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Ysgol Rhys Pritchard officially becomes a Welsh medium school

LLANDOVERY’S Ysgol Rhys Pritchard has officially become a Welsh medium primary school, following approval by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Councillors unanimously backed plans to change the language provision at the school where children now learn through the medium of Welsh up to the end of year six, aged 11.

English is taught as a subject at the school from year three onwards, with the aim of ensuring that all pupils become confidently bilingual by the end of their primary schooling.

The change forms part of the council’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan and is in line with national policies to increase the number of children and young people who become fluent in both Welsh and English.

A formal consultation to gather feedback on the proposed changes was widely supported by pupils, parents, school staff and governors.

Cllr Glynog Davies, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Education, said: “It’s been a long journey, but one that we have taken carefully. We’ve communicated and consulted thoroughly.

“In September last year the statutory notice was published – the last step for parents, governors and the community in general to respond. The school wants this change – the teachers, governors and children.”

He added: “We are realising our aim of a bilingual Carmarthenshire. Our strategy has been approved by Welsh Government and the target has been set of one million Welsh speakers by 2050. We have got 30 years to double the number of people who can speak Welsh – education must play a key part in this.”

It is an exciting time for the school as pupils and staff prepare to move to relocate to a new building on the former Ysgol Pantycelyn secondary school site.

On course for completion in Spring 2021, the new building will allow increased capacity for pupils with an integrated Cylch Meithrin, community hall and multi-use play areas.

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The £4.3million investment has been funded equally between the council and the Welsh Government through the 21st Century Schools Initiative.