Posted on: Friday 21 October 2022
OnThursday, Jeremy Miles MS, the Welsh Government Minister for Education and Welsh Language, officially opened the ‘Gwladys Block’ at Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw in Pontypool.
The £8.8million facility was funded by the Welsh Government through the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme and contributes towards its target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The council received funding of £8.1million to extend the age range at the Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw site, increasing the pupil age range from 3 to 18. This has been achieved by a 210 pupil primary and nursery department which opened in September 2022. The new extended school is now called Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw.
Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “It's great to be able to come along to Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw and see the positive impact our Welsh medium capital programme is having. I want to see more and more children being taught through the medium of Welsh and becoming confident bilingual speakers who use the language in all aspects of their lives. This school makes a very important contribution to our ambition of one million speakers by 2050.”
Cllr Richard Clark, Torfaen Council’s Executive member for Education, said: “The school has opened as a seedling facility which allows admission to nursery and reception classes in the first year and it will increase the intake of pupils every year. The new building has been designed to also allow additional classes in the future should demand grows and this supports our shared aspiration with Welsh Government to have more children receiving childcare and education through the Welsh Language, children using Welsh in their everyday lives and the language alive in our communities.”
The new primary building consists of a two-storey building with all classrooms providing direct access to external play areas at ground floor, and uninterrupted views over the Bristol Channel from the first floor. The new building has a design with an internal ‘street’ that sits between similar age group classrooms and serves as an open space to break into for play as well as for teaching and learning.
External landscaped areas provides a variety of areas for pupils to play, including timber play equipment and grassed banks for natural play. An external multi use games area (MUGA) has been provided for organised sports play. A learning habitat area has been incorporated into the landscape design to teach pupils about their natural environment and is a valuable resource for teaching and learning across the whole curriculum.
In addition to the new school, the council received funding of £715,000 for an independent Welsh Language childcare facility which is attached to the Primary Building. This will provide childcare for up to 40 children, aged 0-12 years and includes 2 childcare rooms.