Ystalyfera Comprehensive

Year 9 pupils waving their teacher Helen Edwards off before she goes to the etwinning conference in Brussells

School name: Ystalyfera Comprehensive School

County: Neath Port Talbot

Headteacher: Matthew Evans

Number of pupils: 1200

An e-twinning project has resulted in the school achieving a Quality Label and participating in the 10th anniversary etwinning conference in Brussels.

In 2014 the school took part in a project where Year 8s began a partnership with a school in France.

The aim of the project was for pupils in the school to get to know pupils of the same age in an area of France.

The pupils exchanged letters, sent Christmas and New Year cards to each other, as well as photos and videos.

A competition was also held to draw a dragon.

Teacher Helen Edwards said: “This competition was held because we have a dragon on our flag and their area is called Draguinan - which also has a dragon on the flag.

“We also sent videos of each other singing Christmas carols.ideos of each other singing Christmas carols.

“It was stimulating for the pupils as well as improving their language skills,” said Helen.

When the project ended after a year, the school tried for a Quality label and received it in September.

Inspiration

Helen was invited to participate in the Brussels conference where she met up with other eTwinners and ambassadors from countries all over Europe, and was able to gain ideas and inspiration for further projects.

“I participated in workshops which have improved my skills and which will, I hope, make my projects more interesting for the pupils who take part in them,” said Helen.

“I have recently started another project with year 8, who have just sent their first email of introduction to their new French penfriends in Wassigny, northern France.”

Fifty-six pupils will be participating in the project and are excited. Adam Rushton said: “I feel like I will gain more confidence in French by speaking with a French partner.”

The school’s Language Ambassadors will soon be taking part in an eTwinning project, with a school on Grenoble.

ERW support

“I have participated in in-service training courses by ERW which have helped me to develop activities for this etwinning project,” said Helen. “I hope to receive more training in order to ensure the plans I have keep the pupils interested in Modern Languages.”

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Local Authorites Swansea-Abertawe Neath Port Talbot - Castell Nedd Port-Talbot Ceredigion Carmarthenshire - Sir Gaerfyrddin Pembrokeshire-Sir Benfro Powys

ERW is an alliance of 6 local authorities governed by a legally constituted joint committee. Its aim is to implement the agreed regional strategy and business plan to support school improvement.