Cardiff Council Update: 28 May 2024

Here is your Tuesday update, covering:

  • Local school children gain hands-on learning experience at Tŷ Glas demolition site
  • Promising growth of Welsh language within Council workforce
  • Cathays High wins the Debate Mate Cup Final 2024
  • Woodlands High School pupils win Minecraft Esports competition


Local school children gain hands-on learning experience at Tŷ Glas demolition site

The demolition site at the former HMRC office buildings in Tŷ Glas Llanishen, is providing children from local schools with a unique opportunity to learn about and experience the live demolition process.

Hosted by Erith, the demolition contractor chosen to undertake the works, pupils from Christ the King Primary School, Ysgol Y Wern and Llanishen High School have enjoyed bespoke visits to the site where they have observed the impressive high reach demolition in action, engaged in discussions with senior members of the demolition team and viewed presentations to complement their in-class learning experiences. Areas covered have included local history, demolition, recycling of materials, environmental aspects and planning procedures, as well as career insights into demolition.

Christ the King Primary School Headteacher, Brenda Miles, said: "Our visit to the Tax Office site at Tŷ Glas was part of our studies about the local area. As an Eco Platinum Flag school, we were interested in finding out how the demolished materials are going to be disposed of and were pleased to find out that they are going to be recycled as aggregate for future building works."

Ysgol Y Wern Headteacher, Moira Kellaway said: "It was a wonderful opportunity for our pupils to see firsthand what's happening on site in their local area and being able to discuss a topical event or issue. It certainly has fostered an interest among the pupils and extended their knowledge of changes happening in their locality."

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Promising growth of Welsh language within Council workforce

The number of staff with Welsh language skills working for Cardiff Council has leapt by more than a third in the past year.

Figures revealed in the authority's annual Welsh Language Standards report show an increase of 35% of staff who have some level of Welsh language skills since 2022-23, representing more than a quarter of the workforce registered on its DigiGOV HR system.

Almost 1,800 members of staff participated in Welsh language training courses last year - a 11% rise compared to the previous year.

These improvements are just some of the highlights recorded in the annual report that the Council is required to produce every year to comply with the Welsh Language Standards.

Other achievements over the past 12 months include: the Council's Bilingual Cardiff  team translating more than 14.2 million words in 2023-24; the launch of the  Southeast Wales Welsh Language Education Champion partnership to promote Welsh-medium education in the region; the Gyrfa Gymraeg Welsh language careers fair at Cardiff and Vale College attended by more than 300 Year 9 pupils, the St David's Day launch of a new website, Ein Dinas, Ein Hiaith / Our City, Our Language - a collaboration between the Council's Welsh in Education Strategic Plan Team and Bilingual Cardiff to provide information about Welsh language education and culture, activities and opportunities available in Cardiff, and the production of a policy to support Council officers in making a conscientious effort to consider all potential impacts on the Welsh language  when policies are developed and revised.

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Cathays High wins the Debate Mate Cup Final 2024!

Cathays High School has been crowned the champion of the Debate Mate Cup for 2024, after beating the defending champions of the last two years, Willows High School.

Students from Cantonian High, Eastern High, Fitzalan High, Ysgol Glantaf, Cardiff West Community High, Willows High, St Teilo's CiW High School and Cathays High schools took part in the 12-week schools debating programme delivered by Debate Mate across the 8 schools in the city.

The 12-week programme culminated with the final, sponsored by Principality Building Society at the Principality Stadium. The day of head-to-head debates involved volunteers from Principality Building Society supporting Debate Mate mentors with Chairing and Judging the debates.

Pupils debated issues on carbon tax to tackle climate change and whether children should be provided with IT devices from schools. Pupils from Cathays High School and Willows High School made it to the final debate of the day, debating the topic ‘This house would pause developments of AI'.

The final took place in front of all other competing schools, as well as private sector partners Principality Building Society and Legal & General who were hugely impressed by the debating skills of all pupils and were thrilled to witness Cathays High School securing the Debate Mate Cup for Cardiff/Wales!

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Woodlands High School pupils win Minecraft Esports competition!

A team of pupils from Woodlands High School have been crowned the ALN (Additional Learning Needs) Minecraft Esports Champions of South Wales after a close competition held at the Principality Stadium.

The Woodlands Esports Team made it to the final which challenged them to build virtual environments based on themes such as Welsh myths and the Six Nations.

Involving special schools from across South Wales, the team of 10 learners from Woodlands in Years 10 to 14 reached an intense final showdown against Trinity Fields School from Hengoed where they created the Six Nations in Minecraft.

The Minecraft Esports Cymru competition is a collaboration between Hwb, Minecraft and WRU and each match was judged by experienced professionals from Hwb, the WRU and Esports Wales.

Woodlands High School, which is part of the Western Learning Federation, now has a dedicated Minecraft page on its website, where students can showcase their creations through screenshots and walkthrough videos. The aim is to encourage further creativity and innovation beyond traditional boundaries, empowering students to explore limitless possibilities.

Head of School of Woodlands, Sian Thomas, said: "We are thrilled at winning the Minecraft Esports competition! Woodlands has been using Minecraft since Christmas with almost every class becoming involved through their topic work.

"The competition has boosted their collaboration and teamwork and developed confidence and leadership skills for those who show promise in this area of skills development."

Read more here