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Education

News from schools across the county

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THE JUNIOR and secondary schools in Pembrokeshire have been talking to us at The Herald about what has been happening and what will be happening at urdd-eisteddfod-logoschools this term.

Wolfscastle Community Primary School have been preparing for the Urdd Eisteddfod with stage performances and craft projects. Their willow maze is still looking as wonderful as ever and the Young Farmers of Fishguard will be coming in to re-weave it during half term. The Welsh Club have been thinking of topics that they can bring home and discuss with their family and neighbours in Welsh. They then talk about this in their assemblies. They have also taken part in National Story Telling Week, where the children have been reading to parents and each other.

Neyland Community School have just finished Science Week, but are currently learning about penguins and the Antarctic. They even have igloos in their classrooms. The eco committee in their school are working on a project to help protect the bees called ‘Natural Buzz’. Victoria Bookshop have provided chessboards so that the children can learn how to play chess in their morning library sessions. ‘Crw Cymraeg’ are working to promote the Welsh language in the school and they have ‘Family Learning’ to help parents and children with Welsh on Thursday afternoons. The Sleep Service will run again on February 9 to help parents and children who are experience sleep problems. They also have a book fair coming up, and the year six pupils will be going on their annual trip to the Llangrannog Urdd Centre to new skills and improve their Welsh later this month.

Broad Haven Primary School are in the middle of a new refurbishment. A total of £2.2m will go towards the schools extension, which will allow them to change their pupil age range from 4-11 to ages 3-11. They will also be refurbishing their outside areas and I.T infrastructure. They will have this ready for September when the children return from their summer holidays.

Mary Immaculate School have been excelling in regards to sport. Their netball team have made it through to the regional finals after becoming local winners. They hope to follow in the footsteps of last year’s netball team, who became runners up in the Welsh Championships. The girls football team were runners up in the Pembrokeshire tournament. Through their ‘Ddraig Goch’ scheme, they have been giving out weekly prizes encouraging the use of Welsh in school. Year 6 will be leading a parish mass at St. David’s and St. Patrick’s church. This is a huge thing for them. Year 3 are taking part in a concert next Wednesday (Feb 11) called ‘The Goblin Next Door’ while Year 6 go on a three day trip to Cardiff Urdd.

Puncheston Community School have set their weekly theme to ‘Come with me to the Land of Legends’, where all of the classes will be studying local and Welsh legends and myths. The school were recently visited by Silent World Aquarium, where the children were able to handle a number of animals native to the Pembrokeshire coast. The older pupils will be going to the River Gwaun for their Geography trip. Everyone will be preparing for both on and off stage events at the Urdd Eisteddfod.

So as you can see it’s a busy, but clearly very fun, term for many of Pembrokeshire’s schools!

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Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Education

Teacher’s gruelling challenge to help visually impaired child

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TEACHER Sion Jenkins is running 100 laps around a famous Pembrokeshire landmark to raise money to help a visually impaired child in his class.

He is aiming to raise £2,000 on crowd funder platform Go Fund Me by doing laps of Carew Castle and Mill in just 24 hours, about one hundred miles in total.

Sion said: “I decided that I wanted to raise money to help purchase a trike/adapted bike to help a visually impaired child in my class.

“Due to his sight, he isn’t able to ride a bike – and is desperate to gain some independence/confidence and ride a bike like every other child.

“On the back of a challenge set by school, to complete the ‘100 challenge’ as a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, I decided to tie the two together and have a go at completing this gruelling challenge.

“100 laps of Carew Castle and Mill will total just under 100 miles – in less than 24 hours.”

If you would like to contribute to this epic challenge this is the link:

https://uk.gofundme.com/f/carew-mill-100-laps-in-24-hours?

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Education

Schools partnership promotes the benefits of outdoor learning

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OUTDOOR learning across the county has received a welcome boost over the past 12 months as a result of additional funding secured by the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools (PODS) project, which has covered the cost of a Co-ordinator working directly with schools.

Thanks to financial backing from the People’s Postcode Local Trust and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust, the PODS Co-ordinator has been able to help with the delivery of high quality, curriculum-linked learning experiences in school grounds and local outdoor spaces.

Part of the Co-ordinator’s role is also to bring together local and national organisations, including Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Discovery team, teachers and head teachers. Pooling their diverse knowledge and expertise, the partnership seeks to share good practice and promote the benefits of taking lessons outdoors.

Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools Co-ordinator Bryony Rees said: “Last summer, the Welsh Government recognised the importance of outdoor learning in the post-lockdown return to school. We have been working hard to support this by giving children and teachers increased opportunities to take their learning outdoors.

“We have already engaged with a number of schools across Pembrokeshire and produced some live webinars. Supporting resources for these can be found on HWB. This has made it possible to reach out to even more schools with practical information, inspiration and advice on delivering outdoor learning programmes.

“Several schools have taken the opportunity to develop their school grounds to support outdoor learning and more recently, Neyland Community School has introduced outdoor lessons every Friday.”

During the most recent lockdown, work has continued online and the PODS website has been developed to provide teachers with some learning resources. Outdoor learning ideas and inspiration for teachers and parents are also shared on the PODS Facebook page (Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools) and on Twitter @PembsOutdoorSch.

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