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Planning permission granted for new Pembroke Welsh language primary school

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Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee has approved an application to build a new Welsh medium primary school in Pembroke.

The council say the school, named Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, will provide Welsh-language education for 210 pupils aged 5-11 along with a 30-place nursery provision and a Cylch Meithrin for children under the age of three.

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It is planned for the school to open in September 2023 and it will be located on the site of the old Pembroke School at Bush Hill, near Henry Tudor School.

Subject to final funding approvals from Welsh Government, construction on the site would commence in May 2022.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Guy Woodham, said he was delighted the project had received planning permission.

“We’re really excited that this project is progressing and has been granted planning approval,” he said. “It’s great news for Pembroke and surrounding area, and will go a long way towards expanding Welsh language education locally.”

And he said the Council was proud of the achievements made to date in mid and south Pembrokeshire.

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“Having recognised the appetite for Welsh-language education, we opened Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby in 2016 and Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest in 2018 as a seedling 3-16 school, thereby offering additional secondary provision in Pembrokeshire,” he said.

“In 2023 we hope to open Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, replacing the dual stream provision at Ysgol Gelli Aur.

“Furthermore, Ysgol Croesgoch is now providing Welsh medium provision and both Ysgol Wdig and Ysgol Ger y Llan in Letterston have become Welsh medium schools.”

Artist’s impression of the new Ysgol Bro Penfro (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Welsh Language, echoed Cllr Woodham’s comments in relation to the achievements made to date with regard to Welsh medium education.

“Children educated in Welsh at primary school have a wonderful life skill – the ability to communicate in two languages – as well as the enjoyment of a whole world of Welsh-language culture and great career opportunities when they’re older,” he said.

“It’s a great gift and I’m delighted at the progress being made.”

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Cllr Aaron Carey, Head of the Temporary Governing Body for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, said: “I am very pleased that this important milestone has been reached in developing the school. A lot of work has already been put in by officers from PCC and the volunteers of the temporary governing body and I would like to extend my thanks to them all.”

(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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Swansea University

Swansea University academics recognised as top women in engineering

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Swansea University’s Professor Serena Margadonna has been named one of the UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50) by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).

The annual WE50 awards take place on International Women in Engineering Day, 23 June, which this year celebrates inventors and innovators who can #ImagineTheFuture.

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The award, in association with The Guardian and Ball Corporation, a global supplier of sustainable packaging, recognises the best and brightest women in the engineering sector.

It is a celebration of those who identify an unmet need and make it their purpose to create a solution or improve existing products and processes to make our lives easier.

Professor Serena Margadonna (Image: Swansea University)

Professor Margadonna holds a Chair in Chemical Engineering and is Head of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Swansea University.

Her work is inspired by the simple realisation that major technological advances require truly multidisciplinary research which continuously evolves, adapts, and innovates.

Following this ethos, in collaboration with industrial partners, Professor Margadonna is currently facilitating the commercialisation of next-generation sustainable rechargeable batteries for the electrification of transport.

Her vision is to contribute toward a green economy by developing batteries that use abundant and widely available materials designed to be recycled.

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Professor Margadonna, said: “It is a great honour to be named as one of this year’s Top 50 Women in Engineering: Inventors and Innovators by WES.

“Innovation in engineering is fundamental in finding solutions to the global net-zero challenge, and these awards highlight the substantial impact women in engineering are making to achieve a more sustainable and fair society.”

WES received an extremely high standard of nominations this year, resulting in 100 Highly Commended Finalists, such as Swansea University’s Professor Cinzia Giannetti.

Professor Cinzia Giannetti (Image: Swansea University)

Through her research, Professor Giannetti, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, explores novel Machine Learning (ML) techniques and develops innovative toolkits to stimulate effective adoption and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ML in industry.

Professor Giannetti works closely with industrial partners to help increase the digitalisation of their processes, improving the quality of products, reducing wastage and unnecessary costs, and contributing to sustainable manufacturing systems.

Professor Giannetti, said: “I am delighted to be named one of the top 100 Highly Commended Finalists in the WE50 awards.

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“Working in engineering, both research and teaching, is a rewarding career as it allows us to make positive changes to our society by developing innovative technologies and tools.

“I am grateful to play a part in tackling global challenges such as climate change, developing cleaner processing technologies and forming new opportunities for more sustainable and equitable futures.

“As an educator, I am passionate about creating and building an inclusive community to ensure we have a large pool of talents from diverse backgrounds and perspectives in engineering. Only by doing this can we innovate responsibly and create solutions that can bring real societal benefits.”

WES will be holding an awards ceremony on Friday 24 June 2022.

(Lead image: Swansea University)

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Carmarthen

Carmarthen’s Richmond Park School celebrates becoming a School of Sanctuary

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Richmond Park School in Carmarthen is the first school in Carmarthenshire to achieve School of Sanctuary status.

The school has been recognised for all its good work in creating a culture of welcome and safety for people seeking sanctuary, including asylum seeking and refugee families.

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It joins a national network of over 300 primary and secondary schools all committed to

to supporting the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK, raising awareness of the issues facing people in asylum, challenging misconceptions and building social cohesion.

Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Cllr Glynog Davies and Director of Education and Children’s Services Gareth Morgans visited the school during Refugee Week 2022 to celebrate the achievement.

Cllr Davies said: “People have been responding to the ongoing refugee crisis in towns and villages across Wales, setting up schemes which offer support and welcome. Over the past few years, we have welcomed new arrivals from Syria, Afghanistan and now the Ukraine underlining the importance of initiatives such as School of Sanctuary.

“Schools play a crucial role in helping young people to make sense of the world, to become responsible citizens and to create positive change in their communities.

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“Richmond Park have done a wonderful job in achieving this award and have set the bar high. We hope many other schools in Carmarthenshire will also begin their journeys towards this prestigious award.”

The awarding panel was impressed with how brilliantly and articulately the children from Richmond Park spoke about their school, their experiences of being new arrivals and all the wonderful things they do to welcome and include everyone.

The school’s Cymuned Croeso student council is made up of students who have transitioned to the school who help to shape the school’s policy around welcoming newcomers; and Richmond Park’s sanctuary barn – known as Noddfa Iaith – offers a designated area of sanctuary, a place for quiet reflection filled with messages of positivity.

The panel were also impressed by how the school is promoting multilingualism through the use of Giglets/Flash Academy, Online FlipGrid creating a multilingual exchange space throughout Carmarthenshire, multilingual staff, and students trained as interpreters.

Schools of Sanctuary co-ordinator Megan Greenwood said: “As the first school in Carmarthenshire to go through the process, we have been particularly impressed with how self-driven the school has been and its efforts and activities are all the more impressive and innovative.

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“We feel that the school has taken opportunities to properly engage with the whole school community and has evidenced various novel efforts and activities that reflect best practice in building sanctuary in school.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Sketty

Agreement on new Singleton Park lighting will keep students safe say Student Union

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An agreement has been reached between Swansea University Students’ Union, Swansea University, and Swansea Council to install more lighting in Singleton Park.

This comes after students have raised concerns over safety and the ability to see their surroundings while walking through the park.

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The Students’ Union and University have agreed to joint-fund the installation of the new lighting which will run along the southward walkway towards the beach.

As part of the work, an ecological survey has been conducted and approval given to the project.

Work will begin on the new lighting this June and is estimated to be completed by the end of July.

Student Union Welfare Officer, Liza Leibowitz, said: “This is excellent news for Swansea University students and the local community too. I’m so pleased that after years of continued student feedback, we have managed to reach this agreement.

“These new lights will provide an added level of safety assurance for students and our local neighbours.

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“I’d like to thank the work of SU Officers past and present for their work over the years on delivering this project, and the students for giving us the feedback that has allowed us to reach this point.

“Swansea Council have also been extremely helpful, they’ve done all the groundwork and supported us tremendously. They’ve ensured the lighting is environmentally friendly and won’t impact the eco system in the park which is great.

“I hope the new lighting will provide an added level of reassurance for students while they are a part of our community.”

Greg Ducie, Director of Estates and Campus Services at Swansea University said: “The safety of our community is our utmost priority and we are really pleased this project to light up a portion of the park is coming to fruition.

“The improved lighting will support the safety measures we have put in place, including safety app Safezone, to ensure our students and staff can enjoy the outstanding experience we offer here at Swansea, both on and off campus”.

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