Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau, Ystrad Mynach, Wales

| November 22, 2012 | 9 Comments 

A joyous day at Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau, in Ystrad Mynach South Wales, spending the morning with 60 pupils from Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau and from the neighbouring schools:

Pupils travelling from Maes y Cwmmer PrimarySt James Primary and Ystrad Mynach Primary schools with their teachers & also colleagues from Rhiw Syr DafyddCwm Glas Infants School, Penllwyn Primary School, Hengoed Primary,  Coed Y Brain Primary, Ysgol Gymraeg Caerffili, Ysgol Gymraeg Cwm Derwen, Glyngaer Primary School, Twyn Primary, Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Allta & Libanus Primary.

Then an afternoon working with colleagues, exploring the ideas & tools used in the morning & experimenting further. We ended the day with a twilight, looking at many more ways to engage & motivate learners of all ages. Thank you to Andrea Woods, head teacher, Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau, for inviting us to spend the day with her staff, colleagues from neighbouring schools & the pupils, adventuring in the world of words, & digital domains.


As Andrea said,

We are looking at ways to inspire our reluctant writers in KS2.

Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau, which is built on an old colliery site, first opened in 2009 with the grand total 17 pupils. We have now increased to 130 but still only have 20 pupils in the whole of Key Stage 2.

As our numbers are increasing, we are also noticing an emerging pattern of under-achievement amongst our boys- particularly in writing activities. Despite this not being a major issue at present, we have decided to address this at an early stage to try to prevent future problems.

Our boys love to talk but are not so keen to put pen to paper, tending to take the ‘quickest route’ when writing- You know the type of writing… “ and I woke up. It was all a dream!”

The boys have responded positively to our newly established ‘Moodle’ website and are generally very engaged in activities involving ICT. This led us to look at the use of ICT as a tool to inspire writing and one name seemed to be appearing often in our research – Tim Rylands! I first heard of Tim’s work during a Teachmeet Session organised by Caerphilly CBC and NGFL Cymru earlier this year and was very keen to learn more. A few phone calls to schools who had worked with Tim soon confirmed my instinct that this was indeed the way forward to inspire our pupils to become writers.

We are very excited to welcome Tim and Sarah to our school.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (9)

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  1. Jane Evans says:

    3 members of staff attended from Glyngaer Primary School and had a great day…thank you both! We are looking forward to trying numerous activities back in school, particularly MYST.

    Thank you,

    J Evans H Phillips A Steventon

  2. Rhiannon Llewellyn says:

    Very inspiring with superb ideas that I will be sure to use in my classroom.

  3. Lowri Owen says:

    We really enjoyed our twilight session this evening. Using ICT to question, look for implication and inspire ideas reminded me of Dorothy Heathcote’s work on Drama in Education. Very much looking forward to going on a journey with the children… Thank you very much!

  4. Andrea Woods says:

    Tim and Sarah, thank you both for an enjoyable and extremely informative day. Arrangements for the day were superb and knowing you were the other side of the phone/ email to answer any questions before hand helped a great deal!

    The children thoroughly enjoyed the morning session and it was amazing to hear some of our less-confident children share their ideas so freely and confident in front of such a large audience. I had goosebumps listening to the children drip feed their ideas.

    My staff are all fired up and ready to further their use of ICT to inspire their classes. I’m already addicted to the pottery app that you shared with us!

    Not sure about the staff photos though! Do you know a good air-brushing app??

  5. Claire Long says:

    A great day, filled with humour and information. Loved the PowerPoint show stuff and new ways to use wordle. Definitely be trying out some of the stuff with my year 2s. Thanks.

  6. Craig George says:

    Tim and Sarah, what a fantastic day you both gave us all yesterday. Tim had the pupils eating out of his hands and some of the writing produced was excellent.

    We have already put the new powerpoint skills we develoed to good use with the pupils producing some excellent writing about Dracula. The next step is to get the staff using Myst and inspiring a generation of writers the way that you inspired me yesterday. If you have any plans for Myst I would be extremely grateful to receive them.

    Thank you both for a wonderful day.


  7. Jonathan moran says:

    Just a quick thanks for a brilliant day! It really inspired me as getting (boys) to write creatively is a real problem within my setting. I particularly enjoyed your enthusiasm and style of presenting the content. It made the day ‘not just another course’. cant wait to put it all into practise next week!

    Thanks again

  8. Leah Downes says:

    Thank you very much Tim and Sarah. I really enjoyed the day. Full of inspirational ideas! I’m very much looking forward to trying out the activities with my Year 1 children at Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau.

  9. Tim says:

    Thank you Leah
    Please keep in touch and let us know what you try out maybe
    Thanks again
    Tim and Sarah

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