6 October 2023

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students/Annwyl Rieni, Gwarchodwyr a Myfyrwyr

Expanding horizons at the LHS Sixth Form Open Evening!

It was a pleasure to throw open our doors to Year 11 on Wednesday evening to showcase the amazing provision we have for Sixth Form education.  Thank you to everyone for coming along and especially to our Sixth Form students for speaking so eloquently and candidly about their experiences.

As the autumn term of Year 11 gathers momentum, the focus on what comes after GCSEs can bring great motivation to the cohort. We know that Year 11 is an incredibly stressful year for students with the volume of exams and pressure that is placed upon them. So when times get tough, we travel to school in the dark and travel home in the dark, the controlled assessment and revision is relentless, it is hugely important for the students to keep a clear vision of why they’re doing it and what the rewards and outcomes will be.

For many of our young people, it will be a place in our Sixth Form and maybe a place on our Honours programme, Brilliant club or Seren network and the wider opportunities that are available. So let’s shape that motivation and vision.

We will be supporting each member of Year 11 on a 1:2:1 basis over the coming months.

On Wednesday, visitors were able to talk to staff about the entry requirements for each course and the suitability of these choices to higher education aspirations. The wide variety of ssubjects offered in LHS Sixth Form for September 2023 are listed below:

Art and DesignFashion and TextilesMusic
BiologyFood Science and NutritionMusic Technology
Business StudiesFrenchPhotography
ChemistryFurther MathematicsPhysical Education
Computer ScienceGeographyPhysics
Criminology (L3 Diploma)Health and Social CarePolitics
DT:  Product DesignICT – Digital TechnologyPhilosophy, Religion and Ethics
EconomicsICT – BTEC Level 3Sociology
ElectronicsMathematicsSport (BTEC Level 3)
English LanguageMedia StudiesWelsh
English LiteratureMedical Science (L3 Diploma)Mathematics Level 3

Aspects of our Sixth Form experience and provision that we are most proud of include:

  • Smaller group sizes (on average 10 – 15 per class) that allow for more individual and personalised teaching and support
  • Aspirational target setting and close tracking of progress against targets
  • Regular parental involvement in progress and early intervention if we have concerns of any description, and vice-versa
  • A steppingstone into a more independent style of study whilst being a member of supportive tutor group, accessing all wellbeing services in school
  • All students have a dedicated and specialist Sixth Form tutor for Year 12 and 13 and support for the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • The opportunity to play a role as a senior member of our whole school community in a wide range of leadership roles that develop wider skills and experiences and provide a unique edge to UCAS and onward applications
  • Access to a dedicated pathway to challenge and support more able and talented students
  • Specific support for UCAS applications and specific support for those aspiring to Oxford, Cambridge, Russell Group and Sutton Trust Universities
  • Support and guidance on apprenticeship schemes / alternative post-18 opportunities
  • Opportunities for team sports and wellbeing activities as a year group (Wellbeing Wednesday afternoons)
  • A wide range of extra-curricular opportunities including the Duke of Edinburgh award through to local and foreign travel opportunities
  • The opportunity to be part of a very inclusive Sixth Form that sets the standard for the younger year groups coming through the school

Wednesday night was just the start of the process of working alongside home to guide our students onto the next stage in life. We look forward to meeting Year 11 parents again on 30th November. Please also look on our school website for the Sixth Form prospectus which will offer even greater insight into our Sixth Form provision. This is an exciting time for students to join our Sixth Form as the school celebrates seven years of continuous improvement.

We also offer a range of support for students who will be looking outside of the school.  Our onsite Careers Wales Advisor, Gethin Lock, and our onsite Youth Mentor, Jordan Williams, are very proactive and very knowledgeable about a wide range of options.

Cardiff Half-Marathon – done!

Next this week, we congratulate the LHS team on completing the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 1st October to raise funds for City Hospice. Mohammed El Kaddu in Year 13 was our fastest team member, completing the run in 1 hour 20 minutes. After a busy week with Estyn visiting, we commend the stamina and energy reserves of the team!

Here is that link one last time! Thank you to everyone who turned out to support us and everyone who has sponsored us.


Arrival of our Throne! (Surely every school should have one!)

This week, our Throne came home! Last year, the Hearing-Impaired Resource Base entered an Historic Royal Palaces’ competition to design a Coronation Bench to be displayed at the Tower of London during the Coronation celebrations in May. There were over 1,500 entries across the UK and the HIRB was selected as one of the 15 winners and is the only Welsh School.

The HIRB students who worked on the successful design had the chance to work with global public art producers Wild in Art to refine their illustrations before their bench is brought to life and installed at the Tower of London during the Coronation celebrations. The students enjoyed a VIP class trip to the Tower of London as a reward for their efforts, where they saw the Crown Jewels, took part in themed activities, and had the opportunity to see their bench in situ.

And now, the HIRB team were out in force this week to proudly welcome it home to LHS!  Unfortunately, I think it is a little large to fit behind my desk in my office!  So it will continue to take up residence in communal areas around the school. 

Let’s stay with the HIRB for a little longer.  In their Year 8 Expressive Arts lessons, students have been focusing on communication and diversity.  Amadu took the lead in sharing his sign language skills, engaging everyone in the class.  Well done Amadu.

Learning Support ‘Star of the Week’

This week’s Learning Support SOTW is Sam Langford in Year 11.  Sam has made fantastic progress already this term.  He is an absolutely delightful young man and we are so pleased to see him thriving.  Well done Sam and keep it up in this important year!

Running Club – Every Friday after school

We would like to take the opportunity this week to shine a light on our Friday after school running club.  It is open to every student and is a great opportunity to improve personal fitness, whilst having fun and learning the technical aspects of running, jumping and throwing.  It can also be a valuable supplement to team sports (rugby, football, netball, etc.), as well as being a competitive sport in it’s own right, with Cross Country and Sportshall competitions over the winter (as well as indoor athletics at club level), and athletics over the summer.

The key focus is personal growth, combining technical learning, with physical development, to deliver improved performance – helping individuals be the best they can be. 

Sessions are delivered to meet the needs and interests of the pupils that attend, with the emphasis on participation and fun. 

So, whether you are an aspiring club runner/thrower/jumper, or simply want to learn and improve, or get fitter, there will be something for you. 

In the summer term each year LHS students compete in the Cardiff Schools Athletics Competitions, at the Cardiff International Sports (Leckwith) stadium and the amazing results were sent out earlier this week.

The sessions are overseen by Miss Chapman (PE Department) and Tony Gill (parent volunteer).

Here is a bit of an introduction from Miss Chapman and Mr Gill!

Miss Chapman:

Most people will know me as Miss Chapman, the new PE teacher at Llanishen High School. I had the pleasure of joining Llanishen and the wonderful PE department in September 2022, before which I was pursuing a career in athletics. I started off in junior athletics as a multi eventer (heptathlete) gaining my first international vest, at 18 I specialised in long jump. My biggest personal achievements include breaking the 35 year old Welsh national record in long jump with a jump of 6.54m. I competed for Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, represented GB in Paris and Rome at street athletics events, and have represented Wales on the international stage on multiple occasions.  Throughout my university years I coached for Cardiff Archers athletics club, supporting children from the FUNdamentals at reception age all the way to up to u20 international level. I have been part of the support staff for Welsh schools combined events team, and delivered for Welsh Athletics on their jump’s development days, as well as my own athletics camps at Leckwith during my university years.

Now, alongside with Tony, I deliver the after school running club on a Friday. Through the winter months, we gear training towards cross country and developing cardiovascular endurance, and as we move into the spring/summer terms (and the track season), training is modified to encompass a full range of disciplines, including sprints, hurdles and technical throws and jumps. The best part about run club is that we operate on an open-door policy, whereby we welcome everyone of any experience. It gave me so much joy last year to see students of all abilities thrive and make progress. I very much look forward to building on those achievements this year. Running club is every Friday 2.45-3.45 throughout the entire year. With additional athletics sessions replacing netball in the summer term. I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. 

Mr Gill:

I am a parent volunteer, with my youngest child (Katie) in Year 13, who has been a very successful sprinter/jumper, and helps out at Running Club on a regular basis.  Over the past 20+ years – supporting my children – I have coached rugby, football, cricket, cross country and athletics.  My approach to coaching is inclusion, and success – for me – is helping young athletes improve and meet their personal goals.  Medals can be lost, but memories are forever!  This year there was one special moment when a LHS pupil was overjoyed at having improved their personal best.  They did not win, they did not get a medal, or make the final in their event, but their success was producing their best performance when it mattered to them, and their willingness and want to share that sense of achievement was extra special.

As an athletics coach, my special interest is sprint relays. This started in 2016, coaching the Cardiff Archers U11 girls team that set – what was then – a Welsh record. That team were Welsh U13 champions for the next 2 seasons, together with a number of other Cardiff Archers relay teams I coached.  In 2019, I helped the LHS U15 girls team win the Cardiff schools title in a time that ranks among the fastest ever for a single school team.  In 2022 and 2023, I was invited to coach the Cardiff schools relay teams for the Welsh Schools championships, both years winning 4 golds and 2 silver medals.  This year the U15 girls team also set a new Welsh record. 

Hopefully, this insight into running club might inspire a few more folks to come along and have a go!

Journalism competition!

Finally today, Mrs Medlicott and her journalism club have launched a spooktacular writing competition for all students who would like to enter.

The winners will be announced in the Llanishen Local publication at the end of term.  The poster below outlines the details of the competition.

I look forward to bringing you more news and stories next week.

Thank you for reading/Diolch am ddarllen,

Mrs Sarah Parry, Headteacher

Headteachers Blog Archive can be found here.