Coleg y Cymoedd learners champion Welsh language skills

Following the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the appointment of the Welsh Language Commissioner, Coleg y Cymoedd has made huge strides to ensure that members of staff and learners are motivated to use their Welsh language skills.

Learners are encouraged to participate in extra- curricular educational and social activities which will develop their Welsh language skills socially as well as in the classroom.

It’s true to say that there is no better classroom than the Urdd Centre, Llangrannog and when an opportunity arose through Menter Iaith, six learners from the college applied to attend an outdoor course at the centre.

To secure their place, the learners had to give reasons why they should be selected to attend and the benefits they would receive from the visit. The successful learners, all members of the Welsh Language Learner Forum at Coleg y Cymoedd and keen promoters of the Welsh language; regularly participate in activities organised by the forum, which include Bowling, charity events and trips to places of interest e.g. St. Fagan’s.

During their visit to LLangrannog the learners took part in outdoor activities, team building games and learner forum idea sharing.

Chloe Griffiths, (19) from Caerffili applied and was accepted to attend the course she said “ Mi wnes i hoffi cwrdd a phobl newydd a chymryd rhan mewn gweithgareddau. Gawson nillawer o hwyl a ches i brofiad da. Mi wnes i fwynhau siarad Cymraeg tu fas o’r coleg gyda frindiau newydd. “

“I enjoyed meeting new people and taking part in activities. We had lots of fun and good experience. I enjoyed the chance to speak Welsh outside of college with new friends”.

Bi-lingual Champion at Coleg y Cymoedd, Jamie Bevan stated “It’s a pleasure for the College to be working in partnership with Menter Iaith (Rhondda Cynon Taf) in order to offer this great opportunity to our learners. The College is committed to increasing the opportunities for young people to continue to use their Welsh language skills outside of the classroom and believe that activities such as the Llangrannog event will strengthen the relevance of the Welsh language; not only in a formal context but in a social context too. The skills the learners gain over the course of the weekend will be put to good use at the college when encouraging the wider learner population to make use of and maintain their Welsh language skills.”

On 16th April, Coleg y Cymoedd will host an Advice Day. The Advice Day will run from 4pm to 7pm and will provide an opportunity for prospective learners and their families to explore the college’s facilities and learn more about available courses.

Wales Rugby League and Coleg y Cymoedd launch new Rugby League Academy

Coleg y Cymoedd’s list of sports academies grows with the launch of a brand new Rugby League Academy based at the Ystrad Mynach campus.

Would-be Rugby League stars of the future are being given a chance to stake their claim to a place on the programme that combines training with a full time education.

The Academy, which will open its doors for the first group of learners this September, will be run by Mark Jones, and will offer players the opportunity to develop on and off the pitch by balancing daily coaching sessions with full time study.

Following the success of Rugby union academies offered by Coleg y Cymoedd, learners will be able to study BTEC Level 2 and Level 3 Sport qualifications as part of the programme.

This Academy has come to fruition through the commitment of the two partners to provide an environment for talented Welsh Rugby League Players to receive both educational qualifications and the highest standard of training.

The new academy further strengthens the sports growing popularity in South Wales and will provide Wales Rugby League and academy players with excellent training facilities that will include gymnasiums, all-weather training pitches and grass pitches.

It is hoped that the Academy, will considerably improve the standards of the players at under 18s level who will inevitably be the future for club and international Rugby League in Wales.

Jonathan Morgan, Faculty Director of Sport at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “Coleg y Cymoedd’s excellent sporting facilities made this partnership an exciting and viable option for the college and Wales Rugby League.

“We’re very excited about this new prospect and the opportunity to give players pathway into the professional game, with a sound education. The Academy concept promotes high standards and aspirations for the students and we are delighted to be involved in it.

Mark Jones, National Development Manager at Wales Rugby League, said “The academy is a fantastic opportunity to expose the players to the demands of professional sport. Each player will be set individual development targets to improve their physical conditioning, skills and tactical awareness in a professional environment”.

On 16th April, Coleg y Cymoedd will host an Advice Day. The Advice Day will run from 4pm to 7pm and will provide an opportunity for prospective learners and their families to explore the college’s facilities and learn more about available courses.

Learning Curve students celebrate success

Over eighty learners from Rhondda Cynon Taf attended the Annual Learning Curve Presentations, which this year, were held at the Aberdare Campus of Coleg y Cymoedd. These awards were for achievements during the academic year 2013-14.

Jonathan Morgan, Faculty Director Health, Sport and Vocational Access welcomed the learners and their guests and introduced some key members of staff who would be involved with the event.

The mature learners, who study at Aberdare, Rhondda and Nantgarw campuses and various outreach centres throughout the County Borough, received certificates for their achievements in a variety of qualifications including Enterprise, Health & Fitness, Hygiene in the Kitchen and Travel Training. These courses are offered in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf C.B.C.

Nicola Richards, Senior Development Officer, Learning Curve Services said “Coleg y Cymoedd provides quality part time courses throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf, which enhance the opportunities we can provide to our service user groups. Acquiring skills via the part time courses, increases independence, and equips learners with new skills and confidence. It is a real pleasure to recognise all learners’ achievements again this year”.

Presenting the certificates, Vice Principal John Phelps congratulated the learners on their achievements and paid tribute to the support given by their families and the staff. He wished the learners well and looked forward to seeing them at next year’s awards.

Course tutors Elaine Lippard, Evelyn Anderson, Carol Fatkin, Liz Terry and Learning Support Assistant Lloyd Harrington (on behalf of Lesley Hooper) introduced their learners and applauded their success. Unfortunately, Gail Pritchard and Richard Williams, who also teach Learning Curve classes, were unable to attend the event. Evelyn Anderson also thanked the Nantgarw ‘Monday’ Group for their efforts in raising £38.50 for Ty Hafan charity by selling plants.

Forty nine year old learner Paul Lambert from Tonteg, who is part of the Parks and Gardening team at the Learning Curve at Treforest, said “I enjoy the course and meeting people. One of my favourite trips was a boat trip around Cardiff Bay on H.M.S. Daffodil. I’m really pleased with the certificates I’ve received today”.

Co-ordinator of the Learning Curve classes at Coleg y Cymoedd, Rachel Wallen, who in co-operation with Nicola Richards, organised the event, stated “I am delighted with the learners’ achievements. It is only on presentation day that we get a true reflection of the amount of learners receiving certificates within Rhondda Cynon Taf area. It also gives the fuller picture as to what the college is providing and how committed tutors, learning support staff are in meeting the needs of the learners. It is lovely to see how overjoyed each learner is with their success”.

A Packed audience of proud family, friends and staff watched as the learners received their much-deserved certificates.

On 16th April, Coleg y Cymoedd will host an Advice Day. The Advice Day will run from 4pm to 7pm and will provide an opportunity for prospective learners and their families to explore the college’s facilities and learn more about available courses.

Learners earn a feast of medals at Culinary Championships

A group of Coleg y Cymoedd Hospitality and Catering learners travelled to LLandrillo college, North Wales to compete in this years’ Welsh International Culinary Championships & Cake Cymru competition.

The eight learners entered 23 classes including Knife Skills, Napkin folding and table setting, Pasta dish, flambé, Cakes, Bistro sandwich and Welsh Beef, and came away with a staggering 16 medals.

Emily Pooley, a learner on Level 3 Professional Cookery, took part in the Welsh Beef competition, taking the Gold medal. Emily said “It was a pleasure to represent the college in this national competition. I would like to thank the tutors that put in the time to train me. The event was a pressured environment but I felt I handled the pressure well due to the hard work I put into it. I would recommend others to compete in competitions as it is extremely beneficial to their future career.”

Rhys Martin, Evan Davies and Ieuan Hall secured Silver medals for their Knife skills, whilst Bethan Stephens, Paige Ellis, Amber Verona and Koebe Hydes achieved bronze medals and certificates of merit.

One of the largest UK suppliers of catering equipment, Nisbets were so impressed with the talent of the learners that they have agreed to sponsor them; providing soft shell jackets. The jackets will be badged with the college logo, together with Nisbets and Dyke knives logos, ensuring the learners will be visible at future events and competitions. Nisbets will also embroider the college logo alongside theirs on all learner kits and chefs jackets purchased by Coleg y Cymoedd.

Head of Catering Paula Marsh said: “The learners were a credit to themselves and the college whilst away. Their hard work and that of the Catering team, especially Ian Presgrave has certainly paid off.”

On 16th April, Coleg y Cymoedd will host an Advice Day. The Advice Day will run from 4pm to 7pm and will provide an opportunity for prospective learners and their families to explore the college’s facilities and learn more about available courses.

Coleg y Cymoedd footballer to play on international pitch

Two hairdressing learners from the Coleg y Cymoedd school links programme have triumphed in a national competition.

The national final for the AHT (The Association of Hairdressers and Therapists) was held in Blackpool and two of Coleg y Cymoedd’s school links learners scooped places in the top four in the UK.

Charlotte Stephens and Emily Whitehead from Bedwas High School on a school link programme with Coleg y Cymoedd snapped up second and fourth place retrospectively.

A sweeping victory in the Welsh regional final at the Nantgarw campus of Coleg y Cymoedd qualified three talented Coleg y Cymoedd hairdressers to represent Wales in the National final in Blackpool this week.

At the AHT Welsh regional competitions the top three places for the ‘School Link Evening Style with Ornamentation’ category were won by learners from three local schools. Courtney Evans from St Martins High School won first place, while Charlotte and Emily took second and third place retrospectively. All three girls also study with Coleg y Cymoedd as part of the School Links programme.

Fifteen year old Charlotte Stephens from Bedwas said: “It was great to be involved in the competition, a lot of hard work and preparation went into it but it was worth it for the experience. I was really surprised to be placed in the regional finals and to qualify for the national final, so to walk away with second place is amazing.”

Tutor Martine Roberts who teaches on the school links programme at Coleg y Cymoedd said “All the learners produced a very high level of skill ability during the competition and on behalf of the college we are very proud of them all. The learners were complimented on the quality of their work and were a credit to the schools and to the college.”

14-19 Co-ordinator Martin Jones said: “By competing in regional competitions, the learners gain valuable experience that they can continue to draw upon in the future. All three learners have done very well and their collection of awards shows just how hard they have been working.”

Coleg y Cymoedd’s hairdressing students work in industry-standard salons where they develop their skills with a variety of clients. They also have the chance to participate in work experience, enter competitions and visit national hairdressing events.

Coleg y Cymoedd hosts first inter college competition

Three learners from the A Level Centre at Coleg y Cymoedd have received offers to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

The learners were congratulated by the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James, on a visit to the college’s Nantgarw Campus.

Andrew Williams, (19) from Porth has received an offer to study physics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford University following A-levels in maths, further maths, chemistry and physics. He has already achieved an A* grade in maths so is hoping for two A grades this summer to secure his place at the prestigious university.

Calum Haggett (18) from Tonyrefail is currently studying A-levels in maths, physics and Biology and has been offered a place to study biomedical science at St Anne’s College, Oxford University. Promising rugby star Calum has already appeared for Wales Under 18’s as well as the Cardiff Blues and Coleg y Cymoedd and requires an A* and two A grades in his final exams.

Jacob Lewis (22) from Cardiff is hoping to study Law at Hughes Hall, Cambridge following A-levels in law, history, sociology and the Welsh Baccalaureate. Jacob’s conditional offer is for four A* grades.

These latest university offers come hot on the heels of last year’s A-level learner Shannon Britton, from Ferndale, who earned the highest score in A-level law across England and Wales and is now studying English at Exeter College, Oxford.

During her visit to Coleg y Cymoedd ahead of Apprenticeship Week (9 – 13 March) the Deputy Minister also met some of the college’s engineering apprentices who are studying aeronautical, electrical and mechanical engineering apprenticeships in partnership with some of Wales’ top firms including GE Aviation and Axiom Manufacturing Services.

The Deputy Minister said:

“It was very enjoyable to meet such committed young people. I would like to congratulate all the apprentices and AS and A-Level students at the college and wish them every success as they progress onto further studies, university or enter the world of work.

“In Wales, we believe our young people hold the key to our future well-being and prosperity. Their academic achievement, intellect and energy will help Wales grow and become more competitive.

“Earlier this year the Welsh Government launched a new scheme offering some of Wales’ brightest sixth formers and college students access to specialised support to help them gain entry into the UK’s top universities.”

The Deputy Minister’s visit to Coleg y Cymoedd follows an announcement last month by the Welsh Government that it will now be supporting priority building projects for further education colleges in Wales as part of its 21st century Schools programme.

Ian Rees, Strategic Alliance Manager for the A-level Centre at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “Three Oxbridge offers in one academic year is fantastic for Coleg y Cymoedd and is testament to the efforts these students have put into their studies over the last 18 months, and to the dedication and expertise of the staff who have supported their learning.

“Since we started our A-level programme when the Nantgarw Campus opened in 2012 we have worked hard to ensure all learners have every opportunity to succeed as well as benefitting from quality extra-curricular activities and pastoral support. I’d like to congratulate Andrew, Calum and Jacob personally on their university offers and I will be wishing them every success in their final exams this summer.”

While visiting Coleg y Cymoedd, the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology received a tour of the new £40million Nantgarw Campus, £34 million of which was funded by the Welsh Government, that houses the A-level centre as well as meeting foundation learning and engineering learners who benefit from the college’s strong links with local employers, providing essential training for some of the area’s most vulnerable learners.

Coleg y Cymoedd has recently secured Welsh Government support in principle to raise funding for the construction of a new £20 million campus in Aberdare town centre to replace its existing facility at Cwmdare Road.


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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