A new initiative between S4C and Carmarthenshire County Council has been launched today called Croeso Cyw with the aim of developing and piloting the Cyw language scheme in a range of schools from different linguistic backgrounds.
The pilot aims to create exciting opportunities for foundation stage children to play games and sing with popular S4C character Cyw, and raise awareness of S4C’s children’s programme. The scheme will also stimulate non-confident parents to play and learn in Welsh together with their children and raise awareness of S4C’s resources.
Two teachers, Melanie Jones and Mirain Walters (pictured) have been appointed for a period of three months to co-ordinate the scheme. Melanie is an Assistant Headteacher at Brynamman School and has been teaching for almost twenty years. Mirain is a teacher at Newcastle Emlyn School Ysgol y Ddwylan and has been working with the foundation phase for over six years.
“We hope to encourage children and their families as they develop and start using Welsh inside and outside the school. We aim to show parents that bilingualism is something that benefits their children and their education. ” said Melanie
“I hope to see children develop and enjoy learning, speaking and playing together in Welsh, which will eventually help towards the Welsh Government’s aim of one million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, and collaborating with different companies and using technology to bring the project to life. ” added Mirain.
Croeso Cyw will be a digital first scheme that takes advantage of the gadgets and platforms that families enjoy using every day and want to share with their children.
The scheme will contribute to the New Curriculum for Wales and celebrate the bilingualism of contemporary Wales. In addition, it supports Carmarthenshire’s aim to have all children bilingual by age 7 and the Government’s target of one million speakers.
Sioned Wyn Roberts, S4C’s Education Adviser, said: “We are delighted to launch Croeso Cyw today and we’re are extremely grateful to the Welsh Government and Carmarthenshire County Council for their support. Our aim is to use the popular Cyw brand to promote the Welsh language and raise awareness of S4C programmes for non-Welsh speaking families. We are delighted to welcome Melanie and Mirain to the S4C team and to use their educational expertise within the foundation phase to co-ordinate the scheme and celebrate bilingualism across Carmarthenshire.”
Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “We are delighted to be working with S4C on this exciting new project, which will benefit children and their parents as they learn Welsh in a fun way together.
“The council is committed to creating a bilingual and multilingual Carmarthenshire and to increasing opportunities for all our children and young people to communicate in Welsh and English, so that we can create strong and sustainable bilingual communities.
“We are in the process of finalising our Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, which will shape the future of bilingual education in Carmarthenshire for the next 10 years, and projects like this will help us successfully deliver this plan for the benefit of our young people.”
Jeremy Miles, Minister for Welsh Language and Education, said: “I am delighted to have supported this new project, which is creating new opportunities for children of foundation age to learn Welsh and promote the language in Carmarthenshire.
“One of our priorities is to increase the daily use of our language, as well as to promote learning Welsh. I am therefore pleased to see how the pilot will seek to motivate parents to use the Welsh language through mutual learning and by playing.”