“Bore da!!” A great welcome to a really fun day: an INSET day with 6 “Welsh medium” schools, taking place at Ysgol Pen y Garth, Penarth, Redlands Road Penarth.
Our aim: to provide “Ysbrydoliaeth ansbaradigaethus ar gyfer ysgrifennu estynedig i bob oedran!” (Fantastic inspiration to aid extended writing for all ages!)
I can only apologise if my Welsh is not accurate. Welsh: A beautiful and powerful language, spoken only 30 miles, as the crow flies, away from where I grew up, and I understand very, very little of it. What a great shame.
Ysgol Pen y Garth is a Welsh Primary School with pupils coming from Penarth, Cogan, Llandough , Dinas Powys and Sully. Lessons, and all activities, are carried out, primarily, in Welsh. They believe strongly in giving the best education possible to pupils by ensuring that they gain strong literacy and numerical skills. Additionally, that their children are pupils of the twenty first century and that Information Technology is a key element and absolutely essential to the education they provide.
The schools prides itself on providing exciting lessons, a wide range of extra curricular activities and a wealth of experiences that will live in the memory for a long time. By Year 6, their aim is that children will be “independent learners who possess a certain zest and enthusiasm that, in turn, will make them lifelong learners”.
SIXTY years on and Welsh medium education is thriving in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Since the establishment of the first Welsh schools in Barry – Ysgol Gymraeg Gwirfoddol in 1951 and Ysgol Gymraeg St Francis in 1955 – the Vale now boasts five Welsh medium primary schools: Ysgol Iolo Morganwg in Cowbridge (192 pupils), Ysgol Gymraeg Pen-y-Garth in Penarth (325) and Barry’s Ysgol Gymraeg Sant Baruc (261), Ysgol Gymraeg Sant Curig (435) and Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun y Nant (210) provide children with opportunities to live and learn in the Welsh language.
Formal aspects of the national curriculum are interspersed with experiences of Welsh culture and heritage.
Secondary Welsh medium education is provided at Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg (859 pupils), which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Such has been the success of Welsh medium education in the Vale that demand for places has risen dramatically.
With only 14 per cent of Vale residents able to speak Welsh, according to the 2001 Census, it is not surprising that the majority of pupils receiving Welsh medium education are from non-Welsh speaking homes. What may be surprising in this context is the fact that the Vale’s schools perform so well when compared to their peer group on a national level.
Bilingualism now, thankfully, is seen as something to be embraced – and is a huge asset, definitely.
If you fancy a try at some learning activities in Welsh, try visiting the Welsh language site for Ngfl HERE (with the same activities in English HERE) or Cynnal and even the delightful BBC Tacteg site.
Diolch yn fawr to everyone today for some very enjoyable wandering in the world of words. Thank you to Mrs Iona Edwards – Head teacher at Ysgol Pen y Garth for hosting our day.