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Force feeding Welsh is not helping schools to deliver the basics

Discussion in 'Cymru - education news' started by Gogwatch, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. An interesting post by a head teacher in Wales.

    Bearing in mind
    the discussion on Radio 4's Today programme this morning about how bad
    Welsh children are doing in reading & writing compared to children
    in other parts of the UK, the posts and comments of parents,
    teachers and educationalists in Wales on Gogwatch are long over-due.
    a shame that the Today programme skipped around the elephant in the
    room of the real reason why Welsh children's education is suffering -
    most Welsh children speak only English but they are increasingly forced
    to learn in Welsh. Their parents, the majority of whom only speak
    English, then cannot interact with their childs school-work.

    you imagine children in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland being
    forced to learn in school in a language which was not their first or
    only language? What an uproar there would be, but in Wales everyone -
    including the BBC's flagship Today programme - refuses to acknowledge
    the elephant in the room.

    Force feeding Welsh is not helping schools to deliver the basics


    Read the full article at:

    Force feeding Welsh is not helping schools to deliver the basics

    Giving a voice to the silent majority in Wales

  2. Head teacher? Really?! Coward.
  3. I'm glad that guy wasn't MY head teacher! =|

    His arguments seem to be a bit misplaced - saying that we should learn Chinese to compete in the global economy. It's not like Welsh primary school children are learning Welsh at the expense of Chinese, is it?! If Welsh wasn't compulsory, I doubt the few hours that are devoted to it would be much better spent. Also misses the fact that early bilingualism may well be a huge advantage to the child that wants to learn another language(Chinese?) later in life. Grrr. I bet all these articles are by one person masquerading as a variety of "concerned parents" and "worried teachers". I wouldn't be surprised at all..

    Now, I must go read some Dafydd ap Gwilym poetry. Shame that I wouldn't be able to do that in Gogwatch's ideal world. =/
  4. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    *** is the only thing which comes to mind. It is really only incidental Welsh, not as if we are forcing them to learn in Welsh only. And why not, it is the Language of the land really, something we should really be speaking I see nothing wrong with bilingualism, and as pointed out, they can still learn other languages, in fact, by creating this bilingualism early on, it could mean in the future that Welsh children pick up languages far faster.
  5. The thing about Gogwatch.com is that it has hundreds of replies from a handfull of people. These hundreds of replies often result ofrom a single person contesting certain claims. When valid points are made by contributors in opposition, guess what happens?

    Here is an example of a post I made in response to the article linked above. It was deleted no less than five times by those that operate this Gogwatch site. In good faith, initially put it down to a mistake, after the fifth time it happened it was quite apparent to me that this is how the site is operated.

    The headteacher in question (author of this ‘article’) stated the following:

    “I have been against the teaching of Welsh in our schools since its introduction”

    “this should not be a compulsory subject when parents have opted for their children to be taught through the medium of English.”

    “I, like most Welsh teachers, am proud of Wales and my Welshness, our culture and landscape, but I do not need to speak Welsh to be the ‘real deal’.”

    “I know large numbers of secondary students annoyed that they have to learn a language they believe they will never use again as they aspire to become citizens of the wider world.”

    “This may seem like a strange rant from an educational insider but I can see the waste of public money and the detrimental effect on those pupils who have not opted for Welsh”

    This is not a rant, it is a carefully written ‘opinion based’ objection to a curiculum he/she has opposed from the start.

    Extracts from an interesting article from The Sunday Times’ front page today about Headteachers in England;

    “Sir Michael Wilshaw said he wanted “less tolerance of poor leadership” and a “no-excuses culture”"

    “Wilshaw, said that in too many cases heads were allowing “coasting” teachers to get away with doing the bare minimum, letting down children and damaging the colleagues’ morale.”

    “many heads were “not ambitious enough” for pupils”

    “”Everything flows from leadership” said Wilsahw, 65, former head of the high-achieving mossbourne academy in Hackney, east London.”

    “If we are going to improve standards in this country, we have got to create leadership that does not offer excuses for poor performance. That is too often the case, I am absolutely clear about that. A whole range of issues are trotted out: it is ethnicity or it is poverty or it is background. We won’t move forward if we don’t have a no-excuses culture.”

    Jack Grimston, Educational Editor, The Sunday Times – Feruary 5, 2012

    The extracts above are obviously in relation to the Ofsted report carried out in England.

    The points made regarding “poor leadership” and a “no-excuses culture” may well be a reflection of the headteacher in question that 'apparently' posted the article above.

    If I'm truly honest, I'm personally not convinced that the article is genuine. If I was a headteacher with a serious concern, I would like to think I might do more than simply criticising the curiculum I'm employed to implement anonymously online.
  6. By the way, a reason has now been given by gogwatch as why my post was successively deleted. Apparently it was because

    "Rebecca says:

    February 6, 2012 at 9:18 am


    We deleted your comment starting “The headteacher in question (author
    of this ‘article’) stated the following:” because we felt it could be
    construed as containing unpleasant insinuations against another poster.



    When I provided a link to this post so that people could make up their own minds whether it contained unpleasant insinuations or a valid point. Guess what happened?

    To clarify, my point is that the headteacher concerned seems to be using the welsh language as a scapegoat for poor performance.

  7. ^I like your username. ;D

    Not surprised at all that your post was deleted - they can't have too many sensible opposing views detracting from the mad ramblings of the anti-Welsh, now, can they? =/

    I would certainly agree with you as well. I've seen other people blame Welsh for poor education in the past, and it just isn't feasible at all. In a normal English-medium primary or comprehensive in Wales, there is hardly a lot of Welsh taught. It's true that quite a few teenagers probably see the language as pointless and the lessons as a waste of time, but this isn't an argument against it! If anything, that is something that should be combated.

    When it comes down to it, I think the Welsh-medium education I had was fantastic and I would consider it a severe disadvantage and a shame had I not learned Welsh.

    On a related note, I don't understand parents that actively don't want their children to learn Welsh. What's that all about?! I would jump at the chance for my child to get a 'free' language early in life. Although most schools here are pretty good, the Welsh primary in my town is by far the superior in terms of inspections, facilities, funding, general education(IMO.) yet people disregard it because they don't want their children to learn Welsh. I genuinely don't understand this, and none of Gogwatch's arguments have convinced me. I imagine the suspicion and anti-Welshness touted on Gogwatch is the same sort of thing that leads parents to ignore fully Welsh schools, and it is also in turn passed down to their unfortunate children.

    Sadly, I think the "silent majority" here is neither a majority nor silent(regretfully!) and I am doubtful of Gogwatch's aims beyond just being a bit nasty about the Welsh language and blaming it for things. Hmmm
  8. Nice one, being nasty about the Welsh language is certainly what gogwatch is all about. Pretty much blaming the welsh language for anything they can think of. All that time and effort, dedicated towards taking pot-shots at anything that is remotely related to the welsh language. The only other articles are usually attempts to draw attention, jumping on any welsh issues that arises.

    Their latest 'Article' (I use the term loosely) is all about why no one is interested in their opinions. Guess who's to blame this time? I'll give you a clue, it's not the silent majority of course. That slogan should be contested under the trades description act. There appears to be four or five, maybe six people at best involved, and they definately have no problem making noise. It only takes a single person to take them all on, yet each article bounces up like it's groundhog day. A sensible person would just leave them to it I suppose.
  9. I saw some *** on Gogwatch referring to Welsh as 'inferior' today. Said it was a tribal, dusty language with an inferior, invented vocabulary!! How can anyone be taken seriously with comments like that? I bet Saunders Lewis is turning in his grave.

    Of course the best thing to do, as is usually the case with things like this, would be just to ignore them and let them rant in peace. I'll stop responding in a bit, but TBH I quite enjoy it. I'm certainly not a fervent Plaid Cymru obsessed nationalist, but I feel quite strongly about this and will defend my corner. :L
  10. I think I know who that was, and don't mention Saunders Lewis to that one, trust me.

    Have you noticed how the opposition to one article's claims tends to influence the next? I remember mentioning a couple of things in one or two articles. Then the next morning an article appeared out of nowhere suddenly talking against the same issues I had put forward the day before. This is one of the reasons I believe the article's are written by pretty much the same people. One opposing argument is put forward, then the next article that appears basically saying the same thing, but will have been constructed in a way that guards itself against the same criticism,

    I find it's a bit like playing whack attack with biggoted opinions when I get involved. However, now that I seem to have had all my recent posts refused, (which I think is quite a good sign) I'm taking the opportunity to leave them alone for the time being.
  11. Really? Why not - what happened? =S =P

    I definitely do think they're written by the same few people. Although there are certainly a number of people with these views, I can't imagine them writing relevant articles with the regularity to keep the site going. The sad thing is, I would actually listen and evaluate my own opinions if Gogwatch were a bit less offensive, used more actual facts etc etc. But they've ruined it for themselves.

    And yes. Can't take them seriously at all if they just delete opposing arguments that are too convincing. it just makes their website kind of farcical. :\
  12. I actually think they make a lot of very valid points. I have been concerned for some time about where we are going with our Welsh language agenda. I will be following gogwatch closely - thanks for the links.
  13. ^It's strange that this is your first post on TES... Just sayin'...

    Obviously we don't want a state of affairs where Welsh is THE most important thing, as a small number of fervent nationalists would have it. But suspicion of a 'Welsh language agenda' is no reason to oppose WM education. I can't say that I see many valid arguments on Gogwatch myself. Maybe once in a blue moon there's something sensible and then they ruin it. =/
  14. In my experience Welsh Medium, or in English Medium Welsh Second Language, can only be a good thing. It's certainly benefitted my own children. The only downside is where Welsh Second Language isn't given a level playing field in some EM schools (e.g. insufficient contact time; lack of support from leadership team), making it difficult for children to reach their potential. I reckon Gogwatch is someone with a personal agenda who does not have the best interests of children at heart.
  15. This article highlights some leadership issues that are present in some welsh schools.


    If I'm honest this headteacher is likely to be just another one of
    gogwatch's many guises.
  16. Holi Afon Taf

    Wyt ti’n siarad Cymraeg?
    Siarad Cymraeg? Ydw , bid siwr,
    Dysgais yr iaith pan oedd fy nwr
    Mor glir a’r grisial, a’r brithyll llwyd
    Yn gwylio rhag cael ei ddal mewn rhwyd.
    Wyt ti’n siarad Lladin?
    Siarad Lladin? Fe’i dysgais, do,
    Pan ddaeth y Rhufeiniaid i fyw i’r fro;
    Milwyr yn cerdded o fan i fan
    A chaer y gelynion ar fy nglan.
    Wyt ti’n siarad Ffraneg?
    Fe ddysgais Ffraneg, mae’n siwr gen i,
    Pan ddaeth y Normaniaid o Normandi:
    I fyw yn eu castell, i dywyllt gwaed
    Ac i sathu’r Cymro dan eu traed.
    Wyt ti’n siarad Saesneg?
    Siarad Saesneg? Ers cyn co.
    Daeth yr iaith gyda’r ffatri a’r llongau glo:
    Llygru fy nwr a duo fy mryd:
    Lladd y brithyllod llwyd i gyd
    Beth glywi di heddiw?
    Ni chlywais ddim Lladin ers llawer dydd,
    Na Ffraneg, chwaith; ond y Saesneg sydd
    Yn uchel ym mhobman. Ond tra fwyf byw,
    Bydd Cymraeg, gobeithio, yn ber yn fy nghlyw.

  17. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    I agree with you.

    I too am not a Nationalist as far as Plaid are, but I do believe in an identity and this is part of it. The rest of the UK simply have to embrace it. We see in parts of London whole sections with no English signs up due to the large ethnic community, so signs are in their own language. If that can be embraced then surely Welsh can too.

    As for it being taught in schools, so it should. I don't think there is any evidence to say it damages a childs education.

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