I’m a primary teacher at Ysgol y Berllan Deg – a Welsh-medium primary school in east Cardiff with more than 450 pupils. Although I’m from a Welsh-speaking home, I was born in Birmingham and received my early years education through the medium of English. By the time the family moved to Wales to live when I was 6 years old, Welsh was a second language to me.
Whilst training as a teacher I strongly felt that Welsh Second Language was my strength as I could empathise with learners. I got a job as an Athrawes Fro, teaching Welsh Second Language in four schools in Cardiff, and then taught in English-medium schools.
The Welsh Language Sabbatical Scheme came to my attention in 2010 and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to expand my professional development. As I followed the structure of the grammar lessons, I immediately saw the impact on my understanding of Welsh language syntax. The experience of presenting a lesson to my fellow students was a way of developing confidence. The tutors’ response was so positive that I considered transferring to the Welsh-medium sector.
I had a fantastic opportunity to do this when I was offered a post at Ysgol y Berllan Deg. The post has given me unexpected an inspirational experiences and my career has been enriched as a result. This year I was promoted to the management team as leader of the Nursery and Reception Unit. The Sabbatical Scheme is to thank for this as I wouldn’t have started this journey without it. I would certainly recommend the Sabbatical Scheme to any practitioners who are interested in improving their Welsh.
The Welsh-language Sabbatical Scheme offers Welsh language training for teachers, teaching assistants and lecturers. For more details and to see if the Scheme is right for you, go to Learning Wales.