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First group of children at new Welsh language school sit GCSEs

10 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Llanhari Primary Pupils

The first group of pupils that started at a new Welsh medium school in 2012 sat their GCSE exams this summer.

Since Ysgol Llanhari evolved from being a comprehensive school to deliver education through the medium of Welsh to children from the ages of 3 – 19 in 2012, they are now seeing that first primary year of the school sit their GSCEs.

Ysgol Llanhari in the village of Llanhari opened in 2012 as Rhondda Cynon Taf’s first all-age school with an intake of pupils to the reception and nursery class.

Seven years later, the secondary department is the natural next step for the pupils in the primary department of the school.

In year 7, other pupils from the cluster schools join the pupils from Llanhari’s primary department before continuing their journey into the school’s sixth form or to college and the world of work.


This September, Ysgol Llanhari is celebrating the fact that Welsh medium education has been available in the area for 50 years, first opening in 1974 as Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari.

The pupils, now aged 15 and 16, began primary in 2012 when the school first expanded to cater for the combined years, and they are now sitting their first GCSE exams.

“Time has flown”

Meinir Thomas, Headteacher of Ysgol Llanhari, says: “It’s wonderful to be a part of our first primary pupils’ journey from their first year, to their last.

“They are now completing their GCSE’s and I can’t believe how time has flown.

“The school’s 2012 developments made a significant change in the way that we support our pupils, all the way from their early years to adulthood.

“Being able to support them for this length of time has allowed us to focus on the individual needs of each pupil and help them reach their potential.”

GCSE results will be available to pupils in late August of this year, and Ysgol Llanhari are eager to see what their longest standing pupils have achieved. 


Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Education, Inclusion and Welsh Language, said: “I’m very proud to see the journey of the first set of primary pupils from Ysgol Llanhari come to sit their GCSE exams, especially as the school nears its 50th anniversary of delivering Welsh medium education.

“Welsh medium education is very important to us and as part of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) we have a significant investment in its development.

“We are also excited to welcome the Eisteddfod to the County Borough as a further acknowledgement to our Welsh heritage where schools like Ysgol Llanhari will be taking part.”

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