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Education

The rise of the ‘sensible student’

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herbalifeA NEW study by global nutrition company Herbalife reveals that over 92% of students are now in search of a healthier lifestyle. As a new wave of under-graduates embarks on university life, it could be time to re-visit old clichés and misconceptions about what life is really like as a modern day student. Has the recession, a fragile economy, rising tuition fees and a competitive job market now created a student culture that’s far removed from the stereotypes which emerged during the ‘Young Ones’ era?

Are the days of Red Bull, Pro Plus and rounds of toast as a support for exams really a thing of the past? In short, are students now more sensible? Research certainly suggests so. In its study of over 11,000 Europeans across 14 markets to examine changing attitudes to nutrition and wellness, Herbalife found that almost 90% of UK students have already made steps to try and lead a healthier lifestyle. The survey revealed a large number of UK students now consider the nutritional content of their food with 74% eating three good meals a day and over 70% classifying themselves as healthy. Exercise is important too, with 75% of UK students exercising 3 times a week or more. With the health industry seeing a boom in sales of nutritional products and interest in healthy eating and fitness at its highest point in years, it seems this shift in attitude is perhaps to be expected.

Couple this with a plethora of savvy cooking blogs, stylish health & fitness ezines and a rising trend for teenage chefs and it seems that students are certainly not short of inspiration when it comes to leading a healthier life away from home. Kathryn Bradley, a 20 year old student from Belfast says she couldn’t believe the impact a healthier, more nutritious diet had on her lifestyle and wellbeing. ‘I used to suffer from incredibly low energy levels, but after eating more healthily and drinking lots of water, I noticed an immediate impact – not only in my energy, but my motivation to do things and my wellbeing in general. This has had a positive effect on my studies and I’ve also been inspired to start my own business too – something I’d never dreamed of doing before.’ According to the survey, 72% of students now consider the nutritional content of their food.

Kathryn says: ‘Through education around food, I managed to make big changes to my diet. Instead of reaching for a packet of crisps or a round of toast, I’ll have a banana, a healthy protein bar or a handful of nuts. I’m constantly buzzing and people are always asking me what I’m doing! These sentiments are echoed by Jake Sanders – a 21 year old student at Brunel University in Uxbridge – who used good nutrition to keep a clear head during exams. ‘Whilst all my mates were reaching for the Red Bull, I’d have Aloe tea, healthy shakes and a proteinrich diet to keep me on the ball. The constant revision and pressure of exams can be immense – eating well definitely helped get me through it all.’

As well as being more health conscious, a growing number of university students are not just concentrating on their degree or their social life but are focused on starting their own business too. From ‘The Underground Book Club’ set up by Andy Brown in his final year at the University of Bath to “First Class Products” set up by Exeter University Geography student Tom Ellis. Some of the most influential companies have risen from university projects to world dominating giants like Facebook, Google or WordPress. Such role models are compelling and it seems that students aren’t waiting to graduate to get started. Luke Hanlon, 20 from Wales started running his own business in his second year of University, quitting his part time Sales Assistant role at M&S once he realised the monetary benefits of going it alone. Fourteen months in and he now makes enough income to cover his rent and student expenses, working his business part time around university and football coaching.

Luke says: “I started out running free Fitclubs in Cardiff and moved into nutrition after seeing such a strong need and demand for healthy weight loss products. My business success is largely down to word of mouth. Referrals are essential and only happen through good, positive feedback. It’s advertising that money can’t buy – network marketing is, in my opinion, the business of the future.” There’s also that small matter of job satisfaction, as Luke says: “There’s no bigger motivator than doing something you love. I’m extremely passionate about my business and love the fact that I can use my education and knowledge to inspire people through sport, health and fitness.”

This emerging trend in the student market has been noticed by Employment Minister Esther McVeywho was recently quoted as saying young people should think about starting their own business, adding that being their own boss can be more satisfying – financially and professionally – than embarking on a career with a large firm. With recent figures revealing over 4.5 million people now self employed, it seems this employment trend is set to continue, with increasing numbers of people pursuing their own interests and passions to carve out positive business opportunities. Gavin Aley, Senior Country Director, Herbalife UK, Ireland & Iceland comments: “It appears a new type of student is emerging; not only were they one of the most health conscious sectors we polled but they also seem to be one of the most entrepreneurial too.” “The spirit of free enterprise does seem to be alive and kicking amongst UK students. We’re noticing a growing interest in Herbalife as a business opportunity from under-graduates who are happy to take advantage of the flexible working hours offered by direct selling as a way of earning while in education.”

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Education

Pupils delight in ice cream treat from Pembrokeshire’s number one van

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CHILDREN at Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest were treated to a delightful surprise on Tuesday when they were all given the opportunity to enjoy ice cream, generously provided by Mr McGeown and his family.

The delicious ice cream, a highlight of the school’s summer celebrations, was not just a treat for the pupils but also a testament to the McGeown family’s commitment to supporting educational projects. The funds raised by the family have been donated to the school, aimed at enhancing various school initiatives.

The joyous event was made even more special by the efforts of volunteers Martin, Sian, Amirah, Jack, and Alyannah, who served the ice cream. Their contribution ensured that the occasion was filled with a wonderful and happy atmosphere.

The school extends its heartfelt thanks to Mr McGeown and his family for their generosity and support. Their donation will play a crucial role in the continued development and success of school projects, benefiting all pupils.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mr McGeown and his family for their kindness and support,” said Mr Dafydd Hughes, the headteacher of Ysgol Caer Elen. “The ice cream treat brought immense joy to the children and added to the spirit of our summer celebrations.”

Ysgol Caer Elen, a pioneering Welsh-medium school catering to students from ages 3 to 16, prides itself on its vibrant community and commitment to high-quality education in Pembrokeshire. The school’s ethos centres on creating a caring and inclusive environment where every pupil is encouraged to achieve their best and develop their skills for the 21st century

The community looks forward to seeing the positive impact of the McGeown family’s contribution, as the school continues to thrive with the support of dedicated and caring individuals.

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Education

Teacher shortage ‘threatens Welsh speaker target’

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SENEDD members warned a shortage of teachers could undermine a target to reach a million Welsh speakers and double daily use of the language by 2050.

Eluned Morgan, standing in for Jeremy Miles, who resigned as economy and Welsh language secretary that day, gave a statement on the Welsh education bill on July 16.

She said the bill, which was introduced in the Senedd this week, will give every child in Wales a fair chance of becoming Welsh speakers.

Baroness Morgan told the debating chamber or Siambr that the bill would put the vision of a million Welsh speakers on a statutory footing.

But opposition parties warned the success of the bill will hinge on the teaching workforce.

Tom Giffard raised concerns about the recruitment and retention of Welsh-language teachers, questioning if the workforce is adequately prepared to meet the challenge.

The Conservatives’ shadow Welsh language secretary said teachers who teach through the medium of Welsh are, on average, older than their counterparts in classrooms.

Mr Giffard warned the bill will add to the workload of teachers who are already grappling with a new curriculum and additional learning needs reforms.

He supported moving away from the “blunt instrument” of “fluent” or “non-fluent” to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

But he cautioned against “lowering the bar” to count people towards the target of a million Welsh speakers set out in the Cymraeg 2050 strategy.

Plaid Cymru’s Heledd Fychan agreed the workforce will be pivotal to the success of the bill.

“If we don’t have the numbers in schools, then we won’t be able to achieve that ambition,” she said. “We do need to see definite targets in terms of increasing the number able to teach through the medium of Welsh because we aren’t hitting the targets as they currently stand.”

Ms Fychan, who represents South Wales Central, also raised concerns about dual-stream schools being seen as the solution.

She said: “Only a small number of schools operate according to this model and I’m not aware of comprehensive research that demonstrates this model works in Wales.”

Arguing the best way for a child to learn is to be immersed in Welsh-medium education, she said most children continue to be denied the chance to become confident Welsh speakers

Mike Hedges, whose daughter teaches in a Welsh-medium school on Ynys Mon, hailed a “huge improvement” in the teaching of Welsh in English-medium primary schools.

“I think there really has been a huge change,” said the Labour backbencher. “When I visit English-medium schools in Swansea, like I did on Monday, I hear Welsh spoken, see it on classroom walls and see Welsh on notice boards.”

Mr Hedges, who represents Swansea East, said this has been made possible by a one-year Welsh-language sabbatical course for primary school teachers.

Rhys ab Owen, who sits as an independent, called for a secondary school in south Cardiff to ensure Welsh-medium education is available in one of Wales’ most deprived communities.

The South Wales Central MS also raised concerns about unequal access to Welsh-medium education for disabled children and young people.

Cefin Campbell was involved in development of the bill as part of Plaid Cymru’s now-collapsed cooperation agreement with the Welsh Government.

Mr Campbell, who established the first of Wales’ 22 Menter Iaith, which provide community support for learning the language, said: “What concerns me a great deal … is the deficiencies in terms of a bilingual workforce.”

The Plaid Cymru MS for Mid and West Wales raised concerns about low numbers of students studying A-level Welsh.

Baroness Morgan recognised the workforce challenges, saying the Welsh Government is seeking to attract more people to train to become teachers.

The health secretary, who was previously responsible for the language, said incentives are offered to get more teachers to train through the medium of Welsh.

She stressed the census will determine progress against the target of a million Welsh speakers, raising concerns that people “tick that they don’t speak Welsh when they do”.

Baroness Morgan, who attended the first Welsh-medium school in Cardiff, pointed to “huge” progress and “transformational” change over the past 50 years.

She told the chamber: “When I was going to school, people would throw stones at our bus because they didn’t want a Welsh school in their area. That’s the reality of the situation.”

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Education

Children from 47 Schools animate Pembrokeshire place names

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RECENTLY, 47 schools across Pembrokeshire participated in virtual workshops to create GIFs of popular places in Pembrokeshire. The project aimed to uncover the fascinating meanings behind our place names.

Place names hold a wealth of information. They reveal geographical features, history, and even the people who settled in Wales, like the Romans and the Vikings. For example, Pembrokeshire has place names influenced by the Vikings, such as Skomer Island and Skokholm Island.

The pupils had great fun in the digital illustration workshops hosted by Mwydro, who specialise in creating GIFs. These GIFs are now live and can be used on various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. You can search for the GIFs by typing a place name in English or Welsh into the GIF search bar. The children are excited to track how often their GIFs are used. Please support them by using these GIFs when you visit places across Pembrokeshire this summer.

Here’s what pupils from Ysgol Bro Ingli had to say:

Morgan – “GIFs like this put Wales, and more importantly, Pembrokeshire on the world map. Over 7 billion people will be able to use our GIFs; everyone will know Cwm-yr-Eglwys all over the world!”

Georgiana – “I really like digital things. I like creating videos and games, but creating GIFs was something completely new for us. It was a fantastic day to create them; let’s spread Wales and Welsh across the world!”

Following the project, there are a huge variety of Welsh GIFs for place names and attractions across Pembrokeshire that can be used by locals and visitors on numerous platforms, celebrating Welsh place names and our cynefin.

Catrin Phillips, Welsh Language Development Officer, said, “The GIFs created by the pupils are fantastic and showcase their artistic and digital talent. We’re already seeing locals and visitors using the GIFs, which is very exciting for the children. This project has also been a wonderful opportunity for children to understand and appreciate the meanings of the place names they see around them.”

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