First English-medium school to perform at Tafwyl


Traditional Welsh songs are echoing around the corridors of Ninian Park Primary School this week, ahead of a special performance which will see them become the first English-medium school to perform at Tafwyl.

The school's ‘Tafwyl Choir,' made up of thirty pupils from Nursery through to Year 6, will take to the stage on the final day of the annual celebration of Welsh Arts and Culture.

The performance at 2pm on Sunday 16th July, comes after the school in the Grangetown area of Cardiff, became the first in the city to achievethe Gold ‘Siarter Iaith Cymraeg Campus' awardin recognition of how the Welsh language is integrated into daily school life.

Head Teacher, Jennifer Scott, said: "We're really honoured to be asked to take part in Tafwyl, alongside the city's Welsh-medium primary schools. The pupils at Ninian Park come from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds but see Cardiff and Wales as their home. As such, they are keen to learn the Welsh language, and about Welsh traditions and culture."

Seven-year-old Logan is one of the choir who have been working hard ahead of the big day. He said: "I feel a bit nervous about Tafwyl because there will be lots of people there. I have been practising really hard at home and at school and I'm excited because some of my family might come to watch me. It's nice to learn songs in Welsh. It encourages me to learn new words."

Emmi, aged 11 is also looking forward to taking part in Tafwyl for the first time. "Learning Welsh songs is fun and being in the Tafwyl Choir has been exciting. Some of the songs have been a challenge to get the pronunciation right, but I have enjoyed that. Tafwyl is important because it tells people all about the Welsh language and Wales."

Siarter Iaith is a Welsh Assembly project, open to all schools in Wales to promote the Welsh language, develop a Welsh ethos and encourage pupils to improve their Welsh language skills. The Charter provides a framework for schools to follow in order to achieve bronze, silver and gold awards, with targets including the inclusion of bilingual opportunities in nearly all lesson plans; regularly inviting Welsh speakers into school; weekly Welsh assemblies; establishing an active ‘Criw Cymraeg' which leads on developing Welsh in the school; using ‘Helpwr Heddiw' initiatives; bilingual signage and displays; and the use of incidental Welsh in and around the school.

Jess Lewis, Welsh Co-ordinator at Ninian Park, explained "Since 2017 Ninian Park have been using the Cymraeg Campus scheme to help drive forward our Welsh identity as a school. It has also raised standards in the use of the Welsh language inside and outside the classroom. We were awarded Gold status in the Summer of 2022 and our whole school community is extremely proud of this achievement." 

Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "Welsh is for everybody and it's great to see many of Cardiff's English-medium schools embracing the benefits of bilingualism and working towardsSiarter Iaithawards, with Ninian Park leading the way."

Tafwyl takes place in Bute Park on Saturday 15thand Sunday 16thJuly. More information on the weekend's events, here:

All Cardiff schools will be represented on a ‘stondin' (ston-din), with Education officers present on both days of the event, ready to answer questions about Welsh medium or bilingual education. Why not pop over and discover how you and your family can be part of the bilingual journey?