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UWTSD students’ posters in Parliament

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Posters in Parliament: Kathryn Jones, Karen Hudson and Lynsey Lewis

TWO students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David were selected to have their posters shown at the Posters in Parliament event in Westminster on Tuesday (Mar 14).

The event was part of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR), an open coalition of universities dedicated to encouraging a national culture of undergraduate research which brings together a selection of some of the best undergraduate research from across the UK.

BSC Children and Young People students Kathryn Jones and Lynsey Lewis joined students from 25 other universities displaying their research projects in two exhibitions in the Jubilee Room, Houses of Parliament. The event is being sponsored by Chuka Umuna, Labour MP for Streatham, and Keir Starmer, Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras.

UWTSD’s Health Portfolio Lecturer Karen Hudson said: “The health portfolio staff are delighted that Lynsey and Kathryn’s posters have been selected for this competition. We wish them every success. Lynsey and Kathryn are committed, enthusiastic and hardworking students. Their academic skills have continued to develop throughout their study on the BSC Children and Young People programme. They consistently engage in extensive reading to support their research. We are very proud of their achievements.”

Lynsey Lewis said: “I am very pleased and honoured to have the opportunity to go to Parliament and represent the University at this event. We were asked to choose a topic which affects child development, research it and then present a poster (along with a supporting paper) which raised awareness of the issue.

“ My poster is on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), something I knew nothing about but had heard of only a matter of weeks before, during my working role with Tim Camau Bach at Carmarthenshire County Council. I had wanted to learn more about SPD and this was an ideal opportunity to do so. To be invited to present at Posters in Parliament is overwhelming and very exciting. We would both like thank our lecturer Karen Hudson for all her wonderful support and guidance.”

Kathryn Jones added: “I am delighted to be able to raise awareness to others. My poster is all about dyspraxia, I chose this topic as it can be a hidden disorder that can go unnoticed. I work in a primary school and support children with motor difficulties and wanted to better understand the condition to offer the best possible care. The original poster was a requirement for a specific module regarding an issue that affects child development. The poster is a summary of a supporting paper that provides an overview of the causes, effects and treatment options available.”

A spokesman for BCUR said: “The event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate British undergraduate research, as well as to showcase the tremendous progress that the UK has made in this area. BCUR has made a significant contribution to this success and continues to work to promote undergraduate research in all disciplines by providing students with an opportunity to share their research through poster presentations, spoken papers, or through creative outputs such as performances and film.”

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Education

821% increase in homeschooling for Ceredigion area

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OVER the last decade homeschooling has risen by 821% in the Ceredigion area, according to figures supplied through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by homeschooling provider Wolsey Hall Oxford.

In 2013, figures revealed that 28 children were homeschooled in the Ceredigion area but by 2022 this had increased to 258.

In the last four years alone, the Ceredigion area has seen an overall rise in homeschooling of 52%. The number of Primary-aged children being taught at home rose from 65 to 109 (67%) and the number of Secondary-aged children has risen from 104 to 149 (43%).

These figures show that despite Covid-19 restrictions easing up, and schools re-opening, many parents have opted to continue homeschooling their children. They reflect a similar picture seen across the UK, as statistics show that there are now more than 71,515 homeschoolers – up from 59,559 in 2018 and 22,408 in 2013. Wolsey Hall Oxford has been collating this information from over 100 UK Councils through FOIs.

Wolsey Hall Oxford Principal, Lee Wilcock, comments: “What seems very apparent is that those parents who chose to try homeschooling for the first time during Covid-19 have realised how beneficial online learning can be. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace and at a time which suits them. It is a much more child-centred approach to education than is available in a traditional classroom.”

Of course, the pandemic is not the only reason parents opt to homeschool their children. At Wolsey Hall we’ve found that some of the most common reasons for parents to choose homeschooling include:

Lack of progress or underachievement at mainstream schools
Frustration with teaching standards in mainstream schools
Concerns for their child’s safety/bullying
Behavioural issues that are not suitably dealt with in mainstream schooling
Medical reasons or learning difficulties that inhibit a child’s ability to learn in a conventional environment
Travelling and expat families
Gifted/higher learning potential students or those who are elite athletes/in the performing arts industry

It is also interesting to note that a well-being survey conducted by Wolsey Hall Oxford in September 2022 – and completed by 343 parents – concluded that 91.5% of parents believe that their child’s well-being has improved since they opted to homeschool.

One parent noted, “My son has thrived. He is a true (gregarious) introvert… He loves being around people socially, but it tires him out, so school left him feeling drained, with no energy for true social interactions. Being able to learn alone and quietly has left him with plenty of energy for social and extra-curricular activities – scouts/young leaders, tennis, drama club, youth group etc. He has become confident in his own abilities and also learnt when and how he can take the initiative to get help when needed.”

To find out more about these statistics or to interview any of our team members, please contact Danielle Hilton: danielle.hilton@wolseyhalloxford.org.uk

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Education

Aberystwyth academic helping to improve British wrestling

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A LECTURER in Film Theory and Practice from Aberystwyth University is contributing towards a ‘code of better practice’ for British wrestling.

Dr Thomas Alcott from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies has been invited by the All-Party Group on Wrestling at the UK Parliament to participate in a conference on the topic later this month.

The group – which includes MPs from across the political spectrum – recently led an inquiry and published the findings in April last year.

The cross party group reviewed regulation, funding, safeguarding and wellbeing in wrestling, and sought to find ways to better support and regulate the industry.

Dr Alcott’s doctoral research, which explored the relationship between audiences, stars and industry within the world of Professional Wrestling, was one of the resources used and quoted in the report.

Organised by the groups of MPs, Loughborough University and wrestling training school Playfight, the conference will be attended by academics, wrestlers, promoters and coaches.

It is intended to provide an opportunity for training and discussion, and lead to a safer and more inclusive environment.

Dr Alcott told The Ceredigion Herald: “For over a century, wrestling has been a popular form of culture and entertainment. However, a lack of clarity on whether it sits within the sector of sport or theatre has led to complexities about how the industry is governed and regulated.

“The inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wrestling is the first official analysis and intervention in the wrestling industry for many decades. The conference that follows the publication of the group’s report will provide an opportunity to discuss a guide of better practice to improve the industry for the future, for the benefit of both performers and fans.”

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Education

New Japanese partnership to boost climate change research at Aberystwyth University

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ABERYSTWYTH University has signed up to a new partnership with a Japanese university in a boost to its climate change research.

The new memorandum of understanding with Ritsumeikan University includes exchanging research and joint investment in cutting-edge technology.

As part of the partnership, the two universities are collaborating on major projects studying climate change in Mexico and Japan.

In southern Mexico, a joint team will investigate records of past climate change in the region and its role in the collapse of the Classic Mayan civilisation.

Professor Sarah Davies, Head of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University said:

“It’s a pleasure to confirm our commitments with this new memorandum which builds on a long-standing research relationship between our two institutions. These projects will make an important contribution to our understanding of climate change, and its role in the development of human civilisation.

“Together with our Japanese partners and the support of Aberystwyth University and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, we have made a significant investment in our X-ray Fluorescence core scanner. This is a resource of both UK and international importance, enabling very high-resolution geochemical analysis of sediment cores to reconstruct climate variability. These joint investments in instrumentation are an important boost to our future research work.”

Professor Takeshi Nakagawa from Ritsumeikan University commented:

“We are delighted to forge even closer ties with our partners at Aberystwyth University as we conduct ground-breaking research together. The joint research on climate change is a very exciting opportunity to unlock some of humanity’s secrets and better understand our world.”

As part of the partnership, Professor Takeshi Nakagawa and Dr Ikuko Kitaba from Ritsumeikan University are visiting Aberystwyth until 14th November.

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