Moving to north wales with 2 children, no welsh

(31 Posts)
Evbev Tue 19-Feb-13 13:14:40

Hi there, just wondering where to start. we are moving from ireland to the gwyned area and don't know where to start! No welsh whatsoever. Where is a good place to live there? We need good facilities such as tennis and shops within walking distance for our children.

run4it Tue 19-Feb-13 13:21:06

As an Irish person living. In South Wales I can't help, other than to say I love Bangor, but wish you luck!

Machadaynu Tue 19-Feb-13 14:33:15

If you want facilities within walking distance for a child you're realistically looking at living in a decent sized town I'd have thought, and there aren't many. Caernarfon, Rhyl, Llandudno, Porthmadog, Bangor. I've always thought Aberystwyth must be nice as it has students in term time and holiday makers over summer, but I've been told that it's not that nice a place to live. Never been there though.

Given a job anywhere I'd like to live in Criccieth. Not sure if there are tennis courts though.

Kamer Tue 19-Feb-13 14:54:54

Look for an area that has a choice of schools that are bi-lingual rather than Welsh medium, as some areas of Gwynedd are very heavily Welsh speaking.

KandyBarr Tue 19-Feb-13 20:26:53

I grew up in Gwynedd, and my sister still lives there with her young family. Welsh is pushed hard in all primary schools, but you will find that they throw resources at helping non-Welsh speaking children to catch up. Most teachers seem to speak Welsh as their first language.

There are advantages - Welsh children tend to be great at modern foreign languages. But it can be strange - and a bit isolating - for non-Welsh speaking parents.

Evbev Wed 20-Feb-13 14:10:11

Thanks for all your replies
KandyBarr, would you know if the Conwy area would be better for a non welsh speaking family so they don't feel as isolated? I've been searching online to figure out which schools conduct lessons through english - can't figure it out. how do I know?

citygirl5151 Wed 20-Feb-13 14:25:29

Hi Evbev - we used to live in Llandudno, Conwy and there are probably more English medium schools than there are Welsh medium!! If you need the names of any just let me know.

Evbev Wed 20-Feb-13 14:28:17

yes please citygirl5151 that would be great!

My family is from the little village next to Penryhn Castle - it's a beautiful part of the world!

citygirl5151 Wed 20-Feb-13 14:34:03

Hi there - Ysgol Tudno, Sant Sior and Craig y Don are the English medium primary schools (there are a couple more too) and Ysgol John Bright is the secondary English medium school. Hope this helps smile)

KandyBarr Wed 20-Feb-13 14:34:53

Yes, agree with citygirl - Conwy and Llandudno schools are more likely to have a mix of English and Welsh first-language speakers

citygirl5151 Wed 20-Feb-13 14:35:51

Oh and Blessed William Davies is a lovely little English medium primary school. It is RC but you don't have to be Catholic to attend - very small and friendly it is smile)

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 20-Feb-13 14:35:59

I'm in Denbighshire, with recent Irish neighbours, its a real mix here some Welsh medium, some bilingual (its what my children do) someEnglish with a smattering of Welsh.

I'm English first language with a smattering that i've learnt as an adult.

Schools fall into language categories and you can see which category they are on their Estyn report (Welsh ofsted equivalent) see hear Estyn

I have afour bed fully renovated detached house with a stream/ river and waterfall inthe garden for salefor £290,000 to giveyoua feeling for prices round here.

prh47bridge Thu 21-Feb-13 00:33:19

According to the council all primary schools in Gwynedd are bilingual with the majority of the teaching in Welsh. There are no English only or Welsh only primary schools. In at least some schools the only subject taught in English is English! Welsh is the official language for end of key stage assessments. Your children will spend their first term after moving to Wales at a language centre, receiving an intensive course in Welsh before returning to their own school.

learnandsay Thu 21-Feb-13 01:01:24

Personally I don't think that the problem is for the children; children pick up languages easily. I think it's the parents who struggle.

Naoko Thu 21-Feb-13 01:31:58

Hi op, I'm in Bangor which is a good place to live. Conwy and llandudno are nice too, don't move to rhyl though, it's a bit grim. On the other side of the strait, Menai bridge is really lovely. I don't have DC so can't help with schools but I havea number of friends who moved here as children and they all say they learned Welsh fast and without trouble in school so don't worry too much. It is a fairly strongly Welsh speaking area in that you'll hear it in shops and in the street, and plenty of people are first language Welsh speaking, but I can't speak Welsh beyond the very basics and in the 9 years I've been here it's never been a problem. Feel free to pm me if you need some local knowledge on Bangor smile

Naoko Thu 21-Feb-13 01:35:59

Oh and remember Bangor is a student town - a massive part of the population is not Welsh, so as non-Welsh parents you would not stand out.

MariusEarlobe Thu 21-Feb-13 01:41:00

Lots of North Wales is fine for none Welsh speakers particularly places like Llandudno/Bangor/Prestatyn where lots of tourists go.

I grew up in conwy and can only remember two random Welsh sentences. I miss it so much!

sashh Thu 21-Feb-13 05:14:57

OK I have nothing to add to the discussion but I have a question. Why don't the English medium schools have English names?

Tiggles Thu 21-Feb-13 09:54:32

Because they are in Wales, so the places have Welsh names.
Although to be fair it would be easier to distinguish them if they were school rather than ysgol.

hippo123 Fri 22-Feb-13 20:12:08

I'm near Caernarfon. All schools in Gwynedd are welsh medium, although some have more English speaking kids in than welsh. My ds is in year 1 and has been totally fluent since half way though reception despite English parents. The schools here are excellent. How old are your dc? feel free to pm me and I can give you a lowdown on the Caernarfon / Bangor / south Anglesey areas.

highlandbird Fri 22-Feb-13 22:30:47

I'm from Anglesey originally, i don't know if you're considering that area, there are some lovely villages on the island but I would (personally) give Llangefni, Holyhead and Amlwch a wide berth! All my schooling was done through welsh (except English!) and there were some children whose parents didn't speak any welsh, some that had moved from other areas, never seemed a big deal we just spoke English with those friends and their families. I haven't lived there for 9 years but from what I remember Menai bridge seemed to have a lot more English (first language) speakers, and there is a secondary school there that had a decent reputation at that time. I went to Llangefni secondary school, was very rough and not a very good school IMO but again, that was a few years ago and it might have changed a lot since then!
I have family in the Llandudno and Conwy area and they seem to speak a lot more English day to day than we did on Anglesey, even though welsh is their first language. I'm sure your children will pick it up quickly but I wouldn't worry too much if you don't, so many people have moved into the area from elsewhere I really don't think it's so much of a big deal these days.
Good luck!

highlandbird Fri 22-Feb-13 22:36:52

Sorry just realised after posting that thread was in primary education....so info on secondary schools was irrelevant really! There are some fantastic village primary schools on Anglesey but it would maybe take a while to settle in to a welsh medium primary school as literally everything is taught through welsh in the classroom (well it was when I was at school anyway!), slightly different in secondary as classes were divided into welsh first language, welsh second language and welsh learners.

Evbev Sat 23-Feb-13 07:57:37

thanks highlandbird, acutally my son is 12 so secondary is relevant too. Are ALL secondary schools divided into welsh first language, welsh second language and welsh learners? Or is it just Anglesey?

highlandbird Sat 23-Feb-13 08:21:05

I really don't know sorry, that's just my experience from school on Anglesey, everyone did mix outside of class though, and in pe, assembly etc.
Sorry not to be of more help!

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