Celebrating Welsh Week at Coleg y Cymoedd
Every year, around St David's Day, Coleg y Cymoedd organises a week of events to encourage learners and staff to celebrate our heritage and culture. Although this year's celebrations have been slightly different with more virtual engagement; the college enjoyed a week packed full of activities with excellent participation from both learners and staff.
The celebrations began on St David's Day itself, 1 March, with a virtual session on our national anthem 'Hen Wlad fy Nhadau'. The Head of Welsh Language Developments held the session for staff and learners, teaching them how to pronounce the words correctly; the meaning of the lyrics and the anthem’s history. There was also a virtual coffee morning in conjunction with other colleges in the south east. It was an opportunity for staff responsible for Welsh language developments within the colleges to chat over a cup of tea and a Welsh cake and share good practice.
Throughout the week, an opportunity was given to learn Welsh. Alison Jones, held daily sessions for learners and staff eager to learn, to get a taste of the Welsh language and learn basic phrases.
The celebrations continued with a quizzes over Microsoft Forms, where learners and staff had the opportunity to answer questions relating to Wales, the Welsh language and Welsh Celebrities and win vouchers. There was an amazing response with 600 learners and staff taking part. The winners were Emma Preston; Catherine Smith; Chloe Miles; Chrystal Couch; Naeve Hopkins; Rose Keeping; Celia Baxter; Victoria Matthews; Katie Burgess; Lucy Morgan; Lisa Armstrong; Martyn Burgess; Lisa Jones; Andrea Soulsby a Paul Rennie.
On Wednesday, the college held its second 'Lleisiau'r Cymoedd (Voices of the Valleys); session - a series of virtual Q&A sessions with some of well-known faces from the Valleys, sponsored by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. This time, Welsh Language Officer, Lois Roberts, interviewed actress and Pobol y Cwm star, Gwawr Loader. It was a very entertaining session and the actress was asked about her upbringing in the Taff-Bargoed valley; how the Welsh language has benefited her in her career; and what advice she has for those at the college pursuing creative courses.
On Thursday, a meeting of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's Ambassadors for Further Education in the south east was held. It was a great opportunity for one of Coleg y Cymoedd’s ambassadors, Molly Davies, to chat with other college ambassadors; discuss ideas for activities that would appeal to learners and share their experiences of being a Welsh ambassador in a further education college.
The Welsh Language Development Team took advantage of Welsh Week's opportunity to launch a very exciting campaign at the College, a special Microsoft TEAMS Group for staff who are learning Welsh. The group, organised by our Welsh Tutor, Alison Kitson, will be an opportunity for staff learning Welsh to converse in Welsh and share their learning experiences; share useful resources and create a community.
Finishing the celebrations was the annual St David's Day competition with great excitement across the college - who would be the winners?
The competition, sponsored by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, was open to individuals and groups across the four campuses. The competition asked learners to answer the question 'What does Wales mean to me', by any means they wished. There were some truly amazing entries and the Welsh Language Development Team had the difficult task of selecting the winning entries.
This year's winners were:
Thomas Coombs L2 Diploma for Music Practitioners, Nantgarw - song
Katie Kirby- Jones Foundation Art & Design Diploma L3/4, Nantgarw - mask
Frankie Grierson L1 Creative Arts & Media , Ystrad Mynach - pictures and personal statement
Gruffydd George EL3 Creative Arts & Media, Nantgarw - picture and video
Harvey Daggitt-Cotty EL2 Pathways 2 Skills for Life & Work, Ystrad Mynach - poem
Connor Murrell EL3 Creative Media Group 2 , Nantgarw - picture and video
Miran Ismail EL3 Creative Media, Group 2, Nantgarw - picture and personal statement
Cerys Williams-Griffiths L3 Diploma in Art & Design, Nantgarw - picture
Emma Preston L2 Childcare, Play, Learning & Development - personal statement
Chrystal Couch L2 Pathways, Rhondda – poster and personal statement
Clara Waters EL2 Pathways 2 Skills for Life & Work, Ystrad Mynach - video
Dewi Williams EL3 Catering, Rhondda - song (group work)
David Damen EL3 Catering, Rhondda - song (group work)
Callum Owens EL3 Catering, Rhondda - song (group work)
Congratulating participants, Alison Jones said, “It was a privilege to see how much love for Wales Coleg y Cymoedd learners have. I really appreciate the passion and effort of everyone who took part. It was difficult to choose 12 winners from the many who entered.”