This week head teachers, advisors and other practitioners attended several open days held at St Francis Catholic Primary School in Milford Haven to observe best practice and the impact of pupil leadership within the school.
St Francis have shared their success in Welsh throughout the year; Y Cyngor Cymraeg (The Welsh Council) presented in the county headteacher’s meeting at the beginning of the year; advisors from Wrexham, Flintshire and Education Achievement Service for South East Wales came to see their success with the Welsh Second Language Charter and most recently they have held their open day. At the beginning of June St Francis became the first school in Wales to achieve the Silver Award status of the Welsh Second Language Charter a huge achievement for everyone involved. Members of staff at the school were proud to showcase Welsh lessons, activities, displays and their use of the outdoors to colleagues from far and wide including professionals from within Pembrokeshire but extending to Swansea and further afield. Due to the children’s hard work and the staff’s dedication the school has now been identified as a ‘Professional Learning School’ and is working hard to make Welsh accessible and achievable in an English speaking area.
Sian Rowles, Pembrokeshire County Council Challenge Advisor stated that the open morning was: “An exceptional opportunity to see how well Welsh has been embedded into the culture of the school through a variety of well-planned and engaging sessions. Pupil leadership development was striking - all pupils, from those presenting, touring, delivering assembly to those engaged in their learning activities throughout the morning - were an absolute credit to the school and to Pembrokeshire. The varied programme allowed all to see the authenticity and full inclusivity of the approach. Practical steps for schools in attendance were very useful, including the importance of securing collegial responsibility and ownership amongst pupils.”
Later in the week St Francis were also able to share strengths in Numeracy and Literacy in line with the new curriculum, with other advisors and coordinators. Kate Andrews, Mathematics and Numeracy Advisor for the ERW consortium, said that "Walking around the school and working with children in classes, it is clear to see that the school has developed a numeracy rich environment where pupils apply their numeracy skills within real and exciting contexts for learning."
The visitors were particularly impressed with the standards of work in KS2 and the immersive learning environment of the cross-phase class. "The children were fully engaged in their mathematical missions; collaborating in their learning, problem solving and using their numeracy skills with great enthusiasm."