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“Carmarthenshire County Council want to eradicate EM (English Medium) education from the Gwendraeth Valley - I for one object.”

By Penyfai Posted: November 17, 2011

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  • Penyfai  |  November 17 2011, 8:02AM

    The story is here http://tinyurl.com/7z9rosf Not only youth talent but teacher talent also. I have left Wales as this is what the Council want. They want the English speakers to leave so that Welsh language education can be made to be the only option. One teacher I know, who used to have results in her classes that exceeded the school average has left to teach in another country where our English speaking Welsh culture is celebrated not derided. This policy is wrong, fundamentally wrong and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Carmarthenshire County Council's decision is xenophobic and bigoted. What is wrong with a 2b school? What is wrong with wanting an English medium education? Carmarthenshire County Council should be ashamed of themselves, they are not providing for the people. They are serving their own personal and nationalistic interests and neglecting the children in their care. For shame.

  • BobEvans2011  |  November 17 2011, 11:10AM

    The primary language should be English. If you want to get ahead in a career it will be English that is needed and used. English is the International language of business. If the assembly and Welsh education authorities do not understand the importance of English it is worrying Only yes****ay Wales reported a massive increase in Unemplyment whilst elsewhere in the UK there was little change

  • Stork  |  November 17 2011, 11:40AM

    Let the Council get on with it. Then there will be more jobs available in the area for English speakers, plus the Poles, Czechs, Latvians, Ukraines, Romanians, oops.

  • Dan01  |  November 17 2011, 2:47PM

    What ridiculous comments from these narrow minded (anti welsh?) people. My children went to welsh medium schools from start to finish, then went to universities in England (Manchester, London, Nottingham) and subsequently got good jobs in England but by now have got themsleves promoted into jobs back here in Wales. English is their primary language at work but obviously having had a welsh upbringing/education has done them no harm. They are fluent in welsh as a result, which has proved extremely beneficial and useful in their current jobs, but at no time has welsh restricted opportunity and will not prevent them developing their future careers again in england should they choose to do so.

  • isca2011  |  November 17 2011, 3:01PM

    There can be no other reason for this than language zealotry, the area had WM and EM, where was the problem. To right there will have to be a written guarantee about transport for ever more, it would be too easy to withdraw it and financial penalise those wishing a different education , this of course would be in order to force them to obey the zealots desires and attend the new schooling system (WM). Why can't this new school be 50% EM/WM, is that too sensible and obvious for the zealots. BTW Dan01, that was your choice for them no doubt, why can't parents wanting their kids educated in English have the same choice, just pretend Wales is a democracy.

  • drwolfuk1  |  November 17 2011, 3:32PM

    Carmarthenshire is a law unto itself first payingfarmers and others for running puppy farms now deriding people who want their children to be taught in English. There was enough trouble in the past about getting a Welsh taught education, now it seems that Carmarthenshire are trying to ensure the whole of Carmarthen are taught in Welsh. They are doing no good in the cause of Welsh, and should be prosecuted for provoking racism. Wales is best served if it has two languages as it means those people who can hold conversations in both languages find it easier to learn other languages. I am not anti-Welsh it was frowned on in Cardiff when I was in school to try to learn Welsh, but they allowed all other dual speaking people who served the Cardiff docks. If you wanted to learn Welsh you or rather your parents had to pay for you to be Taught Welsh, now certain people in power in Carmarthenshire are trying to force that on English speaking public. Perhaps it would be best that two schools are built one for each medium, although I agree both WM and EM should be taught 50/50 in this new school. Because I was not allowed to learn Welsh and therefore only English I am finding it extremely hard to learn French and Spanish for my holiday next May/June.

  • Dan_86  |  November 17 2011, 3:41PM

    Spot on - English speaking Welsh culture should be celebrated not derided. 80% of classes in Welsh? Why so many? A lot of people wanted more English, why is this being ignored? No I agree it will "do them no harm" but it shouldn't be forced onto people who aren't interested in it.

  • anon0000x  |  November 18 2011, 10:14AM

    There was nothing wrong with the status quo. CCC obviously has some bigots in positions of power. This is a bigger problem than just education, however. It's amazing how many people in Carmarthenshire have a poor grasp of English, since their education has left them so poorly equipped. I manage a company that operates throughout Wales, and I made it a big deal to offer the service in both Welsh and English. Not one Welsh company has elected to do business in Welsh because they know - as I have come to realise - that it is a useless language for business. Only in public sector - where Welsh needs to be provided due to legislation NOT demand - is there any need for the language. Parents who believe a Welsh medium education offers any benefit over its English medium equivalent are utterly deluded and sadly, such an attitude breeds a new brainwashed generation. I attended a public debate about this a few years ago, and I found that the disdain that current/prospective Maes Yr Yrfa parents had for Gwendraeth (and the perception that it was an "English" school) was almost palpable. Yet, for all the passion they have on the issue, they can rarely articulate themselves better than to say "this is a Welsh area", "this is Wales, we should all speak Welsh", and similar platitudes. Now, we have situations where teachers like "Penyfai" are leaving because they are being forced out. This is going to be of obvious detriment to the standard of teaching at Gwendraeth to the point that it will be unsustainable anyway. I don't blame parents for sending their children to Maes Yr Yrfa now because it is the better school. I very much wish for an improved Welsh economy and standing on the world stage. While we are governed (and populated!) by so many parochial fools, this will never happen. So, Carmarthenshire County Council - congratulations. You are going to succeed in killing the English language off in the Gwendraeth Valley. Well done. Who needs decent job prospects anyway? A dagger in the heart of common sense in the name of chest-beating nationalism. PS. I was born in Wales, moved to the Gwendraeth Valley as a child, learnt Welsh, educated bilingually at Ysgol Y Gwendraeth (many years ago now), and I am now a fluent Welsh speaker. (Just before some idiot decide to provide a pitchfork-clutching rebuttal claiming I am "anti Welsh".)

  • Dan01  |  November 18 2011, 11:01AM

    " You are going to succeed in killing the English language off in the Gwendraeth Valley." Thats a laugh, you cannot be serious!!

  • anon0000x  |  November 18 2011, 4:05PM

    Yes Dan01, I am. Not overnight or anything so drastic, but this is the start of a slow regression for the Valley. A lack of English medium education is going to cripple the Gwendraeth in the long term.

  • BobEvans2011  |  November 18 2011, 4:56PM

    Another issue is it soaks up scarce cash for Education. Welsh Medium Schools cost more money The other daft thing is they still manage to churn out children that don't speak Welsh

  • Dan01  |  November 18 2011, 5:20PM

    "Another issue is it soaks up scarce cash for Education. Welsh Medium Schools cost more money" There is ample uncontested evidence that overall welsh medium schools churn out better standards than other schools. That also applied to the schools my children went to. Quality costs. You are not accepting that children you go to welsh medium schools end up just as good in english (better some say) as monoglot children. Being bilingual gives them all the advantages, which are not offset by any negatives. So whats the problem? Either you are antiwelsh or want to give your children second best just for the sake of it as far as I can see.

  • trncjack  |  November 18 2011, 8:02PM

    The problem with most people living in the uk ,they are to lazy to learn another language . most people around the world learn their own language first then english, this does not in any way hamper their education infact it benifits them, and this should be the way in Wales , There seems to be this attitude in some parts of Wales by some people that if you speak Welsh infront of them your being ignorant, this is tipical of ex colonial countries,brought about by the english . I live in northern cyprus (turkish) in eight years i can now get by in turkish, tought to me by my neighbour who was made to learn english and was stopped speaking turking in school by the english , now most turkish cypriets speak both languages

  • Penyfai  |  November 19 2011, 6:17AM

    No one has yet convinced me of the cognitive argument for bilingiualism. In fact the labour party "believe" it is better for you but have no proof. That aside, the policy by CCC to eradicate English medium education from the Gwendraeth Valley when there is clearly need serves one purpose only and this is Cymry nationalism, not I posit, Welsh nationalism wouldn't you agree trnjack, dan et al. So that if you agree CCC's policy is nationalistic the the nation should decide and not a tiny little county in the middle of nowhere. Now the elected members of the Senedd are not representative of Wales as they are politicians and not real people. Again I posit that the whole nation should decide openly with a referendum on the national curriculum for Wales and the way in which education is planned for and executed. The labour party's education policy for example was not made publis and it was only because I asked did I get their true thoughts. It is not wrong to want an English medium education provided for ina valeey that has provided it for decades. It is not worng to want a EM education full stop. It is a matter of choice. CCC wants to eradicate the choice. Now don't get me started on how the Welsh L2 results in in EM schools clearly show passive disapplication of thousands of our young ones. Don't get me started on how my brother who was Englis L1 was paid to learn welsh because he worked for S4C - Welsh lessons paid for by the tax payer. Gwendraeth Valley deserves better than the policies of CCC. Dan there is ample uncontested evidence that results in Welsh medium schools do not reflect Wales they only reflect the Cymry.

  • BobEvans2011  |  November 19 2011, 9:43AM

    A favorite argument put forward for teaching Welsh is that it helps people learn other languages The evidence though does not support this. The percentage of the Welsh population fluent in a modern european lanaguge is significantly lower than in England The indication is that forcing a language on people has a negative effect whilst if people choose to learn a second language they are more likely to go on to learn another language

  • adunlop40  |  November 19 2011, 9:09PM

    hello

  • adunlop40  |  November 19 2011, 9:16PM

    Just checking. Half the education in Welsh medium secondary schools is in English anyway. Just wish the Assembly and local councils would stop spending money on shoving Welsh down peoples' throats. That way we might be able to start closing the funding gap (£600 plus per pupil) between England and Wales. By all means make Welsh language available but don't force it on the population. Doing so will only breed resentment. There is a lot more to being Welsh than speaking Welsh.

  • Penyfai  |  November 19 2011, 10:00PM

    I think we need to unpick what it means to be Welsh dunlop40. For me there are two cultures living in Wales. The Cymry - those people who speak Cymraeg and are proponents of its use. Then there the Welsh - English speaking Welsh people. People born and brought up in Wales who have supported the choice of language but do not necessarily want to learn the language. I would call Wales a bicultural country not a bilingual country. Whilst there are two main languages used in Wales only one is "protected" in law that being Cymraeg. The use of English is not even protected in law by Westminster becasue it is common parlance and used by all. English also evolves as means of communication and, evolves with words coming into existence and falling out of use all of the time. So Wales is divided. The Cymry and the Welsh. Successive WAG have supported the development of Cymraeg because we live in Wales. But that doesn't make sense. The word WALES is and English word, the word WELSH is an English word. When nationalists (generally speaking the Cymry) refer to the word WELSH they actually mean CYMRAEG or CYMRY. So the WAG are complicit in the eradication of the Welsh culture (English speaking Welsh) and their policies are designed to socially engineer a new populous of Cymry. CCC are complicit in this policy as are counties in the north of Wales. There is nothing wrong with wanting a quality English language education in Wales. What is wrong with not wanting to speak Cymraeg? 4/5ths of people in Wales are not Cymraeg. Wales should be catering for these not just the Cymry.

  • Penyfai  |  November 21 2011, 8:56AM

    The buses to transport the English speakers from the Gwendraeth valley on a daily basis will cost £260,000 per year. Money to burn.

  • Gwendraeth33  |  November 21 2011, 2:20PM

    People commented on this story obviously have no clue about what is actually going on in the valley, Ysgol Y Gwendraeth has been in decline for years with pupil numbers now under 500, why? because parents (including non welsh speaking homes) are sending their children to maes Yr Yrfa which is consistently performing well and they want the best for their kids. Virtually every primary school in the gwendraeth valley is welsh medium anyway so how will sending them to maesyryrfa change anything except give children a better education at a better school and allow their children to be fluent in welsh which they can use in the future if they so wish. Penyfai-the savings from closing gwendraeth will be far more than the £260K you suggest will be the extra transport costs so that argument holds no weight at all!

  • Gwendraeth33  |  November 21 2011, 2:23PM

    People commented on this story obviously have no clue about what is actually going on in the valley, Ysgol Y Gwendraeth has been in decline for years with pupil numbers now under 500, why? because parents (including non welsh speaking homes) are sending their children to maes Yr Yrfa which is consistently performing well and they want the best for their kids. Virtually every primary school in the gwendraeth valley is welsh medium anyway so how will sending them to maesyryrfa change anything except give children a better education at a better school and allow their children to be fluent in welsh which they can use in the future if they so wish. Penyfai-the savings from closing gwendraeth will be far more than the £260K you suggest will be the extra transport costs so that argument holds no weight at all!

  • Penyfai  |  November 22 2011, 6:21AM

    So Gwenny33 you have no objection to turning Maes into a 2B school so all pupils have a choice of eduation path? Gwendraeth's intake increased when Maes decided to follow 100% Cymraeg curriculum. Are you arguing that Maes is consistently performing well in just Cymraeg - surely no matter what the language the school will perform well. Or are you saying CCC have neglected the development of good teaching at Gwendraeth to serve its nationalist policies. One more thing where is the Autistic unit destined to be relocated? Will Maes take that in with open arms? You are clearly devoid of the facts Gwen33 - check your information before making assumptions. 250K x infinity is larger than closing one school with a budget of lets say £1,300,000 for arguments sake. Doh! Back to school for you I think.

  • Penyfai  |  November 22 2011, 6:23AM

    http://tinyurl.com/7nrun6c You couldn't make this up.

  • JD1111  |  November 23 2011, 6:43PM

    I am a fluent Welsh speaker who grew up in an English speaking household and I am very proud of our culture and language. The majority of my education was studied through the Welsh medium; however, I was very grateful to have the option of studying my GCSE and A Levels through the English language. If I didn't have this option I know my grades would have been significantly lower. I was more confident in speaking English and as a consequence I struggled in lessons that were taught through the Welsh medium. As a secondary teacher, I see this happening daily and students who are pushed into the Welsh stream are not achieving their potential. Yes it's important to learn languages; however the child's education needs to be the most vital argument here. If a child is more confident in English then they should be taught in English from GCSE's and up. Is the Welsh language more important compared to how a child understands and achieves in lessons? My children are learning Welsh and are attending French lessons, yet we are an English speaking household and they will study their GCSE's and A Levels in English where they are able to achieve optimum results. I honestly believe that if you take out certain students in the Welsh stream and entered them in English, they would be able to achieve better results. CCC's is taking this option away for English speaking households. If there is a need to close a school then Maes-Yr-Yrfa should offer both Welsh and English classes. This is the only way to make it fair and to stop this English and Welsh speaking divide. I can definitely see why parents would send their children to a Welsh speaking school; compared to English schools in the area, their average results are much better. Whilst this achievement is true it is definitely not a reflection on what language they are studying. Without sounding condescending, in my experience, the majority of parents who send their children to Welsh medium schools tend to care more about their child's education, whilst English medium schools tend to get students from both backgrounds. Education comes firstly from the home, school helps flourish students learning, but without help and guidance at home, students find it difficult to succeed. Welsh medium schools don't tend to attract students from disadvantaged families and the results parents see does not show this data. As a consequence English schools around this area may seem that they are underachieving, when in fact they are excelling. If Welsh medium students enrolled the same students from an English school, I would be very surprised if they would be able to maintain the same average achievement score. Do you honestly believe that if you send your child to a Welsh school they will achieve better results? If your child is willing to learn they will achieve optimum results wherever they study! Unfortunately, being a teacher, I see more and more excellent English speaking teachers being forced out of our schools in favour of Welsh speakers. This would be OK if they were requiting quality Welsh speaking staff but unfortunately this is not always the case. I want my children to have the best teachers, I want teachers who are trained in their specialism and who offer quality teaching. The best person for that role should be selected, but instead quality teachers are being turned away just because they don't speak Welsh!!! I have even witnessed many cases where the specialised subject teacher is not allowed to teach a class because they can't speak Welsh to them. Instead they see it better that the students have a Welsh speaker rather than a teacher who is qualified in that particular subject!!! . Are students getting the best possible education when schools are sometimes not offering the best teachers? By all means promote the Welsh language but this is getting ridiculous. I see an English and Welsh split in not only education but also in the community. Let us remember that the government is elected

  • JD1111  |  November 23 2011, 6:46PM

    Gwendraeth33: I also went to an all Welsh speaking primary school but as soon as you enter secondary school the language you need to speak and write gets a lot more difficult. I and many others coming from English speaking homes could not excel in the Welsh speaking lessons and luckily for us the school was bilingual and we were able to move to English classes. My parents were not fooled by the better performance of an all Welsh school and I was very grateful to attend a bilingual school. If my education was 100% in Welsh I definitely would not have achieved good results, my results were high because I was a willing learner and I understood the language I was being taught in. There is no evidence that education through Welsh medium is better, the results they achieve is a reflection on the willingness of the learner and not of their language! By eradicating English choice from the Gwendraeth Valley, they are disadvantaging many students in situations like myself. Why should English speaking students have to travel further for their education when all students could potentially attend a bilingual school in Maes-Yr-Yrfa!

  • jamesuk2011  |  November 24 2011, 4:00PM

    My daughters go to a Welsh school. If I had the choose, I would have sent them to a French or Spanish school so they could be bilingual in a language they can use in the rest of the world when their older. Wales has tried to force the language and set targets but ultimaley when you drive across the bridge or do commerce its language is English from whatever country your from. Sorry Wales, its a lovely country but a bit backwards.

  • Penyfai  |  November 25 2011, 7:45AM

    There are numerous forums on the web and many pages of comments on Wales on line expressing discontent at the coercion placed on EM schools because of the Welsh Language Act to deliver "incidental Cymraeg". Yet CCC still would prefer to coerce its children than deliver EM education. That is not multicultural. That is not forward thinking. That is not considering children's needs. That is nationalism.

  • Penyfai  |  December 02 2011, 8:53AM

    This week all the teachers in Gwendraeth will need to reapply for their jobs to teach in a WM school. Those that can't speak Welsh are therefore out. There's progress for you.

  • Aeronfach  |  December 07 2011, 2:27PM

    I speak as retired teacher, parent of grown up children and a Welsh native.The education system now is only harking back to the days when English was enforced upon the Welsh, only now in reverse.No one language should be considered inferior to any other,to do so does not promote acceptance,tolerance or fairness in a society.Education should be attentive to the job of widening minds,not narrowing them.The sooner the Welsh Assembly stops trying to use its education issues as a blunt little sabre against the English the better.

  • BobEvans2011  |  December 07 2011, 3:35PM

    For most people in Wales it would be beter learning one of the mainstream european languages such as French, German or Spanish or one of the oriental languages such as one of the china's main languages

  • lyndon666  |  December 07 2011, 6:13PM

    Oh no, people in the Gwendraeth are going to forget how to speak English! What a catastrophe!

  • lyndon666  |  December 07 2011, 6:18PM

    It's perfectly fine to drive children who want Welsh medium education half way across Wales every morning, but apparently it's completely unacceptable for those who want English medium education in a Welsh speaking valley to travel even a few miles. Complete hypocrisy.

  • JiffysWonders  |  December 07 2011, 8:30PM

    @ Bob Evans. Do you think that learning Welsh means that a child is excluded from other languages? If so you have no idea of the provision available in Dinefwrs schools!

  • JiffysWonders  |  December 07 2011, 8:42PM

    Penyfai is also peddling hysterical nonsense. CCC is amalgamating schools in the Dinefwr catchment due to changing demographics. Gwendraeth has the highest demand for WM education so the WM School will be based there. There is EM provision in Llandeilo and Ammanford within the Dinefwr family of schools. There's no conspiracy and certainly no chance that closing Gwendraeth Comprehensive will turn the inhabitants of the valley into Welsh monoglots! A laughable notion at best.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  December 08 2011, 5:18AM

    What part of CCC intention to eradicate EM education from Gwendraeth valley is nonsense? Gwendraeth could be turned in to a 2B school - do you need me to explain that to you? A school with two streams one WM and one EM. If the cluster schools offer EM why exclude Gwendraeth? This is a reduction of choice for UK citizens. FACT. This is a nationlist agenda don't you agree Jiffy, yet Wales is predominantly English speaking.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  December 08 2011, 5:22AM

    @ lyndon Gwendraeth could be a 2B school and no travelling of either WM or EM would be needed. Simplez. So the hypocrisy is with CCC to force anyone to travel when a model already exists to reduce costs.

  • JiffysWonders  |  December 08 2011, 4:29PM

    @wh1stleblow3r "What part of CCC intention to eradicate EM education from Gwendraeth valley is nonsense?" All of it. I speak from the fortunate position of having worked in 3 Dinefwr schools in the last 5 years. EM education will be available at Llandeilo and at Ammanford and even Llanelli to any pupil from the Gwendraeth. The cost of travel will be offset many times by the savings made by merging the two small comprehensives in Dinefwr. Given that the Gwendraeth still has one of the highest proportions of welsh speakers in Wales (approx 70%), let alone Dinefwr, it makes sense that the WM school (the other 2 in Dinefwr are bilingual and fully cater for EM education) is located close by. Gwendraeth Valley pupils will have access to a greater range of subjects at GCSE and A Level as a result of the economies of scale from which the bigger schools will benefit ala Amman Valley. That will be the outcome for both WM and EM pupils. As for EM teachers being forced to leave the area, again this is a nonsensical claim. 4 schools are closing - Gwendraeth, Maes yr Yrfa, Pantycelyn and Tregib - and will be replaced with 2 new ones. EM teachers are able to apply for posts in the new school at Llandeilo (which will be more numerous than currently at Tregib) or Ammanford (which will be looking for new permanent staff once the change is official). Furthermore CCC education officers have stated that they hope that staff would be able to find jobs in those schools and would be considered favorably for ANY other teaching positions around Carmarthenshire. It wold be nice if people could stick to the facts in these arguments and not peddle hysteria or conspiracy theories based on their own private agenda. Certain posters here have succeeded only in misleading and opening up divisions between Welsh speakers and non-Welsh speakers which are entirely unnecessary. It is interesting to see that they have skewed the perspective of the argument by deliberately omitting the broader Dinefwr context or the specific demographics of the region. Folks, do not be fooled by these spurious arguments or claims of nationalism - that is a personal agenda. CCC is trying to provide a better standard of education in Dinefwr with better value for money. They have been very open about the proposals and have gone through a very long (some 5 years now!) public process before these changes have been confirmed. No conspiracy theory and no nationalist agenda - just education officers trying to do their jobs!

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  December 09 2011, 8:42AM

    Let me correct Jiffy's inaccuracies to put it mildly. Consultation has not been ongoing for 5 years you have no evidence to support that claim ideas had been suggested but consultation was not presented as such. Public meetings were held in cymreag with translators, yet everyone speaks English. A 2B school was rejected by the language zealots as a "step backwards" for WM education as reported by this newspaper and the OP for this thread is the FACT that CCC will be eradicating EM education from the Gwendraeth valley. I do not refer to the clusters of schools artificially created to solve a political problem. If this a personal agenda, why oh why would sooooo many people be concerned? Using your figures 30% of pupils will be denied access to a meaningful education, but instead be placed in special needs classes in WM schools. When a 2B school at Gwendraeth would solve the problem. But no. There is an agenda to save money by removing EM education from the Gwendraeth valley. I am not being divisive I am stating facts. The language zealots are forcing the issues all I am doing is reacting to their unfettered attacks on EM education. The language zealots oppose a 2B school. Why? I am glad you claim that this is not a nationalistic agenda as Cymraeg is not the universal language of Wales. It therefore must be a Cymry agenda. For a country that claims to be bilingual why is CCC so anti bilingual education for the Gwendraeth valley? No one has yet answered why Gwendraeth should not be a 2B school. Since this is a thread regarding the eradication of EM education from the Gwendraeth valley where in the Gwendraeth valley will EM educators be able to work? Is llandeilo in the gwendraeth valley? I amman valley in the gwendraeth valley? Is Maes yr yrfa going to be a 2B school? The answer to all of these questions is NO. FACT, no hysterics, no "spurious arguments". CCC are attempting to eradicate EM education from the Gwendraeth valley. FACT.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  December 09 2011, 9:03AM

    In the recent banding system Ysgol y Gwendraeth Band 3. Maes yr yrfa band 4. So it appears that CCC want to close the better school and create a WM school in Maes?? FACT

  • JiffysWonders  |  December 12 2011, 6:51PM

    Again Whistle you totally ignore the demographics of the area and the wider issue of schools in Dinefwr. It appears that you merely have a bee in your bonnet against the welsh language. How tiresome. Do youreally think it will be so awful for Gwendraeth pupils to travel 20 minutes to school ? Perhaps they could go to the tier 1 (Hah! That's if you hold store by such blunt measures) school in Ammanford!

  • JiffysWonders  |  December 12 2011, 7:14PM

    Just read your post again whistle, and it is honestly jaw-dropping. What a wonderful conspiracy theory you have woven with your "facts." Will EM Gwendraeth pupils be denied EM education? NO. So much for your facts. "Using your figures 30% of pupils will be denied access to a meaningful education" If this wasn't so blatantly dishonest it would be funny! As I said above, they will indeed have access to EM education in new/refurbished schools with a wider range of choice. Turning your argument on you - what about the 70% Welsh speakers? Why shouldn't they have a welsh medium education if that's what they want? Once again put these changes in the context of the Dinefwr family of schools and you get a 1000+ strong WM school and two 1500+ strong EM Schools with choice for all. Again, so much for your "facts"

  • Penyfai  |  December 13 2011, 9:20AM

    JW you really are a scream. The problem is I think you actually believe what you are writing. I think you will find the Whistler is right, for example ... Pupil numbers at Gwendraeth are rising and at Maes falling. The recent banding system indeed proves that Gwendraeth is performing better. A possibility of a 2B school in the Gwendraeth valley caters for both EM and WM and utilises current resources. The priority of the Dinefwr schools is to increase skills in Welsh and thus bilingualism yet they have rejected a bilingual school - hypocrisy. The informal consultation you refer to took place between January and March 2009 (3months) The formal consultation took place between April to October this year. This proves your claim of a five year consultation is a lie. In the consultation document a 2B school is not considered for the Gwendraeth valley. JW, You have not addressed the issue of a 2B school why are CCC so opposed to even presenting that as an option? This process to improve the schools in the DInefwr cluster seems to revolve around improving skills in the Welsh language. A simple well managed academic structure in existing schools should be able to achieve a better quality of Welsh speaker if that is the priority (p6&7). Small classes are a symptom of disengagement. CCC are indeed attempting to eradicate EM education from the Gwendraeth Valley and it appears they want to increase the skills in Welsh. That limits the choice of education to UK citizens whilst they should be increasing them. This information came out of the consultation document http://tinyurl.com/cfxvxou

  • neil91  |  January 31 2012, 10:05AM

    Unless someone can correct me, I am led to believe that a WM education is available at a 2B school, ie while in the classroom, pupils are taught in Welsh, that being the language these pupils are most comfortable with, allowing them to learn more readily (little point them being there otherwise). As a parent of primary school children who feels that WM education is best for them I now face a dilemma. Do I choose the new school on the Maes Yr Yrfa site, which is currently a band 4 school and thus apparently one of the poorest in the county, or travel a few miles further to the band 1 Dyffryn Aman school, apparently the best in the county. Assuming that their lessons are conducted in Welsh in Dyffryn Aman this is a no brainer. Why would any parent who chooses WM education for their children not select Dyffryn Aman - all in the current Gwendrath/Maes catchment area will have the choice of either school. I fear that the new Cwm Gwendraeth school will therefore have a rapidly declining intake. Why not solve this now by ensuring that Ysgol Cwm Gwendraeth in a cat 2B school, and spend the money saved helping it raise its standards thus benefiting all the children inn the valley?

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  February 14 2012, 9:09AM

    A very fair and logical solution methings neil91 - however CCC have not even proposed a cat 2B school. I wonder why they ignored a cat 2B school in their provision?

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  March 24 2012, 5:13AM

    It appears that Gwendraeth will be taking in pupils once more this year.

  • mw0cnd  |  March 27 2012, 9:56PM

    I'm reading some of the backward comments by the backward hate themselves welsh that's right the people who call themselves welsh the kind of people I like to think of as the plastic welsh .I'm an English speaking welsh man and I would like to complement "Carmarthenshire County Council for their policy on education also I believe all welsh children should be taught welsh from day one. And English as a second language if this happened children would understand the language and use it outside of school in their play and into adulthood .My wife speaks welsh and my children speak welsh fluently because they learnt our native tongue from an early age. I'M embarrassed to read some of the inbred backward comments from some people who have the cheek to call themselves welsh I don't know what makes some of my fellow welsh so dumb but it really works with some of them. I have worked all over Europe in many countries who speak their native tongue and sometime's two or three other's but you would never hear them attack their own language or culture this is the problem with the anglicised welsh .no sense of history no sense of belonging just backward looking idiots an insult to our nation I do believe Some of You have an inferiority complex and you know what it is fully justified.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  March 29 2012, 9:23AM

    Oh dear MW how eloquent you are in your rant. I read a phrase the other day which rings true with me. Wales is bicultural not bilingual. I am glad I have not been assimiliated by the Cymry - I am more than happy to be thought of as Welsh. I believe you have been assimilated. On another matter Gwendraeth has had a reprieve and will take in another cohort of pupils this year and the plan is that the head of Maes will take over Gwendraeth in 2013. Why is a Band 4 head teacher taking over the headship of a band 3 school? Yet another regressive step by the language zealots.

  • mw0cnd  |  March 29 2012, 12:41PM

    Wh1stleblow3r I pity people like you. Your comment that you are glad you have not been assimilated by the Cymry ? speaks volumes about you. I don't know sometimes why the hell people like you live in our wonderful country. You are just a monoglot English language zealots. like most of them your Self-hatred of the welsh language ( also I would call it self-loathing) which refers to your extreme dislike and hatred of oneself, nationality . you and your kind have held Wales back for many years you people are the dinosaurs the quislings within who would love Wales to just assimilated Into a greater England and for us to lose our identity language and history. All I have to say on this subject is that there are some of us that would stand up for Wales and our nation and others who would sell us down the river because the anglicized welsh have no sense of belonging or pride in who they are. You are just some of the many small minded people who are born in wales with their little Englander attitudes .I'm glad to see that some of you are not letting your education get in the way of your ignorance.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  March 30 2012, 9:00AM

    Thank you mw for another insightful comment. I am more than happy with my Welshness it appears you that have problems with your assimilation. I understand you are the only English speaker in your family and your children and partner have been assimiliated also. Perhaps you have a chip on your shoulder about your transition. Wales and Cymru mean different things, I understand that - you clearly do not. Thank you for throwing insults - you prove that Wales is bicultural and not bilingual. Aneurin would be proud to call you a language zealot, it was he that used the term to describe the myopic tendencies of the Cymry and their luddite inability to adapt. Many other countries that speak English have no problem with their nationalism, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia to name but a few - are all of those countries 'little englanders' too? You see Cymraeg does not define me. My culture defines me. The fact I have represented Wales on the international stage defines me. It appears anger and misery define you. Talk to your family about the diffculties you are having with your assimilation. Wales is bicultural not bilingual. Remember Wales is supposed to be the land of my fathers and for me they all spoke English. If cymraeg was native they would have spoken Cymraeg but they didn't. All Gwendraeth wants is to have a 2B stream. A true bilingual stream. Choice. Just like MW has choices to be assimilated or not. What is wrong with choice MW?

  • hughevans  |  March 30 2012, 5:58PM

    I am a nonWelsh speaking Welshman and feel that far too much money is being wasted on promoting the Welsh language. Modern European languages or even better Chinese and Japanese are far more important and should be promoted. Welsh is only of historical interest. Hugh Evans.

  • mw0cnd  |  March 30 2012, 10:50PM

    Wh1stleblow3r I find your comments quite funny you know you made me laught!. or dear did i touch a nerve my little angliced friend!.I dont know what all this assimilation rubbish you talk about! but reading other post on other forums that you have wrote about the this subject . i'm not supprised you speak nonsence .Also it's not me thats got a chip on my shoulder its you. but Whatever it is that is eating you up, it must be suffering horribly.But come to think about it Welsh is the only language on the planet that gets attacked simply for existing. Objecting to a language is so obviously insane – a bit like complaining that humans come equipped with a voice-box – and violent antipathy is so universally understood to hold within it a suppressed affinity with the very thing hated, that one must conclude both the above posters Wh1stleblow3r & by hughevans are overcompensating for a dim awareness somehere in their tiny minds that the language they malign is the true native tongue of their beloved Britain (until the 19th century it was actually called "British" rather than "Welsh").The Welsh language is not used as a measure of Welshness, or rammed down throats. Welsh medium schools advanced because of demand from English-speaking parents, not by any good will from the authorities. This demand is increasing, not by a fear of their kids growing up as second class citizens, but by English speaking Welsh people who wish their children to learn the language of their country, to be bilingual, and to re-aquire the language that was beaten out of their grandparents and great grandparents.We are all Welsh, and you don't have to speak Welsh to be a proud Welsh person. In fact, the English speaking industrial south wales valleys' workers contributed money from their wages to set up the National Library, National Museum, Eisteddfodau etc – all institutions that have helped to safeguard Welsh identity and the language itself. Welsh is part of our lives and identity wherever we live. It's in house, street, village, town, river, mountains, lakes, pits, mines, factories and personal and family names. It's our heritage whatever language we speak.The world would be a far poorer place without Welsh. You wrote(Wales is bicultural not bilingual. Remember Wales is supposed to be the land of my fathers and for me they all spoke English. If cymraeg was native they would have spoken Cymraeg but they didn't.) my reply to that rubbish is that wales is the land of my fathers and they did all speak welsh my father spoke welsh but being brought up in swansea in the 1970s only english was spoken my mother being a monoglot english speaker but take my grandad born 1905 in Ystradgynlais spoke welsh only didnt speak english learnt some but was a welsh speaker 1st and formost he was a coal miner died in 1965 dust on the lung! his father was a welsh speaker and his father and so on.So just because you are a monoglot english speaking welsh person! who's family are english only speakers does not mean these words are not true! and believe me in the next hundred years wales and the welsh langauge will only get stronger with more and more people sending their children to welsh medium schools and people with your attitude will be sent to the dustbin of history. If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. .

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  March 31 2012, 5:55AM

    Wow MW 594 words of self opinionated drivel - how accomplished are you? I asked you a question. Do you think Gwendraeth school should have a 2B option for a bilingual stream? The choice option? So all Welsh people can choose their medium of education? You appear to have ignored that question favouring a look back in anger approach to your post, bleating about the anecdotal treatment you claim your ancestors had. As I said Cymraeg does not define me, nor will it ever. Anger seems to define you. How is your assimilation going? Spoken to the family yet?

  • mw0cnd  |  March 31 2012, 3:49PM

    I have read most of the drivel and rubbish from people who post their objections to welsh medium education .And their xenophobic and bigoted attack on Carmarthenshire County Council's decision to teach welsh children in welsh in a welsh medium schools shock horror!!. Some of you have a the Gaul to call yourself welsh in my eye's you're all a laughing stock. You people make me sick to my stomach with your backward inbred attitude to the language .thinking about it if I looked into most of your eye's I would probably be able see straight through to the back of your head. Being that most of you are brain-dead and have very little in-between your ears and being that you have no pride in your culture or language .I have no more to say on this subject because you cant argue with morons all day long and get no where. most of you should not let your minds wander,because they are far too small to be let out on their own. I'd like to see things from your point of view, but I can't seem to get my head that far up you're A##S! :)

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 01 2012, 6:30AM

    I have not complained about your continuing insults and abuse as you are doing more damage for your language zealots than you realise. I would not want my children being educated by people who hold your opinion and it is precisely why Gwendraeth should have a 2B option. You clearly do not understand what that means, so I leave you to your diatribe and limited vocabulary. You are clearly suffering with your assimilation - perhaps there is a helpline you could try...

  • taffy_sense  |  April 01 2012, 6:49AM

    It appears to me that MW is our very own April Fool. Well done whistler for keeping it dignified. A 2B option seems a sensible way forward for all concerned.

  • neil91  |  April 01 2012, 4:06PM

    I am still feeling very let down by CCC on this issue - perhaps selfishly, it is my children's education that they are damaging, along with many others in the Gwendraeth catchment area. Eldest starts year 7 in September, but where to send them - We can not afford private education !! Having recently visited the 3 schools in question (Maes, Gwen and Dyffryn Aman), I am more confused than ever. I am not a Welsh speaker, but all the kids education has been WM (no choice). They (the kids) see Welsh as the language of education full stop. They don't speak it at home, with their friends, at the rugby club, in shops, in their social activities; don't watch S4C etc. That said, primary teachers insist that WM will be best for them. I bought this for a while but am now in doubt. I have had to fork out for extra lessons in English, Maths and Science - interestingly from people who are currently teachers. So -day job teach the kids, make sure they don't do that well, and top up salary with evening work - get the kids results from C to A and everyone's happy. Should teachers be allowed to freelance un-regulated like this?? Or am I being cynical? My views on the 3 schools. Dyffryn Aman - good atmosphere, well furnished, helpful staff, polite kids, good results, languages treated equally. Gwendraeth - good atmosphere, old fashioned in appearance (under-funded knowing it is closing?), very helpful and professional staff, most improved results if you discount their excellent special needs facilities, Very professional and realistic Head, more Welsh spoken in the corridors and playground than in the other two schools (very surprising), polite kids. Maes Yr Yrfa - no buzz, surprisinly little Welsh spoken in the playground, seem to be happy with kids scraping C's, some staff very old fashioned in their approach (took me back to my school days - shut up and copy this from the board), huge focus on the performing arts - OK for those kids with a flair for these activities, no ambition, polite kids but without enthusiasm (although one 6th former did tell me that during GCSE exams they were given a copy of the paper in English in case they did not understand the Welsh copy - but they HAD to answer in Welsh - is this legal) I am probably still of the view that WM education is best for my kids, as their first 6 years have been WM. Dyffryn Aman could have offered this, but I am now told that no bus will be provided. Children are bussed in from outside the catchment are to Maes, why is this not the case the other way around? I am coming to the conclusion that Gwendraeth may be the better option, moving them To DA next year. Under no circumstances can I consider Maes Yr Yrfa after initial visits. Re-reading the comments from CCC to objections to the merger (on CCC website), one reason given for the 2A new school is that parents are failing to pass the Welsh language on to their children. If that is true - why try and force it through education. I have a better understanding after watching the recent History of Wales programme on the BBC, but have the feeling that this merger to a 2A is stick rather than carrot, which can only be detrimental in the long term. Is it simply revenge for what the English did to the Welsh a hundred plus years ago? So what should I do - any advice gratefully received - and could someone please explain why 2B in not a viable option - in seems to work at Dyffryn Aman and Towy Valley - why not here in the Gwendraeth Valley? A 2B school would allow my kids to take some subject in Welsh, and some in English, allowing them to develop both languages, with the insurance policy that if they struggled on some point, the other language could be used to explain it.

  • mw0cnd  |  April 01 2012, 8:21PM

    Wh1stleblow3r I'll start being nicer, if you'll start being smarter" You remind me of a toothache I once had. Lets start we live in Wales so I believe like many that children should be taught welsh and subjects in welsh medium schools you see its not done the Germans or French any harm being taught in their own language and I know most can speak English better than most English people can and some on this forum (name no names) because lets face the fact English medium education has failed our children abysmal for years if some parts of Wales want WM let it be that way so be it end of the argument!. I cant see no harm in children being taught in the true language of their country. I wish I could have been taught welsh 1st rather than English I'm sure the education standards would have been far superior. But lucky my parents were able to support me in my education other children in the 1970s weren't that lucky after all most were taught in sub standard English schools. So the question should be 2B or not 2B I think not to be is the answer and reading most of the anti-welsh education post on here it reminds me if people needed proof that evolution can go in reverse.

  • Penyfai  |  April 02 2012, 7:07AM

    April you are way off topic and your arguments are without reference. Where is your evidence that says speaking English, as you do, is holding Wales back? Where is your evidence that says WM schooling is better than EM schooling? This thread is advocating a 2B stream so the school is bilingual. Your comments are just plain silly. You are a troll.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 02 2012, 9:53AM

    As promised I have complained about your abuse MW. Kindly engage in debate rather than sling insults.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 02 2012, 9:57AM

    "A brief history of Wales When did Wales come into existence? As a country, Wales began with Henry VIII's Act of Union in 1536. Before that time Wales had been a loose collection of independent kingdoms and lordships with influxes and incursions from Europe. It's believed that Wales, as an area of land, has been inhabited since 250,000 BC Who are the Welsh? The Welsh today are descended from many people. Celtic tribes from Europe came to settle the whole of the British isles around 500-100 BC, alongside the original Iron Age population. It was their language which sowed the seeds of the modern Welsh language. Roman and Saxon invasions pushed the original Britons into the land area of Wales, where they became the Welsh people. Inward and outward migration has added diverse new layers of population across history. Where does the Welsh flag come from? The origins of the Red Dragon flag, or "y Draig Goch", could date back to the Roman period, when the dragon (or draco) was used by Roman military cohorts at the time of the Emperor Trajan. After the Romans left, the Red Dragon remained as a key emblem of Wales and there are accounts of battles against the Saxons under the Red Dragon. The Tudors adopted the Red Dragon, and the Welsh-born future Henry VII took to the battle of Bosworth Field under the Red Dragon standard. Where does the word Wales come from? The origin of the word Wales is a strange one. It is a variation on a common word used hundreds of years ago by the Anglo Saxons to mean foreigners or outsiders. Variations of the same word can be found in other countries, such as Walloon part of Belgium. Since this word is one given to the principality by the Anglo-Saxons rather than by ourselves, it could be argued that Cymru (meaning friends/companions) is a preferable one to Wales, although the origins are long enough in the past for us to be equally proud of both names today. Interestingly, a variation on Cymru can also be found outside Wales, as the name of the northern English county of Cumbria has similar linguistic origins." http://tinyurl.com/bsyqnls This reference proves a few things (i) the BBC is a vehicle to deliver nationalist propaganda, (ii) Wales and Cymru mean different things (iii) Wales a nation was created by the English (iv) the Welsh are descended from many peoples (v) Wales has diverse populations across its counties (v) the tudors adopted the red dragon as an emblem and they ruled Britain. Modern Wales is bicultural not bilingual. The ideology behind coercing the populous to speak Cymraeg is purely politically motivated by individuals seeking employment for their beliefs, paid for by the tax payer. Free work if you like for just speaking a language! I advocate choice. Nationalism, socialism and the socialists advocate coercion as choice doesn't work when you need to make people use something they do not want or need. The WLA and latterly WLM are examples of Cymraeg and the Cymry becoming the establishment; the political class. I question this trend, why do we need to speak cymraeg to be thought of by our own people as Welsh? The truth is we do not. We do not need affirmation from the language zealots for our English speaking culture in Wales. We do need them to accept that it is OK to speak English in Wales as it is in other countries, Ireland, Scotland, NZ, OZ etc. Wales means foreigner and as cited above modern Wales is made of immigrants from all over – we are all foreigners. Cymru means brother or comrade and they speak Cymraeg. It is therefore plain as day to me that I am Welsh not Cymry and I am perfectly happy understanding that. Some, however wish to be assimilated by the Cymry and be thought of as comrades, I wish them well and I accept them for who they are. (cont'd)

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 02 2012, 10:01AM

    (cont'd) MW et al understand that my culture defines me, Cymraeg will never define me. Wales is bicultural not bilingual, if it were bilingual the anthem would be in two languages but it isn't.

  • taffy_sense  |  April 02 2012, 10:51AM

    Neil I do not envy your predicament. As I understand it the head of Maes (band 4) will be taking over Gwendraeth (band 3) next year 2013. With all of the upheaval this will bring children will be low down on the list of priorities for staff regardless of medium of education.

  • tawse57  |  April 03 2012, 4:13PM

    It is shocking reading about this. I am stunned that this is going on behind the scenes in Wales - it is scandalous, as it appears to be being done on the quiet with the knowledge of most people in Wales. Isn't Welsh spoken by only a small percentage of Welsh people? No one wants to see it die out but forcing it on to us all, especially on to our children, smacks of something from Nazi Germany or Communist Russia. I had to go and do a google search on this subject and was surprised to find forums and a website, Gogwatch.com, which has loads of information about what is going on in our schools - there are teachers and parents writing all kinds of things about what is happening in our schools regarding forcing pupils to speak welsh and learn welsh. There are teachers and head teachers who say that they fear for their jobs or they can't get work because they don't speak Welsh. Others who say they are thinking of leaving Wales because of what is going on. Even parents who say that their children are being punished in school for SPEAKING ENGLISH!!! This is really evil. http://tinyurl.com/49xszpo I am the last person who would want Welsh to disappear but it seems a tiny minority have got into power and now look intent on forcing the rest of us to speak Welsh - OR ELSE!!! Scary.

  • neil91  |  April 03 2012, 7:28PM

    Thx for comments *****_sense. I overhead a conversation in Leeks in Cross Hands yesterday (little old ladies - reminded me of my grandmother). Apparently the headship of Gwendraeth for the coming year is not yet sorted. They have a good head at present who is only temporary (this was not mentioned when I visited the school). CCC are bending over backwards to get rid of her so that the Governors at gwendraeth have no option but to ask for the Maes head to take over.(why get rid of her - no idea - seeems a bit short sighted to me - how can you recruit a new head for one year only). Seems to be a plan to blame the governors for everyting and CCC comes out squeaky clean. There was much laughter when it was mentioned that the governing body of the new school has been "stacked in our favour - we can do whatever we want" (sic). Don't really understand what this means but seems sinister. Conversation switched to Welsh, and I got the impression that there is a move to ensure that no Maes teacher is at risk of losing their job. All very strange - and I only went into leekes to see if they had any tomato plants. Wonder if the trade unions know what is going on. Also picked up that the 6th form at Gwendraeth is closing in September, and that those pupils will be bussed to Ammanford. Why wont they take my kids there on the bus then - it will be almost empty? Perhaps if all parents who want WM education for their children were to request that they go to Dyfftyn Aman instead of Maes a bus could be laid on. I recall a headline in the Journal a couple of years ago comparing the schools merger to apartheid. While I did not agree with the sentiments at the time I am now beginning to wonder.

  • mw0cnd  |  April 04 2012, 1:28AM

    Dear me reading most of the post's on here you would never believe these people were born and bred in wales? the people who object." have a personal agenda rather than the interest of children at heart. If you live in Wales, what's the problem with children learning Welsh, or being educated through the language if they live in a Welsh / english speaking area's if they choose to?.There's nothing new about certain people who are against the welsh language, in the 80's some welsh medium schools were baracaded by english speakers. This was despite the fact that councils used to build the english medium schools brand new facilities, and then welsh medium schools would be housed in the old buildings left behind.These apparently vocal opponents of the welsh-language are so far little more than a handful of online apparitions.I don't trust any anti-welsh language zelot's to make a balanced assessment of education in wales.In a poll commissioned by the BBC 56% of ALL Welsh residents want an enhanced role for the Welsh Language !! So much for the anti-Welsh who live in Wales and want to Anglicise us ! .Welsh is the oldest language still spoken in these islands... its truly British......English is by and large a mongrel tongue imported over the centuries...English may be more practical but historically it is far less British.I know I'm up against Cultural Imperialism from some of the little wenglanders or plastic welsh,on here ..but Welsh will survive in its hearlands in spite of negative comments...as Voltaire said...the battle is not always won by the big battalions !.I stand by exactly what I said...Wales is awash with Quislings and has become outside its heartlands a servile people ! I for one won't bend the knee !If you cannot be bothered to learn the language of your own people or have faith in your Nation as a Nation, then you deserve no respect ! .also my 1st language is english I managed to learn my native tongue and I speak the language of occupation fairly well, however all i see on here is ignorance of your nations language, history and culture and you people have the gaul to call yourself welsh.

  • mw0cnd  |  April 04 2012, 1:32AM

    Since when has inhumanity ever halted the colonial Unionists who forced the near destruction of our language by implementing the Welsh Knot in our schools...it is a wonder Welsh survives at all...that it did is a testement to those who describe themselves as of the Cymru (not incidentally the Unionist Cymry) which very roughly trasnlated mean "band of friends" - nothing to do with ethnicity I have english german french who are more pro- welsh with a belonging,to our culture, history, language and future ambitions for the Internationally recognise nation of Wales.

  • taffy_sense  |  April 05 2012, 11:38AM

    April ... read this "Naturally common people don't want war, neither in Russia nor in England nor America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Herman Goering during the Nuremburg trials.

  • Penyfai  |  April 05 2012, 11:55AM

    OMG taff, OMG. I can see the parallels.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 05 2012, 12:04PM

    100 things I'd rather learn in Wales than Cymraeg. 1 painting, 2 carpentry, 3 welding, 4 electronics, 5 horticulture, 6 abseiling, 7 fishing, 8 photoshop, 9 animation, 10 engineering, 11 carving, 12 playing the harp, 13 relativity, 14 computer programming, 15 cooking (variety of food), 16 political lobbying, 17 poetry, 18 singing, 19 harp, 20 violin, 21 guitar, 22 saxophone, 23 trumpet, 24 trombone, 25 photography, 26 to read music, 27 Latin, 28 Catholicism, 29 rugby, 30 league, 31 bricklaying, 32 tree surgery, 33 metalwork, 34 ballroom dancing, 35 rock and roll dancing, 36 table tennis, 37 tennis, 38 squash, 39 flax weaving, 40 masonry, 41 piano, 43 how to be a good parent, 44 how to be a good father, 45 computers, 46 how to setup a wireless network (1km), 48 how to develop literacy (English language) skills in children, 49 how to improve technological outcomes, 50 how to create products that people will buy, 51 mandarin, 52 how to make a film, 53 how to make a radio programme, 54 developing leadership skills in others, 55 leadership, 56 knitting, 57 sewing, 58 how to breed spaniels, 59 how to improve rugby in Wales, 60 how to appreciate wine, 61 how to develop Welsh culture without Cymraeg, 62 boxing, 63 tie a bow tie, 64 free hand sketching, 65 Autocad, 66 sketchup, 67 Express PCB, 68 Express SCH, 69 sailing, 70 canoeing, 71 how to change a engine on a car, 72 stock market, 73 marketing, 74 business management, 75 snorkelling, 76 hunting, 77 shooting, 78 archery, 79 pottery, 80 Xylophone, 81 alpha course, 82 finance management, 83 childcare, 84 how to change education policy, 85 how to be a good host, 86 astronomy, 87 how to objectively assess historical data, 88 how to question political ideology, 89 how to bring government down, 90 how to make cider form apples, 91 how to butcher an animal, 92 how to frame pictures, 93 fabric painting, 94 how to make chip (IC), 95 SCUBA, 96 topiary, 97 enclosure design, 98 drums, 99 theology, 100 how to run a vinyard

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 05 2012, 12:12PM

    Just read this too Government Govern = guber = control Ment = mente = mind Control your mind... Welsh government = 'Welsh' mind control - when did anyone unpick "Welsh"? Let alone appreciate mind control... backed by the public service of the BBC... All the signs are there Taff

  • Speak007  |  April 10 2012, 9:17PM

    Ysgol Y Gwendraeth, is the best school in the gwendraeth valley. Look at the autistic unit, the recent "outrage at their budget" of gwendraeth, is as the autistic unit's funding comes out of the school's budge! why didnt the evening post mention this? And CCC's attitude that basically it'll be closing soon is absolutely scandolous!! I think its absolutely awful the way that CCC AND MENTER CWM GWENDRAETH are killing the english education in the valley. This is obliviously the case. This WILL leave a determinal efect on the Gwendraeth Valley. Look at the people moving in to the Gwendraeth Valley; the english will be discouraged from moving in and setting up businesses. To set the record straight, Gwendraeth has not been in "DECLINE" for years, only the recent 3, as CCC HAVE SAID THAT THEY WILL BE CLOSING IT!! DAN-01, did the welsh education recieved in maes yr yrfa help them in university. I know individuals who have branded learning subject in welsh, a "total waste of time, as it has not helped them at all in further education". I wonder if people are aware that MYY gets both welsh and english medium papers on exam days? If their welsh is so fluent why would they need both papers? The council are forcing children out of the GWENDRAETH valley. Sending them up to Ammanford where carmarthen schools are blatently closer. The councils attitude is that if you want an english education you will have to travel an hour and a half EACH WAY to amanford, or go to Coleg Sir Gar, where they do not offer all courses? I wonder how many have looked at the WAG school league tables? MYY is band 4 and Gwendraeth is band 3, yet gwendraeth is being branded the worser school by comments?....pffft!

  • Speak007  |  April 10 2012, 9:25PM
  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 17 2012, 10:47AM

    Well said Mr. Smith. Well said. I feel for all the good teachers being cast aside by politicians and their regressive ideologies.

  • jillyto24  |  April 19 2012, 9:58AM

    There is a nationwide strategy to steer more children into WM Education. For current information on education policy in Carmarthenshire, read their recent "Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2012": http://tinyurl.com/dx7xj4f

  • smiley101  |  April 20 2012, 10:08PM

    It is horrendous! Children now, this fair of a council, apparently wants to send children up to ammanford! which is more than an hour away for EM education!! I thought the education sector was ment to care about children and put their best intrests first? When you have people like Geraint Roberts on the panel, you wont get an answer they will just change the subject. It disgusts me.

  • Wh1stleblow3r  |  April 30 2012, 10:51AM

    Thank you Jilly "The county's unique position, which is considered a microcosm of the whole of Wales..." how on earth can CCC make this claim? Based on what grounds? Where is the evidence? CCC are making false claims in their DRAFT WESP. Wales is bicultural not bilingual.

  • smiley101  |  May 12 2012, 7:40PM

    CCC, are a joke. They don't care about the children in the schools, especially Gwendraeth. I know a child who will have to leave the house at 7 to go to amman valley. Geraint roberts and menter cwm gwendraeth are killing the english education in the valley. I know someone who studied at MYY then had to change all her understanding to english, to obtain a degree. Double the work.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 08 2012, 3:20PM

    I see the histrionics have carried on since I last posted here. Some laughable posts here: "I know someone who studied at MYY then had to change all her understanding to english, to obtain a degree. Double the work." smiley101 I slapped my forehead when I read that one. "this fair of a council, apparently wants to send children up to ammanford! which is more than an hour away for EM education!!" smiley101 again ... An hour from where? Gwendraeth? Takes me 35 min from Llanelli town centre. Llandovery? They'll be off to Llandeilo. Again, misleading. Fact is CCC wants to turn 5 schools into 3 due to cost cutting and a change in demographics. One of them will be a category 2A. So which will it be? Llandeilo, Ammanford or Gwendraeth? That's all there is to it. All the histrionics and bluster on here are symptomatic of an annular verbalisation on a grand scale.

  • Penyfai  |  June 08 2012, 11:57PM

    Since a 2B option has been ignored and rejected by the language zealots and CCC is clear through reading the public documentation that the sole policy CCC cares about is to coerce English first language speakers to learn through the medium of Welsh in order to promote an ideology. In a recent poll commisioned by radio cymru 56 % of those interviewed from across Wales want choice and do not want to be forced to learn cymraeg. CCC is ignoring choice. No histrionics, no waffle, just fact.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 10 2012, 12:32PM

    "Since a 2B option has been ignored and rejected by the language zealots and CCC is clear through reading the public documentation that the sole policy CCC cares about is to coerce English first language speakers to learn through the medium of Welsh in order to promote an ideology." There's the histrionics right there and the fiction to boot .... and you know it. You are so entrenched in your own ideology (a conspiracy theory) that you can't see the woods for the trees! The 2B option hasn't been ignored - it clearly exists within the Dinefwr area to which Gwendraeth belongs - get over it! The ONLY valid criticism so far has been travelling times and let's face it we are not talking more than a half hour here. "56 % of those interviewed from across Wales want choice" Selective use of "facts" there. How about a poll of the Gwendraeth population? In the last available census (far more comprehensive than a BBC poll) over 70% of the population speak welsh. SO WHERE PRECISELY DO YOU THINK THE WELSH MEDIUM SCHOOL SHOULD GO?!? Grud I'm tired of these anti-welsh "choice' xenophobes clucking loudly about their choice when their language "of choice" is spoken ubiquitously across our society and dominates our media. The choice if you live in the Gwendraeth will be this - for an EM education you can pop up the road to Llandeilo, Ammanford or down the road to Llanelli. All options are less than a half hour school bus away. Nobody is forcing anyone to go to a welsh medium school SO STOP LYING ABOUT IT!

  • Penyfai  |  June 11 2012, 7:20AM

    CCC call themselves a 'microcosm of life in Wales' so use of a Welsh survey is only right, just and fair. Did the survey also record that 100% of people that live in the Gwendraeth valey also speak English. Could you explain how people opposing coercion of Welsh in the Gwendraeth valley are "xenophobes" please? Xenophobes - "A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples." It is possible to learn Welsh in an EM school. It is possible to learn Welsh in a 2B school and all people in the Gwendraeth Valley speak English. I am not sorry you are "tired", but you have directed your fatigue at the 'anti-welsh' yet people who speak English are still Welsh. SHOUTING IN YOUR POSTS illustrates your lack of argumentative control. You have no defence for removing choice for people who want an English medium education in the Gwendraeth valley. The recent front page of the Western Mail demostrates that the support for all things Cymraeg is ebbing.

  • Penyfai  |  June 12 2012, 8:12AM

    Once again Jiffy I correct your inaccuracies as I assume you are not deliberatly lying. Gwendraeth was recently banded is band 3, MYY is band 4 a lower standard of education - QED. 2B school still offers choice to both languages as it is a bilingual school stream, with no commuting costs - it is the cheaper option. You have identified the core policy that you and CCC endorse the propagation of the Welsh language regardless of parental choice. Since this is the core policy why not say it aloud. Declare that the policy is the "eradication of the English Medium education from the Gwendraeth valley" as the title of the OP (original post). No conspiracy or insults - just facts.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 12 2012, 7:04PM

    I see my earlier post has been deleted - obviously someone is upset that I called you on your nonsense, so for the sake of a record here I once again state that you are waylaying the truth with your constant repetition of a completely inaccurate picture. You are fully aware that CCC is not denying anybody in the Gwendraeth an english medium education - it will be provided within a reasonable commuting distance. Like I said a 2B school does not provide the option the majority are choosing so it is you who seeks to curtail choice. You keep saying fact and I keep demonstrating that you are wrong but you are driven by your conspiracy theory so I conclude my part in this exchange with the simple truth that families in the Gwendraeth will in future be able to choose between english medium and welsh medium education close by in schools with a greater choice of courses and more efficient use of taxpayers money. No matter how inconvenient this is for your argument or how much you ignore the truth this will still be the case. You are wrong and you are using hearsay and conjecture to back your argument. You have demonstrated that you don't understand the demographic changes in Dinefwr or the difference between the different category schools. In short you don't appear to have an understanding of the issues at all but merely an axe to grind of your own making. I have nothing more to say to you. Your arguments are defunct.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 12 2012, 7:16PM

    Oh, by the way, there was one last thing - you said this: "Gwendraeth was recently banded is band 3, MYY is band 4 a lower standard of education - QED." Oh how I chuckled. This banding system was discredited almost as soon as it was made public. But, by your measure, Gwendraeth children will be better off going to Amman Valley which came in Band 1! Furthermore it is NOT expected that children in the English medium stream will be attending the new school on the Maes yr Yrfa site (which will be banded anew) - so your comparison is meaningless any way you look at it. QED! .... again.

  • Penyfai  |  June 13 2012, 7:35AM

    I can't take you seriuolsy JW. You accuse people opposing this policy as "xenophobes" You Undermine the banding system introduced by the WG and then use it to support your rhetoric. You ignore data provided by CCC that shows the intake for YGG is increasing. You ignore data provided by Radio Cymru. Insult. You reject a 2B option to teach Cymraeg when parents have shown they want that option. You accuse others of conspiracy yet do not explain the conspiracy. You support the eradication of EM education in the Gwendraeth valley. I shall just keep calm and carry on objecting to the eradication of English Medium education from the Gwendraeth valley.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 13 2012, 8:31PM

    Fair play there's something lacking with you Penyfai. "You accuse people opposing this policy as "xenophobes"" - You are prejudiced hence your conspiracy theory. "You Undermine the banding system introduced by the WG and then use it to support your rhetoric. " - You use rhetoric and call it fact. If you think this banding system is worth a tinkers cuss then you are having a laugh mate. It is an arbitrary calculation based on a number of measures which are weighted without evidence on the whim of an apparatnik in Cardiff. Besides you oppose WAG policy with the rubbish you're spouting here. "You ignore data provided by CCC that shows the intake for YGG is increasing." Currently at over 500 pupils (MYY at over 900) and pupil numbers in the YGG primary feeders falling. Demographics show that the welsh medium provision in Dinefwr needs to be increased. Majority of parents are calling for at least a category 2A school and have been doing so for decades now. "You ignore data provided by Radio Cymru. Insult." Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!! Crumbs you really are tickling me now. Is this the type of data like perfume adverts have - 90% of Cosmo readers* agree (*10 readers asked) - oh this is farcical on your behalf! A BBC poll is typically in the region of less than a thousand people. I compared it to a Census - almost everyone. Which do you think is more authoritative? "You reject a 2B option to teach Cymraeg when parents have shown they want that option." Wrong - majority are calling for a 2A or even 100% welsh medium. "You accuse others of conspiracy yet do not explain the conspiracy." Oh good grief! Isn't it obvious - you've got it in your head that CCC want to deny the families in Gwendraeth an english medium education and you are stirring up a hornets nest in attempt to win people over to your point of view. You have demonstrated in your posts your particular prejudice with regards to the provision of welsh language services, joyously quoting any spurious survey that supports your point of view. Thing is this axe of your own making that you wish to grind is your own invention - your conspiracy theory. The truth is nobody is forcing anyone to learn welsh, speak welsh or be educated in welsh and specifically not CCC in the Gwendraeth valley. You know full well provision will be provided to anyone wishing EM education there. "You support the eradication of EM education in the Gwendraeth valley." I categorically do not, neither do CCC - I just don't like people spouting nonsense and claiming they are presenting fact or the truth. You are very, very wrong. You are so far up your tree you couldn't possibly admit to being wrong now because you will look silly. But you still look silly and you're still wrong.

  • Penyfai  |  June 14 2012, 7:40AM

    If you do not support the eradication of English medium education from the Gwendraeth valley why are you supporting the eradication of English medium education from the Gwendraeth valley? It is a very simple question - you should have no problem entertaining us with your answer. I am on the edge of my seat.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 14 2012, 8:17PM

    Because Gwendraeth valley children will be able to receive an english medium education nearby. Not hard is it. CCC have not said they have to go to MYY. They have not refused to provide EM education. It is available to any who wish it. If you said CCC want to close an EM school and you object I wouldn't have batted an eyelid. You contend that they wish to eradicate EM from the valley. A quite different contention. You have stirred up a hornets nest. So you tell me - why would CCC lay on transport to nearby EM providers if they intended to "eradicate English medium education"? Truth is this is a school reorganisation being carried out for financial reasons NOT linguistic coercion as you maintain. By the way - it's you who is entertaining the masses. Repeating untruths do not make them true no matter how hard we try. It's funny watching you try ....

  • Penyfai  |  June 14 2012, 9:10PM

    You haven't answered the question. There will be no English medium education in the Gwendraeth Valley after the 'reorganisation' and you support this. The hypocrisy is tangible. No conspiracy. Just fact. Bzzzzzzzzzz

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 14 2012, 10:24PM

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA That's the funniest response yet!!!!! I'm creased up here! Fact my hat! How can you keep denying that EM provision will be given? You are a joke mate. You assume I support CCC - I'm just opposed to your baloney. You are desperate to be right. If you were right then CCC would be forcing every child in the Gwendraeth to receive a welsh medium education yet this is patently not so. Your contention is baseless and demonstrably so. I answered your question directly. You just don't like the answer. Once again I have proven you to be wrong. Once again you keep levelling the same accusation. Once again I tell you repeating untruths does not make them true. I have answered all your questions and proven you wrong on each occasion and you still cannot face the truth. Gwendraeth families will still be able to choose an English Medium education for their children following the reorganisation - arguably a better one with more choice! How on earth is that "eradicating english medium education from the gwendraeth"? You are deliberately trying to stir up a hornets nest and have dragged the welsh language into the debate. The debate has nothing to do with the medium of education but the respective economics of Dinefwr's schools. The council knows it's demographics for the next 10 years and knows the optimum number of schools is three and also knows that demand is such that one of those schools should be a category 2A whilst the others should be 2B. So come on Mr Choice - where should the 2A school be sited. In the gwendraeth, tywi or amman valley? Which one? Or are you going to deny a thousand or more families the education they wish for their children? Hypocrisy eh? Take a look in the mirror!

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 14 2012, 11:05PM

    Ho, ho, I just noticed this - you said this: "You accuse people opposing this policy as "xenophobes"" But earlier you said this:"Carmarthenshire County Council's decision is xenophobic" You've got them rolling in the aisles! Then you said this: "I have left Wales as this is what the Council want." I hesitate to comment but I truly doubt the council deliberately drove you in particular out of wales or ever intended to do so. Leaving wales on account of your perception of the councils' wishes seems such an extreme reaction but I digress. It seems that there is personal bitterness and a clear agenda at work from you Penyfai. I shall leave you be now since I am satisfied that I understand your point of view far better now.

  • Penyfai  |  June 14 2012, 11:24PM

    Goodbye JW. But you have failed to aswer the question. You claim not to support the eradication of English medium education from the Gwendraeth valley, yet support exactly that. THERE WILL BE NO ENGLISH MEDIUM EDUCATION IN THE GWENDRAETH VALLEY. FACT. CCC will bus people from the valley to EM schools. Yet a 2B option would provide EM education in the Gwendraeth valley. SIMPLEZ.

  • smiley101  |  June 15 2012, 10:45PM

    This says all that is to say - "I do not agree that Welsh is the indigenous language of the area. It is a bilingual area, just as Wales is a bilingual country. It is astounding, then, that The Local Authority can ignore this and propose a Welsh only Medium school quoting their own Welsh Language Policy as justification for it! Bilingualism is a fantastic skill to possess and our focus should be on promoting the EQUAL fluency of both lanaguages as this is in the best interests of our children. The majority of people in Wales are BILINGUAL (I have yet to meet a Welsh person who cannot speak English!), and for that reason, the majority do not rule at all! Keep Wales Bilingual - give the Gwendraeth Valley a 2B school. ". Why should children BE FORCED out of their area? And laughing at my earlier post??? Do they offer courses like Medicine and Pharmacy in WM? No. It is a fact that children will be FORCED to travel to Amman Valley, they will be FORCED out of the Gwendraeth Valley. Face Facts, Penyfai contains the most supported argument here.

  • Penyfai  |  June 16 2012, 5:14AM

    Well said smiley - a 2B option would provide for both languages and give real choice to those children. Creating a Welsh ghetto is counter productive and further divides Wales over the language. English is the Lingua Franca for business and with 640,000 words extends a person's ability to communicate. CCC policy to remove this bridge from children's lives is disgraceful.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 16 2012, 9:57AM

    ""I do not agree that Welsh is the indigenous language of the area" Well nobody needs you to agree. It is the indigenous language wether you like it or not. It was here in Wales before English was - so you can believe whatever you like. Doesn't change the truth. Most of the rest is quite right except you make the same error as Penyfai in taking Gwendraeth in isolation. You also neglect to mention what proportion of children will have to travel - it is a very low percentage compared to elsewhere in Dinefwr if a 2A school was placed elsewhere. Indeed you would then have both streams being bussed in multitudes around the whole region if you went down that road. As for this argument of 2B school in Gwendraeth I assume you also both mean 2B in Llandeilo and retaining 2B in Ammanford? If you both think that then you are denying the wishes of over over 900 families (with children in secondary alone) their wish of sending their children to a welsh medium school. 2B is NOT the same as 2A. I'm sure you both can appreciate the difference. A 2B school has english as the primary means of communication with welsh options. 2A has Welsh as the primary means with english options. A significant proportion of parents are even asking for a FULLY welsh medium school with NO english! So CCC are left with this kind of demand. Greater than 50% of Dinefwr wish to have a 2B school. More than 30% wish for a 2A school or a fully welsh medium school. So I put it to you both - In the Dinefwr reorganisation, what should the council do?

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 16 2012, 1:43PM

    "Do they offer courses like Medicine and Pharmacy in WM? No. " Actually, you may want to check out what's going on in welsh uni's. They are starting to offer more and more courses through the medium of welsh. Now they need to raise their own money through fees they are recognising the value of the WM demand and are responding to it. My point about offering more courses is that bigger schools have lower financial overheads per pupil and can more courses eg NVQ's, BTEC's, Language GCSE's, options in A Levels (music tech, electronics etc.). It seems to me that neither of you are aware of the advantages of CCC's proposals and are focussing on the fact that some pupils in Gwendraeth will have to commute a little further. Neither of you have addressed the demand for WM education - Penyfai, do you honestly think this is about creating a Welsh medium ghetto? A startling comment! Kids in WM or 2A schools have the advantage of being immersed in two languages and are fluent in both. WM stream kids in 2B are at a comparative disadvantage when it comes to welsh. Some 55% of Carmarthenshire speak welsh. This figure has grown by 4% since 2000. That is almost identical growth to the all wales figure. That is despite a very high outward migration figure in that time and a mainly english speaking inward migration figure and losing a 80%+ ward to Pembrokeshire! I think you two are out of touch with what is being asked for in carmarthenshire. You speak of majorities yet most of these welsh speaking families want WM education for their children and you are not prepared to accept that they should get what they are asking for. You want, in Gwendraeth, what the minority are asking for and then play with statistics to back your argument. Penyfai uses emotive language to paint a false picture. I want educational provision to reflect demand where it exists and I feel that CCC are taking tough decisions that will meet demand and offer the best solution both in language and finance. It's not often I agree with them (I'm still fuming about Llanelli town centre and my refuse collections) but on this one it's broadly right.

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 16 2012, 2:21PM

    "English is the Lingua Franca for business and with 640,000 words extends a person's ability to communicate. CCC policy to remove this bridge from children's lives is disgraceful." That is so completely opposite to what is going on it's crazy - what a ridiculous comment to make! Children leave WM schools fluent in both languages and often with good skills in a 3rd! What a complete misrepresentation you have made there!

  • Penyfai  |  June 17 2012, 12:49AM

    You still endorse the eradication of English medium education from the Gwendraeth valley JW. Yet claim bilingualism is the answer, but bilingualism taught in a WM school. As the world moves on and courses the world over will be offered in English, CCC moves backwards to coerce its populous to learn the Welsh language - why? English 640,000 words and Welsh 45,520 Words. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to realise that limiting one's vocbulary limits one's ability to express oneself. An expert education through the medium of English exposes children to a far greater lexicon and therefore to many more ways of expressing opinions, ideas, thoughts and dreams. Why would CCC want children to become proficient in a language with a smaller lexicon?

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 17 2012, 10:32AM

    Yawn yawn yawn .... repeating yourself again Penyfai. I'll spell it out for you .... children emerge from WM schools with fluency in both languages. Bilingualism is the norm around the world and extends our mental faculties to a tremendous degree. You are not going to win the "improving oneself" argument because ALL the evidence shows bilingualism to be a tremendous advantage. We are not talking about depriving ANY SINGLE CHILD the slightest bit of development in the english language. Not one child has ever emerged from Welsh Medium education incapable of expressing themselves in the english language. WM schools usually place high regard on achievement in that particular field. " CCC moves backwards to coerce its populous to learn the Welsh language - why?" Herein is your hysteria and the deliberate twisting of the truth. CCC IS NOT COERCING ANYONE. Also it is not backwards to be bilingual. Now I am tired of listening to you spout rubbish. I am done with you. I did say previously that this is over. It most certainly is now. That's the last time I correct your "untruths" I'm sure you will have some retort and you will repeat the same old garbage but you have long lost the argument and as someone once told me - you cannot reason with the unreasonable. Adios.

  • Penyfai  |  June 18 2012, 10:43AM

    Going again JW. You must be on an elastic band. Is there evidence to categorise bilingualism? For example one would have thought learning a language with a large lexicon is more beneficial than learning one with a small lexicon. For instance, which bilingual has the the greater "mental faculty" as you put it - a English/German or a Welsh/English? An English/Spanish or a Welsh/English. Stop hiding behind the bilingual argument. No one has left a WM school unable to speak English? Oh really? Any evidence to support that? No none as usual. didn't read the article in the Wales on line about the prisoner in a jail in Liverpool stopped from speaking Welsh to his son in prison. Apparently his son only spoke Welsh. You still avoid the simple questions. Why does CCC want children to be proficient in a language with a small lexicon?

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 19 2012, 11:08PM

    Thank you for your reply. It was more ignorant than I could ever have imagined and you have revealed your petty prejudice ... hung by your own petard. Hwyl fawr!

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 19 2012, 11:19PM

    Entry from the Oxford English dictionary: "How many words are there in the English language? There is no single sensible answer to this question. It's impossible to count the number of words in a language, because it's so hard to decide what actually counts as a word .... The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use." Mate, get your FACTS straight. It's not CCC who want children to learn welsh. It's welsh families who choose. By the way your attitude about the welsh language is offensive and disgusting.

  • Penyfai  |  June 20 2012, 7:44AM

    Once again boomerang JW has been reduced to insults, and fails to answer questions he raised. Why do parents want their children to learn Welsh JW? Why? Why become expert in a language with such a comparitvely small lexicon? Which bilinguals have the greater "mental capacity" as you put it. "Number Of Words in the English Language The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (OED2) includes over 600,000 definitions. The Global Language Monitor announced that the English language had crossed the 1,000,000-word threshold on 10 June 2009. The announcement was met with strong scepticism by linguists and lexicographers, though a number of non-specialist reports accepted the figure uncritically. However, in December 2010 a joint Harvard/Google study found the language to contain 1,022,000 words and was expanding at the rate of 8,500 words per year. Posted in Science, USA on June 17, 2011" Your're proved wrong again JW. How many words from the Welsh language are in regular usage? 1500 is it?

  • JiffysWonders  |  June 20 2012, 6:52PM

    Yes a large lexicon English does have, yet you cannot string together the words to make a coherent argument. Thank you for the anti-welsh diatribe. Thank you for revealing once again your disgusting attitude towards other people - welsh speaking people in this case. It's clear that you are a bigoted little man. Gyda llaw, wna'i mynd ati i siarad fy iaith heb poeni am dy sarhad. Truan bod gen ti meddwl mor gul. You're not pro-choice Penyfai - you're anti-welsh. Why don't you just admit it? You said ... "How many words from the Welsh language are in regular usage? 1500 is it?" You should apologise for this offensive comment. It's one thing to insult me, but hundreds of thousands of welsh speakers? Shows your poor character and astonishing ignorance.

  • Penyfai  |  June 23 2012, 4:09AM

    Spectatcular FAIL JW - are you going to enlighten us any time soon by answering the questions? Indeed it is the language of the Cymry it is not the language of Wales. Why is it that any time someone asks a challenging question about the Welsh language you are immediately insulted with phrases such as anti-welsh? Truly pathetic nationalism in all its glory. 2B for Gwendraeth.

  • Vince_T_Rock  |  June 26 2012, 7:43PM

    Is it my imagination or is there a distinct correlation between what is happening in Carmarthen-shire and the situation in the middle east with the Israeli's, a minority with overwhelming economic backing (welsh speakers) and the Palestinians (English speaking majority). Interesting to note the "pro-welsh" arguments all made in English otherwise no-one would even be bothered to read them. At the end of the day it should not even come down to "pro" or "anti" welsh. The overriding factor of paramount importance is that any local government authority should be "pro-education" which teaching solely under the medium of welsh in the 21st century is clearly not.

  • Penyfai  |  August 21 2012, 8:14AM

    Why would any progressive industry want to seek a base in Carms. Utter madness! "CONTROVERSIAL plans to merge two secondary schools in the Gwendraeth Valley are still being pushed ahead by the council — despite the ongoing threat of a legal challenge. Carmarthenshire Council's technical services department last week submitted a planning application outlining the proposals for the new site at Ysgol Maes yr Yrfa, Cefneithin. The council hopes to merge Ysgol y Gwendraeth, in Drefach, with the Cefneithin school by 2015 — but campaigners have applied for a third judicial review into the proposals. Views in the area are split over how much Welsh language education the school should offer, with the council recommending about 80 per cent of classes be taught in Welsh. This prompted fears among some that removing the choice of an English-medium education could spark an exodus of talent from the valley, while others called for a fully-fledged Welsh medium school. But a council spokesman said it was forging ahead with its plans — backed by the executive board in November and sent for final approval from the Welsh Government. "There is a judicial review still outstanding on the schools issue but we need to go ahead with the planning process," said the spokesman. "We have submitted a planning application for the development of the new Ysgol Cwm Gwendraeth School to replace the current Gwendraeth School and Ysgol Maes yr Yrfa, which will be based on the Maes yr Yrfa site. "It is all dependent upon the judicial review and the decision of Welsh Government education minister Leighton Andrews." The proposals for Maes yr Yrfa form part of bigger changes to secondary education in the county, with changes also planned for three schools in the Amman and Towy valleys. Campaigners opposed to plans for the region's schools have applied for a third judicial review despite having been turned down by a judge twice, with a decision expected this month. Llanelli Conservatives' honorary secretary Keith Evans, who lives in Pontyberem, has long campaigned against the proposed loss of Ysgol y Gwendraeth under the merger plans. He said: "I think it's disgraceful that one of the best performing schools in Carmarthenshire according to recent information is being treated in this way. "It is a low blow to parents, staff and children and it is going backwards to something from the 1960s with a segregation policy where English medium students are going to have to be bussed out of the valley. "Culturally it is a disaster. The council should respect the review that is going on."" http://tinyurl.com/c6kt5fz

  • Tipsyb  |  November 25 2012, 8:34AM

    If I went to live in France I would expect to speak French, if I went to live in turkey I would expect to speak Turkish . What's the difference, I'm English born and brought up in Wales, over the years I've seen English people turn up with the money they have made on their expensive English properties buying up property and thinking that they are better than everyone else. They then proceed to attempt to bring in their own values as the welsh are too thick in their eyes to do anything for themselves. If we are too thick then why are you here? . This is not everyone but a significant amount. My parents were from Durham. I went to a welsh medium school where I was expected to learn and speak the language , I'm fifty years old. This is not new it's part of the culture. Either adapt or leave we will survive without you.

  • Penyfai  |  November 26 2012, 9:01AM

    So Tipsyb you advocate cleansing the Gwendraeth Valley of Welsh people that prefer to speak English. No where does it say that Welsh people MUST speak Cymraeg. Your attitude is typical of the English hegemony an English descendent "TELLING" us Welsh how we should live. Laughable.

  • Dan01  |  November 26 2012, 2:55PM

    I can't believe how much nonsense has been posted here by the anti welsh brigade. eg " they are not providing for the people. They are serving their own personal and nationalistic interests " Who are "they"? They are the people elected by the people. Its a good job that we do have democracy. Democracy is not meant to be OK when it suits your personal views, and not when you can't have what you want. If you want to change policies then you know what you have to do,- find a representative(s) who share your views. Err, oops, - you can't find one? Have you thought that maybe you are simply living in the wrong area, for you. There are other parts of Wales that may be more sympathetic to your concerns.

  • Eric_Pode  |  November 26 2012, 5:21PM

    Quote: 'Welsh people that prefer to speak English.' As opposed to Welsh people who prefer to speak English? Dan01 This thread has been running since 17 November of last year.

  • Dan01  |  November 26 2012, 7:49PM

    You think i don't know that? Read my posts. I was merely trying to bring it to a conclusion!

  • Penyfai  |  November 27 2012, 8:11AM

    Dan - using your argument. Would be OK for people who speak Cymraeg to be asked to move out of English speaking areas of Wales? Dan - kindly provide your definition of 'anti-welsh' Dan - you are confusing democracy with majority rule. Clearly democracy is not working in this area as not all citizens are being treated equally. Finally - to put this to rest as you have failed to do. A bilingual school in the Gwendraeth valley would provide for all...

  • Carnabwth  |  November 27 2012, 11:31AM

    I have read this article and the comments with interest. I was educated at Ysgol Uwchradd y Gwendraeth and was involved in the "common sense campaign" to retain that school as a comprehensive with outstanding playing fields against the hemmed in restrictive confines of Ysgol y Gwendraeth. Sadly political elitism won the day. I have watched the increasing wheeling and dealings behind closed doors and never understood why the man they parachuted in to close Cynheidre Colliery was able to get such a powerful foot in the door of Carmarthenshire's educational system. Qualified to state; I have watched good teachers with their lives destroyed as a result of those that have never practiced in education wallowing dictating in education. The end product is there for all to see. I rest my case!

  • leonked  |  February 09 2013, 5:21PM

    The biggots in Carmarthenshire CC are just as bad as Ceredigion CC - I live in Ceredigion and already travel 16 miles each way to to Newcastle Emlyn (Carmarthenshire) to have my son educated in Ysgol Y Ddwylan where for the 2 reception classes he is forced to be educated through Welsh - We can then choose for him to join an English stream. This is now in Jeopard! Carms CC have in their infinate wisdm chosen to put this to consultation that the school will switch to a WM facility! There are no other EM facilities in the area! We are looking to move to a more open minded authority area - changes of jobs for both myself and my wife (an IT Manager and a secondary school teacher who do not speak welsh) Is this what we are forced to do to get a good education our children Surely this is discrimination - if not Xenophobic - the irony is that my wisf and I are both born and bred in Wales and have never lived a day outside of wales! At some point something will snap and someone within the county will realise that this is not only detrimental to our youngsters but also our Economy - Cardigan had a large company pull out of an investment as it's main workers whom would be relocated to the area would not be able to have their children educated through English. With Agriculture and tourism on rock bottom where will the finance come from? Retired English people com in here to live out their days?

  • leonked  |  February 09 2013, 5:29PM

    I read with interest the comments from 1st language welsh speakers. I am not Anti Welsh language and woud love to have learnt ( I have tried several times but just can not get it) My son has a good trap of the language but sometime struggles. As a non-welsh speaker I struggle to assist my 5 year old with his homework as I don't understand what he has been given (In a bi-lingual svchool the instructions are only in welsh!) how will i cope when he is 15 and I really can't help him - how can he not be at a disadvantage having to translate from Welsh to English and back again - if nothing else he will spen longer on everything and therfore miss out on potentially critical info by being taight through welsh. It is a dying language (census proved!) and I believe it shoul be maintained if there is interest but not at the expense of our childrens education!!!

  • Penyfai  |  February 17 2013, 5:42PM

    As the teachers at Gwendraeth face the humiliation of applying for their own jobs at a new school which will be purely a Cymraeg, I see the press are avoiding the story like the plague. Wales is NOT bilingual. The eradication of the English language from the Gwendraeth valley is almost complete.

  • Penyfai  |  July 05 2013, 10:38AM

    English language education has been eradicated from the Gwendraeth Valley.

  • Penyfai  |  August 30 2013, 7:37AM

    1 day & English medium education will be officially eradicated from the Gwendraeth Valley - a final solution?

  • Skeeper  |  November 16 2013, 1:58PM

    I'm just in the process of transferring my 7 year old daughter from her WM school to an EM one so that she will have the option to be taught in the English stream in secondary school. The irony is that I would prefer her to stay in a WM primary school (as her older siblings did, and continued in WM at secondary school) but as we are an English speaking household I won't put her education at risk in a 2A secondary school. In my opinion a child's education is more important than some abstract scheme to maintain the Welsh language. I just wish the council felt the same.

  • Wh1stleblower  |  November 20 2013, 6:45AM

    I have transferred my children from WM education and they have thrived in their new schools. The quality of the prospectus for the YMG school speaks of educating a child to the limit of their ability, null Who defines this limit of ability? Why does ability have a limit? A pathetic aim.

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