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New scheme aims to increase Welsh language education workforce

21 Feb 2024 5 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

A new scheme has been launched to provide mentoring and experience to students who may be considering taking their teacher training through the medium of Welsh.

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s scheme, ‘Dysgu’r Dyfodol’ (Teaching the Future), provides mentoring sessions and work experience to university students who may be interested in a career as a schoolteacher to encourage them to take Initial Teacher Education courses through the medium of Welsh.

Growing the workforce

The project is funded by the Welsh Government, and ultimately aims to increase the number of people entering the Welsh language education workforce.

The scheme offers mentoring sessions from teachers who have recently entered the workforce and work experience for undergraduate or postgraduate students to give them an insight into a career as a school teacher.

Morgan Ward & Catrin Davies

Morgan Ward from Bridgend was encouraged to pursue a career as a teacher after entering the scheme last year while studying for a degree in Welsh at Cardiff University.

Morgan, who is now studying an Initial Teacher Education course at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “I’ve always been interested in being a teacher, but I was also a little insecure because I didn’t know very much about the job and hadn’t been in a school since I was a kid.

“Joining this scheme gave me the opportunity to spend time in a school, and have a personal mentor which was a great opportunity for me to ask all sorts of questions and learn more about being a teacher.

“I also feel that the scheme has given me the confidence and knowledge to successfully apply on an Initial Teacher Education course, and for that I am very grateful.”

“Passion”

Catrin Davies completed the scheme last year while she was studying for a degree in Music and Drama at Bangor University. Following the scheme she went on to study the Initial Teacher Secondary Education in Music, and felt that her experience on the scheme reinforced her passion to become a teacher in the future.

Catrin said: “Without a doubt, ‘Dysgu’r Dyfodol’ scheme has been incredibly valuable to me and has opened my eyes to new possibilities and opportunities.

“I had a great mentor who was a Music teacher, so I gained perfect insight into a particular career that interests me, and it was a privilege to have the opportunity to ask questions and hear about their experiences.

“I will certainly recommend anyone interested to learn more about a career as a teacher to join this scheme.”

Each student who completes the scheme receives two days’ work experience at a Welsh-medium school and three online mentoring sessions with an early career teacher.

As well as recruiting students, the Coleg recruits mentors in Welsh schools across Wales who are interested to mentor students.

Siriol Elis, a Spanish teacher at Ysgol Tryfan, has returned to the scheme again this year because she enjoyed the experience of mentoring a student last year on the scheme.

Siriol said: “I would have loved to have a mentor when I was a nervous young student starting to think about my career.

“I hope that sharing my experiences has been helpful to the student I have mentored, not only to strengthen their understanding of the job, but also to give them the confidence to apply for an Initial Teacher Education course.”

Rewarding career

Jack Griffiths, a Biology teacher at Ysgol Llangynwyd had a very positive experience of being a mentor last year and enjoyed encouraging others to start a very rewarding career.

He said: “I really enjoyed being a mentor because the experience re-sparked the reason why I went into education in the first place.

“I love being a teacher, and seeing the progress and growth in pupils from year 7 to when they leave school.

“It’s a privilege to play a part in their journey offering ideas and providing guidance, and this mentoring scheme has been an extension of that.

“I got so much out of the experience and would encourage all teachers to consider joining the scheme.”

Long term impacts

Rebecca Williams, who is Senior Manager of Language Skills and Workforce Planning at Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is positive about the long-term impact of the scheme on the education workforce.

Rebecca said: “The education sector faces challenges in attracting and retaining teachers.”

“By giving students the opportunity to get a real taste of the teaching profession we aim to increase interest in the profession, and offer support when applying for a course.

“The position of a teacher is so rewarding – it provides the opportunity to play an absolutely key role in our society, including contributing to reaching one million Welsh speakers. Therefore, if you want to find out more about the profession, join the ‘Dysgu’r Dyfodol’ scheme.”

To find out more about the ‘Dysgu’r Dyfodol’ scheme and to apply for a place as a student or mentor, contact Hannah Davies on [email protected] or visit www.colegcymraeg.ac.uk


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Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

Well I hope it succeeds in bringing people into the profession because we are in crisis. If we continue as we are, the system will fall over within the next five years or so. This year, apparently, there is not one Science student teacher following the PGCE yn y Gymraeg in the whole of Cymru. The numbers have been tiny for a number of years now. This causes enormous pressure on existing staff which is only getting worse. Fact is, that it is not an attractive profession. Ministers need to listen to teachers. Goodness knows the unions have been warning… Read more »

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Shocking

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