Welsh medium nursery then English medium reception / primary. Did you make the switch and if so, why?

(27 Posts)
mummyagainin2016 Mon 01-Feb-16 12:32:32

Neither DP or I speak Welsh but I'm Welsh so did some at school. Thinking of sending DS to Welsh medium school nursery in September just to try it but think we'll still choose English Medium for primary school when we need to make that decision next January for the following September. Is this madness? Should we just do English medium nursery too?? If you switched why was that? Would love to hear experiences please as this decision is doing our head in!! Thanks

mummyagainin2016 Mon 01-Feb-16 18:14:09

Anyone? I'm going back and forth, going crazy!

confusedandemployed Mon 01-Feb-16 18:16:40

I speak Welsh and DD is going to Welsh medium nursery from next month. TBH I see no benefit to changing from one to the other. IMO if you send your child to Welsh medium school you need to be fully behind the choice. The only reason to change in my view would be if your DC is struggling with the language.

confusedandemployed Mon 01-Feb-16 18:17:58

Oh and for context my parents weren't Welsh speakers but sent me anyway and didn't experience any problems with homework-helping or anything like that. My Welsh has been very useful in my career too so so I'm very glad they made the decision.

OvariesBeforeBrovaries Mon 01-Feb-16 18:20:56

I'm the same as Confused - parents didn't speak Welsh but I went through all Welsh medium first language education. It's massively advantaged me - I can't honestly see the point of going WM nursery if nothing they learn is going to be reinforced.

RudeElf Mon 01-Feb-16 18:22:52

No point sending to welsh nursery if you are going to educate in english. Leave the nursery space for a child who will actually be carrying on the language.

mummyagainin2016 Mon 01-Feb-16 18:59:13

Thanks for replying! Interested to know broadly what careers you have and how Welsh has helped. Also how will we reinforce our child's Welsh if neither of us speak it? I'm so torn between wanting to give an opportunity but fearing that they will be disadvantaged by us not speaking Welsh and so them being educated in a second language. How soon do any issues a child may with the language itself become apparent and is it not too late to switch to English medium by that point?

RudeElf Mon 01-Feb-16 19:11:18

Also how will we reinforce our child's Welsh if neither of us speak it?

You could learn it? grin

I'm so torn between wanting to give an opportunity

If you are only sending to welsh nursery and not welsh primary then its not an opportunity for the child. Its really only worth doing if you are going to follow it through with primary education or if welsh is a spoken language at home.

How soon do any issues a child may with the language itself become apparent and is it not too late to switch to English medium by that point?

Amongst my DCs peers (irish medium not welsh) some changed to english for primary. Some left at the end of P1 (year 1) others have gone through to p3 and then changed. However, i will say that each of the DC (4 in total) i know that changed to english education had additional support requirements for things like behavioural issues, dyslexia etc. (I know because i am friends with the parents) however i will say i know some DC with those issues (my own included) that have remained in the irish medium school and are being supported.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Mon 01-Feb-16 19:16:27

So many parents who send their children to WM schools don't speak it, at least in South Wales. I know several people in work who are in that position, and none of them are having any issues. It reassured me enough to decide to send DS to a WM school, even though we can't speak it (we're hoping he'll teach us).

mummyagainin2016 Mon 01-Feb-16 19:20:16

Rude I / we may choose to learn Welsh over time but I don't want to be in a situation where unless I do my child will be disadvantaged at Welsh medium school. Having already learned one additional language to near native fluency, I know that it takes time and effort, both of which I have less of since having children! Advocates of Welsh medium like to emphasise that most kids come from non-Welsh speaking homes and do fine but I wonder if this is really true and also whether 'fine' in a a Welsh medium setting might have been more than that had they gone to English medium instead.

mummyagainin2016 Mon 01-Feb-16 19:22:19

I'm in South Wales jesus. Do you feel you miss out at all on school life as you don't speak Welsh? How do you manage homework? Are your kids in primary or secondary? Thanks!

ilovewelshrarebit123 Mon 01-Feb-16 19:27:11

My DD goes to Welsh medium school, she's 8 and Yr4. She's fluent and we've never had any problems with the fact I don't speak Welsh.

I'm so proud she's fluent, she joined reception not knowing a word of Welsh and loves it.

I'd choose one and stick with it.

RudeElf Mon 01-Feb-16 19:29:29

My irish is GCsE level/conversational. DS1 is in p6 and we've managed pretty well with homework. He helps DS2 out with anything i struggle with but the teachers are great and they know which parents have irish and which dont so notes come home in english and they are happy to take a minute to explain anything i'm not sure about. Many of the parents at our school dont have any Irish. The DC do have to converse solely in irish in school and teachers only address them in irish and vice versa. But i think if you are sending to primary you will be fine having little or no welsh.

Peppaismyhomegirl Mon 01-Feb-16 19:30:46

We chose English and moved areas to get DC into a good primary and secondary to accommodate this. The Welsh schools were better in our old area but DH and I don't speak and Welsh and it hasn't furthered our career choices in any way so didn't see the point. I want to be fully involved with their school and homework and just felt I couldnt be if I didn't speak Welsh

RudeElf Mon 01-Feb-16 19:37:49

DH and I don't speak and Welsh and it hasn't furthered our career choices in any way

How could it further your careers if you dont speak it?

OvariesBeforeBrovaries Mon 01-Feb-16 19:47:51

mummy I meant not going to be reinforced by not sending them to welsh medium primary school too. Although my parents took an interest in what I was learning and learned basics bore da/sut wyt ti etc to reinforce the learning at home smile

I left university last year, going into the arts once I've done my MA. The sheer number of contacts I've made in the industry through speaking Welsh is reason enough for me to be glad I speak it fluently, but also for going into my specific field of interest (Theatre in Education) in Wales, fluency in Welsh is a massive bonus.

In terms of interim jobs (got to pay for the MA somehow) I've worked in one full-time and one part-time job since leaving, and both times my fluency in both languages was stated as a factor that gave me the edge. Same for the job I've just been hired for in a building society; being bilingual English & Welsh was seen as a massive plus point.

ChiefClerkDrumknott Mon 01-Feb-16 19:55:07

I can't answer your OP but I went to to Welsh medium schools from the ages of 3 - 18. I'm from South Wales and neither parent speaks Welsh. I would say the majority of my school had non-Welsh speaking parents and it made no difference tbh. All of us were pretty fluent by secondary school anyway. I left school nearly 16 years ago and never felt that it put me at a disadvantage. In fact, one of my classmates now works in our secondary school! I believe these days there's apps that can help you help your child with homework.

Peppaismyhomegirl Mon 01-Feb-16 19:55:53

I meant it hasn't impacted our career choices as we both moved out of Wales to get better jobs (DH still works in London and comes home for long weekends) we both knew in uni that the big jobs in our chosen field were not in Wales. To be honest, apart from teaching or local government I can't see how it's beneficial at all (dons hard hat)

RudeElf Mon 01-Feb-16 20:01:16

To be honest, apart from teaching or local government I can't see how it's beneficial at all (dons hard hat)

Well if you arent speaking welsh then you wont be aware of/drawn towards welsh oriented events/opportunites etc and so to you it will seem like there isnt a huge "welsh space" but from my own experience of having a bit of irish and having the DC involved in that community i see people/opportunities/events etc that I was previously blissfully unware of.

confusedandemployed Tue 02-Feb-16 17:53:09

I don't teach or work in local govt. I have had a series of senior manager roles in the private and third sectors, in which I have used Welsh extensively. It was advantageous (I.e. not essential) that I speak Welsh for these roles and I feel it has enabled me to perform better in them.

Now I run my own company and the networking advantages of knowing people in the Welsh speaking community is huge.

Peppaismyhomegirl Tue 02-Feb-16 18:11:21

i appreciate that, but it's only in Wales. which is rather limited on the job front, especially in some areas so moving to other parts of the U.K./world even you may be at a disadvantage. I have worked with people who have struggled as their education was in Welsh and they were slower especially in writing as they mentally translated. We had conversations about it and none of them chose to send their children to Welsh schools.

RudeElf Tue 02-Feb-16 20:53:34

not everyone is obsessed with being employable worldwide. For some, they are very happy to never leave wales/ireland/wherever.

I have worked with people who have struggled as their education was in Welsh and they were slower especially in writing as they mentally translated

Were the never taught to read/write in english? I can only see that being a problem if welsh was their first language but its no more of a problem than being dutch/french/japanese and learning english as a second language.

GingerCuddleMonsterThe2nd Tue 02-Feb-16 22:17:39

I went to WM school, neither parent spoke Welsh, I achieved 13 A* - C GCSE's. 4 A -C a levels, 2 of which were taught through Welsh 2 through English, I went to university and studoed in English and came away with a degree. I am not slower at reading English because I am bilingual. I'm either in Welsh mode or English mode.

I have benefited from being able to speak Welsh in many job roles, from banking to hospitality.

I will send my child to WM school, I speak Welsh DP speaks only English, he has no issues with having bilingual children.

Having non Welsh speaking parents was never a barrier for me or my brother, we adapted.

ChiefClerkDrumknott Tue 02-Feb-16 22:23:01

Ginger Are you me? wink Because it sounds as if you may be grin

GingerCuddleMonsterThe2nd Tue 02-Feb-16 22:28:14

Nah were just the cool kids Chief

Also one thing to note especially round where I am, class size for a WM school.about 20-25 kids, English medium 30+ . I often found that my friends who did have SEN were spotted quickly as the class size was smaller. Welsh gov also tend to push more money per pupil in to WM schools.

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