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Neath school’s awards for “exceptional” international project

Staff and pupils at Ysgol Hendrefelin

Teachers and pupils at Ysgol Hendrefelin have been celebrating after being awarded a highly regarded British Council National eTwinning Award and Project of the Year Award 2020.

The awards recognise outstanding international projects led by UK schools throughout the 2019-20 academic year.

To secure the eTwinning and Project of the Year award, Bryncoch based Ysgol Hendrefelin worked in partnership with Dundee University and schools across Europe and the wider world to create an outstanding project using digital collaborative tools.

The project involved bringing pupils from around the world together through the use of music and Makaton sign language to preserve their linguistic identities and to develop an understanding and awareness of other languages and cultures.

The project scored highly against each criteria including:

• Curricular integration
• Communication and exchange between partner schools
• Collaboration between partner schools
• Use of technology
• Results, impact and documentation

eTwinning, the digital community for schools, has seen more than 860,000 teachers from 44 countries across Europe and beyond register since 2005.

The programme is funded by the European Commission as part of the Erasmus+ programme and is managed in the UK by the British Council. The eTwinning National Award is issued to schools that produce outstanding work as part of their eTwinning partnership.

Lyndon Lewis, Head Teacher at Ysgol Hendrefelin, paid tribute to his colleagues Ruth Sanders (International Coordinator) and Charlotte Hopkins, who led the projects.
He said:  “We are delighted to have been awarded this eTwinning National Award and also Project of the Year 2020.

“Everyone at Ysgol Hendrefelin has enjoyed working in conjunction with Dundee University and partners across the world. To secure the award is a real honour for the pupils and teachers who participated in the project and it has involved whole school participation.

“The eTwinning project has developed a knowledge and understanding of different European cultures and languages and has helped our pupils gain valuable skills for their future lives and careers.”

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Cllr Peter Rees, said: “Well done to all the staff and pupils involved in achieving these highly prized awards.”

The judging panel’s comments for the winning project were:

“This is an exceptional project, unique in its concept and delivery. Distributed leadership, student voice and increased ownership through the use of local language propelled this project to a heightened level.

“Engaging, curriculum rich activities ensure a total sense of joy and participation which permeates the student’s response to learning adventures. The extended international engagement takes this concept and eTwinning to a global audience.”