23 May 2024

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

School in a Bag

On Monday 20th May we were humbled to host Luke Simon, Founder and CEO of the School in a Bag Charity, along with a crew of strong volunteers from the Rotary Club of Llanishen.

Luke founded the charity, the Piers Simon Appeal, in 2005, shortly after his brother Piers sadly lost his life in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Luke and Piers Simon were very close brothers, three years and two months apart. They grew up on a family farm in Somerset and enjoyed the farmland and many sports. Post university, they worked together designing gardens until Luke embarked on a year of travel in 2003. During this trip, he secured a job teaching sport at an international School in northern Thailand.

On 26th December 2004, whilst on holiday with his brother Luke and three friends, Piers was tragically killed in the Indian Ocean Tsunami on the Island of Koh Phi Phi in Thailand.

Luke spent five days conducting the search for his brother along with help from family, friends and the media until they finally found Piers at 12.26pm on the 31st December 2004. Piers was body number 348.

The charity was born from the family’s wish to give something back to the people of Thailand who supported them in their search for Piers, and they have been funding, packing, shipping, and delivering these lifelines to education all around the world since 2009. This week, it was humbling to be part of that.

Each school bag is packed with items that are needed for a child to access their education.  They contain everything from exercise books and pencils to a lunch box, drinks bottle and toiletries. After a demonstration from Luke, Year 7 volunteers assembled in an orderly fashion to pack and check each school bag very carefully.

Once packed, the bags are delivered to disadvantaged children around the world.

The charity supports children in all countries regardless of race, politics or religion.

On Monday 20th May the Rotary Club of Llanishen funded £2,000 to provide the bag and contents of the 100 bags that our Year 7 volunteers packed.

They made swift progress and completed their task with efficiency and enthusiasm.

The afternoon was completed by a motivating vote of thanks from Ben.

We would all benefit from being ‘a bit more Benji’ – what a star!

Here are a few more snaps of Year 7 in action….

To date, the charity have funded 159,488 bags to 58 different countries.

The bags that we packed this week will all be shipped to the Ukraine where they will support the education of children who are living in the most difficult of circumstances.

Every bag shipped internationally is numbered and trackable providing complete transparency and allowing the donor to see where their bag has arrived.

School in a Bag was born out of very sad circumstances.  In the words of Luke himself;

“… although there will never be anyone quite like my big brother P, there is a lot of good being done in his memory for thousands of children around the world.”

We look forward to supporting School in a Bag in the future and are hugely grateful to the Rotary Club of Llanishen for providing this amazing opportunity.

Into our feeder primary schools…

Also this week, our Year 9 drama students have been touring some of our feeder primary schools, performing and running workshops. The year 1,2 and 3 pupils at the primary schools loved working with our students, learning about ‘being safe online’ and ‘stranger danger’. Our Year 9’s enjoyed working with the younger pupils and having a go at teaching!

Feedback from Year 9……… teaching isn’t as easy as it looks!! (We hear you!)

Reading for pleasure at LHS

As part of our ongoing commitment to encouraging reading and writing for pleasure, LHS are extremely grateful to author Luke Palmer and Griffin Books for facilitating a writing workshop for our Year 9 students. This was a repeat visit for Luke, who had previously enthused our Year 7 and 8 students during our World Book Day celebrations. 

Luke held his engaging ‘destructive Writing’ workshop with sixty of our Year 9 students. During the session, they listened to a reading of a section of Luke’s new book ‘Play’ and wrote their own destructive writing piece (using a range of interesting objects supplied by Luke for inspiration).  Year 9 produced some fantastic writing, and we look forward to reading their GCSE narrative writing next year (and their future novels!).  Thank you to Mrs Hazeltine-Rees for forging such an inspirational link!

Artistic flair

Mr Foster and team are also delighted to share some of the fantastic artwork that has been produced by Year 13 as part of their recent A-Level Art exam.  The Year 13 students have shown great commitment and concentration for a whole 15 (!) hours, whilst producing their final pieces of artwork under exam conditions in a variety of styles and materials.

Can you spot the painting created entirely in instant coffee?!

A win for the girls!

Finally today, huge congratulations to Evie and Lexi who played in the SWFA County finals on Saturday in Oswestry and won the final.

A nail biting 2-2 went to penalties and they secured the win against Caerphilly. It was an excellent match and Evie scored the equalising goal.

A superb effort girls – well done!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed with such amazing aspiration, achievement, attitude and talent to this half-term of blogs.

We wish everyone a very healthy and happy bank holiday weekend and half-term break. Remember to balance your revision with something that doesn’t involve past papers or a screen. We will be refreshed and ready to welcome everyone back to school on Monday 3rd June.

Thank you for reading/Diolch am ddarllen,

Mrs Sarah Parry, Headteacher

Headteachers Blog Archive can be found here.