Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Education

Wales Outdoor Learning Week launched

Published

on

NATURAL RESOURCES WALES (NRW) is launching the first ever Wales Outdoor Learning Week with the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning. 

The campaign, which runs from 1 – 7 April, encourages teachers, learning groups and families across Wales to make outdoor learning part of everyday life.

It aims to celebrate and promote the multiple benefits of a classroom without walls while sharing practical outdoor activities to try at home or at school.

Sue Williams, Senior Education and Skills Advisor for Natural Resources Wales said: “Evidence shows that learning in the natural environment improves knowledge and understanding, helping us recognise the impact we have on the environment now and in the future.

“It can also improve our health and wellbeing by helping to guard against obesity, increase physical activity and reduce the symptoms of stress.

“This is why we are asking teachers, parents and learners of all ages to get outside, enjoy and connect with the natural environment.

Education groups can use the great outdoors all year round to teach a wide range of subjects, from measuring trees in maths to studying sand dunes in geography.

“While families could try making bird feeders, creating natural art or going for a walk to see which animals or plants they can spot along the way.”

During the campaign, NRW will host training events for teachers and group leaders to help raise awareness of the outdoor classroom and its benefits.

A celebration event is also being held in Clocaenog Forest, North Wales, where schools will plant oak trees grown from local acorns.

The acorns were collected during the annual Acorn Antics campaign which asks schools and education groups to collect acorns and help NRW plant trees that have been grown from local seed.

Sue continued: “This is an amazing opportunity to showcase Wales’ largest and best classroom – our natural environment.

“We hope to see lots of schools and families from across Wales getting involved and sharing their experiences.”

People can share their outdoor learning pictures with NRW and the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning by using the hashtag #WalesOutdoorLearningWeek.

Continue Reading

Education

Well done Gemma, you are an inspiration to us all

Published

on

A SINGLE mum of seven who left school with no qualifications is celebrating after gaining a degree from Swansea University.

Gemma Turnbull, aged 34, admits she didn’t attend school regularly as a child but now her determination to carve out a bright future for her and her family has seen her complete a BA in Humanities after studying part-time for six years through the University’s Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE).

After leaving state education without a single GCSE, Gemma, from Pembrokeshire, fell pregnant at 16 and went on to have four children of her own, including Ruby, 11, who was born with a heart condition and 15-year-old Joe who has autism.

In 2011, wanting to secure a better life, Gemma began to explore further learning opportunities but she had to overcome further setbacks along the way.

Shortly after starting a two-year Foundation Certificate, Gemma found out that her sister’s three children were about to be moved into care.

She became the legal guardian to Leonie, Shaun and Jack, meaning she was responsible for seven children at the age of just 26.

“Life was quite bleak to be honest,” said Gemma, who is the first in her family to engage in higher education.

“At first, I worried about how I would cope being a student but I didn’t want the family to be split up.

“I wanted better for them and for them to be proud of me. I didn’t want the children to be like me, growing up with no education or no job.

“I was 26, with seven children to look after, and it was hard. I remember being asleep in the bathroom at one point at 4am after trying to do an essay all night and I was knackered – but now I’ve done it.”

Her nephew, nine-year-old Shaun, has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome which affects his behaviour, while Gemma herself was also diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia during her studies. It was during this period that her marriage broke down.

“All I ever wanted was to have the mum and dad all sat down as a family, with the children, like you see on TV,” she said.

“I know that isn’t reality sometimes but that’s what I wanted, so it was hard admitting that I’d end up being divorced like my parents. Nobody wants that.

“They haven’t got that male role model in their lives, but hopefully I can give them that and help them to have positive lives.

“I wouldn’t change anything. Life is what you make of it – you can either sink or swim. The best thing I ever did was have the children all with me under one roof. In fact, I actually cope better with seven than I did with four!”

With her graduation secured, Gemma has already set her sights on what she wants to achieve next.

“I plan to gain my Maths and English GCSE, but I’m going to get a private tutor for those. Then I hope to go on and do a PGCE before hopefully becoming a primary school teacher,” said Gemma, who is also a parent governor at Ysgol Harri Tudur in Pembroke.

“You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and you want it badly enough. The whole experience has been really positive, especially the staff at Swansea University and their attitude towards helping me.

“If I had had teachers like that when I was at school I know I would have done a lot better – they have been amazing.

“The whole journey has made me a better mum – everything I do is for the children – and I think it is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Continue Reading

Education

Fishguard school last in Wales without broadband

Published

on

CHILDREN in a school in Fishguard are excited about next term before the summer holidays have even begun.

Ysgol Llanychllwydog is the last school in Wales without broadband.

The pupils sometimes have to wait half an hour for pages to load. Sometimes videos won’t play. Now the school is looking forward to an ultra-fast future, and for the head teacher the changes cannot come quickly enough.

Currently when the internet goes down Amanda Lawrence has to drive 10 minutes to her other school to send an email to report it.

“It’s frustrating. There are lots of schools that are able to use schemes where you can plan electronically, but it’s difficult for staff here to do that,” she said.

As part of a scheme to target hard-to-reach places, fibre optic cable is being laid along a 15-mile route from Haverfordwest.

Matt Lovegrove, who works for Openreach, admitted it had been ‘a massive challenge’.

He said: “We’ve had to plough 1.5 miles of new trench to put new duct in, we’ve had to put new poles and had to span the cable between 50 poles as well, so a real variety of challenges.

“The product is limitless in terms of speed. It’s gigabit capable, that means they can download music, interactive learning et cetera, and it will be instant for them.”

The wider community will also benefit from the upgrade, he said. “We are looking to work with local government and residents to expand that fibre footprint to as much of the village as possible.”

“They’ll be able to access the high speed broadband and again get all the benefits from that.”

The last school in Wales without broadband

Broadband is a Welsh Government priority. It’s invested £13.8m in school broadband.

But Llanarchllwydog has been a tough nut. It’s taken the efforts of Welsh and UK governments to bring broadband.

“Because of the challenging topography, that we are familiar with, it has taken rather a long time to make sure that every school is equipped with the broadband speeds that they need,” said Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams.

“This means that schools will have the external infrastructure that they need to deliver our exciting new curriculum and I hope to be making an announcement shortly on further investment on kit and equipment inside schools.”

The work is being done through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme.

DCMS minister Margot James MP agrees cooperation between the two governments has helped deliver the project.

“That’s not the end of it for Wales,” Ms James said.

“The other aspects of the rural gigabit connectivity programme is that we are using that £200 million to bring full fibre to local public buildings like hospitals and schools so that they get the gigabit connectivity first.”

The cable has now reached the telegraph post outside the school. The final work will happen over summer.

Continue Reading

Education

A practical lesson for primary school pupils on the problem of plastic pollution

Published

on

A PEMBROKESHIRE primary school came up with a novel way to educate its young pupils about the problems of plastic pollution.

Goodwick CP School took its year 2 and 3 pupils to Fishguard Leisure Centre where the swimming pool was filled with plastic waste. The lesson was the idea of class teacher Miss Davies,
whose is teaching the effect of plastic on the environment and particularly the sea.

The children worked together to clean the pool of single use plastic, collecting more than ten bags of rubbish.

The school posted on Facebook: “Miss Davies’ class had a bit of a shock when they arrived at the swimming pool for a swimming lesson today!

“The pool was unfortunately full of plastic.

“It gave the children an insight into what it must be like for marine life living amongst plastic pollution.

“They then worked together to clean the pool.

“Thank you to Richards Bros for getting the children there and back, and to the staff of the leisure centre for allowing us to do this.”

Photos of the lesson were shared nearly 3,000 times from the school’s Facebook page.

Continue Reading
News2 days ago

Dale Road: Several have minor injuries after two vehicle accident

EMERGENCY SERVICES are attending a two-vehicle road traffic accident on the B4327 Dale Road. Two fire crews from Haverfordwest as...

News3 days ago

Tenby: Hotel goes into administration as new owner’s business empire collapses

A POPULAR Pembrokeshire hotel has gone into administration. The Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby how faces an uncertain future. It’s parent...

News3 days ago

Woman rescued from Caldey after suspected arm fracture

A WOMAN, suffering a suspected fractured arm after a fall on Caldey, was taken to hospital on Thursday, August 15....

News4 days ago

Pembrokeshire high streets shortlisted for UK awards

TWO Pembrokeshire high streets have been shortlisted to win up to £15,000 in this year’s Great British High Street Awards....

News5 days ago

National Park in top 10 UK travel experiences

EXPLORING the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has been named as one of Lonely Planet’s 10 best travel experiences in the...

News5 days ago

Casualty taken to hospital after Caldey rescue

A CASUALTY was taken to hospital following a rescue operation from Caldey Island on Monday, August 12. Posting on Facebook,...

News5 days ago

Pembroke Dock: Cyclist airlifted to hospital following RTC

EMERGENCY SERVICES rushed to Wavell Crescent in Pembroke Dock on Tuesday afternoon (Aug 13) after a young boy on his...

News6 days ago

Police search home of former Carmarthenshire County Council boss Mark James

POLICE OFFICERS have executed search warrants at properties in Carmarthenshire, Swansea, and Kent. Their actions are part of an investigation...

News6 days ago

Withybush: Man arrested after hunt for alleged knifeman

A TWENTY-FOUR-year-old man is being questioned by police following a hunt for an alleged knifeman in Haverfordwest. Police were calling...

News1 week ago

Refinery could be out of action for weeks, costing Valero millions

THE FALLOUT from Friday’s disruption to the national electricity supply across many parts of the UK will be serious for...

Popular This Week