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English speaking children, Welsh primary schools

(23 Posts)
Takver Mon 18-Feb-13 22:11:56

Evbev, can't help, but you'd be best off starting a new thread rather than resurrecting an old one

Evbev Mon 18-Feb-13 15:03:15

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.

prh47bridge Wed 02-Jan-13 00:23:13

I have no idea which school it is, I'm afraid. I found mention of it in a report which came out in 2011. The report does not identify the school concerned but states that implementation measures had been agreed to bring it into line with Gwynedd's policy, so it may now have done so.

Fairyegg Tue 01-Jan-13 23:07:47

Totally English speaking family here, living in a very welsh part of Gwynedd. All schools here are teach though the medium of welsh (apart from one apparently as another poster pointed out - out of interest what school is that?), I don'tthinkthey teach any English until year 3. I worried so much about it with my son. He was very confident at home yet for his first term in reception he didn't say a word in either English or welsh to anyone at school. Then after Christmas he went in fluent, spoke it no problems. It was like he spent that first term just taking it all in. He's in year 1 now and is doing really well. Honestly,it's the parents who have the issue with it, the kids just get on with it.

IWipeArses Tue 01-Jan-13 18:07:52

My cousin moved to Gwynedd when she was around 10/11 having lived in England all her life. She declared Welsh to be a 'stupid language' at the time, but settled in very quickly and is a pillar of the community 20 years later. grin

prh47bridge Sat 29-Dec-12 09:58:35

In Gwynedd all primary schools (with one exception) are bilingual with the majority of the teaching in Welsh. In at least some schools the only subject taught in English is English! Welsh is the official language for end of key stage assessments. Any pupil who does not have sufficient grasp of Welsh spends their first term at a language centre, receiving an intensive course in the language before returning to their own school.

RubbishCrackerPuller Sat 29-Dec-12 09:08:11

I am a product of an English speaking family sent to a Welsh village school on Anglesey, and it has done me no harm! The school was lovely, warm and welcoming, I have no recollection of ever struggling with language or understanding. I went on to university. And I can still read/understand Welsh though would hesitate to speak it.

Being bilingual has been proven to enhance many aspects of learning, even for a minor language like Welsh.

admission Sat 29-Dec-12 00:20:45

A lot depends on exactly where you are thinking of being in North Wales. If you are talking Flintshire, then the vast majority of children speak welsh as a second language and your children will pick it up with ease. If however you go to anglesey then there are far more children for whom welsh is their first language. One would hope that there should not be any prejudice about where your roots are but it would a brave person who said there was none.

learnandsay Fri 28-Dec-12 21:51:36

If I was a parent undergoing Welsh training I'd study treiglad maddal and treiglad trwynol first. Because I think that it's things like that that are going to be the head bend for adults, not the basic vocabulary. Children pick up the mutations naturally (I think.) Well, I didn't find them difficult.

learnandsay Fri 28-Dec-12 21:46:09

Four in welsh is pronounced pedwar. If you are going to learn Welsh in order to support your child then great. It really isn't necessary. Children learn without any problem. (Although I'm not quite sure why my brother didn't learn although he's younger than me. I just put it down to the fact that he's my brother.)

tiredtimesinfinity Fri 28-Dec-12 21:39:41

Hi. I'm thinking of moving my family from the Midlands to North Wales, which is where I grew up and where my elderly mum still live. I had an English father and Welsh mother and we spoke Welsh at home. I don't remember learning Welsh being a problem, I was fluent in both...but I do remember feeling some prejudice because I wasn't fully Welsh. Im really interested in how you got on with your move...was it easy?

chillikate Wed 21-Sep-11 22:46:04

My neice started at her welsh speaking school last year. My sister & BIL both English, but my sister has learnt welsh to support my neice. My neice is doing fine, and now has the cutest welsh accent.

Notchattingnow Wed 21-Sep-11 22:26:25

Most children do well.. but some struggle and it is obviously harder in second language to understand history/science/maths terminology if you haven't got full grasp.

Elabella1401 Wed 21-Sep-11 22:22:02

This is such a contentious issue. We live on Anglesey and are an English speaking family. Our two children have gone to the local village school and have been educated in Welsh with no problems. I agree that it fosters a positive attitude to language learning in the future and with immersion at a young age seems to pose no problems to the child. I have seen many parents battle with this issue, some in our village even travel substantial distances in order to send their child to a school that doesn't teach through Welsh, but my observation has always been that it is the parents who have the difficulty here. The children just get on with it....if they are allowed to!

JemimaMop Sat 04-Jun-11 11:37:23

There probably are actually some schools around which don't teach everything through the medium of Welsh. I live in Ceredigion and there are some here.

My DC attend a Category A school (Welsh medium) but then we are a bilingual family. Lots of children in their school come from homes where no Welsh is spoken though and they manage perfectly well. The younger you start to learn a language the more quickly you pick it up.

In my DC's school everything is taught in Welsh in the Foundation Phase (up to the end of Year 2), then English is introduced as a subject in Year 3. I imagine it woudl be the same in village schools in Anglesey.

WRT homework etc, their teachers pop a little explaination in with anything which is going back to a non Welsh speaking home.

lollymad Fri 03-Jun-11 08:09:28

Thanks for all your replies.

It will definitely be a welsh language school - Anglesey, so they pretty much all are as far as I know!

Thanks again.

Gotabookaboutit Thu 02-Jun-11 17:52:32

As Wellies says I would just pick the best school for her and if you can get her in welsh 1st language go for it -she will be fine and to be honest there seam to be more resources in the Welsh sector and longer term Bilingualism is cited as being very good for long term leaning and mental agility

welliesandpyjamas Thu 02-Jun-11 14:51:54

Whether she goes to an engligh school or a welsh school, she'll have no problems at all at age 5. She'll adjust, pick up the new language quickly, and keep learning. Just choose the school you like best. Even if you don't have time to learn Welsh, the teachers will be used to non-speaking parents and the support will be there.

chocolatebourbon Thu 02-Jun-11 14:45:04

I went to a Welsh speaking school at age 4 knowing no Welsh at all. It was the local village school and the vast majority of children were first language Welsh. It was a really positive experience - great for language skills, reading skills, understanding different cultures. It didn't hold the English speakers back academically - a large proportion of us eventually went on to study for language degrees in other European languages and a surprising proportion of us ended up studying at Oxbridge - not a statistically significant sample but my general message is that it's all positive!

Poogles Thu 02-Jun-11 12:42:40

Will DD be going to a Welsh speaking school? We moved to Cardiff about a year ago and DS1 started reception in September. He learns Welsh at schoolas a second language and is picking it up quite easily. DS2 also learns it at nursery. Biggest problem so far is that they had an argument over what 4 wsa in Welsh and asked me to adjudicate - not a clue!!! I am picking some Welsh up from them and do intend to start lessons.

There are some english speaking families who send their DC to Welsh speaking schools and they seem to do OK. I think the biggest problem is parents helping with homework, but if you are going to learn as well that shouldn't be a problem!!

admission Thu 02-Jun-11 12:38:51

As long as you are expecting to get your child into a school that is english speaking then they will be OK. They will pick up the incidental welsh that is used around school for things like class registration, ordering lunch etc very quickly and the welsh lessons will be no problem once they have found their feet in the school.
Probably best to avoid small village schools as they are generally more likely to use more welsh than say in the towns of Flintshire, Wrexham etc.

SnowieBear Thu 02-Jun-11 12:22:57

Hi Lolly,

Similar situation - my family moved to Catalonia from a different region in Spain when I was 10, I didn't speak a word of Catalan and most of the curriculum was delivered in the new language.

I struggled through my first year - went from straight As to Cs across most of my subjects, but on the second year I was top of the class, including for Catalan.

Your DD is going to be just fine - she's younger, which will help a lot in her ability to adapt and learn a new language, in Yr 1 she'll be able to concentrate more on language, without lots of other academic pressures and she's got a supportive mum in you that will be learning with her, it will be fun!

You'll be looking back on this post next year with a smile - do let us know when she starts correcting you, it won't take long!

lollymad Thu 02-Jun-11 10:40:08

We're considering moving from East of England to North West Wales over the holidays, which will mean DD going to school there from September.

She's nearly 5, so has done Foundation year over here, and would be going into Yr 1.

Although I grew up over there, there wasn't such a strong emphasis on Welsh language in those days, so none of us speak it, but she's going to have to.

I'm going to take lessons myself to be able to support her, and generally just because I think I should, but I suspect she'll pick it up a lot more quickly than I will!

Anyone have any experience of a similar situation?

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