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Schools: Foreign language learning in Pembrokeshire down 52% in ten years

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FOREIGN languages are being squeezed out of school timetables by “core” subjects like the Welsh Baccalaureate, a survey suggests.

Pembrokeshire has the largest drop in language learning in Wales.

It found more than a third of schools had dropped one or more languages at GCSE in the last five years.

Teachers also said the perception modern languages were “too hard” was also influencing their uptake.

Schools and colleges were asked for reasons why there had been a major decline in pupils taking subjects such as French and German.

There has been a 29% fall in language GCSE entries in Wales in five years – a steeper fall than the rest of the UK. The Welsh Government said its new curriculum would improve the situation.

Pembrokeshire saw a halving of language GCSEs sat by students from 2013 to 2017 – down 52%
Wales has seen a bigger decline in pupils learning foreign languages than in any other part of the UK – England has seen an 11% drop in the last five years, while in Northern Ireland it was 12% and 19% in Scotland.

Our county is among the 10 local authorities across the UK to see the biggest drop in language learning.

The only increase in Wales was in Anglesey – up 12% – while Cardiff saw the smallest decrease of 9%.

Some schools also mentioned that modern languages were competing with Welsh for space in the timetable, while extra time for English and maths were also highlighted.

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “The decline in uptake of Modern Foreign Languages in Pembrokeshire Secondary Schools in recent years has multiple causes.

“There has been a squeeze on curriculum time in Key Stage Four as schools have accommodated two Mathematics GCSEs, compulsory Welsh GCSE and the universal adoption of the Welsh Baccalaureate.

“This has led to a reduction in option blocks presented to learners in Year 9.”

The spokesperson added: “The number of option subjects presented has also reduced as falling secondary school rolls, and associated core budgets, have forced governing bodies to restructure curriculum delivery models to remain within budget.”

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Milford Haven: Police called to Charles Street incident

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MILFORD HAVEN police responded to an emergency call from Charles Street in Milford Haven this afternoon (May 20).

Several officers attended following reports of a man injured on the pavement.

Our reporter at the scene said that a male was conscious but nursing injuries to his head

There are over 15 officers at the scene.

A male has been arrested and taken into custody in a police van.

 

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Willy make the council fix the road?

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DRIVERS in and around the Maenclochog area are still recovering today after a hardened vandal spray-painted yellow penises along a stretch of road near Morvil.
The road, just off the B4313, was targeted with graffiti because of the number of potholes scattered along it’s length.
Locals have dubbed the cock-sure artist as ‘Wanksy’ and have discovered that whoever drew the penises also wrote ‘Follow the yellow d### road’.
Some of the penises have been drawn around more sizeable potholes, but simply pointing disapprovingly at the smaller ones.
If you want to report a pothole, the chosen method is still via the Pembrokeshire County Council website.
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Hakin: Young male arrested following allegation of assault

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FIVE police vehicles descended on a property in Hakin at lunchtime today following a 999 call reporting an assault.

Officers entered the property in Observatory Avenue and after about ten minutes a young male was brought out in handcuffs.

A spokesman from the police press office told The Herald: “Police were called to Observatory Avenue to a report of an assault at around 1pm today (Monday, May 20).”

The spokesman added: “A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and is currently in police custody.”

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