Christ College

Powys

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  • Category: Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of Wales
  • Roll: 218 (Boys) 183 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 7 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1541

General Information

Since Henry VIII granted its charter in 1541, Christ College has influenced the lives of thousands of young people. Today Christ College is a caring community with a strong sense of identity and purpose. First class teaching enables boys and girls to achieve their full potential all within the stunning setting of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Facilities

Our Chapel and Dining Hall, both in daily use, date from the 13th Century when the site was occupied by a Dominican Priory. In addition there are 6 comfortable, modern boarding houses, a newly opened £2M Centre for the Creative Arts with a 400 seat auditorium, a new Science Centre, two 20 station IT suites with internet access and a wonderful refurbished library with additional PCs. There is a separate 6th Form Centre. In addition to the huge expanse of outdoor playing fields adjoining the College, there is a large fully equipped indoor sports hall, tennis and squash courts, an all-weather pitch, climbing wall, fitness suite and a small heated outdoor swimming pool. There is an extensive range of extra-curricular activities to include choirs, jazz band, orchestra, string group, golf, a variety of water sports, debating, CCF, D of E Award Scheme and Young Enterprise.

For many years pupils from overseas have been a familiar and valued part of the Christ College community. Approximately one sixth of our pupils have parents who live overseas. We have an EAL Department to support these pupils wherever necessary.

The opening of St Nicholas House, Christ College’s new junior school Junior in September 2014 has added a whole new dimension to the pupil body at Christ College. With just under 40 pupils aged 7-11 years at St Nicholas House, Christ College continues to provide the same high quality education that we currently offer to those aged 11-18.

Entrance Requirements

7+: an Entry Day with informal assessment by the Head of Juniors; 11+, 13+ : tests in Mathematics, English and Verbal Reasoning; 16+: 6 x GCSE grade C and above. A current school report is required from all applicants.

Scholarships

Following a large bequest, a large number of science scholarships and bursaries are available in addition to our range of art, music, sports and all-rounder awards. Sixth Form Scholarship & Entrance Assessments – November annually. Senior School Scholarship & Entrance Assessments – January/February annually. Please contact admissions@christcollegebrecon.com for details.

Open Days

2018. Open Morning: Sat. 22nd September,10am - 12:30pm

For information on Open Days visit www.christcollegebrecon.com, contact the Admissions Registrar on 01874 615440 or email admissions@christcollegebrecon.com

Fees

2017/2018. Junior School: Day: £2963 - £3891 per term. Boarding: Please contact the school.

Senior School. Day: £5018 - £5996 per term. Boarding: £5596 - £9264 per term.

Reports

Estyn Report 2017

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Gareth Pearson

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Margaret Stephens, Admissions Registrar

Christ College
Brecon
Powys
LD3 8AF

[t]: 01874 615440
[f]: 01874 615475
[w]: www.christcollegebrecon.com

Location Description

The school occupies an enviable site of 39 acres on the outskirts of Brecon. This is a safe, small market town within an outstanding area of natural beauty and with the famous Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains close by.

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School News

Christ College Breconindependent day and boarding school Powys Wales

AFTER 6 MONTHS OF HARD TRAINING, THE CHRIST COLLEGE UNDER 18’S HOCKEY TEAM ARRIVED AT SWANSEA UNIVERSITY SPORTS VILLAGE FOR THE HOCKEY WALES NATIONAL SCHOOLGIRLS

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U18 FINALS.

The first pool match set the tone for the rest of the day with Christ College beating a very good St Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School  1-0, with a fantastic goal from Lydia Drinkall.

Christ College then played Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, with Willow Ransome securing a 1-0 win. Two terrific goals from Sarah Jeffes  and Katy Garrett  in their next pool match against Ysgol Glan Clwyd  led to a  2-1 win and  their place  in the semi-final secured.

The Semi Final against Ysgol Glantaf was never going to be easy. During the 1st half of the game Christ College were awarded a short corner which saw Beth Wood score the first goal of the match.  Cerys Jones  (U18’s Captain) gave the girls a constructive team talk during the break and as the 2nd half got underway, Beth Wood scored another goal leading to a win for Christ College and a place in the final versus St Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School.

Tensions were high and Christ College made terrific tackles and were fast on the attack. U18’s Captain Cerys Jones made terrific saves in goal and managed to keep the score 0-0 at half time.

The 2nd half ended at 0-0, which meant it was down to penalty shuffles-5 chances at goal to score within 8 seconds.  Hebe Thomas, Phillipa Ogilvie, Elin Jones, Sarah.Jeffes and Beth Wood took their chances at goal. Both teams at the end of the penalty shuffles drew 1-1 and had to then go through to sudden death penalty shuffles.

Beth Wood was first up and managed to get the ball past the goalkeeper and score. Cerys Jones then took her place in goal and read exactly what her opposition was going.  St Joseph’s missed the goal by a fraction to make Christ College the Hockey Wales National Schoolgirls U18’s Champions for the second year running with a 2-1 result.

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys Wales

Anna Phillips, a Music Scholar in Year 13, has been awarded a scholarship to study Harp at the Royal Academy of Music in London from

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next academic year.  She was also offered places by most of the other leading music conservatoires.

Anna had already gained ABRSM Grade 8 in Piano and Violin before joining the Sixth Form at Christ College and was delighted to gain the highest mark on record at the school of 142 for her Grade 8 Harp.

Anna is currently taught by Claire Jones (formerly Harpist to the Prince of Wales) and she has taken part in masterclasses given by famous international harpists such as Gabriella Dal’Ollio and Skaila Kanga.

On 9th March, Anna will join Claire Jones in a special concert in the Christ College Chapel as part of Claire’s new album tour. Further information here

Anna will also be touring the US with the Claire Jones Harp Ensemble and the American Youth Harp Ensemble.

 

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys Wales

Christ College, Brecon, has introduced a ‘break out’ space to enhance the mental wellbeing of its pupils who want to enjoy time alone.

Pupils’ wellbeing is

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a key part of pastoral care at the Christ College, and House Parent Suzy Phelps is studying for a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the University of South Wales, which is part-funded by the school. Suzy came up with the idea of opening the ‘break out’ room after she attended a Pastoral Conference in Devon discussing young people’s mental health within boarding schools.  Keynote speaker psychologist Dr Lina Blair recommended ways to promote good mental health.  Two main recommendations were the removal of phone devices before bed, which Christ College is currently undertaking; and the introduction of a ‘break out’ space for pupils to be alone.

Suzy said: “I raised the issue with my senior boarders when I returned. They said that the biggest problem they had was not being able to ‘escape’ from their friends and be left alone for a few minutes.

“My head of house, Katie de Winton, was very excited to begin this project.  She and a team of helpers chose the colours and curtains, prepared and repainted the walls, and helped decorate the room.”

Following the advice given by Dr Blair, who also pointed out the importance of smell in our wellbeing, the team included a diffuser in the room, as well as a variety of textures designed to give tactile sensory stimulation to pupils on the Autism Spectrum.

The school’s new ‘break out’ space gives pupils the opportunity to be alone with their thoughts; listen to music without interruption; have private phone conversations or skype calls.

Suzy said: “Pupils, at Christ College are becoming a lot more aware of mental health and understand the importance of the need for alone time.”

Earlier this year, the school scored ‘Excellent’ in all categories on its latest Estyn Report, including ‘Care, support and guidance’, indicating strong and sustained performance and practice.

The reported stated: “The care, support and guidance provided by the school are exceptional. Provision is inclusive, fully embedded across all areas of the school, and contributes successfully to particularly high levels of well being among pupils.”

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys Wales

ON WEDNESDAY 21ST FEBRUARY, 56 PUPILS FROM YEAR 9 PARTICIPATED IN A CCF TRAINING DAY ON SENNYBRIDGE TRAINING AREA.

The day was cold, but thankfully dry

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for the cadets, who were eagerly looking forward to put their training into practise. The day comprised of live firing, 1st aid and Fieldcraft. All the cadets fired the cadet GP rifle at 25m, with some outstanding results achieved.

As a background activity’s, the cadets learnt practical 1st aid and how to operate effectively in the field. Lunch was a warming stew provided by the school dining room, but cadets also had an opportunity to cook and more importantly taste the current issue ration packs.

At the end of a tiring but enjoyable day the cadets arrived back in school to complete the post-activity administration, including the all-important weapon cleaning.

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys Wales

CHRIST COLLEGE, BRECON HAS BEEN JUDGED AS ‘EXCELLENT’ IN ALL FIVE INSPECTION AREAS IN ITS LATEST ESTYN REPORT.
The report, carried out by Her Majesty’s

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Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales last term, judged Christ College’s current performance as “excellent” in all five inspection areas. The areas were: standards; wellbeing and attitude to learning; teaching and learning experiences; care, support and guidance; and leadership and management.

In the report, the school’s overall teaching and learning experiences were described as ‘excellent’, with dedicated and well-qualified teachers offering a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’. It also noted that ‘the sixth form pupils’ performance at A level over the last three years is outstanding’.

Beyond the academic results, the report also acknowledged the quality of the school’s personal and social education (PSE) programme, described as “outstanding and extremely-well coordinated”. PSE is central to the school’s provision for care, support and guidance.

Estyn reported: “Most pupils feel safe, secure, and exceptionally well cared for. Nearly all pupils have an infectious pride in their school, and demonstrate a very caring, compassionate and supportive attitude towards each other and to the adults around them.”

Inspectors also praised the “rich sense of community and belonging in which nearly all pupils flourish in their academic, personal, social and emotional development”, and described the teachers as “particularly effective role models for pupils’ social and academic skills. Leadership at all levels was commended for “contributing extremely well to the strong sense of community and commitment to share values and aims that pervade the school”

Gareth Pearson, Headteacher at Christ College, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the report. I would like to thank the Inspectors for their assessment, which reflects the dedication of all our staff. Our pupils’ aspirations, achievements and well-being are our everyday priorities, and this excellent report will help us continue to improve.”

He added: “I believe it is our responsibility as a boarding school to offer an all-round character education, and therefore I was very proud to see that the report celebrated the calm, supportive and balanced environment the school offers.

“These are ideal conditions for them to develop tolerance of others, sensitivity to other pupils and adults, high moral standards and a strong sense of citizenship – characteristics that will always be valued, whatever career they wish to pursue, and however much the world changes in the years ahead.”

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys Wales

CHRIST COLLEGE BRECON ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT FROM JANUARY 2018 THEY WILL BE WELCOMING SPECIALIST CONTRACT CATERING COMPANY, HOLROYD HOWE, TO MANAGE THE

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CATERING SERVICES AT THE SCHOOL.

Holroyd Howe is a leading independent school caterer and the company brings a wealth of experience in delivering wholesome, nutritious, creative food. They have won many industry awards including Independent School Caterer of the Year in 2015 and 2016. As a fresh food business, Holroyd Howe prides itself on sourcing natural, sustainable, quality ingredients, as locally as possible and approaches food with a no fuss attitude. Nothing processed, nothing added – just honest, delicious food every day.

Placing a strong emphasis on the health and wellbeing of pupils, Holroyd Howe will be introducing a new menu designed to elevate nutritional standards across the board. Each day, the menu will include a wide variety of ingredients, cuisines and culinary styles, encouraging pupils to try new things and enjoy a balanced diet.

The Head, Gareth Pearson said ‘We are excited to have Holroyd Howe on board as we recognise the importance of educating our pupils about food and nutrition and the long term benefits that good food has on their health and development. Our pupils are looking forward to the start of the partnership too, having had an opportunity to sample Holroyd Howe menus earlier this term.’
Claire Long, Sales Director for Holroyd Howe said ‘We are absolutely delighted to have been selected to provide the catering at Christ College Brecon and will be bringing our fresh food philosophy and fun, creative style to the menus at the College from the New Year.’

Christ College Brecon Independent Powys Christ College Brecon - New Year, New Menus

Christ College Brecon are delighted to announce that from January 2018 they will be welcoming specialist contract catering company, Holroyd Howe, to manage the catering

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services at the school.

Holroyd Howe is a leading independent school caterer and the company brings a wealth of  experience in delivering wholesome, nutritious, creative food. They have won many industry awards including Independent School Caterer of the Year in 2015 and 2016. As a fresh food  business, Holroyd Howe prides itself on sourcing natural, sustainable, quality ingredients, as locally as possible and approaches food with a no fuss attitude. Nothing processed, nothing added – just honest, delicious food every day.

Placing a strong emphasis on the health and wellbeing of pupils, Holroyd Howe will be introducing a new menu designed to elevate nutritional standards across the board. Each day, the menu will include a wide variety of ingredients, cuisines and culinary styles, encouraging pupils to try new things and enjoy a balanced diet.

The Head, Gareth Pearson said ‘We are excited to have  Holroyd Howe on board as we recognise the importance of educating our pupils about food and nutrition and the long term benefits that good food has on their health and development.  Our pupils are looking forward to the start of the partnership too, having had an opportunity to sample Holroyd Howe menus earlier this term.’

Claire Long, Sales Director for Holroyd Howe said ‘We are absolutely delighted to have been selected to provide the catering at Christ College Brecon and will be bringing our fresh food philosophy and fun, creative style to the menus at the College from the New Year.’

Christ College Brecon Independent Powys CHRIST COLLEGE INAUGURATES NEW SIXTH FORM CENTRE

Christ College,has completed a £220,000 refurbishment of its Sixth Form Centre, providing new facilities and improved study areas for students.

The improved facilities include a

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modern community space, a better-equipped kitchen, and a separate study area.

The project involved three local contractors – AJN Design & Surveying Services Ltd Brecon; Business Interiors Brecon and Office Supplies of Hereford – and students have been actively involved in the improvements.

As Deputy Head of Pastoral Education Simon Hill explained: “Last summer, we set up consultation groups including all members of our Year 11 and lower sixth pupils. The surveys covered all aspects of the new development, including furnishings, layout and amenities.

“We are delighted with the new centre which beautifully incorporates a large number of the  suggestions offered by our pupils such as study booths, interactive monitors, multiple charging stations, and a big screen TV to name just a few. The new centre is proving very popular with our senior pupils, providing quiet study space and a terrific separate social area.”

Christ College has enjoyed a high-quality reputation since its creation nearly five centuries ago. The secret to the school’s success resides in the outstanding attention paid to the pupil’s overall well-being, which in turn translates into academic excellence.

This “whole-person” approach combines psychological support, offered by the school’s highly dedicated staff, and material comfort, provided by the modern facilities available throughout the campus.

Sixth Form Centre coordinator Jonathan Cooper said: “Since the start of term, the pupils have been regularly using the new facility. It is great to see it being used for its purpose. The project, which came together really well, has enabled us to create new links with local contractors, and to strengthen our relationship with pupils.”

Year 13 student Josh Oliver said: “We are delighted with the refurbishment and feel lucky to have such a well-equipped Sixth Form Centre, with our own study area and a separate social space.

“Not only are we located in one of Britain’s most beautiful National Parks, but we also enjoy made-to-measure facilities within the school. We couldn’t ask for a better environment to learn in during these crucial years.”

This term has also seen the arrival of new Head Gareth Pearson.

Mr Pearson has stated his intention to develop the school’s holistic approach, while maintaining academic excellence and keeping it accessible to less advantaged.

“I love the strength of community in this school, where everyone knows everyone. Positive relationships underpin everything at Christ College, Brecon, and allow staff to bring out the very best from our pupils. The excellent pastoral care they show for the school and its pupils is truly palpable and authentic.

“I want Christ College Brecon to be the very best in Britain at developing the kind of character traits in its people to enable them to perform at their best, and more importantly, be a kind, decent and generous team player who will be a force for good in any community in which they live.

“These are ideal conditions to develop tolerance of others, sensitivity to other pupils and adults, high moral standards and a strong sense of citizenship – characteristics that will always be valued, whatever career they wish to pursue, and however much the world changes in the years ahead.”

The long-established quality of the teaching, combined with the modern facilities available throughout the campus, have led Christ College to consistently achieve the top ratings in the independent Advanced Level Information Survey (ALIS) conducted by Durham University every year.

Christ College Brecon Independent Powys CHRIST COLLEGE 1ST XV NEW SHIRT AND RUGBY PARTNERSHIP UNVEILED

Christ College Brecon is delighted to announce its partnership with Ty Mawr Lime Ltd of Brecon who’s generous support has enabled the creation of a

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brand new 1st XV Rugby team shirt.

When creating the design brief for the1st XV rugby shirt the priority was to combine the legacy from our founder King Henry VIII and the many decades of 1st XV rugby through to present day.

Remembering those traditions from the Old Breconian rugby days along with the different Green and Gold shirts, the new design wanted to use the branding of Henry’s ‘h’ to create a stunning contemporary design.

The new 1st XV shirt is hugely traditional yet totally modern in its concept.  The current  crop  of 1st XV rugby players have a shirt to be proud which is still steeped in the history and traditions of Christ College rugby yet gives the 2017 boys ownership.

The ‘h’ of King Henry was originally introduced to Christ College in a window in our dining hall in 1864. It has been worn on the shirt since 1970 and many rugby players have gone on to play for their country as well as the British Lions. A legacy that is passed on in this new design.

Christ College Brecon Independent Powys Princes Gate Partnership With Christ College Brecon Announced

Christ College Brecon is delighted to announce a new two-year partnership arrangement with Wales No 1 Water Cooler Company and Spring Water producers, Princes Gate

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Water of Narberth in Pembrokeshire.

Princess Gate will become the main supporter of Hockey across all year groups within the senior school.  The School’s 1st XI team have been leading the way this season so far , producing 8 consecutive victories and only lost once in their last 37 games.  With a resolute defence that has conceded only 4 goals since the start of September and a devastating attack that has scored 46 goals in the same time, the team  look in good form to retain the U18 Welsh National Schoolgirls title won so dramatically last March. The recent addition of Brecon Hockey Club and Wales international Beth Wood has brought another dimension to the team, with several other girls now pushing for Welsh caps as well.

The new kit was premiered at the annual cup match against Llandovery College  on 14th September The match attracted a large crowd of Old Breconians, parents, pupils and locals and resulted in 3 home wins for the Brecon side.

The Managing Director Glyn Jones said ‘We are pleased to support Christ College Brecon  Hockey. Hockey is a great team sport and is growing in popularity since GB’s Olympic Gold in Rio 2016. We wish the teams the very best of luck and look forward to possibly seeing some future Olympians develop through Christ College hockey’

Head of Christ College, Mr Gareth Pearson, said, “We are thrilled to be able to announce this exciting new relationship with such a respected Pembrokeshire based business.  We look forward to working closely with them in the future and collaborating to promote the passion and commitment involved in team sports – all valuable skills needed in the workplace and greatly valued by graduate employers.”

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys Wales

The new Head appointed to lead Christ College Brecon from September 2017 is Mr Gareth Pearson. Gareth, 41, is currently the Senior Deputy Head at

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Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton, Hampshire and he will succeed Mrs Emma Taylor who after ten highly successful years leading Christ College takes up her new appointment at Dean Close Cheltenham in September.

Sir Paul Silk, Chair of Governors at Christ College said, “The Governing Body is delighted to make this announcement following a rigorous selection procedure which attracted outstanding applicants.  A very warm welcome to one of Wales’ oldest schools awaits Gareth and his wife Rhian, together with their children Rhys and Molly.”

As the school commences its 477th year, Gareth brings to Christ College his teaching and leadership experience from roles as Housemaster at Wellington College and Maths teacher at Millfield School, in addition to expertise from his earlier career as a Captain in the Royal Marines.

“It is a tremendous privilege to have been appointed as the new Head at Christ College Brecon. I am inspired by the history of this school as well as the genuine warmth of the pupils and staff I have met. My family and I can’t wait to move to this beautiful area of Wales and I look forward to building on the impressive legacy left by Emma Taylor,” said Gareth.

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys

Christ College is thrilled to report that we’ve become one of the official Snowdogs Learning Programme Participants to raise funds for Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice.

Our

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snowdog is expected to arrive tomorrow before being designed and decorated by our youngest pupils in Year 3 to Year 8 over the next few weeks.

Our snowdog will then be returned to Ty Hafan on the 7th July where it will join all of the other Snowdogs strategically placed around Cardiff at key locations around the city’s streets, open spaces and iconic buildings.  Our snowdog will be on display for around 10 weeks and will have a QR code which will tell the story of Christ College’s involvement.

To help raise funds for such a worthy charity, we need to raise £750 for Ty Hafan. A start will be made on Friday at Sports Day where pupils will be asked to wear brightly coloured odd socks to get the fundraising ball rolling and to show how fundraising can be great fun and raise money for such a worthy cause.

Our wonderful Head of Art, Mrs Houghton has already got some incredible ideas and designs for our boys and girls to work on and customise so watch this space!

Glimpses of our Snowdog may be available as he tours the campus tomorrow so keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.  He may even make it across to the Christ College Stand at the Hay Festival.  Come and say hello!

More information can be found on the Ty Hafan/Snowdogs website http://snowdogstailsin.wales

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys

On Wednesday 10th May, the Christ College Combined Cadet Force welcomed Air Vice-Marshal K Bethell to the school as the inspecting officer for our Biennial

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Inspection. AVM Bethell CBE BSc(Hons) MA MSc CEng FRAeS RAF first joined the RAF as an Apprentice Engineering Technician in 1983. After attending the Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2002, he was promoted to Wing Commander and posted to Nimrod MRA4 Project Team at DPA Abbey Wood where he currently holds the post of Director of Combat Air in DE&S following his promotion to AVM in 2016.

After a formal parade and inspection of the cadets, AVM Bethell and other invited guests saw the cadets in action during a series of stands dotted around the school campus. These included fieldcraft, RAF teaching, skill at arms, patrolling, first aid, command tasks and the RAF drill team.

In the evening, a formal Mess Dinner was held for senior cadets and CCF staff at which AVM Bethell was the guest of honour. At the end of his visit, AVM Bethell complimented the school and CCF on their professionalism, commitment and excellence throughout all that he’d witnessed during the day. As his first CCF inspection, he felt the bar had been set extremely highly for the future.

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys

ST DAVID’S DAY CELEBRATIONS AT CHRIST COLLEGE TOOK ON AN INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION WITH THE CEREMONIAL GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY OF OUR SISTER SCHOOL, KING HENRY VIII COLLEGE,

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IN CYBERJAYA, MALAYSIA.

With St David’s celebrations in full swing at Christ College Brecon, it was also a very special day out in Cyberjaya, Kuala Lumpur as it marked the ground-breaking for King Henry VIII College, Malaysia, Christ College’s new sister school in Malaysia.

The prestigious event was attended by the two Heads of School, Shupal Shrestha and Amy Baker, and by the Bursar, Martin Allen.  Simon Spencer, who is the Head Elect of the King Henry VIII College was also present, along with around 300 guests.The dignitaries included the Deputy Minister of Education in Malaysia, Senator Datuk Gong Sin Woon, and the Acting British High Commissioner, Paul Rennie.  During Simon Spencer’s speech, Shupal passed on the best wishes of Christ College pupils, and Amy presented a Christ College flag to Datuk Benny Hoe, the Managing Director of Christ College’s Malaysian partners.  This will fly proudly alongside the Welsh Dragon in Cyberjaya.

After speeches from the guests of honour, the VIPs, including Shupal and Amy, participated in the ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony. The school will open its doors in September 2018, and will cater for 1500 pupils from Malaysia, the ASEAN region, and beyond.

Head of Christ College Brecon, Mrs Emma Taylor said, “Malaysia is an excellent location for our internationally-minded school to develop a similar institution to our wonderful school here in Brecon.  It will have many beneficial effects on the resources available here at Christ College and allow us to improve the school and experiences of pupils and staff as I’m sure Shupal and Amy can vouch for upon their return from their trip to Cyberjaya.”

Meanwhile, back in Brecon, the week’s St David’s Day celebrations continue with pupils in St Nicholas House enjoying traditional Welsh foods such as Laverbread, Cockles, Bara Brith, Welsh Rarebit, Faggots and of course, Welsh Cakes. They are also busy preparing for their singing and poetry recitals at tomorrow’s Eisteddfod.  Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!

Christ College Brecon independent day and boarding school Powys

CHRIST COLLEGE U18 GIRLS TRAVELLED NORTH TO WREXHAM HOPING TO SEAL AN INCREDIBLE SEASON, WHICH HAD SEEN THEM LOSE ONLY ONCE AND BUILD A 20

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MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK, WITH A FIRST NATIONAL U18 TITLE.

With 4 members of the recent U16 National winners in the team, the general mood was very positive despite the insanely early 5.45am departure.  Arriving in good time, the girls had the opportunity to warm-up well before their first pool match against Brynteg.  This turned out to be a tight affair of few concrete chances, with the deadlock only broken in the 2nd half through an excellent goal from L. Mapps – the game ultimately ending 1-0.

Christ College then played their second pool game immediately, this time against a strong Eirias High School from Colwyn Bay.  To the best of our knowledge, CCB had never played a girls’ hockey fixture against Eirias but they had certainly provided very stern opposition in the boys U18 National Finals for the last 3 successive years.  As such, the girls were expecting a real test and that is exactly what they got.  A closely contested first half saw Eirias strong in midfield and defence but Christ College certainly upped their game from the first match, ending the half with a good goal from H. Thomas.  With the game still very much in the balance it was Christ College who reached an even higher intensity in the second half, clinically finishing two further chances through K. de Winton and goal-scoring machine – S. Jeffes, with the game ending 3-0.

With Christ College now booked in the semi-final, the last match against old foes Ysgol Bro Dinefwr became a decider to see who would top the pool.  A very close, end to end game ensued, which saw Christ College pull ahead 1-0 through Jeffes, only for Bro Dinefwr to respond with a goal in the second half.  The game ended 1-1, with CCB progressing as pool winners.

There was then a period of rest whilst they awaited news from the other pool as to who they would play and when this came, our semi-final opponent was revealed: St Joseph’s RC School, Newport.   The girls knew that the semi-final would be a no-holds-barred game against a big school with a couple of very strong Wales U18 players and it didn’t disappoint.  Over the next 30 minutes two halves of end to end hockey were played out, with few chances being offered and strong defence winning the day.  Powerful hitting from the St Joseph’s players constantly pegged Christ College back and opened up the dangerous possibility of the counter attack but the girls endured.  At full time the score remained 0-0 – the semi-final would be decided by a penalty shoot-out.  With positive thoughts from practice in their minds and the U16 girls’ recent achievement on penalties strengthening their spirit, the five girls stepped forward: Copp, Mapps, Thomas, Vetter, de Winton.  What followed was nailbiting and tense as players missed and saves were made.  With 9 penalties taken, St Joseph’s led 2-1 with only de Winton standing between them and the final.  She scored, sending the semi-final to sudden death.  St Joseph’s stepped up again and missed, leaving Mapps the opportunity to send CCB through – she did not fail her team sending the ball flying into the corner of the goal.  The girls were in the final and now watched on nervously as Ysgol Bro Dinefwr and Ysgol Glan Taf fought out another 0-0 draw, another shoot-out and another decider on sudden-death, this time with Glan Taf prevailing.

The 2017 U18 National Schoolgirls final would thus be a replay of the U16s, with Christ College facing Glan Taf once again.  The actual final offered few chances for either side to score, with Glan Taf probably in the ascendancy but unable to convert two golden penalty corner chances. With the sides locked at 0-0 therefore it seemed perhaps fitting that the  final would go to penalties and another nerve-shredding shoot-out.   Up stepped the same 5 girls from the 2 semi-finals, each hopeful of repeating their recent success and with 9 penalties taken, the score was 3-3, offering Glan Taf the opportunity to score to take the title.  CCB goalkeeper C. Jones had other ideas and neatly deflected the goal around the post, sending the final to sudden-death.  Glan Taf scored, CCB replied through Mapps, Glan Taf scored again, CCB replied again through Vetter, then came the pivotal moment, as Jones saved the 3rd Glan Taf penalty.  Now it was Christ College’s chance to win.  Up stepped H. Thomas, showing no signs of nerves and, with a deft flick of the stick the ball hit the back of the goal.  Victory then to Christ College ending an unbelievable season of tumbling records, remarkable achievements and ongoing superlatives.  Commiserations to Glan Taf, who did not deserve to lose the U16 final, let alone the U18s but this was undoubtedly the CCB girls’ year to deliver when it mattered most.

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