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Welsh Govt 'expects English results similar to last year'

The Welsh Government has again stated that it expects GCSE English language results released later to be comparable with last year's results, "unless there were compelling reasons for a different outcome."

Exam board WJEC has also confirmed that a statistical approach known as 'comparable outcomes' has been used, aiming to make sure pupils are given equivalent grades from one year to the next.

We have been clear all along that, whilst there were concerns about the January unit outcomes for GCSE English Language, we would continue to apply a comparable outcomes approach and would expect the full qualification outcomes in summer 2014 to be comparable to those in 2013, unless there were compelling reasons for a different outcome.

The Minister was clear when the January unit outcomes were announced in March that it would be important to see what the full qualification outcomes brought in August. All involved in the qualifications process have acted on the recommendations of the Rapid Review of the January outcomes that the Minister ordered in March. The outcomes of those endeavours and the preceding years of work by teachers and learners will be announced on Thursday.

It is a pity that ASCL’s spokesperson is seeking to increase tensions ahead of those results and at what is already a stressful time for learners.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

We can confirm that the comparable outcomes approach has been applied and that we are confident that our marking and awarding has been in line with regulatory requirements.

– WJEC spokesperson

Stories of Wales' sportspeople shared in online archive

Liz Johnson
The collection includes Paralympic swimmer Liz Johnson from Newport Credit: People's Collection Wales

The personal stories of some of Wales' most successful competitors are being shared with an online archive that celebrates the history of Wales.

Hundreds of items from as far back as the early twentieth century have been uploaded to 'People's Collection Wales', as part of the Following the Flame project.

They include household names like Cardiff-born wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson, who has won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, and held over 30 world records.

Also included in the collection is long jumper Lynne 'the Leap' Davies from Nantymoel in Bridgend, who won an Olympic gold medal at the 1964 Games in Tokyo.

There are also personal accounts from the likes of Paralympic swimmer Liz Johnson from Newport, and Para-equestrian dressage rider Nicola Tustain from Denbighshire.

Understandably, there's a huge focus on athletics this year with the UK hosting championships where Welsh sportspeople can thrive.

People's Collection Wales has grown into a fantastic treasure trove of memories and we'd urge others with memories relating to Welsh sporting greats to share their stories, photos and videos with us.

– Rheinallt Ffoster-Jones, People's Collection Wales

For more information about the project and to view the items on show visit the People's Collection Wales website.

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ASCL 'looking very closely' at today's GCSE results

Thousands of students will pick up their GCSE results later this morning, with many paying close attention to their English Language marks. It comes after 90% of students had to re-sit units from their January exams.

There are warnings that some pupils will suffer, but both the Welsh Government and exam board WJEC have pledged this year's pupils will not be disadvantaged.

Our made-in-Wales and regulated-in-Wales GCSE English Language caused over a hundred schools to complain when the first results were issued earlier this year.

We have all been promised that the problems will be sorted for the final results this summer. For the sake of our young people, we hope so. But more than just hoping for it, we'll be looking very closely at the results that are delivered.

– Robin Hughes, Association of School and College Leaders

History of Black Mountains' white gold revealed

lime kiln
A conserved lime kiln Credit: HollyMae Steane Price

A new self-guided heritage trail telling the history of the Black Mountain lime quarries will be launched later in Brynaman.

The CALCH trail, created by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, uses way markers, an audio guide, leaflets and a mobile phone app to guide visitors around the “white gold” quarries of the Black Mountains.

The £300,000 project has received funding from the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The Black Mountain Centre, Brecon Beacons National Park and the National Museum of Wales were also involved in delivering the project.

The trail will be officially launched by Culture Minister John Griffiths at the Black Mountain Centre in Brynaman.

I am very pleased we have been able to support this exciting project that will help tell the forgotten story how the limestone industry helped build Wales. I believe it is important that heritage sites are accessible and enjoyable places both for visitors and local people.

The Black Mountain Quarries Trail will further strengthen appreciation of Wales’ historic environment.

– John Griffiths, Culture Minister

Thousands of Welsh students to receive GCSE results

Students in exam hall
Thousands of students will receive their results later today Credit: PA

More than 30,000 students across Wales are waiting to receive their GCSE results.

For many young people the focus will be on their GCSE English language results, after thousands received shock low grades in their January exams - more than 90% who sat the units in January entered to re-sit them this summer.

An ITV News investigation also found that there were divisions between the exam regulator, the Welsh Government and the exam board WJEC when the new GCSE was accredited in 2012.

The new English language GCSE, especially for pupils in Wales, was created after papers were regraded in 2012.

But there are warnings today that some pupils will suffer after January's results.

The Welsh Government and WJEC both produced reports looking into what went wrong, with no clear answer. They have both pledged that this year's pupils will not be disadvantaged, compared to previous years.

Read More: Top ten stress-busting tips ahead of exam results day

Police investigate death in Pembrokeshire

Dyfed-Powys Police says it's investigating the sudden death of a 63-year-old man, after an incident on a dinghy in the water at Newport beach in Pembrokeshire.

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 7pm last night. Police say three men were on board the dinghy, and all three ended up in the water and in difficulty.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency rescued the man from the water, but attempts to save him were unsuccessful. His next of kin have been told.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is being asked to contact police by calling 101.

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Bakery job losses 'sad news' for Newport

Councillors and representatives in Newport have tweeted their disappointment at the news that reportedly 390 jobs are to go at the Avana Bakery site in Rogerstone.

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My heart goes out to workers and families at Avana following jobs news - especially after the hope when the factory was bought in July.

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Sad news for Avana Bakeries Welsh Gov need to demonstrate the expertise and provide support and assistance to ensure new orders forthcoming

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