Welsh in Education Strategic Plan
More opportunities for learners to use Welsh in different contexts in school
Where are we now:
Reported teacher assessment data for the foundation phase and key stage 2 highlights that standards of Welsh have been variable in some settings over a three year period prior to 2020. In Welsh medium primary settings standards of writing were generally lower than oracy and reading, and improving standards of writing including extended writing were a priority area for many schools. However, non-standardised data and evidence from primary and secondary settings currently highlights a decline in pupils’ Welsh oracy skills following a long period of distanced learning due to the pandemic. Consequently, improving standards of oracy and writing are a priority area for the Bro Gwaun, and Preseli and Caer Elen clusters. In response to the data and evidence presented the Local Authority have supported the improvement of oracy and writing skills of pupils in the Bro Gwaun and Preseli and Caer Elen clusters by:
- Providing language drilling training for all Learning Support Assistants and Welsh co-ordinators to promote oracy and accurate language modelling. Support materials in the form of a physical and digital pack of resources to accompany the training have been provided for all Welsh medium primary schools.
- Providing ‘Talk for Writing’ training for all teaching and support staff to improve standards of oracy and writing
- Developing an online bank of resources for all primary year groups with quality assured materials from Pembrokeshire teachers to develop Welsh language resources during the pandemic - Dysgu ar Lein
- Creating and promoting a bilingual website to support parents whose children are learning Welsh at home whilst undertaking remote learning during and after lockdown periods
- Providing exemplar materials for supporting Welsh in English medium schools utilising the methodology of Gianfranco Conti to produce Year 6 units of work to support teaching of Welsh based on 10 communicative goals presented on a rolling program to expand and retrieve known and learnt language at regular intervals.
- Developing an online resource portal for schools.
- Providing an online programme of events for key dates in Welsh calendar - Diwrnod Shwmae, Dydd Miwsig Cymru and St David’s Day.
Siarter Iaith - The council is committed to inspiring children and young people to use Welsh in all aspects of their lives. We work closely with the region and within a national group to share good practice. All our primary schools are implementing and following the Siarter Iaith framework.
Since launching the Siarter Iaith in our Welsh medium schools and the Siarter Iaith Cymraeg Campus in our English medium schools, innovative work has been undertaken by the schools to increase the social use of Welsh within the whole school community.
Bronze award: 18 schools
Silver award: 4 schools
Gold award: 0 schools
Siarter Iaith Cymraeg Campus
Bronze award: 26 schools
Silver award: 6 schools
Gold award: 1 schools
Partners - Working with partners across agencies locally in Pembrokeshire and beyond is key to the success of our strategy. The council works in partnership with community organisations that promote the Welsh language namely Mudiad Meithrin, Urdd, Menter Iaith, YFC, Cymraeg i Blant and Merched y Wawr. The council have held annual Shwmae Awards since 2014 with the aim of celebrating contributions by individuals and groups in promoting the Welsh language and its culture within schools and communities as well as the achievements of Welsh language learners.
The Welsh Language Development officer and Cabinet Member for Welsh are both members of the county Language Forum and who are responsible for facilitating the use of the Welsh language within every age group within Pembrokeshire. The Language Forum discuss and arrange various activities in the county to promote the Welsh language.
During the pandemic we have established an online presence in the form of the Shwmae Sir Benfro Facebook page to promote the Welsh language in Pembrokeshire. User data highlights its effectiveness in reaching a wide online audience. Engagement levels during specific campaigns are very good
What we will do:
- Ensure that all settings have strong action plans to raise standards in Welsh. Utilise Challenge Advisers to support schools in formulating robust action plans for improving Welsh with a clear focus on individual school’s Estyn recommendations.
- Continue to develop an early engagement model of support for non-maintained settings in targeted areas to enhance children's early linguistic experiences
- Continue to develop resources to support the new curriculum 'Traed, Cam a Naid' lesson prompts to encourage teachers to plan the delivery of the Siarter Iaith and Welsh Dimension objectives through the curriculum.
- We will continue to maintain and develop the Language Charter in our primary schools ensuring that schools are supported along the journey with suitable resources and guidance. Termly meetings to share the most up-to-date information with the Language Charter Leads as well as sharing effective practice across clusters will be a priority.
- Build on the success and momentum of the Language Charter in our primary schools, and establish a programme and support for secondary schools to embed the use of the Language Charter framework.
The council will work with Menter Iaith Sir Benfro as a lead partner on the social use of Welsh by our young people through a variety of face-to-face activities as well as establishing an effective online presence
- We will strengthen our relationship with the Language Forum partners to target out of school hours activities through the medium of Welsh identifying key areas by using the Language Charter data. We will also address the targeting of extra-curricular activities for pupils in English-medium schools to increase the amount of Welsh used. We will work with forum partners and other youth services to map and promote available provision through the medium of Welsh.
- We will continue to work with the Urdd to promote its excellent range of activities and residential opportunities to promote the use of Welsh by our children and young people.
- We will adapt and build on the success of our annual Shwmae Awards to bring together various partners within the county to celebrate contributions by individuals and groups in promoting the Welsh language and its culture within our schools and communities.
- We will establish an online chamber of resources to support schools to deliver Welsh as part of the new curriculum as well as resources to deliver the Siarter Iaith Framework. Resources will also be made available to further promote the value and benefits of bilingualism in order to strengthen pupils’ motivation to become a confident speaker of both official languages of Wales
The work of the local authority along with its partners in the delivery of this outcome is set out in a detailed 5 year action plan. The work of all such partners will be noted and described in full as part of the Community Impact Assessment of any school organisation proposal that arises for individual schools; the same applies in relation to bids made for capital or revenue grants.