Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Education

U-turn on compulsory lifesaving lessons in Welsh secondary education

Published

on

SCHOOLS in Wales will now teach first aid and lifesaving skills as part of the new curriculum.

Wales will join England and Scotland by introducing first aid and lifesaving kills to their national secondary education curriculum.

Kirsty Williams, Education Minister had previously rejected the calls for emergency resuscitation skills to be compulsory in school.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was introduced in the secondary school curriculum in England in September 2020.

Local authorities in Scotland have also committed to introduce lifesaving skills to their secondary education curriculum.

The British Heart Foundation had backed the campaign for CPR to be taught in schools.

In a long fought battle, Suzy Davies, a Welsh Conservative Member of the Senedd for South Wales West, secured the commitment from the Welsh Education Minister in the course of debating amendments to the new Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, which will make sweeping changes to the way Welsh children are educated.

The new curriculum for Wales is planned to come into force from 2022.

Children, parents, families and medics have long argued that regular teaching of CPR in particular will raise our children to have the skills and confidence to step in and save the life of someone in cardiac arrest if they encounter them outside a hospital setting.

The commitment was included in the Welsh Conservative manifesto for the Assembly election in 2016, and Suzy Davies, the Shadow Education Minister, said:

“After 10 years campaigning for this, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen.

“From securing cross-party support for this in my early days as an Assembly Member, through several debates and pitches to different Ministers, on to my own proposed legislation which found favour among Senedd Members, it was difficult to understand why Welsh Government was so resistant.

“In this country, our chances of surviving a cardiac arrest outside hospital are as poor as 10%. In countries around the world where teaching CPR and defibrillator use is compulsory, those odds improve dramatically. These skills are quick and easy to learn and easy to remember.

“ Alun Davies MS – himself a cardiac arrest survivor – has rightly argued that we should be able to learn these skills at any time in our lives and that defibrillators should be a commonplace feature of our public landscape. I couldn’t agree more – but how simple it is to ingrain these skills from an early age and raise generation after generation of lifesavers.”

Under the new curriculum, teachers must follow statutory guidance made by Ministers to support various aspects of the new way of teaching. After changes guaranteed by the Education Minister, this guidance will now instruct teachers that they should teach lifesaving skills and first aid: It is no longer optional.

The mandatory teaching of life saving skills and first aid (not just CPR) has been supported by the medical profession, including paramedics and fire service co-responders, as well as charities like St. John’s Cymru, British Heart Foundation, Calon Defibrillators, Cariad and the Red Cross.

It is taught through many youth groups, including Torfaen Sea Cadets who trained Aneurin Metcalfe, the young man who saved someone’s life only this week.

Continue Reading

Community

Castle School, Haverfordwest celebrates 100% A*-C GCSEs

Published

on

DESPITE the challenges of the pandemic, pupils at Castle School in Haverfordwestsays it has achieved 100% A*-C grades in this year’s GCSE exams. One average, each pupil attained between one and two grades higher than the grades that were projected for them at the time of joining the school in year 7. The majority are now going on to the school’s new Sixth Form on Snowdrop Lane in Haverfordwest, which opens in September.

The school’s headteacher Michael Hughes has praised the efforts of staff and pupils, who continued to work remotely throughout the pandemic.

“Nurturing these pupils, witnessing them bloom academically to reach the attainment levels they have so tirelessly worked for, is the reason we as teachers do this job,” he said.

“With the pandemic affecting everyone, watching the statistics of cases and trying to navigate the changing Covid guidelines, it would be easy to forget that the last 18 months of our individual and business lives, equates to two years of potentially disrupted education. When you reflect on this and realise that these pupils hadn’t necessarily started studying GCSEs when their school life was turned upside down, for our Year 9s, who took some GCSEs early, and Year 11s to come away with 100% A*-C, is such a tremendous achievement. 

“Here at Castle school, we are very familiar with the process of delivering high achieving students. To us the measure of success is not simply how many A*s are awarded, but whether we have managed to enable every student to reach their true potential in every subject. It’s pretty much accepted that when a pupil enters senior school with us in Year 7, they are working towards GCSEs. In fact, we actively measure and track each individual student in every subject with this attainment in mind. However, while the final grades are the destination, at Castle school, it is the journey that is the most important. 

Castle School’s main building in Haverfordwest (Image CS)

“The pandemic prevented the tried and tested methods of teaching, challenged by remote education, so this ‘journey’ had a different route. You really have to give high praise to the students and teachers on their resilience, skills and focus. Throughout remote schooling it was imperative that pupils’ progress didn’t wane – we had no idea what these final assessments were going to look like, the goal posts kept changing throughout – exams were on, then off again.

“As educators we found out the plan on the evening news like everyone else. So we ensured that our remote education was as complete, and as close of an experience to being at school. We stuck to the same timetable, taught every lesson and delivered our schemes of work. Our school prides itself in the best possible pastoral care, so we also ensured that pupils, and staff, were as happy and healthy as possible. Knowing that each and every pupil came away with a B grade is fantastic, but the fact that we have managed to averagely enable each pupil to achieve between 1 and 2 grades higher than expected since joining Year 7 is, I feel testament to these efforts, and really all that matters to us as a school.

“Probably the most comforting fact is that we know, with high confidence, that these pupils will go on to the next phase of their lives, be that more GCSE’s, A levels, BTEC’s or the workplace, and be setup to succeed. Best of all, with the majority of pupils joining our newly opened sixth form centre, we can continue to nurture resilient, ambitious and enterprising young people.”

Continue Reading

Education

New specialist pre-school to open in county of Pembrokeshire

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Portfield Special School to develop an Early Years Pre-school at Pennar for children with additional learning and complex medical needs between the ages of two and five.

The provision, which will be registered as Portfield Pre-School Pennar, will open in September, and will provide play and childcare opportunities for early years children.

The Council is currently working with parents of children who previously attended SNAP playgroup to communicate these changes. 

Portfield School will manage the playgroup ensuring specialist ALN (additional learning needs) expertise and access to additional professional support is retained. 

“We are very pleased to be able to say that several of the staff from the SNAP specialist playgroup have agreed to work with us in this partnership, so current users of SNAP will see plenty of familiar faces,” said Cllr Guy Woodham, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Damian Hewitt, Headteacher of Portfield, said: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative which will provide a smooth transition into statutory education for our most vulnerable learners whilst providing early intervention and support to assist those where mainstream school may be a more suitable and inclusive option. 

“It is our intention to work with Pembrokeshire County Council to grow the service with Portfield acting as a central support hub as we work with other settings across the County.”

He went on to say: “Portfield is a county-wide resource and our vision is to work with the Council and Early Years settings to develop this model further with other satellite sites opening in the future.”  

Cllr Woodham said the partnership intends to increase the reach and accessibility of specialist support across the county. 

“Having the Early Years relationship with Portfield will give parents the reassurance that their children’s needs will be fully supported either in a specialist environment or with outreach support in their own locality,” he said.

“The opening of the pre-school in Pennar will provide the continuity of setting and staff which is so important for the learners.”

Caption

Pictured is Headteacher of Portfield Damian Hewitt with pupils

Continue Reading

Education

Become a wild world hero with summer reading challenge

Published

on

CHILDREN are being encouraged to become a Wild World Hero at their local library this summer.

From Saturday 10th July, children aged 4 to 11, can register to take part in the Reading Agency’s popular annual ‘Summer Reading Challenge’. 

Teaming up with WWF, this year’s theme is Wild World Heroes.  The aim is to inspire children to learn all about the natural environment and discover ways to help save the planet. 

The Challenge reaches over 700,000 children across the UK each year. 

The Reading Agency is aiming to increase its impact even further this year by reaching 1million children with its new English and Welsh language websites providing fun reading activities for all children.

Children can join the fun for free either online or by visiting a library in person.

The Challenge is to read six books over the summer holidays and the children will receive incentives along the way to encourage them to complete the challenge. 

Tanya Steele, CEO, WWF, said: “Young people are the future – and they are some of the most passionate and enthusiastic advocates for our natural world. I’m continuously inspired by our young supporters at WWF and their efforts to speak up for nature, often in wonderful and creative ways.

“We are delighted to be partners of the Summer Reading Challenge in this milestone year for environmental action.

We hope it will encourage more children across the UK to get reading, and to take positive action for the planet – our one shared home.”

Laura Evans, Library Development Officer for Pembrokeshire Libraries, said: “After such a difficult year I am so pleased to be able to offer an opportunity for the children of Pembrokeshire to have some fun over the summer.

“Although we can’t offer activities in our libraries due to ongoing restrictions, we will be giving out activity packs for the children taking part to take home.  Also look out for ideas for things to do during the holidays on the libraries Facebook page”.

Information about this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is available from:

Continue Reading

HERALD SPECIAL REPORT

News3 hours ago

Pembroke: Masked vandal smashes window of new petrol station with hammer

THE NEWLY built Green Garage Service Station in Pembroke was vandalised on Sunday night (Sept 20). The individual involved, wearing...

News21 hours ago

Children to be turned away from Withybush A&E in department downgrade

WITHYBUSH GENERAL HOSPITAL’S accident and emergency department will be downgraded to an ‘adults only service’ until at least the spring...

News2 days ago

High level of COVID-19 cases is impacting health service provision locally

HYWEL DDA Health Board has said that the high number of COVID-19 cases locally is a concern and is impacting...

Health3 days ago

NHS Covid Pass to enter large scale events and nightclubs to be introduced

Next month, people in Wales will need to show an NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events. The move has just been announced by...

News4 days ago

Crabb: Pembrokeshire will need extra help to protect key energy jobs

STEPHEN CRABB, Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire, yesterday warned that Government climate change targets must strengthen not weaken the...

News5 days ago

Trial set for DJ accused of distributing racist and anti-Semitic podcasts

A TRIAL date has been set for a man accused of distributing racist and anti-Semitic podcasts from a Pembrokeshire-based internet...

News5 days ago

Police asking for help following sexual assault in Haverfordwest

POLICE in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses following a sexual assault in the town last night (Tuesday, September 14). Did...

News5 days ago

Early morning collision causing long delays at Sentry Cross

AN EARLY morning road traffic collision is causing long delays at the Sentry Cross roundabout this morning, Wednesday, September 15....

News6 days ago

Council issues Covid-19 guidance for parents

AS THE autumn term enters its second week, Pembrokeshire County Council has issued some simple guidance for parents on what...

News6 days ago

Pembrokeshire College appoints Iwan Thomas, CEO of PLANED, as new Chair

PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE has recently appointed Iwan Thomas, CEO of PLANED, as its new Chair of the Corporation Board. Iwan officially...

Popular This Week