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Rugby to boost literacy thanks to Afon-Y-Felin pupils

Pupils and teachers at Afon-Y-Felin Primary School in North Cornelly have been working closely with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to help develop exciting new learning resources which will use rugby to boost literacy!

Deputy Head, Denise Jones, has joined six other teachers from across Wales to form the National Primary Programme team for the WRU. They’ve created brand new rugby-themed literacy resources which will be used by children across the country through the New Curriculum for Wales.

Pupils from the six schools, including Afon-Y-Felin, trialled and devised some of the literacy ideas which were created in Welsh and then put forward to be showcased at the WRU National Head teacher’s Conferences in Parc Eirias (North Wales), Principality Stadium and Parc y Sgarlets.

The National Primary Programme has also helped develop a brand new educational tour for the Principality Stadium, and further resources will be launched this autumn to coincide with the Rugby World Cup.

Deputy Head teacher, Denise Jones, said: “We are thrilled to have had this fantastic opportunity to work closely with the Welsh Rugby Union to develop useful resources along with other likeminded teachers across Wales.

“What is particularly unique about all the resources is that they have been developed firstly through the medium of Welsh. Rugby and the Welsh language are both integral to our identity as a nation and we hope this programme will encourage more children and young people to take part in our national sport.”

Nicola Williams, Head teacher at Afon-Y-Felin, said: “We look forward to inspiring the children at Afon-Y-Felin to play rugby whilst also developing a range of literacy skills. As a thank you from the WRU, the school was presented with the Guinness Six Nations Trophy for the day! This has been a fantastic honour for our school and Bridgend County Borough.

“The pupils have enjoyed trialing some of the developed resources ideas, giving them a deeper understanding and appreciation of how important the Welsh language and rugby are to our nation.

“This programme has also led to some other fantastic opportunities for our school such as working with the Ospreys to enable staff to achieve qualifications in tag rugby.”

Emilie, a year six pupil at Afon-Y-Felin said: “I have learned about all the different abilities and ages that are playing the game in different ways and it is has been a surprise to find out how many people are having fun playing rugby. It makes me believe I can do it too!”

Oliver, an 11 year old pupil said: “I loved going on the stadium tour with the WRU, we discussed the current tour with the stadium manager, we made lots of notes and we hope our ideas will now make the new tour really fun and educational for all the children and teachers who go on it.”

This exciting programme is a fantastic opportunity to get children and young people to thrive and encourage a love of rugby among all ages and abilities. Sport is a fantastic way to engage with young people and motivate them, and I’m sure that this programme will result in many young aspiring rugby players.

Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration

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