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Support for children to succeed in Welsh Medium

Pupils from homes where no Welsh is spoken are succeeding in Welsh-medium schools thanks to a helping hand from Swansea Council.

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As part of its investment in Welsh-medium primary education, the local authority is working with Canolfan Iaith Abertawe to offer courses so children who are English-only speakers in their early years can succeed in Welsh-medium education too.

The language centre, within the grounds of  Ysgol Gymraeg y Cwm in Bonymaen, takes referrals from all Swansea's Welsh-medium primaries when youngsters' lack of language skills may force them to quit or under achieve in education where teaching is all through the medium of Welsh.

The pupils are supported to gain linguistic skills through speaking, reading, and writing activities as well as fun language games and role play to ensure that they are able to follow and participate fully in lessons.

It's helping many more children remain in and succeed in Welsh-medium education.

Cllr Jen Raynor, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Swansea Council has invested millions of pounds in Welsh-medium education to meet demand and ensure pupils achieve their potential.

"This programme aims to make sure pupils from non-Welsh speaking homes are not disadvantaged if their parents choose Welsh-medium education and also helps develop Welsh language skills outside traditionally Welsh speaking communities.

"Well done to all those supporting these learners across Swansea including parents who also need to play and active role to help them succeed. Well done also to the pupils themselves who have worked hard to gain the language skills they need."

The courses provide pupils with sufficient linguistic skills to ensure that they are able to cope on a daily basis in school.

As well as an intensive course for pupils who do not speak Welsh there's an improvers' course for those whose Welsh skills are in need of refinement for them to succeed.

Depending on their level of skills and need pupils attend either two or four days a week for a term and a half whilst returning to their respective schools for the other days.

They are taught in small groups and receive all the learning and pastoral support necessary.

Laura Winter, whose daughter attends YGG Llwynderw, said: "I was concerned about my daughter's reading and language and when school recommended the centre at YG Y Cwm I was thrilled to see that this facility was available to her. Six months into the program I could see a vast improvement in not only her language and school work but also her reading, going from not reading at all to enjoying her books and reading by herself.  I can't thank the staff enough."

Carys Elliott, Head of the Language Centre, said: "When pupils come to us they lack linguistic skills and confidence. It is very rewarding to watch them develop over time to become confident, Welsh-speaking learners."


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