Encouraging pupils to become involved in their community and the wider world

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Bro Myrddin

Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin improves learners’ social and decision-making skills through engagement with the local community and involvement in projects across Europe.

Number of pupils: 870
Age range: 11-18
Date of Inspection: November 2015

Information about the school

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin is a designated bilingual, community, mixed school for pupils aged between 11 and18 years.  It is maintained by Carmarthenshire local authority.  It is situated in Croesyceiliog, on the eastern outskirts of the town of Carmarthen.  It has 870 pupils and 182 students in the sixth form.  The school serves pupils from the town of Carmarthen and nearby villages, in addition to a wider catchment area.   Three point four per cent (3.4%) of pupils are eligible for free school meals. Many pupils (about 79%) come from Welsh-speaking homes, but all pupils are able to speak Welsh to first language standard. 

Context and background to sector-leading practice

The school takes pride in its contribution towards the local community and to activities on a county and national level, as this ensures that we develop the social skills of pupils in our care.  Based on robust and effective transition links, pupils come through the doors of the school in year 7, fully aware of the rich heritage that is there to sustain them through a host of musical and sporting activities, shows, activities and other various clubs.  The school motto is ‘Heb ddysg - heb ddeall’ (Without education – without understanding),  and that arises from the belief that it is not only on the basis of academic results that individuals come to understand their contribution to modern Wales, but on the basis of their cultural understanding of the value of being Welsh.  Through this, individuals grow into full participants in their local and national community and that is the type of pupil that Ysgol Bro Myrddin wishes to foster. 

Description of the nature of the strategy or activity

Considerable emphasis is placed in the school’s PSE work on developing well-rounded citizens in an academic and social context and this becomes obvious when looking at pupils’ participation in various activities. The school has developed the pupil’s voice through a variety of committees; the school council, the year council, the sports council, the humanitarian committee, the service committee, the eco committee, the sixth-form committee and the Prosiect4Cymraeg committee.  As a result, pupils’ skills are developed and their contribution to school life is fostered.  An excellent example is the nature of the whole-school morning assemblies which include confident contributions by pupils, whether presentations or musical items.

The school has very beneficial links with the local community and pupils make an extremely valuable contribution to those communities. 

Pupils are encouraged to compete locally and nationally in a variety of competitions such as eisteddfodau and sports competitions and their successes are celebrated publicly in our morning assemblies. 

Pupils’ contribution to charitable activities is significant, whether in fund-raising campaigns or community work.  The humanitarian committee is strong, effective and active and collects about £6,000 a year for various charities.  The Eco committee has made a great contribution to the school environment and has benefited a number of projects during the last year.  Through an Erasmus+ grant, pupils have co-operated with schools across Europe and have travelled to Denmark, Finland and Cyprus recently. 

We have a host of various extra-curricular activities to everyone’s taste, from choirs to the drama club to the sports clubs and clubs such as the ‘gwarchodlu odli’ (rhyme squad) and the Urdd.  Pupils are encouraged to attend clubs in order to socialise and develop their skills.  All the experiences are certainly a way of ensuring that the school’s vision of developing a well-rounded citizen is realised.   

What effect has this work had on provision and pupils’ standards?

Pupils’ and parents’ questionnaires show that they are happy with all the opportunities that are provided by the school.  The variety of experiences ensure that all pupils receive opportunities within the school and that they also are appreciated.   The fact that the school promotes and encourages the pupil’s voice in a positive way has been key to increasing pupils’ self-esteem, self-respect and communication skills.  Most pupils make significant progress in their social skills because of all the work. 

How have you shared your good practice?

On local, county and national stages, the school’s reputation is praiseworthy, whether in the field of music, literary work, performances or sports.   The good practice is shared with all stakeholders through the local press, through social websites such as Twitter and Facebook and the school’s website.