Rugby Initiative at Pencoedtre High School Celebrates Year 10 Graduates

Graduates of Pencoedtre High School’s sport engagement program, a joint initiative between Bouygues UK and Cardiff Blues Community Foundation, put year six pupils from Cadoxton Primary School through their paces on a visit to their new school.

The Cadoxton pupils were visiting Pencoedtre High School ahead of joining as year seven pupils in September and were given some fitness and teamwork tips from recent graduates of the Cardiff Blues Tackle scheme.

Tackle is a sport engagement programme linked with essential and life skills workshops aimed to engage, inspire and motivate young people through an alternative curriculum experience.

The course engages pupils through the delivery of workshops and practical sessions geared towards career aspirations and gives children the chance to develop their employability skills and develop prospects by learning through rugby values such as teamwork, respect, discipline and passion.

Eight year ten pupils from Pencoedtre High School were also given their graduation medals and certificates, and were congratulated on their hard work and dedication to the course, despite the obvious difficulties of taking part during the pandemic.

Mike Baynham, Operations Director for Wales at Bouygues UK, which has been building the new Pencoedtre High School, said of the Tackle initiative: “The programme of fun-filled events and workshops provided by Cardiff Blues has a solid track record and it is great to see so many children take advantage of it here at Pencoedtre High.

“They have shown perseverance in continuing with the course despite the difficulties and restrictions around the pandemic and I am very honoured to award them with their medals today. They are a great example to the younger pupils who will be moving up to Pencoedtre in September.”

Bouygues UK is currently building the new Pencoedtre High School. Pupils can look forward to new sporting facilities including a four-court sports hall, an all-weather hockey floodlit pitch and grass rugby and football pitches.

Year 10 pupil and Tackle graduate Jess Bernardo said: “I have loved everything about the course. When I heard that we would be coaching other people I jumped at the chance to take part, I like to take advantage of all extra-curricular opportunities offered and have really enjoyed this.”

Fellow Tackle graduate, 15-year-old Josh McAuley said: “It is nice to have some responsibility and I have also enjoyed spending time with other children I wouldn’t normally spend time with at school. I have enjoyed today too as it has been nice to help the younger kids.”

Gavin Clement, of the Cardiff Blues Foundation, added: “These Pencoedtre High School pupils have been wonderful to work with. They have been engaged from day one and we have seen some of them really flourish with their leadership skills. There are definitely some future teachers and future bosses amongst them.”

Bouygues UK has been on site at Pencoedtre High School since spring 2020 and has made great progress on the £34.7m new state of the art, three-storey school building.

Planning permission for the new school was granted in December 2019 and will provide more space and better sporting facilities for the staff and pupils, which will cater for around 1,100 pupils. The build is part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Welsh Government’s 21st century school’s investment programme, which is also delivering a new building for Whitmore High School and expansion for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg.