Since 2011, Gwynedd Council has been developing innovative schemes to promote and encourage children to use Welsh in their everyday lives.
As part of the ‘Gwynedd Primary Schools Welsh Language Charter’, the Council has developed a resources pack and established a system to recognise and reward schools for their efforts in achieving the charter’s bronze, silver or gold award.
All of the county’s primary schools have been part of the charter’s scheme to increase the social use of Welsh. Thanks to the efforts of the children, staff, governors and parents of these schools, every school is now working or has achieved the status and requirements of the silver or gold award. Recently, a number of ceremonies have been held across the county to recognise the efforts of Gwynedd’s primary pupils.
Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Education said: “The Language Charter’s simple objective is to encourage and support children in Gwynedd to use Welsh – not only in the classroom but in every aspect of their lives.
“It’s encouraging to see that the scheme has been a great success again this year. It’s great to see that they all are on their way, or have achieved the status and requirements of the silver and gold prize.
“These ceremonies were a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our young people and the use of the Welsh language. Many congratulations to all the children.”
Gwenan Ellis Jones, Gwynedd Schools Language Charter Co-ordinator added: “In the scheme, every school sets its own vision – this is crucial due to the range of language variation from one community to the next.
“All schools have prepared an action plan, specifying the vision and practical steps they can take to achieve their objective. So far, the data has been very positive and supports the fact that there has been an increase in the social use of Welsh throughout the County.
“The scheme’s success has attracted the Government’s attention and approval and there are plans to expand the Charter’s work across counties in north Wales and nationally.
“A sincere thanks to Gwynedd schools for leading the way and for their fantastic work. There are numerous good practices in our schools, including promoting the use of Welsh during break time, training and activities to instil pride in the language and culture and formal arrangements to reward success and progress.
“This is all based on the simple principle that success depends on the commitment of staff, parents and governors as well as on the children themselves, of course as they reach for the goal of increasing the social use of the Welsh language.”