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Reading aloud is number one concern for Welsh schoolchildren

A survey has found reading aloud in class is the number one concern for 7-13-year-olds in Wales.

Almost four in 10 schoolchildren said it was their biggest worry, with the fear of being laughed at the key reason.

More than a quarter said they would prefer to read on their own in the classroom instead.

Just 16% said they would volunteer to read aloud in class. Credit: PA

When asked about maths, however, almost half said they enjoyed doing classwork, with a third saying they always put their hand up to answer a question.

The survey is part of the Welsh Government's 'Education Begins At Home' campaign to show parents how to help their children do better in school.

Launching today, a series of community roadshows are being held to offer hints and tips on how families can learn together in a way that's quick, easy and fun.

It comes at a time when the schools watchdog Estyn highlighted problems with literacy in schools, saying there is still much to be done to improve standards

Confidence issues around maths and reading out loud in class is something we often come across. Any campaign that helps parents get more actively involved in practising reading and numbers with their children at home is welcomed by us. Having children of my own, I have seen firsthand the difference it makes when the whole family gets involved in learning together.

– Cerith Lewis, Assistant Head Blackwood Comprehensive School

Visit the Education Begins at Home campaign page for more information on the road shows coming to your area.


Welsh Government: 'Still much to do' to improve literacy

The Welsh Government says a report by the education watchdog shows there's "still much to do" in the way of improving literacy in secondary schools.

The Welsh Government says there's still much to do to improve literacy skills in schools Credit: PA

It comes after Estyn found many schools face challenges in improving reading and writing among 11 to 15-year-olds.

The Welsh Government made the development of literacy skills a key priority in 2013 after a previous Estyn report found many pupils were starting secondary school without basic literacy and numeracy skills.

It introduced a framework in 2012 to get both key areas taught in other subjects across the curriculum.

Developing the literacy skills of our young people remains a critical issue for Welsh education and a key government priority. This second report from Estyn does identify progress in many areas. It shows improved planning and whole school approaches to marking, and demonstrates that standards in English and Welsh continue to improve. We very much welcome this. However the report is also a timely reminder that there is still much to do.

We should bear in mind that it is still early days in the implementation of key policies such as the Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) and that schools only started assessing learner progress against the LNF in September. As clearly set out in the Literacy and Numeracy Framework, the development of literacy needs to be addressed across all subject areas within schools and the Minister is continuing to call on schools to adopt and embed whole-school approaches to literacy.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Work starts on multi-million pound revamp of St Fagans museum

The revamp will include a new visitor experience Credit: Kier Construction

Work is to start on a multi-million pound revamp of St Fagans National History Museum.

It's thanks to one of the largest grants ever awarded by the Heritage Lottery fund in Wales.

£11.5 million is being invested into the redevelopment of the site on the outskirts of Cardiff.

St Fagans is one of Wales' most popular tourist attractions in Wales Credit: Kier Construction

Part of the revamp will include a new visitor experience integrating national collections of archaeology and social history.

The project is also being supported by the Welsh Government which has given £6 million of funding support.

The redevelopment will create over a 1000 volunteering placements and offer educational visits for schools.

St Fagans was established as the first open-air museum in 1948 and is currently one of Wales' most popular tourist attractions with over 600,000 visitors every year.


Do you know what your child is looking at online? NSPCC warns parents should be more aware

The NSPCC in Wales is urging parents of 8 to 12 year olds to be more aware of what sites their children click onto when they are online.

A panel of more than 500 parents from the website Mumsnet reviewed 48 websites and said all those aimed at adults and teenagers were too easy for children under 13 to sign-up to.

Credit: PA

Today it launched its 'Net Aware' campaign to get families talking about socialising safely online.

"This Christmas many children will have been given a smart phone, a tablet computer, or a games console" said Des Mannion, from the charity.

"It's the perfect opportunity for parents to have conversations with their children about who they are talking to and what they share when they socialise online."

Top graduates offered incentives to get into teaching

The incentives are available for those wanting to teach 'priority' subjects at secondary level Credit: PA

High-achieving graduates in Wales will soon be able to access incentives of up to £20,000 to train to teach top priority subjects like Maths, Welsh and Physics at secondary school level.

Announced by Education Minister Huw Lewis, the incentives are part of the Welsh Government's work to drive up education standards across Wales, and increase the quality of graduates entering the teaching profession.

Students with a 1st class honours degree will be able to claim £20,000 to study to teach Welsh, Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

Graduates with a 2:1 will be able to claim £10,000, while those with a 2:2 can claim £6,000.

Slightly lower incentives have also been set for graduates training to teach modern languages and computer science at secondary school level.

All eligible students will also be able to access the £5,190 tuition fee grant for 2015/16.

These incentives are designed to increase the caliber of students choosing to teach, and particularly to encourage the most talented graduates, with specialist knowledge of our priority subjects of Welsh, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry to pursue a career in the teaching profession.

Ultimately this is about providing our learners with the best possible education and start in life and I am confident these incentives will continue to strengthen the quality of initial teacher training in Wales

– Huw Lewis AM, Education Minister
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