New and dynamic changes have taken place in the school from the Welsh perspective. The department’s name has now been amended to Welsh and Bilingualism Department to reflect the emphasis we are putting on the progress of Welsh learners as well as Welsh speakers.
Reinforcing this is the school’s new language centre which provides latecomers to the area with immersive lessons, helping them to improve their Welsh before successfully joining the mainstream. The centre is called Canolfan Clonc and a Clwb Clonc is held occasionally during the lunch hour. We are helped in this by Menter Iaith Sir Gâr and the Urdd.
In an attempt to reflect the linguistic nature of the area, two form classes in Year 7 will now have the opportunity to receive some of their subjects through the medium of Welsh in Key Stage 3, including History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Design and Technology, Music and French. This provides a continuum from their primary education and strengthens their Welsh in preparation for exams. It also enhances their bilingual skills and their ability to learn other languages, all important skills in today’s world.
In terms of extra-curricular activities the department continues to promote Welsh and Welsh culture by holding the annual eisteddfod, organising trips to Llangrannog when the opportunites arise, and putting on special events during the year, collaborating with Menter Iaith Sir Gâr and the Urdd. In the past, pupils have had the opportunity to work on special projects at the National Wool Museum in Drefach Felindre. Also the school took part in the Radio Cymnru C2 roadshow, producing a broadcast radio programme, including an originally composed Welsh song by a school band. Magi Dodd and the Radio Cymru crew returned in December to hold another workshop after having asked specifically for a return visit to the school. We celebrate St Dwynwen’s day every year with activities, with for example, dance sessions. We have also had Beatboxing, with Mr Fformiwla putting on activities.
We also compete in the National Urdd festival, entering over six competitions in the 2013 eisteddfod. In terms of Welsh lessons in school, Welsh is taught to pupils who are fluent speakers, whether they speak Welsh at home or not. This is commensurate with the requirements of the WJEC. These pupils also study Welsh literature, poetry, stories and novels.
Welsh (second language) lessons are provided for pupils who aren’t yet fluent. The emphasis of these lessons is on language in order to enable the pupils to become fluent, and to play fully integrated roles in the bilingual community of which they are a part.