Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative 2021 Awards
PUPILS GIVE STAR PERFORMANCE IN NEW DIGITAL COMPETITION
The Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative was delighted to receive the supportive words of Michael Sheen when he appeared as part of the virtual awards ceremony on Friday 2 July.
“It’s a pleasure for me to support the work of the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative and be part of this year’s awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the young people of Wales.
The annual competition held by the WHSI for almost thirty years provides a wonderful mechanism for young people of all ages and abilities across Wales to take a greater interest in their heritage / cynefin, and the contribution made to it by their own communities.
I would like to congratulate all who have taken part and those who have worked so hard to make it possible.” (Michael Sheen. July 2021)
Friday 2 July 2021 saw the first ever virtual awards ceremony in the history of the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative. This last year has been a year like no other with schools working remotely with their learners for much of the time, battling with the inevitable difficulties this involved. It also provided a considerable challenge to the WHSI as this body wanted to ensure that, despite the dire situation in which the country found itself, the thirst for learning and the desire to reach new horizons in learning were not quenched, but were made possible by the annual competition it holds. Therefore, with much hard work and with support from loyal and generous sponsors, a new digital format for the competition was devised.
It was uncertain how many entries would be received in such a climate but the WHSI was delighted to have received over 30 entries, English and Welsh, from across the educational sector. Teachers and pupils made a superb effort to engage with the competition resulting yet again in a high standard of entry, with some presenting exceptional examples of how heritage can be the centre of the four purposes in the new Curriculum for Wales. Projects submitted covered a wide range of subjects – multi-culturalism, the Welsh language, individual towns/cities in Wales, World Wars, Sport, Industry, famous Welsh people, local buildings and churches, women in Wales. The enthusiasm and engagement of pupils, facilitated by the commitment and energy of teachers, were indeed evident in the quality of the work submitted. All deserve congratulations, and can indeed feel proud of their achievements.
In each educational sector there was an overall winner receiving a shield presented by the Amgueddfa Cymru(National Museum of Wales)and £1000 donated by the Hodge/Moondance Foundations. In the Foundation phase this was won by Penboyr School, Carmarthenshire for their study of Drefach Felindre, concentrating on business past and present. Ysgol Bryn Y Mȏr, Swansea and Ysgol Casmael, Pembrokeshire were joint winners of the Primary/Junior phase with their projects – ‘Things will Get Better’- comparing the difficult times of WW2 and the pandemic, and ‘Casmael Remembers’- the contribution of the village to WW1 and the impact of the war on the locality. The winner of the Special Education and Alternative Provision shield was Ysgol Heol Goffa,Carmarthenshire whose subject was ‘Traditional Foods of Wales’ – where pupils researched, made and tasted different foods with great enthusiasm – Masterchef in the making! The Secondary sector shield was won by Ysgol Bro Pedr, Ceredigion for their project – ‘In and Out of Wales’ – an ambitious and enriching project dealing with migration and emigration.
In addition the Initiative celebrated the winner of the prestigious EUSTORY competition. WHSI is the only UK member of Eustory – an informal network of non-governmental organisations - which holds research – based history competitions for young people in 28 countries across Europe This year the competition has taken on a new format – students in Years 12 and 13 were invited to submit an individual project linked to Welsh Heritage and based on research, analysis and evaluation. The winners receive a monetary prize and an opportunity to apply to participate in the annual EUSTORY activities programme, which this year will be in virtual format. The WHSI winner 2021 is Molly Cook of Bryntirion Comprehensive School, Bridgend whose research into a disused historic building with her peer group led to her publication of an extremely impressive analysis and evaluation in ‘The Historian’. Molly also won this year’s Historical Association Young Historian Local History Award for this work.
The Welsh Heritage Initiative wishes to thank all who have made this year’s competition a success – sponsors, officials, judges and most especially the pupils and teachers for their participation in such difficult times. Importantly many thanks go to Michael Sheen for giving his support at the ceremony.
It is hoped that the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative will go from strength to strength in the future so that our young people discover and learn about their heritage, and the importance of it in enriching their lives. The First Minister for Wales, The Rt Honourable Mark Drakeford, endorses the work of the Initiative – ‘It contributes to the knowledge and understanding that our young people have of their history and heritage and encourages them to explore and learn from the past.’
The WHSI would like to encourage more schools to be involved in 2022 and invite them to look at the website: www.whsi.org.uk
For further information please contact the WHSI Press Officer Jeanne Evans: CLICK HERE