And two more new Welsh-medium schools

This is the fourth and I think the last in a series of posts about new Welsh-medium schools that are opening at the start of this new school year. However this post is not about new buildings, they'll come later, instead it is about organizational changes which have resulted in the creation of two new schools in Sir Gâr. These changes promise to transform secondary education in the north and east of the county, and radically increase the amount of education that is delivered through the medium of Welsh.

 
Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth, Sir Gâr

I suppose the name gives it away, but Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth is a new school formed by the amalgamation of Ysgol Maes yr Yrfa in Cefneithin and Ysgol y Gwendraeth in Drefach. The other suggestions put forward for the new name included Ysgol Gyfun Hogwarts and Ysgol Maes y Sainsbury's, the latter because some of the funding will come from a Section 106 agreement as part of gaining planning permission for their new store in Cross Hands. Sainsbury's will no doubt strenuously deny that their decision not to install bilingual checkouts in their stores in Wales, see here and here, was taken in response to this unwarranted denial of a perfectly reasonable marketing opportunity snub.

The amalgamation was inevitable. Ysgol y Gwendraeth, shown below, was a predominantly English-medium secondary school in an area in which all the surrounding primary schools are Welsh-medium. Because of that, fewer and fewer parents were choosing to send their children there, and its performance was terrible too. The figures are here. Last year its intake was only 44 pupils, and it had only 312 pupils in total. Only 27.4% achieved the level 2 threshold of 5 A*-C GCSEs including English/Welsh and maths compared with a national average of 51.1%.

     

In contrast, the predominantly Welsh-medium Ysgol Maes yr Yrfa had an intake of 156 last year, a total roll of 793 pupils, and 66.7% achieved the same level 2 threshold. Figures here.

     

The only real question was what language category the new school would be. A full definition of the language categories is here. There are in fact no WM secondary schools, teaching everything in Welsh, in west Wales. The norm is for them to be category 2A schools, in which at least 80% of subjects are taught to all pupils in Welsh. The next category is 2B, in which all subjects are available in English but more than 80% are also available in Welsh. It is quite possible for the majority of pupils in a category 2B secondary school to be taught entirely in English, with no teaching in Welsh at all apart from Welsh as a subject.

Even though parents were already voting with their children's feet, there were howls of protest at the prospect of no longer being able to get an entirely English-medium secondary education in the Gwendraeth valley. Perhaps the most paranoid claim was from the local Conservative party secretary, Keith Evans, who said that if the new school was to be category 2A, the council would be "driving out an English-speaking minority" from the area. And it's worth reading through a long-running online debate, which is still available here, in which the usual suspects excelled themselves.

But in the end there was only one sensible decision that could be made, for reasons that are set out in full here. The new school would be category 2A.

-

The way things will work is set out in this document. The new intake of year 7 pupils will all be based at the Cefneithin (Maes yr Yrfa) campus, and be taught in Welsh. But those already at the Drefach (Gwendraeth) campus will continue to receive their education there, so it will be several years before the site closes. The Cefneithin campus will be expanded to accommodate the additional intake.

It isn't yet clear to me—although I'm sure the figures are now available—how many children transferring from the surrounding primary schools will enroll at Maes y Gwendraeth. There is the option for any who particularly want more of their education to be in English to transfer either to Ysgol Dyffryn Aman or to the new Ysgol Bro Dinefwr (more on that below) but my guess is that not many will make that choice. The important thing to bear in mind is that every primary school in the area is Welsh-medium, and that it is therefore natural for them to continue to receive a WM education at secondary level.

I don't think any plans have been finalized regarding how much the new Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth will need to be extended, either. However one factor that will affect the decision is that the nearest predominantly Welsh-medium secondary to the west, Ysgol Bro Myrddin, is already full and has had to turn away 26 pupils this year. That school is on a constrained site in the centre of Carmarthen, with no real room for expansion. It is therefore very likely that Maes y Gwendraeth will have to be be made larger than it otherwise would be to relieve pressure on Ysgol Bro Myrddin by adjusting the catchment areas.

All in all, this marks a very large increase in Welsh-medium secondary school capacity in the Gwendraeth valley.

 
Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Sir Gâr

This is another new secondary school in the county, formed by amalgamating Ysgol Pantycelyn in Llanymddyfri and Ysgol Tre-Gib in Ffairfach, next to Llandeilo. The intention is to house the new school in a new building on the other side of Ffairfach from September 2015, but in the meantime the school will continue to operate from the existing buildings on both sites. Here are some images of what it will look like:

     

     

Both Pantycelyn and Tre-Gib were category 2C schools, but the new school will be category 2B. It itself, the difference is not as significant as it might appear to be. As I mentioned before, in a category 2B school all subjects are available in English but more than 80% are also available in Welsh. In a category 2C school all subjects are available in English but between 50% and 79% are also available in Welsh. It is a measure of the availability of subjects in Welsh, but not a measure of how many pupils take up either the Welsh or English teaching options that are available. To illustrate this, a category 2B school teaching 80% of subjects in Welsh to 20% of its students could perhaps be described as "16% Welsh", but a category 2C school teaching 75% of subjects in Welsh to 80% of its students would be "60% Welsh". So things depend much more on the policy of the individual school than on how it is classified by the Welsh Government.

Ysgol Bro Dinefwr's policy is set out in this document. Here are some extracts from it:

Ysgol Bro Dinefwr will be a Category 2B school from September 2013. The new school is part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s proposal to transform secondary education in the Dinefwr area, which was agreed after consultation with the community and parents in 2010-11. Pupils attending a Category 2B school who come from a Category A Primary School [i.e. a Welsh-medium primary, using the WG definition] are expected to follow 80% of their Curriculum through the medium of Welsh or bilingually. This is to ensure continuity and consistency from their Key Stage 2 provision and is following County and Welsh Government policy towards a bilingual Wales.

[This policy will apply to] all pupils who are starting as Year 7 pupils at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr from September 2013.

They will be expected to follow all subjects through the medium of Welsh or Bilingually except for Science and English. Maths will be available in both Welsh and English.

Pupils who are placed in a bilingual class will be taught all subjects through the medium of Welsh, but will also have some units of these subjects taught in English. This is to ensure that pupils have consistent language teaching and models to follow in order to retain standards in both languages.

Any pupil transferring from a Category A Primary school, or who has been taught in a Category A Primary school for 3 years or more, will not be able to opt for subjects taught entirely in English. This has been the case for the last ten years, at least, at Ysgol Tre-Gib.

This language policy is in place for Key Stage 3, and pupils will have a choice at Key Stage 4 about which language they would like to continue studying their subjects.

To put things into perspective, there are only three primary schools in the dozen or so primaries in the new combined catchment area which are not Welsh-medium: Llandeilo Primary is English-medium, Ysgol Rhys Pritchard in Llanymddyfri is Dual Stream, and Ysgol Llandybie is Transitional. This means that only about 50 children out of an intake of roughly 180 will not be taking 80% of their subjects in Welsh. Using the same rough and ready calculation, the new Year 7 intake could therefore be described as about 58% Welsh.

It begs the question of what to do with these three schools. Ysgol Llandybie already teaches the Foundation Phase entirely in Welsh, but KS2 is divided into Welsh- and English-medium streams. However they say in their prospectus that this is only for the present, and the implication seems to be that sooner or later it will become entirely WM. I would guess that within a few years Ysgol Rhys Pritchard will also start phasing out its English-medium stream, as is being done elsewhere. As for Llandeilo Primary, I think it will amalgamate with the Welsh-medium Ysgol Teilo Sant. This will be very easy to do, as the two schools are next door to each other in what used to be separate infants and junior schools. Ysgol Teilo Sant started by being the smaller school, housed in the smaller infants block; but with 235 pupils it has now grown bigger than Llandeilo Primary with only 180 pupils, and the year-on-year balance is shifting towards WM. When these things happen and the changes have worked their way through the year groups, all Ysgol Bro Dinefwr's intake will have had a WM primary education and it will therefore become another category 2A secondary school.

 
Concluding throughts

There are plenty of things that I could criticize the local council for, but what is now happening in the north and east of Sir Gâr promises to be quite remarkable. To me, the council always seemed to have a complacent attitude to Welsh, thinking it didn't need to do anything because some two-thirds of their primary schools were Welsh-medium ... although it has to be said that the quality of provision in some of the smaller, traditional WM schools could be quite patchy.

The long-standing problem in Sir Gâr—and in Ceredigion too, for that matter—has been that most children then switched to English-medium secondaries. This was not so much out of choice, but because it was what their local secondary schools had always offered in the past, and pupils had to travel much further in order to get to the three predominantly WM secondary schools in the county: Ysgol Maes Yr Yrfa, Ysgol Bro Myrddyn and Ysgol y Strade in Llanelli.

The balance is now changing. As well as Maes y Gwendraerth and Bro Dinefwr this year, Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Rhydaman is also being significantly extended with a new administration and sixth form block, a new 24-pupil special education needs block, a totally refurbished and extended science block and covered links between all buildings being completed last year as the first phase of the works (details here).

But the building work has been accompanied by a similar change in language emphasis. Section 4.1.3 of this scrutiny report from November last year notes that the number of students studying 80% of lessons through the medium of Welsh rose from only 28 in 2008 to 126 in 2012. That's a very positive change. Looking at section 4.3 of the same report, it says that the percentage of students continuing with Welsh education (which I think must mean when making the switch between primary and secondary) went up from 26% to 64%. The numbers and percentages don't immediately equate (probably because of DS schools and the EM school at Tycroes) but Fy Ysgol Leol shows that there were 238 pupils in Year 7 in 2012. 126 out of 238 means that 53% of last year's intake were doing at least 80% of their lessons in Welsh, which makes it about 42% Welsh.

So although there are no new buildings, there is in fact an awful lot to celebrate in Sir Gâr at the start of this new school year. If things continue this way we can expect the decline in the number of Welsh speakers in Sir Gâr revealed by the last census to be reversed.
 

 
Update - 13:10, 10 Sept 2013

I've re-written the paragraph about primary schools in the Bro Dinefwr catchment area to include Ysgol Gynradd Llandybie, which I had thought was in the Dyffryn Aman catchment area. Many thanks to Anon 01:31 for pointing out my mistake.

Bookmark and Share

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Da iawn. Great news! But we still need a lot more to meet the increasing demand.

Anonymous said...

And once they've all learnt Welsh and are happily speaking it on a day to day basis we will need to find some employers, some employers who also speak Welsh on a day to day basis.

Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

That must be because no-one who speaks Welsh in Carms can ever be expected to be savvy enough to employ people, right?

Anonymous said...

I'm especially concerned about ysgol y strade in Llanelli. It has been constantly expanded rather than any serious move to convert any of the 4 english medium schools to a second welsh secondary school [Bryngwyn has one stream with an intake from mainly english language primary schools offering up to 25% of subjects taught through welsh]. Accademic standards are falling at Strade with some parents chosing to bus their children out to ysgol gyfun Gwyr in the next county. I can't see the further expansion of this school being justified but the Council seems happy to make it bigger and reluctant to change the English medium secondary schools in response to the greater uptake in welsh medium primary education.

MH said...

I thought about Ysgol y Strade when I looked into the story about Ysgol Bro Myrddin having to refuse applications because it was full, Anon. The children concerned were from Cydweli, about halfway between Carmarthen and Llanelli, and obviously parents had been choosing Bro Myrddin rather than Y Strade because it is a better school even though they were technically in Y Strade's catchment area.

I don't think there should be anything surprising about different schools performing differently. Parents make choices on this basis all the time, but it has always been less apparent in the Welsh-medium sector because there hasn't usually been a choice between two WM schools; the choice was between one WM school and the surrounding EM schools.

I've never been quite convinced about the banding system, but the same measure I used before (the level 2 threshold of 5 A*-C GCSEs including English/Welsh and maths) illustrates this perfectly. Y Strade with 57.0% is as good if not better than the local EM alternatives of Bryngwyn with 57.0%, St John Lloyd with 53.7%, Coedcae with 43.8% and Glan-y-Môr in Burry Port with a pathetic 30.1%. But its performance is decidedly poor compared with Bro Myrddin's 75.0% and Gwyr's 78.9%. So I'd completely agree with you that Y Strade has problems with its academic standards, and am not surprised that parents who can do it are sending their children to other WM schools instead. This, of course, only makes things worse. We can only hope that these problems are being addressed and that standards at Y Strade rise to that of other WM secondaries. Do you, or does anyone else, have any insights as to why Y Strade's performance is lower than other WM secondaries and what should be done to improve things?

In terms of size, Y Strade is full and is currently relying on portacabins. But even with 995 pupils, it is not a particularly big school. There are plenty of schools in Wales with more than 1,200 pupils, some with more than 1,500 and a couple with more than 2,000 (Whitchurch High in Cardiff is the biggest with 2,235). So it's understandable that the council would think it's OK to keep expanding it rather than convert one of the other schools in Llanelli. The site it occupies is quite large and there's room to do so (unlike Bro Myrddin, for example). According to item 6.5 of this document, work has just begun on another extension. If Y Strade's performance were better, I don't think anyone would mind if it kept getting enlarged.

But as you say, there is a time bomb on its way, because the very rapid expansion in WM primary provision in Llanelli over the last few years will soon work its way up to secondary level. So if Y Strade keeps getting enlarged the problem for the council will be an increase in surplus places in the EM schools. Something will have to happen sooner or later. The reactive option would be to wait until the falling numbers and corresponding increased costs force the council to close one of the four EM schools (probably Coedcae, where numbers are falling rapidly) ... and then use that building for a new WM school. The proactive option would be for one of the schools to increase its WM provision and become a 2C or 2B school (Bryngwyn would probably be most receptive to that idea).

Anonymous said...

Llandybie school which is a large primary school (200 plus pupils) in the Ysgol Bro Dinefwr catchment area was recently re-designated as a Transitional school from Dual Stream school status.
The definition of a Dual stream school is "Mainly Welsh-medium or mainly English–medium exist side-by-side in these schools. Both Welsh and English are used in day-to-day business of the school. Language of communication is determined by nature of curricular provision. The school communicates with parents in both languages."
A Transitional school is defined as, "Foundation Phase – areas of learning mainly through the medium of Welsh. KS2 – both languages used but with greater
emphasis on Welsh – 50% -70%. Welsh is the language used in day to day business of the school. High priority given to creating Welsh ethos. The school communicates with parents in both languages.

The developments at Ysgol Ffwrnes are worth reflecting on when looking at Welsh medium provision in Llanelli.
1992 Category B 116 pupils
1995 Category B 90 pupils
2005 Category A 119 pupils
2011 Category A 182 pupils
2013 Category A 212 pupils

(Category A Welsh medium /Category B English medium)
New school being built with places for 472 pupils (See link below for details
http://www.austinsmithlord.com/projects/ysgol-ffwrnes/

Anonymous said...

Llandybie school which is a large primary school (200 plus pupils) in the Ysgol Bro Dinefwr catchment area was recently re-designated as a Transitional school from Dual Stream school status.
The definition of a Dual stream school is "Mainly Welsh-medium or mainly English–medium exist side-by-side in these schools. Both Welsh and English are used in day-to-day business of the school. Language of communication is determined by nature of curricular provision. The school communicates with parents in both languages."
A Transitional school is defined as, "Foundation Phase – areas of learning mainly through the medium of Welsh. KS2 – both languages used but with greater
emphasis on Welsh – 50% -70%. Welsh is the language used in day to day business of the school. High priority given to creating Welsh ethos. The school communicates with parents in both languages.

The developments at Ysgol Ffwrnes are worth reflecting on when looking at Welsh medium provision in Llanelli.
1992 Category B 116 pupils
1995 Category B 90 pupils
2005 Category A 119 pupils
2011 Category A 182 pupils
2013 Category A 212 pupils

(Category A Welsh medium /Category B English medium)
New school being built with places for 472 pupils (See link below for details
http://www.austinsmithlord.com/projects/ysgol-ffwrnes/

MH said...

Thanks for pointing that out, Anon. I had thought that Llandybie was in the Dyffryn Aman catchment area as it's closer to Rhydaman than Llandeilo. But I've checked the catchment map and it isn't.

That will make the new Bro Dinefwr school slightly more English than I calculated, but it does appear that Llandybie is progressing towards being entirely WM. From the prospectus on their website, the Foundation Phase is entirely WM, but KS2 is divided into WM and EM streams. However they say this is only for the present, and the implication seems to be that sooner or later it will become entirely WM.

That raises an interesting question. As the school is officially Transitional, does it actually require approval to become entirely WM (as has been the case with in Pencae and Aberteifi when they changed from DS to WM) or is the fact that it is in transition mean that no further permission is required? Does anyone know the answer?

-

The new Ysgol Ffwrnes is currently under construction, and it does look good. However I don't understand why it's costing so much or going to take so long. Another change on the horizon is that the council have moved new premises for Ysgol Parc y Tywyn in Burry Port up the agenda so it is now in their Band A for 21st Century funding, here and here.

-

I've also been looking in more detail at the numbers in the Llanelli area in response to 19:06. Using the figures here, there were 217 in the the reception year of WM schools last year, plus 124 in Dual Stream schools. Assuming a 50/50 WM/EM split for DS gives a total of 279 who will be moving to a WM secondary in 6 years time. Ysgol y Strade's Year 7 is 193, so 86 extra places will be required. To put this in perspective, that is roughly the same as the whole of Glan-y-Môr's intake last year (89).

Despite what I said before, I seriously doubt whether Y Strade could in fact be enlarged this much. So there will be no choice but to open a new WM secondary in Llanelli. Therefore I think the strategic decision has to be to stop permanently enlarging it any more, and to take temporary measures until a new school can be built.

However it doesn't look like the numbers in EM schools will go down (which might result in one of them being closed to make way for a WM school) because the overall number of children in Llanelli is rising. That means it will have to be a new-build school on a new site. I think we need to start the campaign now.

Anonymous said...

How come are the numbers of children in Llanelli rising? I'm really curious. I'm not aware of any large employers having set up shop there.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:02, more sex between consenting adults?

Anonymous said...

More English monoglot immigrants/social cleansing of the English cities!!

MH said...

I'll leave it to those with a more vivid (or lurid) imagination to figure out why the numbers are rising. I'll confine myself to saying that last year there were 826 pupils in Year 11 of the schools in the Llanelli area, but 918 in the Reception Year. Interestingly, that 826 seems to be an anomaly, for there were only 731 in Year 10 and 733 in Year 9 ... but between Year 9 and the Reception Year there is a fairly steady year-on-year increase.

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that one needs to know why there is an increase in order to know what ages they are appearing on the scene and from where they're from.....their linguistic abilities in Welsh/English or whatever? It's not rocket science to appreciate that this information is important.

MH said...

The ages of the children can be worked out from which Year Group they are in, and their lingusitic abilities probably equate with whether they go to a Welsh-medium or English-medium school. All that information can be gleaned from the StatsWales page I linked to.

I'm not particularly interested in where they or their parents have come from, and I don't think it's of any relevance to this subject. Children whose parents come from other parts of Wales, other parts of this island, or other parts of the world are all perfectly capable of becoming bilingual in both Welsh and English.

Anonymous said...

You say that: "I'm not particularly interested in where they or their parents have come from, and I don't think it's of any relevance to this subject. Children whose parents come from other parts of Wales, other parts of this island, or other parts of the world are all perfectly capable of becoming bilingual in both Welsh and English."

But you also say that:

"However it doesn't look like the numbers in EM schools will go down (which might result in one of them being closed to make way for a WM school) because the overall number of children in Llanelli is rising."

So, there is a large group of people who are either native Welsh or who have moved here from elsewhere who aren't convinced by the arguments in favour of WM education for their kids. I would have thought that identifying them would be a no-brainer in order to target them to explain the nature of WM education and it's benefits. But obviously, you think not.

MH said...

You seem to inhabit a rather distorted universe, Anon. I have no objection to anyone explaining the nature and benefits of WM education.

Put things into perspective. In the Llanelli/Burry Port area something like a third of early-years primary school children are in WM education, and there won't be enough secondary spaces for them in a few years' time. The demand for WM growing all the time, and at a much faster pace than provision for it. Yet you think the problem is one of persuading parents.

Anonymous said...

This is where I'm a little confused as you say that: "...... it doesn't look like the numbers in EM schools will go down". At the same time, you say that "The demand for WM growing all the time...." I would just like to know what's happening and why these parents who are opting for EM education aren't being convinced by the arguments for WM education. If we want to make Wales a country which is bilingual, then we need to understand what's happening. Who are these people who don't won't WM education for their children? What are their reasons for not wanting WM education? I've quoted you above where your remarks are highlighting a phenomenon which perplexes me. There is an explanation. There has to be. I would simply like to know what that explanation is.

MH said...

You're confusing the specific and the general, Anon. I said the numbers wanting EM schools would not go down in the context of the possibility of closing an existing EM secondary in Llanelli to make way for a new WM secondary in the next few years. That statement was based on the numbers already in early years EM and WM education in the area. I was talking about a specific, short-term problem.

I didn't say that the numbers in EM schools would not go down in the longer term. There is a year on year upward trend in those choosing WM education in the area, and there is nothing to suggest that this will not continue. I don't think there's much point in concentrating our efforts on persuading more parents in the Llanelli area about the virtues of WM education when we are having enough trouble accommodating the demand from parents who don't need to be persuaded.

But in other areas, perhaps where two-thirds or three-quarters of children are already in WM education, it probably would be worth the effort to persuade the remainder.

Whistleblow3r said...

Ysgol Y Gwendraeth numbers were increasing. It was rated Band 3 last year and Maes band 4. Parents were ignored and a 2B option for English speaking parents was never offered. The new school states clearly in its prospectus that every child shall be educated to the limit of their ability. This clearly underpins the narrow minded and insular so called educationalists view in this "new" school. Apparently when all other education systems aim to motivate children to be lifelong learners MYG will get there by the end of formal education!! What an absolute joke. This school and valley will stifle progress, ignore excellence and develop obedience. All skills required for a totalitarian state.

MH said...

Yes the numbers in Ysgol y Gwendraeth did go up, there were 73 pupils in the 2010 intake. But the 2011 intake went back down to 44. It was just a blip, not a long-term trend.

Y Gwendraeth was rated at Band 3 in 2011, but dropped to Band 5 in 2012. Maes yr Yrfa was rated at Band 4 in 2011, but jumped to Band 3 in 2012. Details here. I'll leave others to decide whether the banding system is a good way of measuring the relative performance of schools but, as I said in the main post, in terms of results only 27.4% achieved the level 2 threshold at Y Gwendraeth compared with 66.7% at Maes yr Yrfa. The national average is 51.1%. A badly-performing school has been put out of its misery.

Some parents didn't get what they wanted, but that doesn't mean they were ignored. There were simply not enough parents wanting an EM education for their children to make that option viable. Any parent that does want an EM secondary eduction for their children has the option to send them to other schools, but I think most of them will continue their education in Welsh.

The language or languages that parents speak has nothing to do with the languages they want their children to be able to speak. All parents would want their children to have better skills and better opportunities than they had.

Maes y Gwendraeth's first prospectus is here. Only an idiot would interpret educating a child to the limit of their ability as a bad thing. Our abilities change as we get older, therefore there will always be the opportunity to learn new things as we get older.

... and if you object to being called an idiot, I suggest you look again at the rest of what you wrote.

Anonymous said...

Less than 30% of our Year 6 will be going to MYG. The choice was taken away from us. A whole language choice taken away. Parents are indeed voting with their children's feet. We said this would happen and it is. Totally not against WM just totally against lack of choice.

Anonymous said...

spot on mate

Anonymous said...

How many Universities offer courses in the medium of welsh ? We are limiting our children's choices! Hardly any Uni's in Wales offer these and how about when our children go over the border to find their desired course, only to find that they have to re learn all the terminology? It's no good saying that they can choose in year 9, because, by then- the same problems arise! I am a welsh speaker, btw.

Anonymous said...

Welsh needs to be overhauled before you go forcing it on the future economy of our nation, for too long money has had to be wasted on bilingual sign's (some of which for place names that were already in Welsh eg. Llandovery).

I spent all of my youth surrounded by the language i knew as my nations, only to go to Uni in Aberystwyth and be correct on word i was saying and their meanings, due to the northern part of the Very small Nation speaking a different type/kind of Welsh.
I was part of a sales presentation for Welsh produce at Portmeirion, Our company had been given substantial funding to put everything on the packaging in Both English and Welsh, this was done at extra cost (but who cares it was funded by the tax payer). We then took our produce to Portmeirion on to be shot down for having the wrong words, spelling, grammar. The feedback was so far from the original (carmarthenshire) translation that we might as well have had the second language as french. Wales plays it's part on a global sale arena but the Welsh language does not.

You can't just take a 1000 odd pupils and go right your all going to have to speak Welsh well enough after leaving primary school or you'll have no future to understand . I come from a Welsh speaking Primary school and a 1/2 welsh speaking family. yet when i got to Pantycelyn and was sat in the first language Welsh Group, the teacher spoke to fast and used word i had never even encounter before, when i tried to say i didn't understand i was call disruptive and give detention, daily for almost a full week until the school decided i was out of my depth. 5 years later came my GCSE's; Welsh 1st Language (no choice) after my listening and speaking exam came the written, i answered several pages of questions and then came to write my two page story in Welsh. I got a C. my friend however having studied Welsh 2nd language had to put 20 words written on the bottom of his page into a pre-written story, he also had to answer several questions, but had a handy reference page to help him, he got an A*. so now that were over 17 and are CV are written in a more business manner (not the school version CV your taught to write) where you list you GCSE's as 6 A-C, 3 D. Nobody well even see that my D is for 1st lang and his A* is for 2nd, because nobody cares... If people want to learn the Welsh language help them, but if they don't we should be trying to force them or trip them up... lucky come the league table following the introductory year carmarthenshire will definitely have something for all the money and time spent on this, but what they'll have is a Wooden Spoon. We have a New Zealander in charge of our rugby team, that how important being and speaking Welsh is to Wales...

Post a comment