Best practice - Cwm Garw.indd - Estyn

Best practice - Cwm Garw.indd - Estyn

Best practice

Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Cwm Garw, Bridgend

Number of pupils: 152

Age range: 3-11 years

Date of Estyn inspection: October 2010

‘School Action Plus’ level (6 children – which

has recently increased from 3 children/2.2%).

Forty three school children (28%) receive

language assistance. Twenty three children are

assisted with numeracy. The majority of pupils

come from homes where English is the main

language. Only two pupils come from homes

where Welsh is the main language. Three

children are from ethnic backgrounds.

Area of sector-leading practice which

has been identified during inspection

and relates to a particular quality


Key Question: 1

Quality indicator: 1.1

Aspect: Standards

Context and background to sectorleading


Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Cwm Garw provides

bilingual education to 152 children (an increase

from 143 in 2009), in the village of Pontycymer,

Cwm Garw – north of Bridgend. Statutory

numbers show that 20% of pupils are eligible

to receive free school meals, which is similar

to the local and national average (17.8%). The

current percentage of statutory aged children

(28 of 111) for September 2010 has increased

to 25%.

The school has six classes: Nursery/Reception;

Reception/Year 1; Year 1/2; Year 3; Year

4/5; Year 5/6. The school has six full-time

teachers and a Headteacher, as well as six

full-time classroom assistants and one parttime

classroom assistant. Four per cent of

pupils have additional educational needs on a

The school has been targeting boys’ attainment

since 2004. Analysis by the school’s Senior

Management Team of assessment data in 2003

showed differences between the girls and the

boys, especially in terms of the number of boys

achieving levels 3 and 5, and therefore we

decided to try to increase the boys’ attainment.

Description of nature of strategy or


Here are some of the strategies, procedures

and resources that we believe have had a

positive effect on attainment amongst boys:

• professional reading on the comparison

between the mental skills of boys and girls.

Adapting learning/teaching skills based on

this information;

• effective use of the computer tracking

system, which facilitates the cross-curricular

evaluation of data concerning the boys;

• expenditure on resources to attract boys

to reading in Welsh and English, e.g. an

English language series

which includes stories

and information

books; high/

low level

interest books;



• use of

individual white

boards during

literacy and

“Since 2005-07,

we are above the

LEA standards in every


numeracy lessons across the curriculum;

• use of ITC across the curriculum, which

improves literacy skills;

• pupils are given a free choice of books to

borrow from the junior department. The boys

enjoy information books;

• use of an English commercial plan that

gives a sensory structure to the language’s

spelling. Several fun activities including

music and rapping, games, large books,

CDs and flash cards. The boys, especially,

respond well to changing short activities


• English language commercial scheme

– study a variety of fictional and factual

texts during every term. Less emphasis on

studying long novels;

• Welsh-language scheme (based on the

ESIS plan) to emphasize skills;

• use of Welsh-language commercial scheme

during Years 1 and 2 which promotes writing

skills in a fun way, by using soft toys and

large books. The same plan is used in

English with year 3 pupils;

• role-playing corners during the Foundation

Phase and KS1 appeal to the boys as well

as to the girls;

• involvement in many local strategies (Clwb

Clebran - Bridgend Talk Project) and

national strategies (Read a Million Words)

which promotes the interest of boys in

reading and in language (and in the case of

the Read a Million Words campaign, offers a

competitive element in terms of counting the

amount of words they read every day/week);

• targeting reading amongst boys is part of

the headteacher’s action research for his

NPQH. A Year 3 teacher is also conducting

similar work for an MA degree in Education;

• boys have good role models, as 2 out of 3

KS2 teachers are male.

No one individual resource, activity or

procedure is responsible for good performance,

but rather a combination of many. Effective and

coherent data analysis, which leads to a wholeschool

plan of procedures, will certainly have a

positive effect on the standards of boys, as well

as girls.

What impact has this work had on

provision and learners’ standards

Standards amongst KS1 pupils are very

good. Since 2004 the rolling average shows

a regular improvement in every core subject

and Core Subject Indicator (except for the

2008-10 groups, where there was a decline in

mathematics and therefore the Core Subject

Indicator). Since 2005-07, we are above the

LEA standards in every area. The boys have

performed better than the girls (Core Subject

Indicator) in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

In KS2, the boys have performed as well as the

girls (Core Subject Indicator) in 2005 and 2007,

and better than the girls in 2010.

Many recent strategies have been implemented

in order to maintain/improve pupils’ standards,

especially the boys, e.g. a senior assistant

holds targeted reading sessions with the boys

of the junior department; both male teachers

read stories to the children in the Foundation

Phase; establishing a Welsh-medium literacy

project in conjunction with the local English

medium school.

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