Cymoedd Rugby Alumnus recognised for his talent

Coleg y Cymoedd is delighted that the talent of one of its Rugby Academy alumni has been recognised by one of Wales’s greatest ever rugby players – Alun Wyn Jones.

It may have come as a surprise to some when Shane Lewis Hughes was named in the Welsh squad for this year’s Autumn Internationals; however the coaches who have watched Shane’s development always knew that he was destined for great things.

Shane began his journey as a 7 year old at Ferndale Rugby Football Club where he realised his passion for the game. He quickly progressed through the ranks at school and club level, before gaining recognition with Rhondda Schools, under coach and mentor Chris Jones.

During this time Shane gained the values and work ethic which have helped him fulfil his dreams of playing for Wales. His determination and ambition continued for the Blues North and his impressive performances saw him pull on the Welsh shirt in the national Under 16’s side – taking his first step to his dream of playing for his country at senior level.

The next step in Shane’s journey saw him enrol at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Rugby Academy where he spent three years. In his first year he completed his Level 2 in Sport, before progressing on to the Level 3 Sport Programme. During this time, alongside his studies Shane was able to work on his rugby and physical development; taking a keen interest in his diet and recovery.

The Rugby Academy at Coleg y Cymoedd allowed Shane to complete his academic qualification and train with the Blues, where he is now part of the Blues Senior squad.

Gareth Wyatt, Head of Rugby said “During his time at Coleg y Cymoedd Shane’s attitude to being the best certainly influenced and brought the best out of those around him. Shane is a fantastic role model for any young aspiring professional, not only at Coleg y Cymoedd and the Rhondda but across the whole of Wales”.

In a recent interview Alun Wyn Jones said that he has been waiting 15 years for someone like Shane to come along and Wayne Pivac endorsed this by adding If you look at Alun Wyn in terms of preparation, the way he trains and the way he reviews and previews his opposition, Shane Lewis Hughes is a clone.

The college is proud to have been part of Shane’s journey so far and wish him good luck for an exciting future”.

Welsh for all on Welsh Rights Day

December 7 is Welsh Language Rights Day. This day was created by the Welsh Language Commissioner to promote the use of Welsh language services provided by public bodies in Wales under the Welsh Language Standards of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011. Under the Measure our students, our staff and members of the public are entitled to Welsh language services in the College.

Coleg y Cymoedd is working hard to develop opportunities to use and learn the Welsh language and to ensure that all the necessary resources are available to our students who wish to engage with the language. Therefore, the College has decided to seize this opportunity to launch a brand new section on the ‘Student Life’ portal on the College website.

This new resource is divided into three sections – one section for Welsh speakers promoting their rights under the Welsh Language Standards; options available to study through the medium of Welsh; resources to support them in their learning; and opportunities to use the language informally to retain their skills. The second section for non-Welsh speaking students promotes opportunities to learn Welsh and useful resources. The third section is devoted to Welsh culture. It contains a host of resources relating to different aspects of the unique culture of Wales. The aim will be to add to these pages in the future as resources and services are created.

Speaking on behalf of the college, Jonathan Morgan, Vice Principal/Chief Operating Officer of Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “We are committed to providing the highest quality Welsh language services to our students and this new resource is an opportunity to showcase all the opportunities available to learners regarding the Welsh language. Whether they speak Welsh or not – the Welsh language belongs to everyone. ”

Aled Roberts, Welsh Language Commissioner said “Today there are over 120 organisations operating the Welsh language standards, which means that the public have a right to use the language with them.  We are pleased that an organisation such as Coleg y Cymoedd  has taken the opportunity today to promote Welsh language rights.  Let us now, as Welsh speakers and learners, make the most of our rights and choose the language.”

To access these ‘Welsh in the College’ pages, please click here.

For a full list and exact details of people’s rights to use the Welsh language, go to –

Online learning platform supports Ellie’s business ambition

Despite the challenging circumstances facing learners this year, due to Covid, a Cymoedd learner has taken another step closer to achieving her ambition.

Ellie Wilkins, from Mountain Ash is currently studying on the Level 3 Beauty course at the Nantgarw campus after successfully completing her Level 2 course and recently completed Dermalogica’s Aspire Award, which was launched in October.

As a mum of a busy 4 year old Ellie committed every spare moment to undertake a series of industry related skills focussed workshops; alongside her vocational course and GCSE Maths. The topics, delivered by experienced skin care specialists via Dermalogica’s online learning platform included Health & Safety protocols, skin analysis and application techniques; which will benefit her in achieving her goal of setting up her own Beauty business.

Speaking about the course, Ellie said “I really enjoy studying Beauty at the college and I’m always keen to learn more skills. I was delighted to achieve the Award and I’m eager to progress to the next training – Dermalogica Enhanced Employability. I’m also grateful to the college for organising tutorials such as ‘Setting up a Business’, as I’m sure they will be beneficial for me when looking towards my future”.

Congratulating Ellie, Beauty Therapy Lecturer Emma Wilson added “Ellie has shown real commitment to her studies, juggling her course work with her family commitments. She is a very ambitious learner and an inspiration to her peers. With her knowledge, skills and determination I am sure she will achieve her goal to set up her own Beauty business”.

Valleys learners take part in digital Shakespeare festival

A group of creative learners from the South Wales Valleys are set to take on the virtual stage to entertain audiences far and wide with a Shakespeare classic.

12 budding performing arts learners from Coleg y Cymoedd have been busy preparing for a performance of Shakespeare comedy ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ as part of a national festival dedicated to the famous playwright.

The learners, who are all studying a vocational access course in performing arts, will take to the stage at the college’s Nantgarw campus on Thursday 3rd December at 2pm for the performance, which will be live-streamed digitally for members of the public to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes for free

The show is part of the world’s largest youth drama festival held by leading cultural education charity, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation (CSSF). Under normal circumstances, the annual festival sees thousands of learners from schools and colleges across the UK perform Shakespeare plays on professional stages nationwide after months of preparation.  

But, with current Covid-19 restrictions meaning theatres up and down the country are forced to close, the CSSF has adapted this year’s festival to give it an online home.

Coleg y Cymoedd has taken part in the festival for the last 3 years. While learners would usually take to the stage in front of hundreds of people at the Riverfront Theatre in Newport, this year’s production will instead be viewed digitally.

Conor Davies, 19, one of the learners involved in the production said: “Taking part in the Shakespeare festival has been a great learning experience. Although I find performing quite nerve-wracking, being involved in this performance has really helped to give me a big confidence boost, both on and off the stage.”

20 year old Alex Lawless, who is also taking part in the play, added: “With all the various restrictions and measures currently in place due to the pandemic, putting together the play and rehearsing for it has been challenging, but it’s been a very rewarding experience. I’ve really enjoyed working with tutors and classmates to bring the play to life, and we’re all really looking forward to the final performance, even if it will be online.”

To prepare for the show, Coleg y Cymoedd learners and tutors have taken part in workshops hosted by CSSF, script readings, and countless technical and dress rehearsals on campus on the run up to the final performance.

Angela Fitzgerald, Vocational Access Performing Arts course tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd said, said: “Our Performing Arts learners have been preparing for the show since the start of the academic year and are so excited to show off what they’ve been working on.

“Shakespeare plays aren’t the easiest to perform due to the complex language and it’s a shame that we can’t perform live on the big stage like we usually do. However, the learners have been more than happy to get stuck in, push through, and put on a great show. I’m really proud of the hard work they’ve put in with the play, behind the scenes and on stage.”

Important statement Nantgarw Campus

An incident occurred at the Coleg y Cymoedd Nantgarw campus this morning which necessitated a police search of the building.

The campus was temporarily closed while this took place and police are satisfied that the situation has now been resolved.

We are very grateful for the prompt action taken by the police.

Teaching has now resumed and we would like to reassure our college community that all learners and staff on site are safe


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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