Minister sees Welsh Language Charter in action in Gwynedd schools

Date 13/10/2016
Siarter Iaith Ysgolion

Pioneering work to promote the social use of Welsh has been praised during a visit by the Welsh Government’s Minister for Lifelong Learning and the Welsh Language to two Gwynedd schools.

Alun Davies AM visited Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Pen-y-bryn in Bethesda to see how the pupils there benefit from the Gwynedd Schools’ Welsh Language Charter. He saw how the schools implement the language charter and encourage the use of Welsh outside the classroom.

The Minister for Lifelong Learning and the Welsh Language, Alun Davies said:

“The Government has set an aim of ensuring a million Welsh speakers by 2050. Our schools and children have a vital part to play in helping us achieve this aim – they are the future of our language and our nation.

“It is essential that our children and young people are confident, happy and eager to use Welsh in any context. The Language Charter has proven to be successful in doing this, and the programme is vital in ensuring our children’s Welsh identity.”

During the visit to Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Pen-y-bryn the Minister saw pupils use their Welsh naturally as their means of communication on school playgrounds, and was given a presentation on how the language charter is implemented. In addition, the Minister spoke with Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen Year 7 pupils to discuss how the social use of Welsh is promoted across primary and secondary schools locally.

Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We were really pleased to have an opportunity to demonstrate the fantastic work that takes place in our schools to promote the use of Welsh. It was a good opportunity to show the practical steps taken to ensure that the Welsh language is given its rightful place in the school and beyond.

“The Council’s aim in establishing the Language Charter was to encourage and help the county’s children to use their Welsh – not only in the classroom but also in all aspects of their lives. It was brilliant to see the enthusiasm of Dyffryn Ogwen schoolchildren towards the Welsh language during the Minister’s visit.

“The pioneering work that has been taking place here in Gwynedd for some years has already been used as a template for a pilot scheme by the Welsh Government in 50 schools across north Wales, with the intention of extending throughout Wales over the coming years.”

Ceren Lloyd, Headteacher of Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Pen-y-bryn, Bethesda, added: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister to the schools and the pupils had a great opportunity to show how they benefit from the Language Charter.

“It was a pleasure to highlight the natural collaboration that takes place across local schools, all the way from the infants and on to the secondary school. We are all committed to ensuring the full use of Welsh within the classroom and outside as a social language.”

The charter was originally launched in Gwynedd in 2011 and the pioneering work done in all the county’s primary schools to influence the children’s social use of Welsh has been recognised throughout Wales as an example of good practice.