9 February 2024

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

Welcome to another round up from our week at Llanishen High School. As always, an eclectic mix of news!

Publication of Estyn excellent case study for LHS

We are absolutely delighted to share the case study that Estyn asked us to publish following on from our inspection in September 2023.  The identification of this good practice was really important to us because it goes to the very heart of our mission to create a supportive, inclusive environment that nurtures individual growth and personal success.

Publishing effective practice is a great way for schools share information, knowledge and learning in the sector to ensure that all providers can benefit from the work of others, and we are delighted to contribute to the work of other schools, many of whom have been to visit since the publication of our report. Our case study can be viewed on the Estyn website:

LHS Case Study

In addition to this, we constantly review everything that we do in school to ensure equity of access and to ensure that we do everything we can to mitigate the cost of the school day.

Breakfast provision:

In response to a recent Health and Wellbeing survey carried out with our student population, and in response to research on the importance of breakfast and nutrition, we will be offering a breakfast provision in school each morning. 

This will operate from the canteen in the West Wing Hall and will be available to all students in all year groups.  We will be sharing more information about the timings, menu choices and provision for students who are entitled to free school meals in the coming days.

In addition to our daily uniform store, blazer exchange and second-hand uniform provision, we would also like to flag up this opportunity for parents and guardians….

An exciting announcement from the Sixth Form!

As the current Head Girl and Boy relinquish their responsibilities to make way for final Year 13 exam preparations, we say a huge thank you to Katie Gill and Tom Bavey as they hand over the baton to the incoming team. Please join me in thanking Katie and Tom for all their hard work and commitment in leading student voice in the school over the last 12 months. They have contributed with passion to the work of the governing body and the work of the School Council in particular.  We will follow their onward journeys with bated breath!

The Sixth Form team are delighted to announce that a new Senior Prefect Team has been appointed. This team is the link between the students and the Sixth Form staff leaders. They feedback on student voice and look to improve our Sixth form community in a variety of ways. The Sixth Form at Llanishen is very student driven and they have an input into facilities, extra-curricular activities and even the food served in the Common Room.

The team were overwhelmed with the number of applications both for Head Prefect and Senior Prefect. The Head Prefects have to write a speech and present this to their year group in assembly. The speeches outlined why they would be a good leader and what their vision for the Sixth Form is.

They were very impressed with all the presentations; standing up in front of over 140 of your peers is no mean feat.  Thirteen students applied for 4 positions and those who are unsuccessful are automatically entered into the Senior Prefect election. These positions are solely chosen by Year 12 students through a formal voting process and are the students who will lead the Prefect Team.

The Senior Prefects are voted in by Sixth Form tutors, who assess their letters of application. We received 23 letters, which was by far the most we have received in a number of years. Whilst a positive problem, it made it a very difficult decision, giving some of the tutor team some sleepless nights!

However, a team was eventually selected, and Mrs Hornblow and Mr Thomas would like to congratulate the following students in being successful in to these important roles. They look forward to working with them over the next year.

Head Girl: Lola Stafford, and Head Boy: Steffan Baber

Deputy Head Girl: Sarah Jones, and Deputy Head Boy: Thomas Holroyd

Senior Prefects: Adam Ben Saoud, Lola Cox, Freya Curtis, Chloe Henshall, Isla Howells, Lily Morgan, Henry Parker, Jean Reis and Jacob Thwaite

More from the Senior Prefect team themselves after half term!

Even more success for our formidable debating team!

Last week, both the intermediate and senior debate team competed in the second round of the Rotary Youth Speaks Area Finals against Whitchurch High School and we are so proud to share the news that both teams took the trophies! They will be competing in the District Finals in Carmarthen in February.

Our intermediate team, Jack Heggarty (proposer), Ben Samuels (chair) and Alan Nazemi (opposer) debated the motion ‘veganism is a diet for the future’.

 Our senior team, Jacob Parsons (proposer), Fiona Garbutt (chair) and Maiwen Beynon Bernard (opposer) debated the motion- Can we be moral without being religious?

Both teams presented powerful and polished speeches. A proud day for Miss Davies! 

Year 7 Pizza Enterprise challenge!

Last week also saw the final flamboyant and energetic presentations from our Year 7 Pizza Enterprise challenge. The challenge commenced on the Impact Day at the start of January. 

Our Year 7 entrepreneurs have been working in teams to develop their businesses.  They were judged on a range of factors that included sustainability, health, dietary options, and branding and marketing. 

The teams have thoroughly enjoyed the practical element of this challenge.  After carrying out market research among their peers, they designed and made their pizza’s during their Health and Wellbeing lessons.  They were able to taste test and refine their menus. 

Our thanks go to the judging panel that included members of the governing body, the Head of Year 7 and an expert in this field, Mr Jordan Phillips.  Jordan is the mastermind behind The Tin Can Kitchen!   https://www.tincankitchen.co.uk/

Thank you to Mr Mann and Mrs Leon for organising this as part of the Health and Wellbeing curriculum for Wales. They are delighted to announce the winning businesses:

  • In 1st place are the Dough Dreamers from 7H.  They are Alan, Bruce, Oscar, Will and Daniel
  • In 2nd place are Grandma’s Kitchen from 7B.  They are Isabel, Libbie, Evie, Scarlett, Megan and Julia
  • In 3rd place are Slice Guys from 7F.  They are Harri Goodall, Lewis Jordan, Keaton Elliot and Zaid Mohammed

The teams will receive prizes and reward notes this week.  We will also see if we can turn these ventures into a reality in the summer term!

Safer Internet Day

This week, we have also been shining a light on Safer Internet Day, reiterating the following messages within our Social Media Guide about staying safe online.

In our recent parental survey, 80% of respondents said they thought social media had a negative impact on mental health.

Thanks to the gamification of platforms, it’s easy to get addicted to the dopamine hit each Like and Comment can provide. Whilst there are most definitely positives to social media, the negatives are that users can develop a need to feel validated by these actions.

If you notice that your teen is showing signs of increased dependency, encourage them to step away and consider these questions…

We see a lot in the news about the negative impact of social media on our mental health.

But, with the right balance, it can also have a positive impact.

It’s all about focusing on the ways it can be used for good.


Learning Support Stars of the Week

This week we have two stars. Congratulations to Bethan Curtis in Year 9 for receiving excellent feedback from all teachers during a recent meeting and for consistently working hard and trying your best.  Congratulations also to Benji White in Year 10 for working hard in Maths and English and for making huge improvements with his handwriting.  Keep up the good work both!

To the tower….

We sign off this half-term with the return of a much loved and excellent educational visit.

On Monday this week, our historians and artist joined forces and the intrepid explorers headed down the M4 to London town.

While the historians visited the Tower of London, the A-level art students went to Tate Britain and Tate Modern.

Here is a glimpse into the educational experiences that they enjoyed.  First, they travelled on the Thames, akin to the Tudor elite to the Palace of Westminster).  They took in the Water Gate or “Traitor’s Gate” and the ceremonial maces among the Crown Jewels.  They thoroughly enjoyed the workshop on the Tower as state prison during the Mid Tudor Crisis.  They saw the block, headman’s axe and Skeffington’s Irons (affectionately known as “Scavenger’s Daughter”) as well as the mounted armour of Henry VIII in the White Tower.

As the historians forged on, they also visited the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula which holds the remains of most prominent prisoners executed on Tower Hill or Tower Green, including Anne Boleyn, Queen Jane Grey and Thomas Cromwell (plus also many prominent army officers who served as Constables of the Tower in their later careers, who have proper tombs).  Also captured below is the Tower Green memorial to Anne Boleyn and others, as well as Ollie Graham practising his sabre technique. 

It looks like a great day out! Thank you to the staff who organised and accompanied this band. Let’s finish with a photo collage….

We now wish all of our readers a very happy and healthy half-term break.

The staff will be returning to school on Monday 19th February for an INSET day.

We will then welcome all students back to school on Tuesday 20th February.

Thank you for reading/Diolch am ddarllen,

Mrs Sarah Parry, Headteacher

Headteachers Blog Archive can be found here.