Q.1 All primary school teachers in Wales are teachers of the Welsh language and must be suitably equipped to deliver the teaching and learning of Welsh within their own classrooms. Head teachers work with their staff to ensure that adequate training is put into place to support their classroom planning and delivery.
The following information describes the support provided to Newport primary and secondary schools via the EAS:
All infant, junior and primary schools receive 9 curriculum support visits per annum as part of the EAS core service. All nursery schools, special schools and pupil referral units receive a termly visit. All schools have the support of a designated Welsh in Education Officer. The focus of support is based on the strengths and weaknesses of the school in relation to Welsh, as identified by an applied success criteria used by the Welsh in Education Officers with progress made in the following areas monitored during the year:
- The school’s success in embracing and reflecting the Welsh Government’s aspirations to promote a Welsh ethos, to inform the learners of the benefits of learning the Welsh language and to provide appropriate opportunities for all pupils to achieve their full potential in relation to their Welsh language skills.
- % of learners achieving level 4+ in Welsh Second Language
- The quality and impact of standardisation and moderation
- Estyn inspection findings and recommendations
- The impact of self- evaluation of teaching and learning on future planning
- Leadership and management of Welsh
- The level of staff confidence and training
As part of the core service to the primary sector, schools will also have access to the Welsh Language Support team’s comprehensive central Welsh language and methodology training programme (available through CPD Online) and termly co-ordinator networking opportunities. Self-supported reviews will be available to schools based on the mid-way point through the inspection cycle.
The highly successful schemes of work, teaching, learning, ICT and assessment resources created by the team in collaboration with highly skilled practitioners from within the SE Wales region are also available to schools, most recently the Hwyl Dan 7 Coch, Melyn, Glas & Gwyrdd packs for the Foundation phase.
Secondary schools receive termly in-house support by designated secondary specialists. These officers provide guidance and advice on curriculum planning, assessment and pedagogical development. They also review standards of teaching and learning through scrutiny of learners’ work, listening to learners and where agreed appropriate, through departmental review. Officers also provide support on self-evaluation, analysis of learner outcomes and targets for improvement. Advice on the provision for Welsh within secondary schools is also provided as well as whole school Welsh language development. School to school support is encouraged through the sharing of good practice in the termly Heads of Department Forum, the Outstanding Teacher Forum and through PLCs.
For all schools, both Welsh and English medium, additional enhanced support is targeted to schools in most need, or growing schools (Welsh medium), as outlined by WEG terms and conditions and agreed by local authorities. These schools are identified by the Welsh in Education Officers in collaboration with local authorities and system leaders.
The team also monitor cluster moderation processes and national reading test processes on behalf of local authorities and monitor and authorise the expenditure of the WEG by schools on behalf of the Welsh Government.
Standards in Welsh Education:
Successful pupil outcomes in Welsh second language provide a valuable insight to the skill set of primary school teachers in Newport.
Standards at Key Stage 2, 2nd language Welsh are strong. 86% of pupils achieved the expected level (Level 4) in 2014-15. This was a 6% improvement from last academic year. Newport primary schools have the joint highest level of performance within the region (alongside Monmouthshire). Newport is 4% higher than the regional average performance in this measure.
Newport pupils also continue to demonstrate strong performance in the expected level +1 (Level 5) indicator. 32% of pupils achieve L5; this is the highest performance in the region (4% higher than the regional average). Level 5 outcomes increased by 2% from 2013/14.
Q.2 The local authority considers this to be an important issue and has ensured that this action is a priority within the Newport Welsh Education Strategic Plan 2014-17. There is an expectation that the teaching of the full course GCSE Welsh, across years 9-11 is explored in all secondary schools. Successful local curriculum models will continue to be shared locally and regionally. Schools will be encouraged to share good practice and resources through regular secondary Welsh meetings and Professional Learning Communities.
In 2013 16.70% of KS4 pupils took up a full course Welsh GCSE, while 57% of KS4 undertook a short course. A local target is in place to improve full course welsh GCSE to 30% by 2017.
Q. 3 A survey of this nature has not been organised by the local authority. It is likely that individual secondary schools receive feedback around their curriculum from parents and pupils.
It should be noted that Welsh second language is compulsory at all key stages (this includes Key Stage 4). For learners at Key Stage 4, Welsh second language will be part of each individual’s learning pathway. The course of study followed should be designed to encourage both the abilities of young people as learners and their desire to access future learning opportunities. GCSE full course welsh gives learners the opportunities to progress to AS/ A Level Welsh and beyond.
The Welsh Baccalaureate is also compulsory at Key Stage 4.
Newport’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan aims to develop Welsh medium education and second language Welsh skills in order to support the Welsh economy and strengthen the bilingual workforce in wales.
Date issued: 7 September 2015