸🇰 play well ⚽️ ⚽️
Pupils Poems: Publishing Young Writers
Mrs John
Congratulations Year 7 students in SJNurture/English! EVERYone of them has had their poem selected for publication! Over 20,000 entries and they ALL made the cut! #ProudTeacher❤️ #SJNurture🌱 @MaestegSchool 💛🖤 #motivatedtostrive 💪🏻
Look out in the new year for a recital of the published poems, we can’t wait to hear the pupils words come to life. Congratulations to our Year 7 Nurture/English pupils!
Christmas Signing: Sign along with us!
Sixth form student Taya Cordell has been a very busy ambassador this term, working hard with pupils and staff to extend their signing vocabulary. Before you watch a lovely seasonal number that was filmed and edited by Taya, she explains how there’s been a big interest in signing at Maesteg School.
Taya, well done for working so hard this term in your ambassador role - you’ve been very busy indeed. Can you explain a bit about what you’ve been up to?
I am now a year 13 student at Maesteg School, and I have a role as a Senior Prefect and Ambassador for Inclusion. One of my duties is to help to ensure that all HI pupils in school can learn and develop their skills within sign language, something I take a keen interest in.
During lockdown, I took the opportunity to study within my first level of sign with Bridgend College and from there I have continued to work on signs that I would use within a conversational setting, as well as learn the signs to multiple songs that I have gone on to teach.
You have been delivering assemblies and after school sessions - your efforts seem to have paid off in the lovely video you have made. Tell us more about that.
Well I am now able to assist 197 pupils and various members of staff to learn the necessary signs to help communicate to those in school or in the community who are either hearing impaired, deaf or to those who perhaps do not communicate verbally. 
It was very exciting to create a video that showcases the hard work and dedication everyone within school has put into learning sign, with the hours I have spent assisting, supporting, and teaching pupils really paying off on this special Christmas number. Please enjoy the video and the outstanding performances everyone gave. I’m sure there will be more signing content come the spring, so please subscribe to our newsletter to find out more!
Merry Christmas Everyone! A video by Taya Cordell
Merry Christmas Everyone! A video by Taya Cordell
A Christmas Celebration
Mr Walters introduces this years Christmas Celebration, a concert brought together by our Year 12 BTEC students.
“This virtual Christmas Concert Performance is the product of months of hard work by the Year 12 Btec Music class,” said Mr Walters.
“Initially it was intended to be part of a Community music project to be sent out to local care homes. However, the project evolved into a Christmas Concert for the wider school community to be broadcast on the school YouTube channel, due to Covid restrictions preventing us from holding a live Christmas concert at school.”
“There is an eclectic mix of modern and traditional Christmas music to be heard as well as an original composition that was written, recorded and filmed by Kurt Hopkins in Year 13.”
Maesteg School Senior Choir
Maesteg School Senior Choir
“I would like to thank the Year 12 pupils for their hard work, the Peripatetic teaching team for preparing their pupils to perform and all pupils who have performed on this DVD/ YouTube video. I would also like to thank the people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this a success.”
“Finally, a special thank you to Mr Dan Shaw who has been integral to the success of this project.”
With Mr Walters words in mind, please sit back, relax and enjoy Maesteg School’s Christmas Celebration 2021.
A Christmas Celebration: Maesteg School
A Christmas Celebration: Maesteg School
That's A Wrap!
We hope you enjoyed our Autumn Winter Term newsletter. There is nothing more to say but to wish you all a very restful Christmas break. Stay safe, rest up and we will see you in 2022 - ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!’
#maesteg21 #motivatedtostrive
#maesteg21 #motivatedtostrive
Contact Us
Maesteg School
Ffordd Dysgu
Bridgend CF34 0LQ
01656 815950
Contact Us - Ysgol Maesteg
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Ysgol Maesteg sits at the head of the Llynfi Valley, South Wales, UK #motivatedtostrive

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