Welsh in Education Strategic Plan
In this section
Outcome 2 - More reception class children/ five-year-olds receive their education through the medium of Welsh
Where we are now?
In terms of the provision for reception class children/ five-year olds, we are in a strong position and intend to build on the progress that has already been achieved across the county. Percentage and number of reception class children/five-year-olds receiving their education through the medium of Welsh (2021)- 62.5 %. Carmarthenshire is the local authority with the highest number of Reception learners taught through the medium of Welsh.
|School Type||Number of Learners|
Primary schools- language type
- Welsh Medium: Welsh is the language of the day-to-day business of the school. Welsh is used as the language of communication with pupils and for school administration. The school communicates with parents in both languages.
- Dual Stream: Both Welsh and English are used in day-to-day business of the school. The school communicates with parents in both languages.
- Transitional: Welsh is the language of the day-to-day business of the school. High priority is given to creating Welsh environment. The school communicates with parents in both languages.
- English with significant use of Welsh: Day to day language or languages of school is determined by the school’s linguistic context. Both languages are used as languages of communication with pupils, parents and for school administration.
- English Medium: English is the language of the day-to-day business of the school, but some Welsh is also used as a language of communication with the pupils. The school communicates with parents either in English or in both languages.
We have achieved an increase in the number of Welsh-medium places available in terms of education provision. That has happened as we have worked with Governors and school communities to move them along the linguistic continuum, changing the language category of schools through public consultations. During the period of the 2017-2022 Plan, the language categories of 7 primary schools were changed, creating around 210 new Welsh-medium places for Reception class.
Percentage of reception pupils who are 1st language Welsh, 2012 to 2021
Carmarthenshire’s vision to move all schools along the language continuum and embedding an Immersion/Trochi approach in Foundation Phases over time will increase opportunities for all learners across the county from all linguistic backgrounds to gain access to Welsh medium education.
Proposed changes to school designations according to their Welsh language provision will have a very positive effect upon Welsh language provision and bilingualism in the county. Working within the timeline of 7-10 years will ensure that no school stands still. This also however highlights the huge need for intensive language training for all staff across all key stages as well as subject language skills training in the secondary sector especially.
Officers have begun implementing training within both the Primary and Secondary sector and a strategic plan is in place regarding targeting specific schools in moving along the language continuum – five of which have been successful in doing so during 2019/2020.
Latecomers’ provision is paramount in reaching these goals. We have invested in a new Language Centre which will provide lessons for latecomers from both the Primary and Secondary sector. This will be a purpose-built building where pupils of all ages can learn Welsh in a modern high-tech innovative environment.
We work closely with the Welsh for Adults' team on training and guidance on Welsh-medium learning, pedagogy and use of language in classroom. Both the Athrawon Datblygu’r Gymraeg and the Welsh for Adult tutors have worked together to create a learning continuum for teaching staff based on relevant classroom language.
With such a vast geography within the county the use of Microsoft Teams/Zoom and Google classrooms will also be implemented to reach all pupils. This will be a continuation of the work planned and executed during Covid-19 in 2020/2021.
During the lifetime of this Plan, to meet Carmarthenshire's aspiration and the Welsh Government's target, we will change the linguistic nature of a number of schools. Our aspiration is to meet the target of a 14+% increase in the number of Year 1 learners following Welsh-medium education. In terms of deciding which schools will formally change their provision and linguistic nature, we will consider factors such as the willingness of parents and the community to support the change, ensuring that we have an adequate workforce with the necessary skills, that the school's governing body is supportive and that the headteacher and senior leadership are partisan to this and willing to help drive forward the development involved.
In order to do so it will be necessary to-
- Support our Transitional schools to move into Welsh-medium schools.
- Support some of our current dual stream and transitional schools to become Welsh medium schools.
- Support some of our English-medium schools to be two-stream or two-language schools.
- Assist our secondary/special schools to increase Welsh-medium provision taking into account linguistic designation.
Current Position of Primary schools
Welsh Medium Dual Stream Transformational English with significant use of Welsh English Medium School Type 56 9 2 3 24 Number of places 7409 2685 295 683 4653
Target by end of Plan
Change the Category and linguistic provision of 10 primary schools (through public consultation) to ensure an increase of 300+ in Year 1 learners in Welsh-medium education.
One year 2022 -2027 2028-2032 Target 4 6
To support schools in increasing the number of Welsh-medium places available we will:
- Develop more childcare/pre-school provision through the medium of Welsh.
- Support our current dual stream and transitional schools to become Welsh medium schools in the short term.
- The County Council’s Sustainable Learning Communities (School Modernisation) will aim to ensure increases in Welsh medium places.
- Support English medium schools to develop Welsh Foundation Phase provision.
- Extend the age range of specific schools and create space for providing Welsh medium early years’ provision.
- Continually monitor with partners the demand in our urban areas and promote and expand provision as required.
- We will provide support and guidance to schools via our Athrawon Datblygu’r Gymraeg team in how to respond to parental enquiries.
- We will share materials with parents/carers/guardians in relation to the value of bilingualism in order for them to have a better understanding and be able to make informed decisions at all transitional stages.
- We will increase transition between the nursery groups and Welsh medium Foundation Phase.
- We will ensure that parents, through our 'Information to Parents' booklet, know which schools offer Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2-5 Welsh medium provision. The information about the linguistic nature of each school, in accordance with the Welsh Government’s new school designations December 2020, will also be available on the County Council’s website.
- We will be setting out applications for grant funding from the Welsh Ministers in respect of meeting and superseding our set targets to increase the number of Year 1 children taught through the medium of Welsh during the lifespan of the plan primarily for Language training.
In addition to a formal change in provision and category, it is expected that all schools will move and develop within their category in line with the aims in their School Development Plans.
Developing our Language Centres
The aim of Carmarthenshire Language Centres' development project is to build on previous experience and positive feedback received to date in this area of service delivery, and to go along with the provision in the St Clears and Llandeilo area we will need to ensure the functionality of the language centres to enable immersion education for learners across the whole county. The language centre will have several purposes including being a key support in developing pedagogy for the introduction of Welsh as one continuum.
The project has 5 main objectives:
- Ensure that all pupils who are latecomers to Carmarthenshire become bilingual by providing immersion education – at primary and secondary level.
- Offer language refresher (improving/polishing language) to Latecomers and native learners at essential transition points such as the end of the Foundation Phase and at the Key Stage 2/3 interface, and that funding for travel is available.
- To deliver catch up programmes for pupils in Year 6/7 where language skills need to be improved to ensure a smooth transition into Welsh medium secondary education.
- Provide professional development to improve the skills of teachers and support school staff to enable them to teach bilingually in and outside the classroom. Also, to improve the Welsh language skills of staff, particularly those on the language continuum journey. This will build upon the Llanelli area's innovative pilot project where staff from primary and secondary English-medium schools have taken part in a two-pronged approach to Welsh language support.
- Ensure positive experiences of language learning for parents and guardians to enable them to support their children in learning Welsh at school and to assist in consolidating their learning at home.
The above strategies will enable us to be in a position whereby continued change in mindset across the county will be encouraged. Training is paramount and we will endeavour to work with all outside agencies and primarily with Welsh Government to ensure long term funding.
We will ensure that parents and carers have a good understanding of Welsh medium education through good communication links and continuous information sharing through school websites and social media.
We aim to integrate parents and carers into daily school life through offering Language learning side by side courses which are based on the Cymraeg i’r Teulu (CiT) services, where parents and carers are taught songs, rhymes and day to day classroom vocabulary and sentences as well as Cymraeg yn y Cartref course. The aim here is that parents/carers instigate simple conversations in the home as well as being able to sing along with their children. Parents are also encouraged to maintain their learning by joining Welsh for Adult mainstream courses.
This, in conjunction with the new school designation policy, will allow us to accelerate Welsh medium provision in Carmarthenshire. Immersion principles within all Foundation Phase settings will make the language journey much more feasible.
We are already working with schools and going through the consultation process to
begin the journey of language immersion within all schools regardless of category or designation.
Numbers and % of 5 year olds receiving their education through the medium of Welsh
2022-2023 2023-2024 2024-2025 2025-2026 2026-2027 1169 / 62.5% 1229(+60) / 65.7% 1244 / 66.5% 163 / 67.5% 1269(+60) / 68.9% 2027-2028 2028-2029 2029-2030 2030-2031 2031-2032 1327 / 71% 1356 / 72.5% 1379(+60) / 73.7% 1430 / 76.5% 1469(+60) / 78.5%