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Education

Wales’ youth triumph at national skills competition

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Over 280 talented young people from across Wales have been recognised for their outstanding vocational skills at this year’s Skills Competition Wales awards, securing 96 gold, 92 silver and 97 bronze medals.

Pembrokeshire proudly emerges as a beacon of excellence, seizing an impressive array of accolades at the Skills Competition Wales. With sheer determination and unwavering commitment, participants clinched an outstanding tally of achievements, including three coveted gold medals, eleven silver medals, and three bronze medals.

Furthermore, Pembrokeshire’s dedication to excellence was duly recognised with the prestigious Ecolab Excellence in Hygiene Award for Hospitality learner Leo Luke. Not stopping there, Pembrokeshire also clinched the esteemed title of Best in Region for Childcare thanks to Level 3 Childcare student Tamika Simms, a testament to our learner’s commitment and the dedication of staff in supporting future generations.

Pembrokeshire College is pleased to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of their students at the Skills Competition Wales. Luke Gibbons, Celyn Lewis, and Mia Parkin secured bronze medals in Electrical Installation, Childcare, and Beauty Therapy, respectively, demonstrating their expertise. The collaborative effort of Tom Jenkins, Drew John, Jak Matera-Byford, and Reuben Swindlehurst (SLÂK) in Popular Music earned them a deserving silver medal, alongside other silver medallists such as Ffion Mabey, Tamika Simms, Cerys Rogers, Kaya Majica, Luke Roberts, Connor Johnson, and Logan Russ. Emma Wilkinson, Erin Owens, and Ross Muller claimed gold medals in Life Skills, Beauty Therapy, and Horticulture, showcasing their exceptional talent and dedication. These achievements underscore the hard work and commitment of the College’s students, solidifying Pembrokeshire College’s reputation for excellence in education and skills development.  

Furthermore, Ysgol Preseli pupil Geraint Thomas earned a gold medal in the 14-16 years category for Construction Skills, demonstrating the breadth of talent within Pembrokeshire’s educational community.

These remarkable achievements stand as a testament to the talent, hard work, and dedication of the participants and tutors, solidifying Pembrokeshire’s reputation as a powerhouse in skills and innovation.

The announcement follows a series of competitions that took place in January and February, where a record-breaking 1,129 representatives from every corner of Wales competed to be named the ‘country’s best’ in their sector. Competitions covered skill areas including culinary arts, web development, aeronautical engineering and renewable energy. 

This year’s competition also saw a steady and encouraging rise in female participation in the traditionally male-dominated construction categories, including carpentry, painting and decorating, and renewable energy, making up 20% of the competitor numbers – an increase of 10% since 2020.

The awards ceremony took place at the ICC Wales in Newport on Thursday 14 March, where medallists received well-deserved recognition for demonstrating their skills and hard work, surrounded by friends and family.

In addition, numerous ‘watch parties’ across Wales allowed competitors and their families to celebrate collectively across the nation and Pembrokeshire College celebrated the success of their students in the Merlin Theatre.

Gold medallist, Erin Owen, who competed in the Beauty Therapy Practitioner (Body) category, described her competition experience: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the gold medal, I was secretly hoping to be in the top 3 but was overwhelmed to win Gold. 

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the competitions, and I am looking forward to competing in WorldSkills UK later this year.” 

Erin’s tutors celebrated her momentous moment with her: “We are not surprised that Erin won the gold medal as she is an outstanding student who excels in all her work. She has proved that hard work and determination pays off. As a team we are extremely proud of Erin’s achievements and have no doubt she will continue to succeed at every given opportunity.  Ardderchog Erin Cer amdani! “

Skills Competition Wales, run by the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project, serves as a launchpad for participants to compete in prestigious national and international events such as WorldSkills UK, EuroSkills, and WorldSkills International. Funded by the Welsh Government, the project aims to nurture talent and drive excellence across different skill sectors by collaborating with a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers and employer-led organisations.

Reflecting on the recent success at Pembrokeshire College, Principal Barry Walters said: “Pembrokeshire College is delighted to have scooped 17 medals from the Inspiring Skills Wales competitions last night. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were achieved by 17 learners across 10 different vocational routes. Thanks to the staff for their support for the learners’ competition journeys. We are all really proud of their achievements.”

Young people in Wales can also compete in the upcoming SkillBuild and WorldSkills national and international competitions subject to a further round of applications. Registrations for this year’s Skill Build competitions close on 1st April 2024 and WorldSkills UK competitions close on the 28th March 2024.

Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “Skills Competition Wales serves as the perfect platform for our youth to push their boundaries and showcase their talents.

“One of my priorities for a stronger economy is to focus on young peoples’ skills and creativity, giving them the support they need to achieve ambitious futures here in Wales.

“Having had the privilege of supporting and attending numerous competitions, including this year’s Renewable Energy competition hosted at the Senedd, I’ve witnessed first hand the remarkable talent pool we have in Wales. It’s truly inspiring to see these young individuals take pride in their work and continuously strive for excellence in their chosen fields.

I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every competitor for their outstanding achievements so far. Each of you has a very exciting journey ahead.”

As Wales looks ahead, Lyon, France, will host the 47th International WorldSkills competition, where Welsh competitors will represent Team UK to be in with a shot at being crowned the best in the world at their vocational skill.

For more information on skills competitions in Wales and to be in with a chance to represent your country in 2024 and 2025, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/

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Education

Pupils take centre stage for dance competitions

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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.

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Education

Second Pembrokeshire Chess Tournament celebrates youth and skill

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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.

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Education

Difference between homeschooling and distance learning

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IN the ever-evolving panorama of schooling,  alternatives to standard classroom settings have gained enormous interest – homeschooling and distance studying. As technology continues to reshape our method of getting to know, it becomes essential to apprehend the nuances that differentiate these academic pathways. This weblog publishes objectives to delve into the differences between homeschooling and distance studying, dropping mild on their precise features, blessings, and potential drawbacks.

Defining Homeschooling and Distance Learning

Homeschooling and distance-gaining knowledge, even though sharing a few commonplace grounds, range basically in their execution. Homeschooling entails the mother and father taking over the role of the primary educators for their youngsters, designing and implementing a personalised curriculum. This approach offers flexibility, catering to character studying patterns and pace.

On the other hand, distance mastering refers to an academic device in which students acquire instruction remotely and regularly through online structures. It can be facilitated via conventional schools or dedicated online establishments, supplying an extra formalised approach than homeschooling.

Flexibility and Customisation

One key differentiator between homeschooling and distance-gaining knowledge is the extent of flexibility and customisation each offers. Homeschooling offers unparalleled flexibility, permitting families to conform the curriculum to fit the child’s wishes, pastimes, and learning fashion. This personalised technique fosters deep expertise in topics and encourages a love for gaining knowledge.

In comparison, distance studying, even as bendy in phrases of the region, may additionally have a more inflexible curriculum set by means of an academic institution. The customisation options are confined to the pre-hooked-up structure, doubtlessly proscribing the adaptability wished for by college students.

Educational Resources and Support

Another crucial issue to consider is the provision of tutorial sources and support in homeschooling and distance learning environments. Homeschooling regularly relies heavily on the creativity and resourcefulness of parents, who can also make use of various materials, online sources, and network activities to complement the mastering revel.

Distance learning, however, tends to provide a greater prepared help system. Students enrolled in distance study applications generally have the right to access a broader range of resources provided by the organisation. However, the extent of individualised attention may additionally vary, with some college students thriving within the independence of distance learning, while others may additionally feel a lack of customised assistance.

Technology Integration and Accessibility

In the digital age, technology plays a pivotal position in both homeschooling and distance studying. Homeschooling families have the power to choose the quantity of technology that is integrated into their curriculum. Some may additionally opt for a more traditional method, whilst others include online structures, instructional apps, and digital assets.

In contrast, distance learning heavily relies on era for content shipping, communication, and assessment. This can be superb, presenting college students with treasured digital literacy abilities and publicity to digital collaboration. However, worries concerning display time and the ability to handle technological issues can also stand up.

Addressing Concerns and Seeking Feedback

Before delving into both homeschooling and distance studying, it’s critical for dads, moms, and students to cope with worries and seek comments from dependable assets. Platforms like Scamfighter offer sincere comments on diverse academic offerings. To read writingpapersucks review, which includes “Is SpeedyPaper reliable”, can provide insights into the studies of others. Additionally, exploring questions like “Is myassignmenthelp.com good?” and perusing paper help reviews can help in making knowledgeable selections. Visit scamfighter for trustworthy feedback.

Addressing Socialisation and Extracurricular Activities

Beyond lecturers, socialisation and extracurricular sports are vital additives of properly-rounded training. Homeschooling can also face scrutiny in this factor, as critics regularly have specific concerns about the capacity lack of social interplay. However, homeschooling households regularly actively interact with community companies, sports activities teams, and cultural businesses to offer adequate possibilities for social development.

Distance getting to know while making an allowance for socialisation through digital ways may also pose demanding situations. The absence of face-to-face interactions can affect a pupil’s ability to develop vital social abilities. Educational institutions presenting distance mastering packages may additionally need to discover innovative methods to foster virtual communities and extracurricular involvement to deal with this problem.

Parental Involvement and Time Commitment

One huge issue influencing the choice between homeschooling and distance learning is the level of parental involvement and time dedication required. Homeschooling demands tremendous funding of time from the mother and father, who act as both educators and facilitators. This dedication may be rewarding but may also pose challenges for families with time constraints.

In assessment, distance mastering often presents a more established method, lowering the direct time commitment from parents. However, parental involvement remains important in tracking development, supplying support, and ensuring a conducive learning environment. Striking a balance between independence and parental steerage is prime for success in a distance getting to know putting.

The Role of Assessments and Grading

Assessment methods and grading structures vary significantly among homeschooling and distance-gaining knowledge. In a homeschooling environment, evaluation techniques can be tailor-made to in shape the character student’s needs, emphasising understanding over standardised trying out. Grading may be more qualitative, focusing on the mastery of concepts rather than comparative performance.

In contrast, distance-gaining knowledge often incorporates standardised assessments and grading structures to measure pupil development uniformly. This method aligns with traditional instructional fashions, offering a clear benchmark for academic achievement. However, it could no longer absolutely capture the depth of knowledge and personal increase emphasised in homeschooling.

Conclusion

Both homeschooling and distance studying present viable alternatives to standard schooling, each with its precise advantages and challenges. The decision between the two should be primarily based on personal preferences, studying patterns, and the level of involvement desired. By expertise the distinctions mentioned in this weblog and looking for dependable comments, parents and college students can make informed selections, ensuring a satisfying and powerful instructional enjoyment.

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