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Pupils gain insight into construction at £9.9m new school

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Comprehensive school pupils have been given an insight into the construction industry thanks to contractors working on a £9.9m new home for a Welsh medium primary school in Swansea.

Year 10 students at Bishop Vaughan Catholic School have visited the new development at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan.

Thanks to contractors Kier and Swansea Council, they have had the chance to take part in virtual work experience, online careers mentoring and environmental sculpturing and all successfully completed the course.

Due to the pandemic it was not possible for them to visit the construction site last term but with restrictions being relaxed they have now been able to check out how the development is progressing.

The new build is being jointly funded by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government under the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme which will see £170m spend on improving school infrastructure in Swansea – the largest investment in education in the city’s history.

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Bishop Vaughan teacher Lee Murray said: “We are very proud of our pupils who successfully completed this community-based vocational project with Kier construction.

“Last term they worked extremely hard taking part in this uplifting project supporting our local community whilst developing confidence and personal and employability skills.”

Jason Taylor, Operations Director for Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “It’s important to us that we provide opportunities for the next generation to find out more about the construction industry.

“There is a real breadth of careers available and with various routes to entry, it provides opportunities for all which is vitally important for Wales now and in the future, with the seven goals of the wellbeing and future generations act.

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“Our team navigated the challenges of COVID-19 by providing 50 hours of online placements. The students took it in their stride and really engaged with the work experience. Since the start of construction of the new YGG Tan-y-lan  school, we have also supported 63 new starters and provided over 500 hours of community engagement which is all part of our commitment to leaving a lasting legacy in areas in which we work.”

Robert Smith, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, said: “I’d like to congratulate the pupils who took part in this project and thank Kier and our Education Department for making it happen.”

The school is being built on land at Hill View Crescent in Clase and will have an increased capacity and a nursery that will help meet additional demand for Welsh medium education in the future.

It is anticipated it will be completed ready for the school to occupy early next year.

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(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Education

Pupils create lasting legacy ahead of move to new school

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Pupils counting down the weeks until they can move into their new school building have created a lasting legacy to let children in the future know what school life is like today.

The children at Ysgol Gymraeg Tan-y-lan have worked with staff to gather items for a time capsule that has been buried on the site of the new £9.9m build in Clase.

The development is nearing completion and they are due to move from their existing site at Tan-y-lan Terrace in Morriston to their new home in Clase after the Christmas holiday break.

Pupils joined Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart, Cabinet member for Education Improvement Robert Smith and other senior councillors at the new site to bury the time capsule.

It includes photos and recordings of performances along with items of news and information that will give a flavour of school life in 2021.

The new build is jointly funded by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government under the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme and is part of a £170m investment in new and improved schools in Swansea which is the largest such investment in the city’s history.

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Cllr Smith said: “The new school building and facilities are absolutely first class and I can see how excited the staff and children are about moving into their new home.

“This will give them the very best surroundings in which to work and is very different to the old outdated accommodation of their current buildings.

“The contractors Kier have done an amazing job in building this school while working safely during the pandemic and I can’t wait to see the pupils settle in. I’m really looking forward to visiting them again when it opens.”

The new build at Hill View Crescent has an increased capacity and a nursery that will help meet additional demand for Welsh medium education in the future.

YGG Tan-y-lan headteacher Berian Jones said pupils and staff were very excited about the move and said they had all worked together to create the time capsule.

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He added: “Pupils from each year group were involved in preparing USB’s filled with examples of activities, photos and performances that have been placed in the capsule.

“We have also collected items that represent the school and our ‘cynefin’ habitat – we also included items and information from current time that explain our current situation and current events in history.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Carmarthenshire

New Year start date for new state-of-the-art Pembrey primary school

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Work will get underway to build a state-of-the-art primary school in Pembrey in the new year.

Carmarthenshire County Council has unveiled plans for its latest new school, part of its multi-million pound Modernising Education Programme, jointly funded by Welsh Government through its 21st Century Schools initiative.

The new modern purpose-built £8.25million primary school will be built next to the existing school site on Ashburnham Road.

On completion it will provide high-quality teaching facilities for 270 primary pupils and 30 nursery pupils.

It will also incorporate a Flying Start facility for younger children, located in a mobile classroom on the current school site.

The school has been designed by Carmarthenshire County Council’s own architects and the work will be carried out by Carmarthenshire-based TRJ Construction Ltd, selected from the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework.

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Headteacher Helen Jacob said: “Teaching staff, pupils and families are excited and looking forward to seeing our new school come to life. Our children will benefit from seeing every phase of their new school being built right alongside us – it has been designed to enhance learning and teaching and it is very much deserved.”

Artist’s impression of the new Primary School in Pembrey (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)

Cllr Glynog Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, added: “We are proud to be delivering yet another fantastic new school in Carmarthenshire as part of our Modernising Education Programme.

“The new Ysgol Pen-bre will provide an excellent learning and teaching environment and will also benefit the local community, with many features built into the design that can be used by local people when it opens.

“We look forward to seeing construction start in January.”

By the end of the 2020/21 financial year, Carmarthenshire County Council will have invested £295million in transforming its network of nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Since the programme was launched, 12 new primary schools and two new secondary schools have been built and a number of other schools have been remodelled and refurbished to provide top-class learning and community facilities.

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(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Education

Over £100m spending on Pembrokeshire school building projects agreed

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Councillors in Pembrokeshire have agreed a significant investment in schools in the county

Proposals backed include a £62.4m investment in the community of Milford Haven with the creation of new-build primary and secondary schools in the town through the use of the Welsh Government Mutual Investment Model (MIM).

Councillors also agreed the teaching and learning environments for children who attend Portfield School in Haverfordwest and the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre (PLC) in Neyland need to be significantly improved, with a £38.5m investment into the two sites. This work will be funded under Band B of the 21st Century Schools Programme.

A total of £20.3m will be invested at Portfield School, which provides education for pupils with statements of special educational needs aged between 3-19 years.

Meanwhile £18.2m will be spent on improving the Neyland site of the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre, which provides education for pupils aged between 11 and 16 with complex needs.

Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “While there are further stages as part of both the Band B 21st Century Schools funding and separate MIM proposal that we now need to successfully complete in partnership with Welsh Government, today represents a significant positive step forward in achieving Cabinet’s commitment to delivering all 21st Century School capital projects and significant investment in Milford Haven, Portfield School and the PLC.

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“My thanks go to all those who have worked very hard to get us to where we are today, and I look forward to continuing to work with all those now involved in successfully delivering these exciting school capital projects that will provide the best educational facilities for learners.”

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