Newsletter July 2012

The North Wales Schools’ Games

Olympic fever gripped Conlan School in Abergele over the two weeks of 1st – 15th July as it hosted the first ever North Wales Schools’ Games.

The result of nearly three years of planning, and clearly inspired by the fact that the 2012 Olympics are taking place in London, the North Wales Schools’ Games represented a unique opportunity to bring sport, education and language learning together in one place. The aim was to create an inspirational event for international students which would encourage more young people to take part in sport and develop language skills, while at the same time meeting new people from different cultures.

Over 200 students from France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Romania descended on Abergele to take part in multi-sporting activities. With the value of inter-cultural exchange at the heart of the Games, students first hit the classroom for 3 hours a day in mixed country English classes before battling it out on the field in the afternoon.

The sports were typical games played in UK schools, with a smaller trophy to be won for each one, and included football, basketball, tag rugby (not involving any contact) rounders, and a relay race taking place in North Wales’ finest sports stadium, Eirias Park. All this in order to get their hands on the coveted Games trophy!

The North Wales Schools’ Games gave pupils the chance to experience a multinational competition for themselves whilst also having the opportunity to make new friends and gain an insight into cultures that may be different to their own. That included the local families they stayed with, the people of Abergele and the students at the High School. There was even a chance to take a day trip to Liverpool for even more culture!
This mammoth project was made possible through the strong links Conlan School has with the local High School, Emrys ap Iwan, who provided the setting for the Games, the organizing of all the sports through their PE department, classrooms and many other facilities.

The final results of the first week saw our German friends secure the overall trophy, while in the second week the Welsh students from Emrys ap Iwan school made sure the trophy stayed in Wales. All the other students took home great medals, great memories, great photos and a lot of new Facebook contacts!

A fantastic event which we will look forward to holding again in the future, and one where we all made many, many new friends. A big thank you to Mr Andrew Goodwin and all the staff at Emrys ap Iwan High School, and also to all of the leaders and students who took part.

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"!

Wakestock 6 – 8th July

Wakestock is Europe's largest wakeboard music festival, combining the cultures of music and the world's fastest growing watersport in a weekend of high-octane excitement! It is held on the Ll?n Peninsula in North Wales, in between Pwllheli and Llanbedrog.
Founded by Mark Durston, the festival began in Abersoch, North Wales back in 2000, when it was a wakeboard contest with a party in a car park for 800 people, and from then on played host to some of the industy’s leading bands and DJ's, along with the biggest wakeboard competition in Europe. In 2010 the festival entered its second decade and became part of the World Wakeboard Series.
This year saw the festival challenged by severe wet weather, resulting in some campers having to be moved on the Friday to avoid the worst flooding. However, the sun came out on the Saturday and Sunday, resulting in a memorable time to be had by all at one of Wales’s premier music and sports events.

The Welsh Mountain Zoo

The Welsh Mountain Zoo, sometimes called Colwyn Bay Zoo, is a zoological garden located near the town of Colwyn Bay in Conwy County, Wales. The zoo was opened on 18 May 1963 by the wildlife enthusiast and naturalist Robert Jackson. The zoo covers an area of 37 acres.
After the Zoological Society of Wales was formed in 1983 to manage the interests and operation of the zoo, its development programme led to the creation of the following features: Jungle Adventureland (completed 1986), European Otter Enclosure (1987), Chimpanzee World and Chimp Encounter (1990), Children's Farm (1990), Bear Falls (1996), Golden Eagles (1999).
2006 saw the opening of Sealion Rock, a new enclosure for the zoo's group of California sea lions. The arrival of a pair of endangered snow leopards and the breeding of the very first Bactrian camel in Wales followed. 2007 saw the opening of Condor Haven, an aviary housing the zoo's Andean condors Sonya and Gus, as well as other South American bird species. Caracaras have now been placed in the old condor aviary. Margay cats are another recent addition to the collection.
The zoo's next development project was the construction of a new tropical house for reptiles and new alligator facilities. Work began in 2007 with the demolition of the old tortoise and cactus house.
Now at the zoo there are a number of new building projects, educational activities, you can volunteer to help the zookeepers, and even adopt an animal.

Phrase of the month: “To make a pig’s ear of something”
'Make a pig's ear' is a mid-20th Century phrase and means 'completely botch something up; make a complete mess of it'. This is first found in print in a 1950 edition of the Reader's Digest:
"If you make a pig's ear of the first one, you can try the other one."
The expression derives from the old proverb 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear', which dates from the 16th century. The English clergyman Stephen Gosson published the romantic story Ephemerides in 1579 and in it referred to people who were engaged in a hopeless task:
"Seekinge too make a silke purse of a Sowes eare."
'Make a pig's ear of' alludes to what might be the result if someone did try to make something from a sow's ear - not a silk purse but a complete mess.