Friday, 6 November 2009

New Welsh school officially opened by Minister

Cllr Lindsay Whittle, Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council welcomed Jane Hutt Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills to Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau to officially open the new Welsh-medium primary school this week.

The Minister visited the school on Wednesday (November 4th) where she, and other officials, enjoyed a programme of entertainment, including Welsh song and poetry, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour of the facilities.

The modern, purpose-built school, located on the Cwm Calon estate near Ystrad Mynach, provides Welsh medium education for pupils from Penallta, Penybryn, Penpedairheol, Tir-y-Berth, Gelligaer, Glyn-Gaer and Glan y Nant. At present the school, which currently has 20 pupils enrolled, is opened for the infants phase only, but it will extend to become a 3-11 primary school from September 2010.

Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau, which incorporates cost effective energy systems such as under-floor heating and automatic lighting, was jointly funded by Redrow and Caerphilly County Borough Council, which contributed £1.4M to the £2.8M project, including £660K from the Welsh Assembly's School Building Improvement Grant. The school which boasts a main hall, library, IT suite and eight classrooms can accommodate up to 240 pupils.

Education Minister Jane Hutt said: "It is crucial that pupils have a stimulating environment in which to learn. I am delighted that we've been able to provide £660,000 in capital funding to support the school.

"The new developments at Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau are absolutely ideal and will provide young learners with modern facilities to get the most out of their education."

Cllr Phil Bevan - Cabinet Member for Education and Leisure said "Outdoor learning, through the medium of play, is at the top of the agenda at Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau, which has its very own secure woodland area with a little stream running through it. This area is ideal for learning experiences in the Foundation Phase. To further encourage outdoor learning, canopies will also be fitted onto the secure outdoor playing areas outside the reception and nursery classes in the future."

Headteacher Andrea Woods said, " I am delighted to welcome all of our important visitors to the school. It is a testament to the exceptional growth in demand for Welsh Medium Education in the county borough that Ysgol Gymraeg Penalltau is the 11th Welsh primary school to open."


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