Pupils and staff at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tyle’r Ynn in Briton Ferry are benefiting from the successful completion of a school improvement project which has seen the provision of two extra classrooms and new Welsh medium childcare provision.
YGG Tyle’r Ynn is a 3 - 11 Welsh-medium school with capacity for 206 pupil places. In part due to the new facilities, pupil numbers are projected to increase by 3% over the next few years.
The aim of the project at YGG Tyle’r Ynn is to create a more attractive and stimulating learning environment with high quality Welsh-medium childcare on site. In the longer term it is anticipated this will ease accommodation pressures in the area, with demand for Welsh medium pupil places increasing year on year.
A total of £1.14m of Welsh Government funding was awarded for the project which is a welcome and timely addition to the school. Pupil numbers have already shown an increase with both nursery and reception classes full in September 2021.
As well as increasing the school capacity by 60 pupil places thanks to the two new classrooms, the work has provided accommodation to support the development of a Welsh-medium childcare offer at the school providing up to 40 places. This has allowed the school to reconfigure Foundation Phase classrooms and further develop key stage 2 classrooms to deliver improved learning experiences.
Additional funding received through Welsh Government’s Community Learning Centres/Community Hubs Capital Grant has also allowed the school to establish a fully resourced and integrated community room/annex - Yr Hafan (The Haven).
This will offer organised training and support for local residents and school families to participate in a range of learning opportunities such as Welsh language, digital skills and healthy eating etc - all in a dedicated, attractive and welcoming environment.
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Cllr Peter Rees, said: “By creating a more effective, attractive and vibrant learning environment, this project will encourage parents in the catchment area who choose Welsh medium education to seek admission for their child at YGG Tyle’r Ynn rather than alternative Welsh-medium schools outside the catchment area.
“The project also creates opportunities to provide childcare on site, meeting demand already identified in the area, and it allows the expansion of existing school based community services.
“Neath Port Talbot Council recognises that language and culture are critical parts of an individual's identity and is committed to promoting and ensuring meaningful access to Welsh language learning for pupils across all phases and sectors.”
Both the number and percentage of reception pupils in Welsh-medium schools in Neath Port Talbot has increased for the third year in a row with the percentage higher than it has been since 2013.
The total spend to date (Bands A and B) under the 21st Century Schools programme in modernising Neath Port Talbot’s school estate has now reached £165m - a massive investment in Neath Port Talbot’s next generations and the biggest of any council in Wales outside of Cardiff.
The 21st Century Schools programme is a collaboration between the Welsh Government and local councils in Wales. It is a significant, long-term and strategic capital investment programme with the aim of creating a generation of 21st Century Schools across Wales.