Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Education

Secondary schools and colleges in Wales will move to online learning from Monday

Published

on

SECONDARY schools and colleges in Wales will move to online learning from Monday, December 14 as part of a ‘national effort to reduce transmission of coronavirus’ Education Minister Kirsty Williams confirmed today.

The Minister made it clear that, thanks to the efforts of education staff across the country, schools and colleges are safe and secure environments, with almost half of all Welsh schools having had zero covid cases since September.

However, it is also recognised that education settings being open can contribute to wider social mixing outside the school and college environment.

By making this decision, the Minister felt it was important to make a ‘clear, national direction’ to take pressure off individual schools, colleges, local authorities, parents and carers.

The Minister said her decision followed expert advice from Wales’s Chief Medical Officer showing that the public health situation in Wales was deteriorating.

The latest TTP data shows that rates of Covid-19 have further increased across Wales and have now exceeded 370/100k with a test positivity of 17%.

The R rate in Wales has increased to 1.27 with a doubling time of just 11.7 days.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “Every day, we are seeing more and more people admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms.

“The virus is putting our health service under significant and sustained pressure and it is important we all make a contribution to reduce its transmission.

“In his advice to me today, the CMO recommends that a move to online learning should be implemented for secondary school pupils as soon as is practicable.

“I can therefore confirm that a move to online learning should be implemented for secondary school pupils and college students from Monday next week.

“We recognise, as we did during the firebreak, that it is more difficult for primary and special school age children to undertake self-directed learning.

“That is why we are encouraging primary and special schools to continue to stay open.

“Having spoken to local education leaders, I am confident that schools and colleges have online learning provision in place.

“This will also be important in ensuring that students are at home during this time, learning and staying safe.

“Critically, and this is very important, children should be at home.

“This is not an early Christmas holiday, please do everything you can to minimise your contact with others.”

“The education family in Wales has pulled together so many times this year to make a real difference to the course of this virus and ultimately to save lives and I know we can do the same again.

“Together we will keep Wales safe.”

Responding to the announcement from the Education Minister, UNISON Cymru Wales lead officer for schools Rosie Lewis said: “UNISON welcomes the announcement by the Education Minister this afternoon that all secondary schools in Wales will close to pupils and move to online learning for the remainder of term.

“Earlier this month, we wrote to the Minister requesting a move to this position based on the worrying evidence of the R rate in Wales rising and the significant increase in the number of pupil’s and staff needing to self-isolate and in some areas schools having to close to all pupils.

“The need for all staff in schools to have a proper break during the Christmas period without the added worry that they may have to self-isolate or worse still test positive along with the same concerns for parents was fundamental to our request.

“It will be extremely disappointing for support staff in primary schools who are feeling particularly anxious that this decision does not extend to primary settings which is what UNISON had requested. I want to take this opportunity to recognise the commitment and tenacity that all school support staff have shown in very demanding circumstances and thank them for their continued dedication.”

Education

Carmarthenshire Council looks to improve air quality around schools

Published

on

CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Pollution Team says it is continuing to work with local schools to raise awareness of air quality across Carmarthenshire.

Following the successful launch of air quality projects around four Carmarthenshire schools in September 2023, the Council’s Pollution team has continued to work with local schools, raising awareness and educating pupils on the importance of air quality. This includes the installation of air quality monitors and information sessions with pupils.

The sessions raised awareness of the negative impact that poor air quality can have on health as well as illustrating how small behaviours can bring about a positive change. These key messages have also been incorporated into the curriculum by the schools involved.

Air quality monitors were installed outside Ysgol Llandeilo, Ysgol Teilo Sant in Llandeilo, Ysgol Ffwrnes in Llanelli and Ysgol Parc Waun Dew in Carmarthen to provide real time data on pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and particles. The monitors also help to determine any improvements to air quality over a period of time.

Jonathan Morgan, Head of Housing and Public Protection said: “Although our monitoring data shows that Carmarthenshire meets all current UK air quality objectives for Nitrogen Dioxide, it is important that we strive to improve air quality wherever possible.”

“This project has helped to raise awareness of the importance of air quality with our younger residents, who have been excellent at also raising these important issues at home.”

“We would also encourage anyone picking up children from our schools to think of how small changes can make a difference to air quality including turning off engines while waiting, parking further away or walking to school.”

Continue Reading

Community

Portfield School redevelopment expected to get the go-ahead

Published

on

AN APPLICATION for the redevelopment of Haverfordwest’s Portfield School is expected to get the go-ahead from Pembrokeshire planners next week.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee meeting of June 25 is recommended to approve a council application for the redevelopment of Portfield School, including demolition of the existing Portfield Lower School, a masterplan for the campus, the development of the new primary school building, refurbishment works to the existing sixth form block and associated works.

The proposal will increase student numbers from an approximately 170 to 215, with staff numbers increasing from 108 to approximately 145.

A report for planners says the application site is located on the current Portfield School, an Additional Learning School (ALN) for pupils aged 3-19, site, and part of the former school grounds of Haverfordwest High VC School.

“An overall masterplan for the site has been prepared. The principal elements of the redevelopment comprise the replacement of the existing lower school with a lower school building directly connected to the existing 6th Form block by way of a covered link.

“The 6th Form block and Holly House will both be refurbished but planning permission is not required for these elements of the scheme, bar the provision of a new entrance canopy to the 6th Form Block.”

It adds: “The proposed development will lead to the loss of all-weather playing pitches and the Tennis Dome, albeit this is in the context of the council’s decision that this provision be discontinued and that the land should be re-purposed as part of the Portfield School redevelopment.

“The scheme will make provision of a new MUGA [Multi-Use Games Area] and play areas to serve the development. The overall masterplan indicates that the internal site layout will be reconfigured, with the internal access road to Waldo Williams Primary School relocated west, allowing for emergency vehicles and deliveries access to the adjacent site.

“In addition, the existing bus parking space will be utilised for standard parking, with a new access lane off this area leading to the rear of the secondary school, allowing refuse vehicles to access the bins and to accommodate a new drop off point for the Sixth Form Block.”

The scheme is recommended for approval with a long string of conditions.

Continue Reading

Education

Designing a sustainable future with Dragon LNG

Published

on

KAREN WOOD, External Relations and Social Performance Manager at Dragon LNG and Dragon Energy, contacted Pembrokeshire College’s Principal, Dr Barry Walters, with an exciting work experience opportunity for graphic design learners: to create strong and informative internal graphics to visualise Dragon LNG’s journey to Net Zero by 2029.

Dragon LNG, located in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire is a regasification terminal handling up to 96 cargoes of LNG annually, capable of supplying 10% of the UK’s natural gas needs. Dragon has provided safe, reliable, and flexible services to the market since 2009 and actively contributes to community engagement via their Community Liaison Committee, Public Information Zone, and award-winning Youth Development and Training projects with partners such as Darwin, Pembrokeshire College, Milford Haven School Cluster and Pembrokeshire County Council, among other community support programmes.

Course tutor Louise nominated two talented Extended Diploma Graphic Design and Illustration learners, Thomas and Imogen. The motivated learners attended their first meeting at Dragon LNG in November 2023 and continued to engage in multiple progress meetings at Pembrokeshire College and on the Dragon LNG Waterston site. These meetings have been instrumental in shaping the project, providing the learners with real-world experience and industry insights.

As the project progressed,Imogen and Thomas were tasked with interpreting and visually representing Dragon’s 5 North Stars:

1. A safe, reliable, and flexible LNG terminal and future energies hub.

2. Enabled teams, skilled to work on a digital asset.

3. Competitive high value customer contract with new business model.

4. Decarbonisation in the Haven Energy Transition.

5. Decarbonisation and growth of Dragon Energy Ltd.

Simon Ames, Managing Director of Dragon LNG and Dragon Energy commented: “The development of the graphics for the 5 North Stars is a critical component in realising the Dragon’s vision.

“These visuals not only articulate the key steps needed to achieve our ambition of net zero and renewable energy goals whilst ensuring energy security, but also play a pivotal role in inspiring and engaging stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is aligned and motivated towards our ambitious journey. Tom and Imogen’s outstanding work in creating these representations will aid in communicating our terminal’s strategic direction effectively and compellingly.”

Thomas and Imogen effectively managed their time throughout this commission alongside completing college projects, including the course’s final graded unit and applying for university places next year.

The creative learners reflected on their experience with Imogen commenting: “I was incredibly honoured when I got asked to work on such a big project, and I am extremely grateful that I got the opportunity to work in a professional environment, as not many people get a chance like this. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed taking on this project, and the experience has helped me put my future career into perspective, and what working with clients will be like! Thank you again for this amazing opportunity.”

Thomas added: “Although we were both working on it throughout almost all of our college year, I am so happy that I got to do this project. Having such an important and large-scale client is something very new, but I was happy to take the challenge, and learnt a lot about the industry and how illustrators work professionally at the same time. I’d like to thank them profusely!”

Louise, Pembrokeshire College Course Tutor for the Level 3 Extended Diploma Graphic Design and Illustration, said: “It was so interesting for us all to learn more about Dragon LNG and their future plans. Tom and Imogen responded enthusiastically to their challenge and gained some valuable experience liaising with an important client and working on a different kind of illustration. I’m very proud and pleased for them.”

The final progress meeting took place on the 20th of May at the Dragon LNG Waterston site, where Thomas and Imogen led a presentation reflecting on the experience and unveiled the finished graphics with several members of the management team. In return, Dragon LNG surprised Imogen and Thomas with an iPad and stylus to show the team’s appreciation for their efforts over the past six months.

Pembrokeshire College Curriculum Area Manager for Creative Arts & Industries, Cath stated:

“We are all so very proud of the professionalism and creative energy, flair, and traditional drawing skills and digital design finesse that both Imogen and Tom demonstrated throughout this project, from initial conception to final outcomes, and how well they worked collaboratively in communicating with this important client.”

To find out more about the art courses available to study at Pembrokeshire College please visit: https://www.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/courses/?product_tag_1=arts

Continue Reading

Community3 mins ago

Angle RNLI tasked to two simultaneous incidents

AT 4:27PM on Friday (Jun 21) the All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch following a VHF call from a 28ft...

News1 day ago

Welsh Conservatives ask voters to send a message to Labour: ‘Enough is enough’

THE WELSH CONSERVATIVES are rallying voters to use their voice on Thursday, July 4th, to signal that 25 years of...

News2 days ago

Climber rescued after falling 40ft from cliff at St Govans

TENBY’S all-weather lifeboat was launched at 6pm on Thursday 20th June, after the Coastguard received a report that a climber...

Health2 days ago

NHS performance: Ambulances tied up as hospitals burst at the seams

The Welsh Government described the data as “disappointing”. WG “LACKS GRIP” ON FUNDAMENTALS Sam Rowlands MS, the Conservatives’ Shadow Health...

Charity2 days ago

Two more shouts for the busy Angle RNLI crew

AT 5:47am on Sunday 16 (Jun 16), Angle All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch to assist a police incident at...

Community3 days ago

Renewed partnership safeguards access and conservation at Castlemartin

A NEW agreement has been made to provide continued funding for a Ranger Service on the Military Ranges of South...

Crime3 days ago

Youth arrested for racially aggravated common assault in Haverfordwest

DYFED-POWYS POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a racially aggravated assault which occurred in Tesco, Haverfordwest on Tuesday June 11,...

News5 days ago

Tributes paid to ‘much-loved’ couple who died in A477 collision

THE FAMILIES of a much-loved couple who died in a collision on the A477 on Thursday, June 13, 2024, have...

Crime5 days ago

Police confirm arrests following violent disorder in Pembroke Dock

POLICE in Pembrokeshire have made a statement following the incident on Saturday in which a man on a hoodie was...

Health5 days ago

Welsh cancer care in peril as workforce crisis escalates, warn radiologists

THE ROYAL College of Radiologists (RCR) has issued a stark warning about the escalating workforce crisis in Wales, revealing alarming...

Popular This Week