Clubs & Societies
Year 8 & 9 – Tuesday – Lunchtime
Year 8 & 9 – Wednesday – Lunchtime
Year 8 & 9 – Thursday – Lunchtime
Year 8 & 9 – Monday – Lunchtime
Athena – Tuesday – After School
Year 7 – Wednesday – Lunchtime
GCSE & A-Level – Thursday – After School
Years 10-13 – Tuesday – After School
Years 10-13 – Thursday – After School
Year 8 & 9 – Wednesday – After School
Year 7 – Thursday – After School
Year 7 & 8 – Wednesday – After School
Year 10 & 11 – Thursday – After School
(All Practices based on the Blaengwawr site astroturf.)
Year 8 & 9 – Monday – 3:30pm-4:30pm
Year 10 & 11 – Wednesday – 3:30pm-4:30pm
Match Day – Thursday – After School
Year 8 & 9 – Monday – Lunchtime
Year 8 & 9 – Friday – Lunchtime
Year 11 – Wednesday – After school
The Debating Society are currently preparing for the Rotary Club’s Young Presenter Competition. The team are producing their own digital presentation and preparing to wow the judges with their debating and presentation skills. They will face competition from other schools in Rhondda Cynon Taff in February. For details of how to be involved, speak to Mr Mee in the English Department.
Chloe and Harriet’s Book ClubEvery Wednesday, immediately after school in the library, year 11 book lovers Chloe and Harriet run a book club where other fellow book lovers chat about the selected book they have been reading this month, discussing what they think about the characters they have met and the choices they have made. Ever been so annoyed by a character you could scream at them? Or shocked by an unexpected twist in a chilling tale? Yes? Then this is the club for you. If you enjoy reading and then chatting about what you have read, you are more than welcome to join us for a bit of fun.
Hello and welcome back to Harriet and Chloe’s Book Club!
I think most members of our club would agree that it is unfortunate we have now finished last month’s book; “Divergent” by Veronica Roth. However, not everyone would say “unfortunate” is the correct word to use. With this book being received as either sensational or disastrous, it made for very interesting and occasionally heated discussion.
This novel set in the future tells of a civilisation where everyone is allocated to social groupings by personality traits. The city is split into 5 factions: Dauntless, Amity, Abnegation, Candour and Erudite. At the beginning of the novel every sixteen- year-old child takes aptitude tests to help them decide which faction to join for the rest of their lives.
However, the first shock for the reader is when Beatrice transfers from her family tradition in Abnegation to Dauntless; let’s face it, a transfer that every teenager makes, anyway!! She is born Beatrice but then changes her name to Tris as she enters the exciting world of the Dauntless faction. Heaven only knows what a life in Abnegation would be like for anyone other than monks, nuns and agoraphobic mystics. The second earthquake comes when her brother also transfers to Abnegation’s enemy; Erudite, the faction for insufferable swots.
Initiation proves difficult for nearly everyone at some point, especially Tris. But despite this, a love interest begins between Tris and her trainer; Four. Tris and Four, he named after the secret of only having four fears, are in a full relationship by the time the training is over. The book ends with chaos as their whole world is destroyed for a reason unknown to anyone apart from the leader of the destruction; Jeanine Matthews. In fact, almost everything is a mystery to anyone who is not Divergent, as everyone was tricked by a simulation, creating an army for Jeanine to help protect unseen – the way Jeanine wants it to be kept – information. It is now up to Tris, Four and any Divergent who were immune to the simulation to try and regain control of their own home.
For nearly every member of the club, this book was a win, with Four being described as “gorgeous” by basically every girl but more specifically Chloe Talbot of Year 11; the storyline was widely described as “relatable” due to the novel’s characters being the same age as the readers. Chloe Hoffland of Year 11 thought this was an important factor in the book’s success. Chloe Talbot enjoyed this book due to its “originality” and “adventure” that always kept her “intrigued”. According to Chloe, the best parts of the book were the romantic scenes, however this point was widely debated, with Mr J seemingly horrified by a sensuous scene in which Four placed a hand on Tris’ waist; we discovered that this book was definitely aimed at the younger generation. In fact, a male member of our Club, Levi Evans of Year 11, also confirmed for us that this book we aimed at the teenage female reader as he described these scenes as “teenage romantic tosh.” Thanks for that, Levi.
Despite Katie Evans of Year 11 having read “Divergent” six times, she also found time to read and recommend this month’s book; “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, as one of her favourites. This novel is about a woman, Amy Dunne, who inexplicably goes missing from her home one day. However, as we alternate between the present day through Nick’s – Amy’s husband – eyes, and the past via Amy’s diary, we discover small pieces of information that may suggest her disappearance wasn’t so random after all. It’s not just the police asking questions in this novel, so are all of us readers! Everyone seems truly intrigued but cannot quite figure out what’s going on.
Join us next month to discover the end of the story and hopefully Amy’s hiding place!
Don’t forget, you can join the Club at 3:30pm every Wednesday after school.
Chloe Talbot and Harriet Miller
I guess you must be wondering why the club carries the name of two relatively unknown Y11 girls and not some grand, if rather boring and predictable title like, Aberdare Community School Reading Group.
Well, the answer is that Mr.Jefferies insisted! He wittered on about Richard and Judy’s Book Club on Channel 4 and Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club on US television and how people are drawn to the personalities of fellow readers and book lovers. Of course, neither Chloe nor I have actually heard of these people and his point was completely lost on the two of us. Anyway, we said what will happen to the book club after our time and he said, “Yes, but that’s it, the mystery will remain and no one will actually remember where it all started. Your names will live on as iconic.” We think he said ‘iconic’ but it could have been ‘chronic’ or ‘supersonic’ or something…We quite like ‘supersonic’.
Well, the three of us are the founding members, though Mr. Jefferies is always keen to point out that the club is ours. It’s not like we own it or anything, but we did wake Mr Jefferies up from a little doze he was having in Mr. Owen’s office to ask him if we could get something going for the bibliophiles in the school. We have to say the Mr.S Williams was very encouraging in the early days but our refusal to read, “A Cultural History of Mold” or “Great Welshman from North East Wales” put him off. Our observation that these books were rather slim volumes seemed to incense him, though we still can’t work out why.
In our first two book club meetings, we thrashed out the rules for our group. I suppose ‘rules’ is the wrong word but we needed to figure out how the group would operate. First, we told Mr. J that the meetings would not simply be another classroom lesson; we would not sit behind desks in rows, we would not write essays and we would all get a chance to select our favourite books. It seemed a good idea to meet each week and check-in on our progress having set a page limit of, say, 100 pages. This meant no one could spoil the plot.Mr.Jefferies selected our first book, “Resistance” by Owen Sheers, though since this first experience we have since relieved him of this responsibility. That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy bits of the book.
The novel is set in an ‘imagined’ Wales during the Second World war, after the Nazis have successfully invaded and taken control of the country.
The opening scenes are set in a remote valley in the borderlands near Llanthony and are really quite mysterious in the sense that women wake one morning to find that all their menfolk have disappeared. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can quite imagine a number of women being more than quietly pleased at this unexpected development, but joking aside Sheers is able to evoke the strange, unnerving spirituality of the landscape in this remote corner of Wales.
The disappearance of the men takes on an almost mythical, bardic tone and suggests Sheers is particularly interested in invasion as a recurring event in Welsh history. All of this was somewhat lost on Sophie Price of Y12 who bemoaned the fact that Sarah, the leading female character in the novel, takes 10 pages to get out of bed. Sophie was hardly taken by Sheers’ delicate, poetic style. In fact, the role of women in the novel, generated almost fervent debate about feminist issues.
Kelsey Love of Y12 castigated the character, Sarah, for her ‘pathetic’ dependence on the strong, heroic figure of her husband, Will. This roused Lucy Bishop of Y11 to similarly strong views and she hadn’t even read the book; her late decision to turn up, out of curiosity more than anything else. It turns out that the men belong to a trained ‘sleeper’ unit of guerrilla fighters, charged with the responsibility of resisting the Nazi invaders.
Naturally, the women begin to question their menfolk’s loyalties and priorities as they are left on the farms to fend for themselves as well as being exposed to reprisals from the occupying force. Over time, the women begin to cooperate with the German soldiers, out of necessity rather than anything else. But Sheers has one further trick up his sleeve. A particular German officer has been chosen for a special mission because of his education at Oxford before the war. His task is to recover the famed Mappa Mundi from its hiding place in a remote cave system nearby for the Nazi leadership. Sarah and the officer grow ever closer but there is to be no unlikely romance.
Ultimately, Sarah turns her back on the farm and gives up hope of ever seeing Will again. Perhaps the final act of resistance is an intensely personal one. This sombre ending certainly perked up Chloe Talbot, one of our founding members as she is well-known for her love of depressing books.
Next Book: “Divergent” by Veronica Roth
Anyway, some sanity was finally restored to the book club when Laura Stewart of Y11 literally begged us to the read the hottest ‘trending’ book in teenage fictionland, “Divergent” by Veronica Roth. Laura’s pleas were so pitiful we couldn’t say, No, Laura!” Well, the book choice did have an effect on club membership. Literally overnight we were joined by Katie Evans, Chloe Hoffland, Melisa Inetas and Praveena Baskaran of Y11. Also we cannot forget Gabby Tinelli of Y13 who has emerged as our resident expert on Roth’s doorstep-sized trilogy. Things have really taken off. This novel, set in the not too distant future, sees a society in which people are assigned to factions named, Abnegation, Candour, Erudite, Dauntless and Amity. Of course, any teenager worth talking about wants to be in the Dauntless faction. Come on, who wants to be in Amity. Sounds like a retirement home for old teachers. No offence Mr. J. I can tell you this novel has really stirred things up.
Join us for next month’s blog-post when the full story is revealed and our first guest reviewers make an appearance.
We’ll also be asking some of the teachers to review books and list their top 5 reads of all-time.
Don’t forget, you can join the group in the school library at 3.30pm each Wednesday. Harriet Miller and Chloe Talbot
I’m Claire, this year’s French assistant. I’m the process of creating a French Club, probably everyday at lunchtime. Everybody is welcome. There will be books in French, games, music and maybe films. Speaking in French is not mandatory but it is recommended.
I’m also working on a play in French, an extract from The Bald Soprano by Ionesco that requires at least 2 characters.
ACS Super Learning Club
Super Learning Club runs Tuesday and Thursday after school every week on all three sites.
Super Learning Club does run from 3:15 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. but the children can leave whenever they are ready. Transport home is not provided.
It is a fantastic opportunity for children to do their homework after school using school facilities such as computers and printers and offers the help of various staff members.
- On the Plasdraw site Super Learning Club is in the Library with Miss Jenna Ford as lead person.
- In Blaengwawr Super Learning Club is held in IT room C4 with Mrs Kelly Hek
- On the Cwmdare site Super Learning Club is in the Library with Ms Nichola Montgomery.
Youth Engagement and Participation Service Information
Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service is committed to supporting young people to achieve their potential and overcome barriers to learning and progression. To do this, the service works closely with schools, communities and other services to help resolve any difficulties that affect a young person’s engagement and participation in leaving.
Who do we support?
The YEPS provides support to young people, schools and parents to ensure they receive the necessary support to overcome their barriers to engagement and participation. YEPS officers work alongside other agencies and provide an important link between home, school and the community to work in partnership in order that they benefit from the educational opportunities available locally.
The Main Role of YEPS is to:
- Support the local authority and schools’ priorities for education
- Work in partnership with young people, schools and the voluntary sector to ensure young people have access to their entitlements.
- To deliver targeted and specialist support services for the most vulnerable young people.
- To reduce the number of young people being referred to statutory services and/or becoming SEET (seeking education, employment or training)
- To provide enriching activities during after school, lunchtimes and holidays in a safe environment.
YEPS staff contact numbers for Aberdare Community School
- Karen Davies – Youth Participation Officer – 07799132132
- Marilyn Carter – Youth Re-engagement Officer – 07824496406
- Rhys Rogers – 5×60 Officer – 07887450724
- Main office number – 01685 879852