The Story So Far …

Before September 1984, Gwynedd had a team of ‘area teachers’ (athrawon bro) who worked in the primary catchment area of each secondary school in the county. At the time, Gwynedd LEA served the current counties of Gwynedd and Anglesey, and the western parts of Conwy that included the towns of Conwy, Llandudno and Llanrwst.

The main work of the ‘area teachers’ in Welsh-speaking areas was to teach Welsh to newcomers in the primary sector by going from school to school as needed.

The work of the ‘area teachers’ in English-speaking areas was to provide guidance to primary school class teachers on introducing Welsh.

In order to speed up the process of learning Welsh, it was decided to establish Primary Language Centres to teach newcomers.
Gwenno Hywyn and John Richard Hughes were employed to prepare a course for newcomers to the county, with Angharad Tomos responsible for the illustrations. The course was originally intended for use when traveling from one school to another, but when the decision to teach the course in language centres was taken, Margaret Roberts, Sulwen Edwards and O. G. Jones were given the responsibility to modify the course. This course, Cynllun y Llan, came to play an integral part in the success of the Language Centres.

The first primary centre opened in Caernarfon in September 1984. There are now three other primary language centres located in Dolgellau, Llangybi and Penrhyndeudraeth.

There was significant demand from individuals and schools to employ the same type of provision in the secondary sector. Gwynedd, supported by the Welsh Language Board, established a Secondary Language Centre in Porthmadog in 2004, with the first group starting after Easter in the same year. The first course lasted for a six week period but on the recommendation of the Steering Committee and the cooperation of schools, this period was extended to eight weeks, with three periods within a year for different pupils.

One important aspect that contributes to the success of the work undertaken in the language centre is the progression that occurs in classrooms after the pupils return to their schools. In order to ensure appropriate progression in schools, the centre’s teachers offer supprt to each pupil when they return to their schools, as well as providing guidance to teachers on appropriate progression for individual pupils.



Polisi Diogelu Data (Welsh only available)

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