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Llanwern High visit

Posted on Tuesday 5th March 2019
mental health pic 2

Leader of Newport City Council Councillor Debbie Wilcox, right with Cllr Gail Giles, left, and pupils from Newport schools who presented their debate at the civic centre

The Leader of Newport City Council Councillor Debbie Wilcox stepped back in time this week to visit a school where she used to be a teacher.

Cllr Wilcox, along with Cllr Gail Giles, cabinet member for education and skills, visited Llanwern High to meet pupils and to give a motivational talk around ‘responsibility’.

The Leader taught at the school when it was known as Hartridge High School.

The councillors’ visit follows a presentation at Newport Civic Centre last month (feb) when award winning students from across the city showed off their debating skills.

Newport pupils had already taken part in debates in February 2018 and again at the Christmas debate held at the All Nations Centre in Cardiff in December 2018 both organised in conjunction with the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The Newport pupils, from Years 7 to 9, worked hard on their presentations on mental health and wellbeing which is an area of increasing importance in all schools as it is central to the Welsh government’s curriculum reforms.

Their presentations were based on the debate motion ‘This house believes that good exam results are critical to success’.

At the December event the winning team was Cameron Winn and Tomos Morgan both of Year 9 from Bassaleg School.

The best speaker award went to Max John of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School who along with his partner Jessica Wootton impressed judges with their rap, which the Royal College of Psychiatrists are hoping to record in order to share on their You Tube Channel.

The judges also presented a highly commended award to Megan Davies of Caerleon  Comprehensive School.

So impressive were students at this event that they were invited to repeat their performance in front of Councillor Wilcox and Cllr Giles.

Pupils who attended the civic centre included Rebecca O’Hara and Honor Davies (Ysgol Gyfun Gwent Iscoed); Addison Jones and Isobel Clark (Newport High); Max John and Jessica Wootton (St Joseph’s RC High School) and Cameron Winn and Tomos Morgan (Bassaleg).

Holly Clark and Katie Gabica from Llanwern High were unable to attend on the day

Speaking after the presentations Councillor Wilcox told the pupils her career in education which spanned more than 30 years meant she was well equipped to appreciate the pupils’ debates and she was well aware of the pressure pupils faced when it came to exams.

“You all have very impressive debating skills and you all gave us food for thought with your presentations.

“We recently lost Newport MP Paul Flynn who was himself a wonderful orator and he would have been delighted to have been at this presentation and hear your views. He was keen to encourage young people to get involved in politics and would have been impressed, as am I, to hear your debates.

“It’s been an absolute joy to have you visit us here and I wish you well for the future,” said Cllr

Wilcox who also presented the pupils with a commemorative pen to mark their visit.

Cllr Giles also praised the work of the pupils: “It is obvious from your debates that you have all put a lot of thought and research into your presentations. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

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