Flintshire schools explore nature through the Welsh language

Flintshire County Council’s Welsh Advisory Team and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have joined forces to encourage teachers to incorporate the great Welsh outdoors into the classroom.

Teachers from 12 English-medium primary schools attended a face-to-face course in Talacre, delivered by NRW’s Health and Education Team and Flintshire’s Welsh Advisory Team, to gain ideas and confidence to teach in and about the natural environment through the medium of Welsh.

The teachers took part in simple, fun activities that encouraged teamwork and communication in Welsh at Dangerpoint and surrounding land at the Eni gas terminal on 12 June.

The event followed a successful pilot with eight schools last year, where teachers said using Welsh in the outdoors was a highly effective and fun way of increasing learners’ Welsh language ability.

Rhian Roberts, Welsh Advisory Teachers, Flintshire School Improvement Team said:

“The outdoors provides an abundance of learning opportunities for our children to use their language skills while having fun in the fresh air. 
“Flintshire has a strong commitment to the Welsh language. We are supporting learners to improve their Welsh language skills and give them the confidence to use Welsh in their daily lives.”

Ffion Hughes, NRW Specialist Advisor: Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills said:

"The natural environment is the perfect location to promote learning, understanding and communication through Welsh. It provides relaxed, fun and exciting surroundings to explore, offering a different learning environment to the classroom which gives children new experiences to support language and literacy achievement.
"There is a real opportunity to incorporate language learning within the outdoor setting as schools implement the new Curriculum for Wales. Many jobs of the future will focus on sustainability, where plant and animal identification and survey skills are important. It is essential that our Welsh speaking young people have the language to talk about our natural environment.
“Learning in the natural environment is advocated by the Welsh Government as a key approach to delivering the curriculum. It also offers children the opportunity to connect with nature, receive significant health and well-being benefits and lay down pro-environmental behaviours that help to mitigate the climate and nature emergencies.”

The participating schools were:

  • Ysgol Bryn Coch, Mold
  • Ysgol Nercwys
  • Ysgol St. John the Baptist VA School, Penymynydd
  • Ysgol Wood Memorial, Saltney
  • Ysgol Ewloe Green, Ewloe
  • Ysgol Bryn Deva, Connah’s Quay
  • Point of Ayr Federation: Ysgol Gronant and Ysgol Trelogan
  • Ysgol Derwenfa, Mold
  • Ysgol Maesglas, Greenfield, Holywell
  • Ysgol Brychdyn, Broughton
  • Ysgol Ty Ffynnon, Shotton