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Education Minister visits Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg

Welsh Minister for Education & the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, has today visited Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg to see remodelling work funded by Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme.

The school in Blaina, Blaenau Gwent, used funding from the Welsh Government programme to remodel the building, creating both internal and external spaces to improve the teaching and learning environment. Internally, the school repurposed their changing rooms into Sensory and Nurture spaces, along with a STEM room and a Library and Media Suite to support pupil development.

Outside, the spaces were transformed into teaching areas with canopies, tarmarced areas for children to play games and the creation of forest school areas.

Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg are also in the second year of a secured Welsh Government Immersion Grant which supports pupils transitioning from English-medium schooling to Welsh-medium. It’s never too late to consider Welsh-medium schooling for your child, and there is lots of support available for children and parents making the change.

Jeremy Miles MS was greeted by Headteacher Ann Toghill, before having a tour of the school to get a feel for how the funding has transformed the learning experience for the children. Mr Miles enjoyed a tour of the school, and toasted marshmallows in the new outside learning area. He was also treated to some entertainment from the pupil choir.

Blaenau Gwent Council’s Presiding Member Cllr Chris Smith; Cabinet Member for Education Cllr Sue Edmunds; Interim Director of Education Luisa Munro-Morris and the school’s Chair of Governors Laura-Beth Flower were also there to meet with the Minister and enjoy a tour of the school.

Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles said:

“Well-designed buildings and pleasant surroundings are so important to supporting learners and staff, delivering high standards and aspirations for all.

“I want our schools to be inspiring places to learn and to teach, for our pupils to thrive, and Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg shows how this can be done.”

Councillor Sue Edmunds, the Council’s Cabinet Member for People & Education says:

“It was wonderful to meet with the Minister, Jeremy Miles MS, today and join him on a tour of the school and its fantastic new learning areas.

“It’s such an exciting time for Welsh-medium education here in Blaenau Gwent, and it was wonderful to demonstrate that to the Minister today. We are fully committed to the Welsh Government’s vision for the growth of the Welsh language, and to providing more opportunities and options for Welsh learning. We are currently consulting on a proposal to increase capacity for pupils with Additional Learning Needs which, if approved, would see a 15 place ALN resource base at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg from September next year.

“There is also a new build Welsh Medium seedling school coming to Tredegar, which will have a temporary location at Ty Bedwellty (Bedwellty House) for Nursery and Reception pupils in September 2023. This is a seedling school with shared governance arrangements with Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg and the new school new school building will be occupied from the Autumn term 2024.”