11 April 2024

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

Welcome back to the summer term. We hope that our readers had a beautifully refreshing break.  That was certainly the case for our LHS globe trotters to let’s start there…

LHS on international travels to the Azores…

In the words of expedition leader, Mr Prince…. At the start of the Easter break, the Geography Department took 47 GCSE and A-Level students on a fieldtrip to The Azores! Set in the middle of the Atlantic, halfway between the USA and continental Portugal, many people call this Portuguese archipelago the “Hawaii of Europe”.

The students had the opportunity to swim in geothermal pools, walk around lush calderas, view spectacular crater lakes and walk through lava tubes, all which all bear testament to the violent volcanic forces that created them – a Geographer’s dream!

Day 1 involved extensive travelling. We met at LHS at 6am before heading to London Heathrow to catch our flight to Lisbon. We then had to fly 900 miles from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada, the capital of The Azores located on the island of Sao Miguel, which took 2.5 hours – a long day!

Day 2 saw us exploring the north-western area of Ponta Delgada, visiting Sete Cidades. This was a small town located in the middle of two large Calderas, known as ‘Miradouro da Boca do Inferno,’ which translates to ‘The Mouth of Hell’.

The Caldera lakes were stunning, despite some low morning mist, we did get some amazing views over the lakes and along the crater edge.

Whilst exploring many more viewpoints and amazing volcanic beaches, another highlight of the trip was visiting the fascinating Gruta do Carvao lava tube. Formed some 5000-12,000 years ago, this amazing volcanic feature stretched for nearly 2km under the city of Ponta Delgada and contained little lava stalactites – what a sight to see!

Day 3 took us eastwards towards the Furnas region of Sao Miguel. Here we explored another large caldera lake, but this time seeing where the local people would cook their ‘Cozidos’, large stews cooked in the ground using geothermal heat to slowly cook their meals. Later on, we went on to explore our first of two thermal pools! Although the water was quite brown (due to the iron content) both students and staff thoroughly enjoyed having a dip in the natural hot springs before trying the naturally carbonated spring water and eating boiled eggs that were cooked in the 100-degree hot springs.

Day 4 was a highlight for many! We visited the Gorreana Tea Plantation, which is actually the oldest tea factory in Europe! Internationally recognised for its legacy and the cultivation of premium quality tea, we got to sample the 100% organic tea that is cultivated without the use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, dyes or preservatives. We then got to experience Caldeira Velha, located on the perimeter of the Fogo volcano, we bathed in the thermal pools and swam under an impressive waterfall!

To end the day, we visited a geothermal power station where the pupils had a talk from a local geologist about how they use the heat from within the Earth to generate power, followed by a stop-off in Ponta Delgada to do a spot of shopping and enjoy an ice cream!

The trip was a huge success, it provided a once in a life-time experience for us all and it is a place that we will not forget! The students were outstanding in terms of behaviour, they listened attentively to the local experts and they were commended by Rayburn Tours for their conduct. Lastly, a massive shout out to the teaching staff – Ms Geare, Mr Mann, Miss Parry and Miss Evans, who gave up their time to help run the trip as smoothly as we did! We look forward to planning the next one – Iceland 2026 here we come!

Senior Debaters on tour!

Meanwhile, back in Britain… On the first Saturday of the Easter holidays, LHS’ senior debaters competed in the penultimate round of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition – The Southern Wales and Southwest Cluster Finals. This is the furthest LHS has ever reached in this competition! 

Fiona Garbutt (Y11) (Chairperson), Jacob Parsons (Y11) (Proposer) and our brave last minute stand in Opposer, Freya Curtis (Y12) proposed the motion’ ‘Can you be moral without being religious?’

Their delivery was articulate and passionate and their well written argument left the audience intrigued. They were however amongst fierce competition and unfortunately did not succeed in making in through to the UK finals this time. Miss Davies and the English department are incredibly proud of their achievement, nonetheless. 

Year 7 take on Stratford!

The English department took 60 Year 7 students on a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and to see Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSC. Alan Nazemi was recruited to provide the write up! 

“We move on to the Year 7 English department where they pulled off a monumental school trip!

We embarked to Stratford-upon-Avon where the acclaimed William Shakespeare was born. We delved into Shakespeare’s birthplace where we learnt about the style of houses back in those days and learnt about who lived in Shakespeare’s house. 

Teachers, Miss Foley, Mr Wolverson and many more were helping out as there were lots of children on the trip. We were split into 2 groups, Miss Foley’s group and also Mr Wolverson’s group (Miss Foley’s group was better, sorry Mr Wolverson).

Miss Foley’s group explored Shakespeare’s birthplace and seized the opportunity to have ice cream and visit the notorious Tesco’s.

In Mr Wolverson’s group, they had a Q&A with someone about Shakespeare and received Shakespeare badges!

We watched a play that was around 3-4 hours long. In my opinion, it was filled with iconic and comedic scenes, the story was quite flavourful!”

Featured Alumni!

Following the launch of our Alumni network at the start of the year to connect past and present students we have been thrilled with the response. It has been great to host Alumni in school and to visit them at university.

We’ve also had the opportunity to profile some of our alumni network’s fantastic stories on our website, with more in the pipeline. This week, I am so pleased to feature the iconic Jack Meggitt-Phillips. In his own words….

  1. Can you tell us your name and one interesting fact about yourself?

My name is Jack Meggitt-Phillips, and I’m the author of The Beast and the Bethany books. This series tells the tale of a young 500-year-old named Ebenezer, a hungry beast named . . . well, beast, and a rebellious prankster named Bethany who’s about to be eaten. There are five books in the series, and I spend most of my days madly scribbling away in notebooks and talking to myself in my beast voice.

  1. What subjects did you study or were you particularly interested in while you were with us?

Stories have always been something I’ve been interested in – whether it was dislocating my eyebrows while frowning at Macbeth during English lessons or giggling with glee as I got to write my own witchy tales in English Language. I loved learning about the world in History, and questioning what our place is in it in Religious Education.

  1. What are you doing now, and can you tell us how you got to this point?

I love being an author – it is the silliest job in the world. If anyone is interested in becoming one then you don’t need a fancy computer, or a splendid pen carved in the Himalayan mountains. If you want to write, all you need is time.

Write constantly – every day of the week if you can. Write episodes of your favourite TV shows, write sprawling made-up histories about the secret life of goats, write about your Aunt Mildred’s disgusting habit of chewing other people’s fingernails. All of it will make you better.

The more you write, the more you’ll find your voice, and hopefully the kinds of stories that no-one else can tell.

  1. Did you always know this career was something you wanted to pursue? If not, what other career options were you considering?

When I was about ten years old, there was a creative writing competition in school. It was probably the first ever serious bit of writing I’d ever done – and I wrote a story which felt terrific to write but proved somewhat torturous to read. The judges quite rightly didn’t even give me so much as a participation certificate for my efforts, but I enjoyed the process of writing so much, that I’ve kept bashing away at it – mainly driven by the desire to write something less rubbish than the last thing I wrote. I’ve been a full-time writer for four years now.

  1. What advice would you give to students today thinking about their future?

Throw yourself into everything. The more you learn, the more clubs you join, the more hobbies and friends you acquire, the more you read – all of it will expand your horizons and reveal things about yourself that you might not have realised before. Regrets nearly always come from the things you don’t do.

Hockey adventures….

We are also delighted to share the exciting news that Amy Partridge in Year 11 has been selected for the U18 Wales Hockey Squad 2024. Amy was one of a 10 player squad selected to travel to Switzerland over Easter to play a Hockey 5s test series in preparation for the U16 Eurohockey5s in Croatia in the summer. 

Amy was also in Senior European action in Poland at the end of February where she represented Wales with Penarth Ladies 1s as GK, in the Club Indoor European Championships.  

Amy and Penarth U16s and U18s, for the second consecutive year, have also secured their places in both U16 and U18 Welsh Cup finals after qualifying last weekend. 

A busy and exciting spring/summer for Amy, Wales and Penarth!  Keep us posted Amy!

Collection for the Cardiff Foodbank

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the marvellous weight of donations collected by the school team at the March collection.  The 212.7 kgs will provide 19 local people with 3 days of supplies.

Our next collection date will be on Wednesday 24th April and any donations can be dropped to our main school reception in advance.

Finally today, we are delighted to include the journalisms club spring edition of LHS News.  This is the work of our budding journalists and is a superb array of news, stories and interview.  Well worth a read. Thank you to all who contributed. For now, thank you for reading and I look forward to updating you again next week.

Thank you for reading/Diolch am ddarllen,

Mrs Sarah Parry, Headteacher

Headteachers Blog Archive can be found here.