Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Education

Pembrokeshire College teacher announced as winner of national teaching award on BBC’s The One Show

Published

on

David Jones, Learner Transition Co-ordinator of Pembrokeshire College is announced as the gold winner of the Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education in the 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards on BBC’s The One Show ahead of Saturday’s awards ceremony.

David Jones, Learner Transition Co-ordinator at Pembrokeshire College has been announced as the gold winner of the Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education in the 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards on BBC’s The One Show. David has been recognised for his unwavering commitment to his students and the wider school community in Pembrokeshire.

David was nominated and selected as the gold award winner from thousands of nominees based on his inspirational teaching, contributions to his school and community, and influence among colleagues, as assessed by judges.

The exciting news was broken to David at one of the College’s touch rugby games, where he and his students were surprised by a special guest – Welsh international rugby player Nicky Smith. Nicky and Kevin Duala from The One Show then announced that David had won the Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education, with two of David’s former students handing him the award.

For over six years, David has passionately served vulnerable learners with diverse needs. He’s on a mission to empower every learner, celebrating their skills, talents, and diversity, reflecting his motto ‘Let us show you what our students can do’. With a wealth of experience, he dedicates 100 hours of his spare time annually to support and coach young adults, including those in the justice system, to shine in competitions. Outside his job, he launched a unique independent living competition which allows learners with complex needs to showcase their talents and gain national recognition for their skills and abilities. He was applauded for his ability to empower students and break down barriers.

During a week-long celebration (20-24 November) honouring inspirational educators across the country, BBC’s The One Show will announce seven of 16 gold award winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards to shine a light on their amazing achievements.

This Saturday (25 November), the awards ceremony, known as the ‘Oscars’ of the teaching profession will be hosted by presenter and radio broadcaster Gaby Roslin. The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration that honours the outstanding achievements of educators. It’s run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity now in its 25th year, and sponsored by Pearson, the world’s leading learning company. These awards celebrate the transformative impact of education, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles of teachers, support staff, colleges, schools and early years educators and the work they deliver every single day.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “We all know that a great teacher can enrich your life, can help you rise to the challenge, believe in yourself, find your own voice. I know that because it happened more than once to me. That’s why these Teaching Awards are so important and important to me. Every year, without fail, we see nominations which move and inspire us and this year we have seen stellar examples of life-changing role models for young people. I want to once again congratulate the winners of the 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards and thank them for the incredible impact they have on our communities.”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Schools at Pearson UK, said: “It’s an honour to celebrate and express gratitude to our teachers and the incredible impact they have on our communities. The hard work that goes into teaching and showing up for students day in and day out cannot be underestimated. Congratulations to all winners and thank you for your continuous efforts.”

Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education, said: “The impact of a teacher on a child’s life can be immeasurable – I know it was for me. I am so grateful to all the staff in our schools and colleges for everything they do. This year marks 25 years of the Teaching Awards Trust, which is a huge landmark. Teachers change lives and we should all feel a sense of gratitude to those we are celebrating today. Thank you again and congratulations.”

Matt Waring, Education and B2B Channel Manager at Logitech, Sponsor of The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education says: “Educators are at the forefront of student development which is especially impactful in special needs education. They nurture and inspire students daily, instilling confidence as they prepare for the future. We take great pride in our partnership with the Pearson National Teaching Awards and extend heartfelt congratulations to [award recipient] for this well-deserved recognition.”

Education

Senedd shoots down outdoor education bill

Published

on

MEMBERS of the Senedd rejected calls to establish a legal requirement for residential outdoor education opportunities for children and young people in Wales’ schools.

The Senedd narrowly voted against the general principles of the residential outdoor education bill, which was introduced by the Conservatives’ Sam Rowlands.

Mr Rowlands said his bill would remove a postcode lottery in terms of access to residential outdoor education, so no child misses out due to their personal circumstances.

He explained that the bill would create an entitlement for all pupils in maintained schools to experience at least four nights of residential outdoor education free of charge.

The North Wales MS argued the bill would have a long-term net positive economic impact.

He warned: “Outdoor education residentials are valued by children, parents and teachers alike, yet, for those without the means to access them, they are, in fact, unattainable.

“I believe this is fundamentally wrong and this bill sets out to remove those financial barriers to participating in what can be life-changing experiences.”

Mr Rowlands, a former Conwy council leader, said the bill would support the long-term physical and mental health of young people.

Labour’s Buffy Williams outlined the education committee’s stage-one report on the bill, which raised concerns about some children and young people being excluded.

The newly elected committee chair pointed to the example of education other than at school, such as pupil referral units or those who are homeschooled.

Peredur Owen Griffiths, who chairs the finance committee, said the bill would require significant funding against a backdrop of Welsh Government budgetary pressures.

An impact assessment found the bill would cost between £74m and £96m over five years.

Sarah Murphy, the Labour MS for Bridgend, raised the legislation committee’s concerns about the lack of a definition of residential outdoor education in the bill.

Ms Murphy, who was elected chair in a knife-edge 28-29 vote on Tuesday, warned that the bill does not provide an appropriate mechanism for pupils to opt out.

Peter Fox said Monmouthshire council prioritised access to outdoor education while neighbouring councils withdrew support to make efficiency savings.

The former council leader said: “We rationalised our provision and maintained the offer, as we had seen the benefits of children for decades.”

Mr Fox told the chamber it is a sad indictment that the Senedd does not enable backbench legislation to progress, with no opposition bills agreed since 2016.

The Monmouth MS said: “Why don’t we allow these things to progress and see where they go? And if you can’t find a way through that, then things can be stopped in the future.

“Why always stop legislation before it has an opportunity to progress, to breathe and to really show what it has the potential to do?”

Heledd Fychan, Plaid Cymru’s shadow education secretary, backed the bill’s core aim of ensuring equal opportunity for every child.

However, she highlighted the huge pressures already on school staff who often volunteer to help with residential outdoor education.

“They don’t receive any additional payment for this work,” she said. “They do it because they see the benefit for the children and young people in their care when they are in our schools.”

Carolyn Thomas, the Labour MS for North Wales, raised existing school budget pressures, with the bill estimated to cost about £20m a year to cover teachers, lodging and transport.

She said: “At a time when schools are having to face extremely difficult decisions, including redundancies, placing additional pressure on the education budget would be unthinkable.”

Lynne Neagle raised concerns about the capacity of the outdoor education sector to meet the bill’s requirements on the Welsh language and additional learning needs provision.

Wales’ new education secretary warned the bill would require additional changes to terms and conditions of school staff, which could hamper recruitment and retention.

Ms Neagle said education unions and councils have significant concerns about the potential impact on an already stretched financial situation facing schools.

She told the chamber the bill would bind the Welsh Government to expressly fund residential outdoor education over and above any other aspect of Wales’ new curriculum.

The Senedd voted 25-26 against the bill following the debate on April 17, with opposition members outnumbered by the Welsh Government and Labour backbenchers.

Continue Reading

Education

Pupils take centre stage for dance competitions

Published

on

MORE than 230 Pembrokeshire pupils have taken part in exciting dance competitions at primary and secondary school levels.

Sport Pembrokeshire hosted the primary school dance competition on March 19th at Fishguard Leisure Centre.

Seven schools from across the county and more than 160 pupils took part, including both boys and girls from school years 3-6.

All style and street dance were the categories that teams, solos and duos could enter. There were 55 solo performers entering the street dance solo category.

Pupils from Ysgol Bro Gwaun performed a group dance and some performed brilliant solos for the primary pupils to watch.

Finola (FF Dancers), Kelly (Kelly Williams School of Dance) and Lowri (Lowri Jones School of Dance) judged the high standard of competitions with dance coaches Lucy Kerrison and Kelci Francis helping out during the day.

They are all thanked for their help and expertise as putting on an event of this nature would not be possible without their valuable input.

Forty eight medals, 22 trophies and numerous certificates were presented, including awards for stand-out performers.

The atmosphere was great and it was brilliant to see the pupils taking part, getting creative and showcasing their skills, all with a smile on their faces.

The secondary schools dance competition was hosted on Thursday, 29th February at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre.

In total 77 girls from school years 7-11 competed in various categories such as teams, duos and solos. These included street, all style, freestyle, jazz and cheer.

Finola and Kelly judged the day with the help from Lucy and Kelci. Kelci, a former Ysgol Harri Tudur pupil, also gave showstopping performances.

It was a great day with a fantastic atmosphere and very rewarding to see so many girls taking part in sport and enjoying every minute.

Some of the schools who attended are now through to the UDOIT Dance Competition in Cardiff.

Hundreds of pupils have enjoyed school dance competitions over recent weeks.

Continue Reading

Education

Second Pembrokeshire Chess Tournament celebrates youth and skill

Published

on

THE SECOND Pembrokeshire Chess Tournament drew participants from 21 schools across the region, culminating in a day of intense competition and camaraderie.

The tournament, reported by Vicky Brown, saw young chess enthusiasts gather for a day marked by strategic gameplay and exceptional talent. Henry Burton from Redhill emerged victorious, claiming the top spot in a closely contested field. The duo of Steffan Hughes and Huw Holliday, also from Redhill, followed closely in second place, while Osian Griffiths (Ysgol Caer Elen), Bryn Williams (Milford Haven Community School), and Iolo Hughes (Redhill) shared the third place, showcasing the depth of talent present among the participants.

In recognition of outstanding sportsmanship, Carys Callan from Redhill was honoured with the ‘David Pinch Award’, embodying the spirit of fair play and respect that marked the tournament. A special mention was given to Tyler Davison-Hall from Johnston CP School for participating in the Game of the Tournament, further highlighting the event’s competitive yet friendly atmosphere.

The tournament benefitted significantly from the expertise of Ian Eustis from the Welsh Chess Union, who served as Arbiter, ensuring the smooth running of the games. The event was also supported by Martin Jones and Scott Hammett, who took on the roles of stewards, and the Friends of Redhill (FOR), who managed the refreshments, contributing to the day’s success.

The local chess community, including participants and spectators, expressed their appreciation for the organisational efforts that made the event possible. For those interested in furthering their chess skills, the Pembrokeshire Chess Club extends an invitation to meet on Tuesday evenings in Steynton. Martin Jones, contactable at 07884384131, is available for further details regarding membership and participation.

Looking ahead, Redhill is poised to host its next chess tournament on Saturday, 8th June, promising another opportunity for young chess players to demonstrate their skills and passion for the game. The success of this event not only highlights the thriving chess scene in Pembrokeshire but also sets the stage for future tournaments that continue to inspire and engage the youth in the noble game of chess.

Continue Reading

News5 mins ago

20mph U-turn: Some roads will return to 30mph following public outcry

IN a recent shift in policy, Transport Secretary Ken Skates announced that some roads in Wales will revert to a...

News24 hours ago

Police issue update on the search for Luke, missing from Pembroke Dock

POLICE have made the difficult decision to end the search for Luke, following a joint decision by all the agencies...

Entertainment2 days ago

NoFit State Circus set to thrill Pembrokeshire this summer

NoFit State Circus is set to captivate Pembrokeshire once again this summer, as they bring back their thrilling big top...

News3 days ago

Search for missing teenager Luke continues at Pembroke Dock

THE SEARCH for the missing 19-year-old, Luke, continues unabated into its fourth day, with efforts increasingly centred around the waterways...

Crime4 days ago

Estate agents admit health and safety failings following fatal market incident

WEST WALES estate agents J J Morris have appeared before Pembrokeshire law courts charged with failing to discharge general health,...

Crime4 days ago

Pembroke man sent ‘grossly offensive and disgusting’ message to sister

A DISTRICT Judge has described how a Pembroke man sent a ‘disgusting, appalling and grossly offensive’ message to his sister...

News5 days ago

Dragon LNG ‘monitoring’ scrap car blaze in Waterston

A BLAZE has broken out at the Waterston Car Dismantler’s business in Waterston, Milford Haven. Dragon LNG which is situated...

News1 week ago

Major search in the area of The Cleddau Bridge and Hobbs Point

A MULTI-AGENCY rescue response was initiated first thing on Saturday following reports of a person in difficulty in the area...

News1 week ago

Newgale pub fire: Cause undetermined, but ruled accidental

THE MID and West Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) has recently concluded its investigation into the fire that devastated the...

Sport1 week ago

Jasmine, Lleucu, Carys & Courtney: The Pride of Pembrokeshire

Four rugby players from Pembrokeshire are gearing up to take on Ireland in the Women’s Six Nations this weekend. Jasmine...

Popular This Week