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St Francis praised for education technology

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Edtech 50 Schools: Celebrates schools making the best use of education technology

ST FRANCIS CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL in Milford Haven has been named as one of 50 educational institutions that are using making the best use of education technology in the UK, as part of the Edtech 50 Schools initiative.

The Edtech 50 Schools initiative is a celebration of the work going on in schools across the UK that use education technology to support teaching and enhance learning. Edtech 50 Schools is supported by Intel, Jisc, NetSupport and in partnership with the Chartered College of Teaching, Independent Schools Council and TES. It highlights digital flagship schools who demonstrate a focused sense of what is useful to them in terms of technology – whether it be in supporting teaching, cutting teacher workload, collaboration across staff teams or consolidating knowledge, enhancing creativity and broadening experiences across the curriculum.

Developing the use of ICT and helping the school community to become digitally literate is a priority for St Francis Catholic Primary School. It was the first in Wales to achieve the gold award of the Welsh Second Language Charter; one of the targets for which is ICT based. St Francis Catholic Primary School has devised a project where Welsh and ICT have been brought together, enabling staff and pupils to become competent Welsh digital learners. As well as providing an indoor learning environment by creating ‘Y Stiwdio’, effective use of Skype is made in classrooms to support Welsh speaking with classes across the county. More generally, pupils are fully involved in peer support through a Digital Leaders scheme. They were even tasked with evidencing their own impact using OneNote to store evidence for the gold award. Through Clwb HWB, parents are also engaged in improving their digital skills, including a chat of the month competition – Sgwrs y Mis. From the teachers’ perspective, staff are increasingly buying into to the positive impacts of technology, whether through sharing good practice, reducing workloads or developing a whole school planning tool in OneNote.

One judge commented: “The use of technology to develop immersive language is of a high quality. The school is clearly outward looking as they share their knowledge and application of educational technology with others.”

Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education, said: “I am truly delighted that Welsh schools have been recognised as part of the Edtech 50, as a result of their hard work in embracing the digital challenge.

“As part of our National mission for education in Wales, we have committed to provide our learners with high-level digital skills. I want all of our learners to grow up to be digitally competent, allowing them to evolve into enterprising, creative and critical thinkers, giving them best chance in life. That’s why we’ve made digital competence a key part of our exciting new curriculum, due to roll out in 2022.

“There is much happening in Wales to support this commitment, including The Digital Competence Framework (DCF), the Hwb learning platform, our ‘Cracking the Code’ programme, and the new online personalised assessments. Additionally, the Technocamps programme gives our learners the opportunity to develop computational thinking and coding skills, inspiring them to consider a future in computer science, and beyond.

“We are also aware that increased digital connectivity comes with its risks. That’s why we’ve introduced our Online Safety Action Plan, that outlines the work we’re undertaking to enhance online safety in Wales to keep our children and young people safe, and ensure they have the skills they need to live safely and successfully in the 21st Century.”

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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