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News » On the ‘Maes’ with Bridgend College
Bridgend College hosted two launch events at the National Eisteddfod in Llandow, 4 – 11 August to promote good practice in the FE sector and to celebrate the achievements of Bridgend College staff and students in 2011/12.
On Wednesday 8 August ColegauCymru/CollegesWales launched their good practice handbook: “Encouraging Further Education Students to Continue with their Education through the Medium of Welsh” which incorporated the launch of Bridgend College’s new bilingual Cache Level 3 Children’s Care Learning & Development course.
Mark Jones, Bridgend College Principal and CollegesWales’ Senior Vice Chair, opened the event and was followed by the Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert AM who spoke about the Government’s commitment to providing learners with the opportunity to continue their studies in Welsh and to creating a bilingual workforce.
Catrin Stephens, CollegesWales Director of Bilingualism, then gave an overview of the handbook including examples of current Welsh medium delivery within the FE sector.
Over recent years, Welsh-medium education has increased at all levels from primary school level upwards. However, there have always been a significant number of Welsh-medium educated young people who choose to stop studying through the medium of Welsh when they reach a new key stage of learning. One of the stages where this drop off occurs is in the transition from secondary school to further education college.
Further education colleges are stepping up the opportunities available to their students. Bridgend College delivers modules on a number of courses bilingually in Childcare, Engineering, Animal Care, Construction and Hair & Beauty, and have recently appointed a Welsh and Bilingualism Manager, Carys Swain, whose aim is to increase the number of modules and courses available to learners through the medium of Welsh or bilingually, and to create opportunities for learners to maintain and develop their Welsh language skills through a range of informal activities.
On Friday 10 August, Bridgend College launched ‘Celebrating 2011/12, Dathlu 2011/12’ a bilingual brochure reviewing the highlights of 2011/12 academic year, and looking forward at the opportunities and challenges for the College. The launch was attended by friends of the College including First Minister Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM.
2011/12 saw both staff and students receive a number of prestigious awards including Adam Taylor who was awarded VQ Learner of the Year 2012, with a total of three Bridgend College students shortlisted for the award. Students have also enjoyed success in many sector skills competitions, and the College has been recognised for its commitment to staff and students having been awarded the Gold Level for Corporate Health Standards and Green Dragon Environmental Standard Award at Level 5, the highest level achievable.
Bridgend College enjoyed their time on the Maes, engaging with visitors and fellow stand holders, who took part in a wide range of ‘have a go’ activities including sports massage, handling exotic animals, hairdressing and cooking Crêpes.