Baglan Primary School
School name: Baglan Primary School
County: Neath Port Talbot
Headteacher: Nicola Morgan
Number of pupils: 172
Baglan Primary school’s Foundation Phase department has received the top award in their section at this year’s Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative (WHSI) competition.
The class won the St Fagans National History Shield for their project called ‘A Picture Tells a Thousand Words’.
The aim of the award is to encourage young people in schools to take more of an interest in their heritage and the contribution made to it by their families and communities.
As part of the project, pupils firstly studied pictures of Margam Park where they noticed that one image looked rather different to the rest.
Headteacher Nicola Morgan said: “The pupils decided that a visit to Margam Park was needed to investigate first hand.
“The Friends of Margam Park supported our visit during which the learners had the opportunity to develop their ICT, fieldwork and creative skills.”
Pupils developed their literacy, numeracy, creative and ICT skills through a range of activities such as recount writing, creating 3D models and pastel or charcoal drawings of the Castle and Talbot Family.
Pupils also created presentations on life in Margam Castle in Victorian times, including drama, singing, choral speaking, and individual oral work. Research involved the study of census details, maps, and family trees.
IT programmes were used effectively and displays throughout the school showed detailed examples of the children’s work.
Further links with the community were used to enhance the learning experience by involving Neath Camera Society who explained how photos were taken in Victorian times and how it has evolved to the present day.
This gave the children further first hand learning experiences to develop their ICT skills through various apps and literacy skills through instructional, recount and explanation writing.
A Victorian Day was organised where staff and pupils dressed up in Victorian style costumes and took part in a mock Victorian day.
Drill exercises, writing with chalk on slate and making peg dolls were some of the activities that were undertaken along with domestic activities designed to give the learners a feel for what it was like to be a child in Victorian times.
In the afternoon, the wider community including parents, governors and other members of the community were invited in to school to an afternoon tea in which the children had the opportunity to talk about the adults’ memories of Margam Park and to share images that they may have of it.
Links with the industry in the area were developed through Tata Steel’s Education Department who worked with the learners about the steel works today and the influence that the Talbot family had on the development of the local area.
“Literacy, numeracy and thinking skills were developed through a range of activities linked to the visit,” said Nicola.