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Education

Footballers help pupils go global

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Soccer can help promote language study: Chris Coleman

Soccer can help promote language study: Chris Coleman

PLAYERS from the Wales National Football team have been doing their bit to help pupils concentrate on their modern languages lessons by launching a new learning resource pack linked to this year’s Euros.

The educational resources have been produced as part of the Welsh Government’s Global Futures plan which aims to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales.

The Euros- based resources have been published on Hwb, the digital learning platform for schools, so teachers can capitalise on their pupils’ excitement in the run up to June’s tournament, and use the packs to promote the importance and relevance of modern foreign languages.

The new resources were launched by the Wales National Team at an event at the Vale Hotel in Hensol.

Wales’ Football Manager, Chris Coleman said: “I am delighted that we are involved in this programme. From experience I know how important it is to be able to communicate in different languages. I spent time in Spain and in Greece.

“As a squad if we can help and encourage youngsters in any way to learn another language on the back of our success then we will be delighted to offer all our support. Sport, especially football can play a huge part promoting such initiatives”.

Education Minister Huw Lewis said: “As globalisation continues to transform all our lives, footballers, like many of us, are increasingly travelling to, working and living in countries where English is not the first language.

“I want our young people to understand that a sound knowledge of another language can help them get ahead in life, in education and the competitive world.

“Our Global Futures Plan is all about encouraging our pupils to keep on with their language learning and grasp the benefits that a modern foreign language can offer.

“I hope that these resource packs, which we have developed in partnership with the Welsh FA, Arsenal Football club, the British Council, Routes into Languages and leading European language institutes, will support that work and will help to spark our pupil’s interest in and commitment to modern foreign languages.”

Director of British Council Wales, Jenny Scott, said: “We hope these resources will help make language learning fun and engaging for young learners across Wales.

“Sporting heroes have the power to inspire the next generation and I’m sure that the fantastic support the FAW and Wales team have shown for this initiative will help make modern foreign languages much more appealing to young fans as they look forward to an exciting summer.”

The aim of the Welsh Government’s Global Futures plan is to increase the number of learners choosing to study modern foreign languages at GCSE and A-level.

The packs have been produced in six languages, French, Spanish, Italian,German, Portuguese and Welsh, and aim to promote the benefits of modern foreign languages and engage pupils ahead of this year’s tournament.

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Education

Poison arrow frogs at New Scientist Live

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Dr Siu-Ting: Specialises in amphibians

​ABERYSTYWTH UNIVERISTY​ scientist Dr Karen Siu-Ting discuss​ed poison arrow frogs at New Scientist Live ​last Thursday ​(Sept ​28​).

Dr Siu-Ting is an IRC ELEVATE-MSCA Co-fund Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University.

Her research into poison arrow frogs feature​d​ as part of ‘Ask a Biologist’​,​ hosted by The Royal Society of Biology.

An evolutionary biologist from Peru,​​ Dr Siu-Ting specialises in amphibians and combines field work in the Amazon rainforest with laboratory and computational analyses to address biological questions.

She is currently working on a project on poison arrow frogs between Aberystwyth University and Dublin City University.

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Education

Apply for six-month traineeship scheme

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Applications open: Join the National Park Authority’s Skills in Action traineeship scheme

​IF YOU’D like to earn as you learn hands-on skills to prepare you for a career in practical conservation or estate management, apply now for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Skills in Action traineeship scheme.

The project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future scheme, will provide two six-month salaried apprenticeships with the National Park Authority’s Ranger and Warden Teams.

Skills in Action Project Coordinator for Pembrokeshire Coast Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Tom Iggleden said: “The successful candidates will be learning the skills and experience that are essential to be successful in obtaining employment within a highly competitive sector.

“The main duties of the placement will include practical hands-on work-based experience in conservation and estate management.”

The six month traineeship will see the successful applicants learn a wide variety of skills including traditional hedgelaying and modern conservation methods that are essential to the work of the National Park Authority.

This is an extension to the original three-year project which has helped many of the 15 previous trainees gain employment​.​

The closing date for applications is October 2​4 with interviews to be held on November​ 6​.

Application packs are available from the National Park Authority’s website ​at​www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/jobs or by contacting contact Joanne Morgan by calling 01646 624856 or by emailing joannem@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.

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Education

Committee concerned at £12.7m error

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ALN Bill: Savings turn into costs

​A £12.7M alteration to the cost of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill has been described as concerning by a National Assembly for Wales committee.

In the original figures submitted alongside the Bill the Welsh Government identified savings of £4.8m over a period of four years if the Bill was passed.

But the estimates were challenged by children’s charity SNAP Cymru which claimed the Welsh Government had misinterpreted figures it had provided concerning disputes and resolution services. The Welsh Government admitted the error and revised the figures from the original saving to a cost of £7.9m – a difference of £12.7m.

The Finance Committee asked the Welsh Government to delay the financial resolution on the Bill, the mechanism by which government gains support to spend the money enacting the law and the government agreed.

“A £12.7m swing from a saving to a cost is very concerning, as it shows a government which doesn’t fully understand the figures it quotes,” said Simon Thomas AM, Chair of the Finance Committee.

“It also throws into doubt any future costs connected to Bills which come before this committee as we are left wondering whether the government has done its sums right.

“We are grateful to SNAP Cymru for highlighting the inaccuracies and acknowledge the steps taken by the Minister subsequently, but we will need further reassurance that such errors will not happen again.”

The Bill’s aim is to improve the quality of support available to children with additional learning needs through a person-centred approach which would identify needs early on and make sure the right support, monitoring and evaluation was put in place to help them.

The Finance Committee welcomed the actions taken by the Welsh Government to address the situation. But Members were concerned and surprised that inaccuracies as significant as this were raised and that SNAP Cymru was not consulted on the final figures before they were published.

The Committee acknowledges that revisions have since been made and the Minister’s assurances that the revised figures are robust, however, it is concerned at the need to have made this level of changes to the original costings.

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