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Education

U-turn on compulsory lifesaving lessons in Welsh secondary education

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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.

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Education

Born to be Wild! Pembrokeshire College student visit Folly Farm

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Level 3 learners with Zoo Curator Tim Morphew.

LEVEL 3 Animal Management students have been preparing for their year ahead, where they will be based at the popular Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo and working alongside the park’s infamous Zookeepers.

The idyllic park based in the heart of Pembrokeshire is a popular day out with families both locally and nationally. The park has been operating for over thirty years and originally started as a dairy farm and then developed its zoo status in 2002. 

The park currently houses over 200 different species of animal and is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Learners feeding the giraffes

The parks Zoo Curator, Tim Morphew kindly showed the students around on a private tour of the grounds and provided an exclusive behind the scenes peek of the park’s daily operations and animal exhibits.

Tim discussed with the learners the importance of animal conservation and how this will play a vital role in the students’ work experience in September and discussed how they will work closely with the wild cats who are due to arrive in the coming weeks.

“The relationship between the college and Folly Farm works so well as it gives the students an opportunity to learn how to care for a huge range of exotic animals that perhaps students elsewhere don’t get the chance to do. It’s clear to see from their faces that they love getting so close to giraffes, rhinos and all the other zoo animals, and hopefully we are inspiring the next generation of zookeepers and conservationists!” said Tim.

Learners meeting camel calf Cletus

The behind-the-scenes tour continued with meeting the penguins and feeding the giraffes via the keepers own private feeding and health check platform.

Students were provided the opportunity to meet baby camel Cletus who, like many other species at the park, are accompanied with a tale to tell. Cletus grabbed the hearts of the students with his friendly and curious personality and provided an opportunity for lots of cwtches.

Animal Care learner Lizzy said, “I am really enjoying the course, because the lecturers are really supportive and enthusiastic. The hands-on practical experience is the most enjoyable part for me and very useful for gaining experience of working with a large range of animals. 

In September we will be ​working alongside the keepers and gaining knowledge and understanding of how a zoo works. I am really looking forward to this part of the course and having real industry experience will help with my future endeavours.

“I would highly recommend the Level 3 Animal Care Course at the College, it helps prepare you for a life of working with animals, both practically and theoretically. We learn with lecturers who come from a wide variety of backgrounds which involved working with animals and now we get to work with real zookeepers too.

Learners feeding the giraffes

“After this course I would like to go on to do a degree in Animal Welfare and Ethics. This will hopefully enable me to find a career as an Animal Behaviourist or Zookeeper.”

The Colleges’ Level 3 Animal Management course allows the students to be based at Folly Farm where they will study and work hands-on in the park with a variety of species under the supervision of the Zookeepers. 

Their work experience involves cleaning out exhibits, being involved in animal conservation, feeding, grooming and health checks. Currently these students are the only work experience candidates onsite at Folly Farm opening many doors to the world of domestic and exotic animal care.

Animal Care Lecturer Kim said, “Our Level 3 Animal Management learners have the unique opportunity of not just having a classroom out at Folly Farm, which overlooks the Rhino enclosure, but also the incredible experience of working with the Zookeepers. This is an amazing chance to build on skills and passion, which, alongside Level 3, can open many doors to working in the industry. 

“The Level 3 course provides the perfect stepping stone to university or straight out into the workplace, no matter what the route of choice, be it veterinary, conservation, animal keeping or anything else!”

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Education

Port sponsors summer sailing programme for Pembrokeshire pupils

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PUPILS from three Pembrokeshire primary schools have been learning to sail following sponsorship from the Port of Milford Haven.

The Pembrokeshire Performance Sailing Academy (PPSA), based at Llanion Cove in Pembroke Dock, has been supported by the Port to deliver a six week programme to thirty-two students from St Florence School, Gelliswick School and Narberth School.

The children worked towards gaining their RYA Youth Sailing Scheme Stage 1 certificates, with six returning students from St Florence working towards their Stage 4 certificates in crewed dinghies.

This is the second year the Port has supported the PPSA to deliver water-based training to schools in the county following a successful programme in 2021 which saw twenty-four students gain qualifications and new-found confidence.

Richard Owens, Chief Instructor from the PPSA, said “Once again, it’s been fabulous to be able to introduce children from Pembrokeshire to the skills and fun that sailing can bring. The pupils have developed a host of skills, including building confidence, decision making, communication and independence whilst in a healthy, clean and exciting environment. They have skills that will stand them in good stead as they move forward. We hope to see them return in the future or continue sailing in local sailing clubs and on the race circuit, or just having fun in sailboats.”

Community Engagement Officer at the Port, Hollie Phillips, commented “It’s been great to see so many school pupils enjoying the water and learning important skills that will help them to stay safe when they go afloat. We’re always keen to encourage young people to access the Milford Haven Waterway so this is a fantastic introduction to what’s on offer on their doorstep.”

Photo: Brian Macfarlane and Hollie Phillips from the Port of Milford Haven with the team from the PPSA and pupils from Gelliswick, St Florence and Narberth schools who all received sailing certificates.

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Education

Children at Ysgol Caer Elen, Haverfordwest receive enterprise education programme

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Left to right: Natasha Morris (Progression Step 2 Leader Y1-3, Ysgol Caer Elen), Kayleigh Ball (VINCI Social Value Co-Ordinator), Spencer Thomas (VINCI Construction Manager), Samantha Morris (Assistant Head Teacher, Ysgol Caer Elen) with pupils of Ysgol Caer Elen, Haverfordwest.

CHILDREN at Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest have embarked on an enterprise education programme provided to the school by VINCI Building, the UK construction division of VINCI Construction, which is delivering upgrades and infrastructure works at Withybush General Hospital under the joint venture IHP, an alliance between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine.

VINCI Building has partnered with 2B Enterprising to provide the children with an innovative enterprise skills programme called The Bumbles of Honeywood. This programme is exclusively focussed on primary education and is delivered in collaboration with commercial business partners through the 2B Enterprising Corporate Engagement Partner programme. 

To date, this unique model has partnered 70 businesses with 170 schools across the country educating over 10,000 children.

The aim is to help children develop enterprise skills from an early age and to boost awareness of the careers available in construction. 

As well as supplying the package, VINCI Building’s team have visited the school to talk about their work and have arranged for pupils to visit VINCI Building at work.

The Bumbles of Honeywood programme has been developed by entrepreneurial business leaders and experienced educators with extensive input from teachers. Cultivating entrepreneurship and enterprise skills from a young age shows huge value in equipping pupils for their future lives and careers. 

Lesson plans have been created to ensure teachers can map the learning to their curriculum – not only hitting entrepreneurial skills criteria but supporting other areas of learning such as Oracy, Literacy, Numeracy and Modern and Foreign Languages.

The programme is built around a series of beautifully illustrated books and interactive extension activities that explore the enterprising nature of honeybees and other characters to help children develop skills such as resilience, problem solving, leadership, communication, and teamwork.

Russell Flowers, regional director for VINCI Building, said: “This is an exciting programme that raises awareness about careers and supports the communities we work in. We want to encourage more young people, in particular more young women, to consider careers in construction, and this programme will help us to achieve that. 

“Our teams really enjoy their visits to the schools and are impressed by the children’s energy and enthusiasm. This is a great investment in our future generations.”

Natasha Morris, Progression Step 2 Leader, Years 1-3 at Ysgol Caer Elen said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome VINCI Building and The Bumbles of Honeywood into our school. The Bumbles of Honeywood programme provides a set of engaging stories and activities that the children enjoy. They have engaged well in this project and have had an opportunity to meet people from VINCI Building and found out more about their work in the local area.”

Jayne Brewer, 2B Enterprising CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with VINCI Building to bring The Bumbles of Honeywood into five more schools. Enterprise education is increasingly being recognised as a key requirement, and something that should start from a young age. 

“Our Corporate Engagement Partners play a vital part in this, helping to inspire and educate pupils by giving them real life examples of enterprise in action. As well as helping the pupils gain valuable life skills, VINCI Building are introducing them to the wide array of job opportunities that exist in construction and raising awareness of the exciting building projects happening in their area.”

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