Construction learners volunteer to paint a local school

Coleg y Cymoedd has won an award for its international work with students. The award was presented at the International Awards Ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

The annual awards reward excellent teaching with an international dimension in Welsh schools and colleges. The awards are organised by British Council Wales and sponsored by the Welsh Government as part of the British Council International Education Programme.

Coleg y Cymoedd won the Colegau Cymru International Award for its participation in European mobility projects and partnerships with institutions in EU countries including Denmark, Finland and Italy. The award judges agreed that Coleg y Cymoedd’s reciprocal exchanges give its students invaluable experience of working and living abroad while studying. As well as improving their personal and linguistic skills, the programmes help students gain valuable employability skills, increasing their career prospects.

Kathryn Bishop, International Officer at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “Coleg y Cymoedd are privileged to receive the Colegau Cymru International Award for the third year running. The experiences that we offer staff and students has strengthened our international links, and allowed us to form long standing partnerships which enrich both the curriculum and the learners’ experience.”

Director of British Council Wales, Jenny Scott, said: ““The International Awards Ceremony highlights the successes of schools and colleges that are helping their students take their place as global citizens.

“It’s important for schools and colleges to bring an international dimension to their classrooms. We believe that giving young people an international perspective helps encourage them to become global citizens, giving them a window onto new cultures and countries, as well as sparking an interest in learning languages.

“International projects are also beneficial to teachers, introducing them to new practices and perspectives.”

At the awards ceremony pupils were able to take part in a number of workshops, including slam poetry with Wales’ young people’s poet laureate Martin Daws and making musical instruments from recycled material with musician Francesca Dimech who has worked with street musicians in Brazil. They also had a chance to meet Polar explorer Antony Jinman and worked with artist Sharon Flint to create an artwork inspired by the annual migration of swallows from Wales to Lesotho.

Catering learners sculpt out new skills in ice master class

Coleg y Cymoedd player Joseph Evans will be playing on the international field after being selected to represent Welsh Colleges in Italy.

The talented footballer will be travelling to Rome next week to compete in the Roma Caput Mundi Tournament alongside players from across Wales.

17 year old Joseph from Pontypridd who studies BTEC Level 3 Sport was one of only 15 Welsh college players selected to participate in the invite only competition involving international teams from across Europe.

The Welsh Colleges U18’s team will play three pool matches over the week against Malta, Italy and Albania in an attempt to reach the final. Whilst in Italy the players will also have the opportunity to partake in cultural visits in Rome.

Joseph said: “I was really surprised to be chosen to play for Welsh colleges in this competition abroad and am really looking forward to going to Italy for the first time.”

Sports tutor and Football Co-ordinator Tutor Phillip Thomas said: “Joseph has enjoyed an exceptional year in his football career and is always improving. He is also an enthusiastic student off the pitch and we are delighted and proud that he has been chosen to have this experience.”

The Sports Academy at Coleg y Cymoedd allows learners to split their time between working towards relevant qualifications and improving their skills on the field. The college has recently launched an Elite Female Football Academy with the Football Association of Wales based at the Ystrad Mynach campus.

Coleg y Cymoedd also offers pathways in rugby and hosts the Cardiff Blues (North) Academy. BTEC Sports students may have the opportunity to train alongside Cardiff Blues players and receive coaching from the Blues’ coaches. Find out about Coleg y Cymoedd sport courses here:

Learners face the Dragons Den for charity

Coleg y Cymoedd held its first inter college competition; going head to head with learners from Coleg Gwent.

The Gwent learners travelled to the Aberdare Campus to participate in the competition, in a range of subjects including, Hair, Beauty, Plumbing and Electrical. This competition was instigated by Coleg Gwent’s Head of School for Construction and Hair and Beauty, Steve Llewellyn previously an employee at the college.

Steve said “I believe our learners gain a wealth of experience from competitions such as this, it certainly prepares them for employment. As I have contacts at Coleg y Cymoedd it seemed a good opportunity to set up the competition, which will hopefully become an annual event”.

In the hair and beauty salons the learners were given the task of creating a ‘Ladies evening overall look’. Throughout the competition the salons were a hive of activity with the hair learners producing some fantastic styles, alongside the beauty learners who designed amazing nail creations and transformed their models with stunning make overs.

The judges, experts within the field, closely observed the learners and commented on the final styles, which were elegant and to a very high standard.

Winners: Hair 1st Coleg Gwent, 2nd Coleg y Cymoedd, 3rd Coleg Gwent. Beauty 1st Coleg y Cymoedd, 2nd Coleg y Cymoedd, 3rd Coleg y Cymoedd. Nails 1st Coleg Gwent,2nd Coleg Gwent, 3rd Coleg Gwent. Prizes donated by NSI Nails, Goldwell Hair , Dennis Williams Hair and Dermalogica Beauty.

Dean Poole, Salon Owner/AHT Judge who presented the overall winners said” The standard in the competition was excellent; the learners used their imagination and skills to create some incredible ‘looks’, I’m sure they will have a successful career in this industry”.

The plumbing learners set about their task of creating a 15mm pipe circuit, incorporating some tricky passovers whilst the electrical ‘sparkies’ rose to their challenge of wiring a ring main circuit and lighting circuit.

Overseeing the construction tasks, Craig Huckle of City Plumbing witnessed some professional standards of work. Craig remarked “I am delighted that City Plumbing has been able to support today’s event, the standard of work has been impressive. The skills gained by these learners during their time at the colleges will put them in good stead for employment and equip them with the skills needed to set up their own businesses”.

After much deliberation the final winners were announced and presented with course specific prizes which had been donated by City Plumbing Supplies.

Winners: Plumbing 1ST Coleg Gwent, 2nd Coleg y Cymoedd, 3rd Coleg y Cymoedd. Electrical 1st Coleg Y Cymoedd, 2nd Coleg Gwent. 3rd Coleg Gwent

Closing the event and presenting the overall Challenge cup to Coleg Gwent, Campus Director Mark Thomas congratulated the learners and thanked the staff involved for supporting the competition. He also thanked the Catering learners who had prepared and served light refreshments for the event.

Coleg y Cymoedd sports learner recognised for Inclusion and Diversity

International boss Jayne Ludlow is confident that a new partnership with Coleg y Cymoedd will pay dividends for the future of the women’s football.

The Football Association of Wales has teamed up with the Ystrad Mynach campus of Coleg y Cymoedd to launch an elite female football academy. With the first intake in place for this September at Coleg y Cymoedd, the girls will be able to combine daily coaching sessions with full time study.

The project was a key aim for Jayne Ludlow as Head of the Football Academy of Wales, who hopes the academy will provide the next generation of Wales internationals. The initiative gives players a taste of what it takes to make it as a club professional as well as furthering their education.

Jayne Ludlow, former Arsenal ladies Captain said: “I promised myself to set up female football environments that can allow our younger players to excel and to get to the level that I think they can get to. This female football academy based at Coleg y Cymoedd whereby our elite group of 16-18-year-old players will be based, studying full-time and training full-time is ideal for helping them reach their potential.

They will be coached by staff currently in our pathway and the plan behind it is to create an elite environment there that will give all our younger players the impetus to compete at the top level in the future. It’s a long-term thought process but the sooner we get that up and running the better for all the girls who are of that age.”

A Valleys location was the preferred choice for the elite academy due to how popular the sport is in the surrounding areas. The Football Academy of Wales hopes the new programme will provide a successful pathway for female players to develop on and off the field in a competitive environment.

Jonathan Morgan, Faculty Director of Sport at Coleg y Cymoedd: The College’s excellent sporting facilities made the partnership with the Football Association of Wales an exciting prospect.

“From the college’s point of view it’s a link that we’ve been looking to make. There are numerous examples of how this has worked across the country, Jayne’s mentioned how well it’s worked with Arsenal Ladies who’ve been running this model for a number of years.

We’re very excited. It ties in perfectly with us, as a college and we want to create links with employers, who can see there’s a good player pathway into the professional game. It’s the perfect opportunity.”

For more information on joining the Elite Football Academy visit:

Interested in becoming a host family for players in the Academy? Visit

Plans for Aberdare’s new multi-million pound campus are one step closer

A group of college construction learners gave back to their community by volunteering to redecorate a local school.

Twenty two learners on a level 1 Diploma in Painting and Decorating course at the Rhondda Campus of Coleg y Cymoedd undertook a project to paint classrooms at Porth County Community School.

This project was undertaken to improve the school aesthetically to ensure the best outcomes for the learners at Porth County, and to provide a realistic work experience for Coleg y Cymoedd construction learners. The project also helped towards the community participation element of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification.

Porth County as a school in an area of high social deprivation within the Rhondda needed a facelift on a minimal budget. Staff determined to improve the decoration of some parts of the school came up with a unique solution, to approach the college for this partnership initiative.

The group of construction learners from Rhondda Cynon Taf painted selected areas of the school over the period of a week. The most noticeable difference was the transformation in the Maths department where staff have seen a great improvement in the school pupil’s inspiration to learn.

Bev Cheetham, Deputy Head of Porth County said: “We now have two beautifully decorated classrooms, of the highest standards. The Coleg y Cymoedd learners were so polite, well behaved and respectful and were a real credit to the staff.

All Porth County staff commented on what mature, diligent individuals they were; a real credit to the college. This has had such an impact on both our staff and pupils morale.”

Kirah Keene aged 17 from Aberdare said: “This was a great idea to be part of, not only did I gain valuable practical experience by redecorating in a real life setting, it also felt great to be doing something to help out a local school. I really enjoyed it.”

Judith Evans, Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd said “This is a brilliant project for our learners. This initiative is just one example of the fantastic community service that can be done by working together. The learners were a credit to the professionalism of our staff and we are very proud of what they have achieved.”


Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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