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Pupils from Ysgol Maesydderwen, Ystradgynlais, winners of the Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe prize, visit the House of Lords

Pupils from Ysgol Maesydderwen, Ystradgynlais, winners of the Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe prize, visit the House of Lords

My anticipated excitement for our trip to the House of Lords reached its peak on the long train journey to London Paddington. This trip of a lifetime was awarded to our History Club by the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative Trust Award last summer as part of our detailed research into the impact of the First World War on our local community, which climaxed in a play retelling the stories of local fallen soldiers and their families in their own words. On the train, I took the opportunity to research behind the face of Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, who would be our own personal tour guide around the Houses of Parliament, to gain an understanding of his vast political work. I discovered that Lord Brooke came from a Labour background and worked on matters involving the European Union, a topic that particularly interested me due to the recent results of the Referendum and my intent to study Law.

Stepping into the Houses of Parliament was like stepping back in time. The striking gothic architecture introduced me to a timeless world of British tradition and politics where signs of modern technology was scarce. The highlight of my day was getting the extraordinary experience to sit within both the House of Commons and House of Lords chambers to witness heated political debates on current topical issues. In the House of Commons, it was fascinating to see the different political representatives sitting on the iconic green seats that we’ve all seen on display on TV. However, my captivation reached spiralling heights when we stepped into the magnificent, classic red of the House of Lords chamber. It was remarkable to witness the collective murmurs of distinguished lords and ladies murmur their opinion when one individual stood up among the sea of red to voice their standpoint on current topical issues affecting Britain, such as the consequences of Donald Trump being elected as President of the United States. My trip to the Houses of Parliament, a historical institution at the very heart of British democracy, will certainly be an unforgettable experience that will remain in my memory for a very long time. Elin Anthony

We went to the House of Lords on the 16th of November. After a long three hour train journey we arrived at the House of Lords and we were greeted by Lord Brooke. We were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament and we were able to watch the proceedings in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It was a great experience to be able to see all the amazing paintings, statues and memorials and it is something none of us will ever forget. We got to have tea with Lord Brooke and were able to speak with him which was very interesting and stimulating. Overall it was a great day and it was an honour to be able to have this experience of the British political system. Rhys Jones

The day began with a train journey into London Paddington from Neath. We arrived there excited and looking forward to our day at the House of Lords. We were kindly met by Jeanne and travelled by taxi to the peers entrance. After being met by Lord Brooke, we toured the Houses of Parliament and saw some very impressive architecture. This included sitting in the House of Commons as well as the House of Lords. We were also lucky enough to have the opportunity to converse with Lord Brooke over tea in the tea rooms, which was followed by going out onto the terrace, where we were met by London’s bright lights at dusk. We had a very informative and enjoyable experience which will be remembered by all of us for many years to come. Nia McLennan


Eurostory Prize Winner 2016

SummerCampAlana, Ysgol y Preseli with the other delegates in Georgia

In the last few years, the history club in Ysgol Y Preseli have been competing in the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative. In July 2016 we received the Eustory prize for our work on Welsh migration to the USA. As a result, Alana Jones attended a history camp in Tbilisi, Georgia and Elin Rees attended a similar camp in Budapest, Prague and Gdansk.

Competition winners from all over Europe also attended these camps. Eustory aims to bring together young historians from all over Europe to promote the significance of history for a common European future through international conferences and workshops.

Elin visited cities that were an integral part of the Iron Curtain to focus on how Communist Europe has been interpreted in different ways. Throughout the trip, Elin was given the opportunity to work with students from all over Europe to gain experience in journalism and the role it plays in society.

Alanna visited Tbilisi to discuss whether Europe is united or divided. Participants from all over Europe gave their viewpoints on topics such as nationalism, identity and how international politics affects these.

This was a wonderful experience for both students and it was an experience they will always cherish. We would like to thank the Welsh Heritage School Initiative and Eustory for this experience.


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2016 Awards’ Ceremony

WHSIawards163YSGOL MAESYDDERWEN, YSTRADGYNLAIS

The 2016 Awards’ Ceremony took place at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, a appropriate and atmospheric venue for the event. The Head of the Museum, Steph Mastoris welcomed the schools and sponsors to the museum and the musical entertainment, both harp ensemble and choir, was ably provided by Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryntawe. This year it was decided to experiment with a new format and to focus more on the pupils attending, thus Lord Rhys ap Gruffydd (the founder of the eisteddfodic tradition in Wales) from the theatre company ‘In Character’ came to say a few words and to present the prizes to the primary pupils.

The awards were presented by WHSI committee members:

  • Foundation Phase and Special Schools: Geraint Bevan
  • Primary Schools: Nia Williams and Dr Stuart Broomfield
  • Secondary Schools: Dr Elin Jones who also gave a short speech as President of the 2016 Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod.
  • Alun Morgan, Vice-Chair of WHSI presented the Eustory Prize and made the closing remarks.

Winners of the National Museum shield for best entry in each category and the winner of the Eustory award

Sir Julian Hodge (Jane Hodge Foundation) Prize £700
Welsh Books Council Prize: £100 book token
MAERDY COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL

Maerdy1


Sir Julian Hodge (Jane Hodge Foundation) Prize £750
PORTFIELD SPECIAL SCHOOL

Portfield


Moondance Foundation Prize £750
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales Prize Book and CD of photographs of local area
GLYNHAFOD JUNIOR SCHOOL

Glynhafod


Moondance Foundation Prize £750
Lord Brooke’s Prize: £200 travel expenses towards a visit to the House of Lords.
YSGOL MAESYDDERWEN

WHSIawards1


Eustory Winner:
YSGOL Y PRESELI

PreseliEustoryThis year students from the winning school will attend a European Academy in either Tbilisi in Georgia or a combination of Gdansk in Poland, Prague in the Czech Republic and Budapest in Hungary.