Newsletter May 2016

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!


What’s on in Chester

Chester Races
May sees the beginning of the race calendar in Chester at the famous Chester Racecourse. Chester Racecourse, known as the Roodee, is according to official records the oldest racecourse still in use in England. Horse racing at Chester dates back to the early sixteenth century. It is also thought to be the smallest racecourse of significance in England at just 1.8 km long.

Chester Midsummer Watch Parade
Chester’s Midsummer Watch Parade is one of the oldest and most colourful events in the country. 600 years in the making and with over 500 local participants, the Watch is firmly established as one of Chester’s most iconic events. Angels, devils, green men and mythical beasts rub shoulders with Romans, St Werburgh, elephants and camels in a parade full of colour and music that dates back to the late 1400s. This year it will be held on 18th and 19th June 2016 at 2pm.


Chester Music Festival
Chester Music Festival (8th – 18th June) featuring presents music spanning four centuries in a range of chamber concerts presented in the city.
The 11 day line-up includes: an evening of minimalist Steve Reich’s music, the ‘Gran Caffe Venezia’ Concert - an annual festival favourite - and a chamber rendition of one of Gustav Mahler’s great orchestral pieces.
Other highlights include lunchtime concerts from internationally renowned pianist Martin Roscoe and young exciting cello and percussion duo Abel Selaocoe and Delia Stevens, as well as a chance to hear Camille Saint-Saëns’ most famous work The Carnival of the Animals.


Vive Hauvette!!!
In April this year we welcomed our first groups in Abergele and Chester from Toulouse in Southern France after an enquiry from September 2015.
Toulouse is the capital city of the Midi-Pyrénées region and lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the Mediterranean Sea. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the Galileo positioning system and the SPOT satellite system. The city also hosts the European headquarters of CNES's Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space centre in Europe.



We welcomed 40 students aged between 13 and 14 in Abergele accompanied by 3 Group Leaders and their stay consisted of a 7 night programme. Yvonne Gregory our Director of Studies ensured that the programme combined English lessons in the morning and a variety of cultural experiences in the afternoon. There were a number of excursions to the Victorian resort of Llandudno and historic Conwy on the North Wales coast and also the historical Roman City of Chester and the large commercial city of Liverpool the birthplace of the Beatles!!

Would you like to improve the cultural awareness and confidence of your students??  If you would please visit our website or contact info@conlanschool.com for more information

New Guidelines want to curb the use of exclamation marks!
Students, as young as seven, are being told to stop using so many exclamation marks under new government guidelines the Sunday Times reported. The new guidance for key stage 1 and 2 national curriculum tests state that pupils will only get credit if they use exclamation marks if they start with either 'How' or 'What'. Examples include, ‘How exciting!' and 'What a lovely day!' according to a booklet explaining how marking will now work.
Teachers say children often use exclamation marks in text messages and when using social media and that discouraging them from doing so may suppress their creativity. Teachers went on to describe the guidance as unhelpful and old fashioned.




John Sutherland, emeritus Lord Northcliffe, professor of modern English literature at University College London, called the guidance 'ridiculous' and said they would be 'impossible to follow'. “It is nonsense of the highest degree. I am not surprised teachers wearily sigh when these instructions come down from Whitehall, “ he said.

Story adapted from BBC News online and the Telegraph online.

Drop-in Observations
At the CLIL and Teaching Excellence Conference held in November 2015, delegates visited Christleton High School. The school has been described by OFSTED, the UK’s Schools Inspectorate, as having
“Inspirational leadership and governance, extremely skilful and committed staff and the insatiable thirst for knowledge instilled in students, all ensure that the highest levels of teaching and achievement have been sustained.”
OFSTED 2014


Tony Lamberton, Headmaster, explained that part of the reason for their success is that the school maintains its high standards by having an open culture whereby teachers are regularly observed including ‘drop-ins.’ Here teachers can expect the school management team to drop-in and observe their lessons at any time meaning that teachers are always prepared for informal classroom observations. Lasting for about 5-10 minutes, the drop-in observations provide a brief snapshot of the lesson but should demonstrate to observers good examples of student engagement. The management team want to see students being attentive and fully involved in lessons whether that be during teacher-talk time, pair and group work or when students are working independently. Consequently, the school radiates an open and welcoming atmosphere with teachers being used to visitors watching proceedings.

Getting teachers used to unscheduled observations involves trust between teachers and the school management team. Tony Lamberton, explained that it was key to get the message across to teachers that the purpose of these observations was not to condemn teachers but to improve classroom performance. As such, positive feedback and constructive criticism have been essential in building a climate of trust and getting teachers to value the feedback gained.

A Taste of Your Own Medicine
This phrase means to receive something (bad) that you have been giving to others. So, if you are a cruel person, but then you are on the receiving end of cruelty yourself, you might be said to be getting “a taste of your own medicine.” Or, if a bully is bullied, he too would be getting a taste of his own medicine.

The phrase comes from an Aesop’s fable in which a man tries to sell fake medicine but then when he himself becomes ill, he is sold the same medicine.

The moral is that you should always treat people how you wish to be treated yourself, so that you will never have to experience a taste of your own medicine.

Do you know anyone who has recently received a taste of their own medicine?