My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

MNHQ have commented on this thread

AIBU?

To send DS to Welsh speaking secondary?

128 replies

HeartShapedBoxes · 26/09/2022 23:16

Recently had to move in with my mum and found that the English speaking secondary school in catchment is awful. Really, really bad. There is a Welsh speaking secondary school - but DS doesn’t speak much Welsh. Would I be completely mad to send him there if I can? He’s in year 6 so it’s a pressing problem right now

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

186 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
82%
You are NOT being unreasonable
18%
Hollytreenew · 26/09/2022 23:18

I think that your son might struggle to
learn if he is so focussed on trying to understand them that he can’t work properly. He might make it hard to make friends too if the other children are speaking welsh and he can’t understand them easily. How much Welsh does he know?

PumpkinDart · 26/09/2022 23:19

Welsh speaker here, your DS will struggle hugely. The curriculum will all be delivered in Welsh and English speaking even between classes isn't allowed. I definitely would not encourage this. A friend put her English speaking child in to a Welsh language primary in year 3 and he's struggling massively so I can't imagine a year 7 in that position.

Hellocatshome · 26/09/2022 23:21

Yes you would be mad. When some relatives of ours moved to Wales the kids went to an intensive Welsh Language Unit that just taught them Welsh. Then when they had that sorted they rejoined mainstream Welsh Language School. Would that be an option?

NoYouSirName · 26/09/2022 23:22

Do they have an immersion unit where he could go for a term to learn Welsh? That is the norm where I live for anyone entering school from England in ks2 or 3.

NoYouSirName · 26/09/2022 23:22

Speak to the school. Ask them what language provision they would have for him.

Luredbyapomegranate · 26/09/2022 23:26

Yes you’d be bonkers. You might as well send him to a French speaking school. These kids have spoken Welsh since they were born.

Are there any other just out of catchment schools you could try?

Ship · 26/09/2022 23:29

you need to check if they have an immersion stream. If they do, then it is not remotely bonkers as it is to fast track welsh learners. By year 8/9 they have usually caught up and will be in regular classes with their peers. Many children from English primary schools join the local welsh secondary here. Many many children in welsh medium schools have not spoken welsh since they were born either. In my kids welsh medium primary, 70% of parents speak English at home

Trees6 · 26/09/2022 23:30

When do you think you’d be able to move house to a better catchment? Before the application deadline?

Doormice · 26/09/2022 23:34

Another Welsh speaker here - if your child is reasonably capable in his languages (ie not dyslexic for example) I’d do it, so long as the secondary in question has an immersion programme and will make allowances e.g. sit second language welsh gcse.
Met one of my best friends in my Welsh secondary and she came into the learner stream in yr 7. Took all her exams in Welsh and did brilliantly! She wasn't the only one to do well. But your child will need to want to learn the language and be willing to work at it.

BeardieWeirdie · 26/09/2022 23:36

Where are you? Caernarfon has an intensive language unit for incoming children in Gwynedd who move here in year 2 or 3 up.

Brechdanjamcaws · 26/09/2022 23:37

Do you mean they speak Welsh at the school or it is exclusively a Welsh language school?
because my secondary school was Welsh language but you could choose whether to work in Welsh or English, and if you were second language Welsh (as in… barely spoke any) you attended Welsh classes for learners rather than the Cymraeg iaith/llenyddiaeth (language/literature) classes at GCSE. Cymraeg was the only class I was required to do my work through Welsh and I’m fluent! I did all other subjects in English language.
my family are Welsh but I was born in England so got put in an intensive language unit for a term when we moved back here and that’s where I learnt to speak it.

FaazoHuyzeoSix · 26/09/2022 23:38

If you take him out of y6 right now and focus the next 10 months of getting him fluent in welsh, then yes. Otherwise nope.

BadGranny · 26/09/2022 23:38

My daughter went to an ordinary school in France when she was in Y8 for a year. She spoke a tiny amount of classroom French when she started. By the end of two terms she was completely fluent in French without an accent, and had a big-ish speaking part in the school play.

Kids are WAY more able to do that than adults.

Coybubbles · 26/09/2022 23:40

Sounds like a pretty crazy idea to me!

CeriBerry · 26/09/2022 23:43

I’m a teacher at a very Welsh secondary school. Obviously I’m fluent in Welsh. He would be sent to an immersion unit for a half term/term and this would hugely improve his Welsh skills. I’m actually an English teacher so it wouldn’t be applicable in my classes but for all other subjects he would be supported with English worksheets etc.

We had a girl in year 7 last year who had never spoken a word of Welsh and she’s honestly amazing now so it definitely can work.

Gettingbythanks · 26/09/2022 23:43

I’d send him to the English speaking school personally. I had to try and learn some Welsh when we moved there from Germany at the age of 10. It was bewildering for me, being expected to shift from English and German, to English and Welsh - it was horrible tbh, I resented. If he’s super enthusiastic about committing to Welsh, then maybe. Otherwise no.

RubyRoss · 26/09/2022 23:49

Won't the school tell you what level of proficiency is required? I'd find out how strict is the language policy is because where I come from, the Irish speaking school did not allow any English on the grounds during breaks or on the sports teams. Some students who joined found it very difficult. Not putting you off (learning a new language is great) but how committed is your child to learning Welsh?

Foronenightonly22 · 27/09/2022 00:16

Nope I wouldn’t. I have family (non welsh speaking) who sent their kids to welsh speaking schools(God knows why). One child is now finished and the other is GCSE age. Both have struggled massively. I also teach and have marked GCSE papers for extra income. I always hated getting a batch of papers from schools such as these as students mostly didn’t do well - In my humble opinion the language other than English just added an extra obstacle to learning.

Foronenightonly22 · 27/09/2022 00:19

BadGranny · 26/09/2022 23:38

My daughter went to an ordinary school in France when she was in Y8 for a year. She spoke a tiny amount of classroom French when she started. By the end of two terms she was completely fluent in French without an accent, and had a big-ish speaking part in the school play.

Kids are WAY more able to do that than adults.

But she was living in France and immersed in French life - hearing the language all around.

Brechdanjamcaws · 27/09/2022 00:48

Foronenightonly22 · 27/09/2022 00:19

But she was living in France and immersed in French life - hearing the language all around.

I presume the OP is living in Wales..? Certainly where I live in North Wales the language is all around, used on a daily basis by many. We even have Welsh language tv and radio, you know!

HeartShapedBoxes · 27/09/2022 07:33

Yes I’m living in Wales. DS has had some learning in Welsh as all students who live in Wales do.

There is another English speaking school 4 miles away. We are out of catchment though so I feel like it’s a bit of a lost cause.

We are going to be here for at least a few years so moving before the deadline isn’t an option.

I could cry, I really could. I feel like I’ve condemned him to struggle in a very poor English speaking school or struggle in the brilliant Welsh speaking school. Either way I’ve let him down.

OP posts:
Augend23 · 27/09/2022 07:46

Well why not put the out of catchment school as your first choice and have a look at the immersion options etc so you can decide between 2nd and 3rd.

You lose nothing by putting the school you actually want as 1st.

SweetsAndChocolates · 27/09/2022 08:01

@HeartShapedBoxes I would definitely get in touch with the school. I can imagine there are children who start without much Welsh knowledge.
It might be the case that the school has an immersion unit.
I know of families who move abroad and put their kids into schools without any knowledge of language- it does work out in the end (also there are so many children who join secondaries in the uk without any English skills and they general pick up English quite quickly).

DownNative · 27/09/2022 08:23

Brechdanjamcaws · 27/09/2022 00:48

I presume the OP is living in Wales..? Certainly where I live in North Wales the language is all around, used on a daily basis by many. We even have Welsh language tv and radio, you know!

70% of people in Wales don't speak any Welsh or have no skills in it. 29% speak Welsh to varying levels of proficiency, but fluent speakers are less than 29%.

Very, very different to France where French literally is the majority language.

Vice versa for those outside the UK who come here with no English language skills - they're fully immersed in a country where English literally is the majority language.

That helps with picking up skills relatively quickly.

KeepOutingMyselfAnotherNameChange · 27/09/2022 08:32

Yea you are being unreasonable.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.