SUMMARIES OF SOME WINNING ENTRIES
The following are summaries of winning entries. You may find useful for preparing your own entry.
YSGOL GYNRADD GYMRAEG LLANNON - Carmarthenshire
Title: Gwelaf i (I see)
This project centred on what could be seen in the village. The older children were able to talk with enthusiasm about the church, the tavern, the well and the toll gate outside the village and remembered well the dates and characteristics of the buildings. They had a good sense of significance of photographs and documents provided by the Women’s Institute and the vicar. Their art work, mapping, poetry writing and confident discussion of what they had seen showed a good understanding of the time line of events and the change in language attitudes. The work was enhanced by comparisons with a sister school in North Africa. IT was used to very good effect and strengthened all aspects of this project.
SANDFIELDS PRIMARY SCHOOL - Neath Port Talbot
Title: Our Steel Town
This project focused on the history and political issues surrounding Port Talbot Steel Works. Many of the pupils’ parents, grandparents and great grandparents are or were employed there.
Pupils interviewed steel workers and researched archival photographs to compare changes and continuities over time. Discussion focused on the important role the Works played in the development of the whole community. With the news of possible closure and 750 job losses, the project soon changed direction. The children watched news reports, created a protest posted on Twitter, wrote letters and sent a petition to the Prime Minister.
The children created a class assembly to present what they learnt. They used I-pad technology (Green Screen), created videos using old photographs, learnt how steel is made, created a news report for BBC Wales and S4C and used various I-pad apps to present what they knew and what they had learnt.
Primary and Junior Schools
GLYNHAFOD JUNIOR SCHOOL - Rhondda Cynon Taf
Title: History of Mining in Cwmaman
This extremely interesting whole school project looked at the coal mining industry in Cwmaman. Each year group studied a different aspect of the mining industry and its impact on the village. Pupils representing each of the year groups enthusiastically shared their findings with the judges. IT was used very effectively by older pupils to convey information which they had discovered about mining; two short documentary films and animations were created, one of which showed the pupils visiting sites related to the coal industry in their valley. Pupils had also created models of coal trams and pit head gear, as well as a coal face. In the school garden, the pupils belonging to the Gardening Club were in the process of creating a visual representation of a pit head wheel and pickaxes, using box plants. The display of pupils’ work will be shared with the community at an open evening.
Primary and Junior Schools
CROESGOCH COMMUNITY SCHOOL/YSGOL GYMUNEDOL CROESGOCH - Pembrokeshire
Title: Her Hybu Hanes Croesgoch – Harvesting the History
This local history project covered a wide range of aspects of the North Pembrokeshire countryside. Pupils identified individual locations or areas of interest to study and used their historical research skills to gather information from a variety of sources. The whole year group benefitted initially from advice and support provided by a local history society in order to plan and organise their investigations. They looked at farms, wind and water mills, brickworks and a medieval burial site. They utilised information provided by parents, grandparents and other elderly people in the community, as well as visiting the local library and county archives. The product of their researches, which included handwritten and computer texts, photographs, maps and CDs, were carefully collated and presented in large format booklets.
YSGOL Y PRESELI - Pembrokeshire
Title: Y Ddraig a’r Eryr (The Dragon and the Eagle)
Members of the school history club researched the history of the Welsh who migrated to the USA, especially to Pennsylvania, and their role in shaping the state and the country. Their enquiry has been carefully planned. Amongst prominent individuals of Welsh descent discovered were nine presidents and Robert M. Jones who established a thriving slate industry. They also researched some darker history, e.g. Welsh-American links with the Ku Klux Klan. The relationship between the two countries today was studied and some pupils had contacted Stephen Crabbe to find out what today’s USA president thought of Wales following his visit here for the NATO summit in 2015.
The pupils have developed strong links with Ninnau, the North American Welsh Newspaper, which has published articles written by them. They have shared the findings of their research by preparing a comprehensive exhibition, which includes copies of original sources and their own interpretations.
YSGOL BRYN ALYN - Wrexham
Title: Remembrance Garden
The pupils attended a day of educational workshops in the Wrexham Museum exploring local history during The First World War by looking at art and Welsh poems from the time. They then spent a day at the Oriel Gallery Wrexham working with local artist Sara Jane Harper and designed ceramic poppies and bowls.
The pupils invited local councillors including the local Armed Forces Ambassador David Griffiths to the school together with the Wrexham Leader newspaper to open the Remembrance garden. David was particularly interested in the project and he was able to help the pupils link WWI to modern day conflict and the role of the armed forces. The project has produced a permanent link to the past with a memorial bench, ceramic mosaic wall display and the poppies which can be enjoyed by the school and the community.
PORTFIELD SPECIAL SCHOOL - Pembrokeshire
Title: Products of Pembrokeshire
Every class in Portfield School selected a different local product to research. Pupils devised questions to see how these items are produced today and how they were made fifty years ago. A very wide range of products were selected including milk, sausages, vegetables, herbs, ice cream, cakes, cheese, honey and bread. Visits to local producers allowed pupils to see and participate in making these products. These skills were then used in school to make items for sale at a special Portfield market. The market stalls were decorated to reflect the changes that have taken place over time with high quality displays. Pupils were able to improve their numeracy skills using money to buy items.
Pupils in every class talked knowledgeably and enthusiastically about their findings and were able to answered questions in detail. Their work was supported by a number of very effective multimedia presentations.
YSGOL HEOL GOFFA - Carmarthenshire
Title: Llanelli and its surrounding wonders
This whole school project researched eight different elements of the diverse heritage of Llanelli. Pupils looked at a local nature reserve at Penclacwydd, Llanelli pottery, their local museum, the town market, the former Llanelli rugby ground, a chain of local bakers, Stepney House and a development based on the site of an old steel mill. Well planned activities provided a wealth of interesting opportunities for the pupils to develop their historical skills and explore their local heritage.
Pupils spoke with confidence and enthusiasm about their work and they were able to discuss in a meaningful fashion what they had been studying. Opportunities were taken to promote the Welsh language to great effect.
Their work was presented in a range of forms with Power Point presentations that were focused and clear. Pupils used photographs in effective ways and created a range of artwork, including murals, paintings and clay models.