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Estyn: Concerns remain about English writing standards

Estyn's report has highlighted a continuing weakness in youngsters' spelling, punctuation and grammar - but praised standards overall Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Pupils in Wales aged seven to 14 are continuing to show a weakness when it comes to spelling, grammar and punctuation, according to the education inspectorate Estyn.

In a report published today, Estyn said concerns remain about standards in writing and higher reading and that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds do not achieve as well as their peers.

But the report also found the majority of pupils aged seven to 14 achieve good standards in English overall, with praise for pupils in English lessons speaking clearly during discussions and responding well to a wide variety of texts.

How will the £2.3m school science funding be spent?

Education Minister Huw Lewis says the £2.3m science funding package will help boost schools' performance ahead of the next round of PISA testing in 2015.

Figures released in 2013 showed Wales had fallen behind the rest of the UK in reading, maths and science.

  • The Welsh Government says new funding of £600,000 per year will be given to schools for 'teacher development' and providing 'learning materials'.
  • Techniquest in Cardiff Bay will receive grant funding of £1.375 million, and Techniquest Glyndwr will receive £380,000
  • A marketing campaign will run from the autumn, targeted at pupils, teachers and parents.

More: PISA-based tests made available to all secondary schools


First Minister announces £2.3m boost for science education in schools

First Minister Carwyn Jones has given his monthly news conference in Cardiff Bay.


FM announcing extra funding to improve the teaching of science in schools.


.@fmwales: "I am delighted to announce a package of funding worth over £2.3 million to boost science education in our schools."

Cardiff University students unveil Formula One racing car

The Formula One was designed using the latest 3D technology Credit: Cardiff University

Students from Cardiff University's engineering department have unveiled their 10th formula one racing car which is to be tested at Silverstone.

The team of students are hoping to come out on top when they show off their fastest and lightest design yet at this years Formula Student competition.

The car has been designed with a lightweight aluminium body Credit: Cardiff University

Cardiff University will compete against other universities from around the world who have all designed their own racing cars.

The racing car named CR10, has been carefully crafted using the latest 3D technology and is made from carbon fibre.

John Dally, one of the students involved in the project says: "3D printing technology brings huge benefits in time saving to the manufacture of components. It's been fantastic to get this kind of hands on experience with emerging technologies at Cardiff University."

'World class' development pledge for Wales' teachers

by Sarah Hibbard

Every school in Wales is to be encouraged to give every teacher "world class" professional development throughout their career, following an announcement today by the Education Minister.

Huw Lewis described the move as a "new deal" for teachers. It follows a critical report earlier this year by International think tank, the OECD, which said teacher progression polices in Wales were under-developed.

Welsh Government: 'New deal' for teachers' training

The Welsh Government has announced a 'new deal' for teachers' training and development, and said it will raise the status of the profession.

Teachers will have the opportunity to access high-quality professional learning at every stage of their career that will improve overall performance in the classroom and improve the attainment levels of Welsh learners.

The Education Minister says schools will need to produce plans for how to develop their teachers. Credit: PA

Education Minister Huw Lewis said: “In short, we need a radical step change in how we support the professional development of those working in Welsh education, from initial training onwards."

"From 2015, through the introduction of School Development Plan Regulations, I want to see all schools outlining exactly how they intend to develop their staff to enable them to meet their professional learning goals and address the school’s improvement priorities."

“It’s time to start raising the status of the profession. We need to raise the profile of teaching in Wales and in turn raise the status of teachers, leaders and support staff in our public life. That’s why our new deal is so important."

A recent report by the OECD into the Welsh education system criticised standards of recruitment, development and career progression for teachers here.

Read More: International review criticises Welsh Government handling of education


Headteacher and colleague resign at 'sex tape' school

The headteacher and another member of staff have resigned from their posts at a Swansea secondary school where there is an investigation into an alleged sex tape.

A video was apparently filmed at Ysgol Bryn Tawe, with noises of an allegedly sexual nature.

A spokesman for Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe said: "The headteacher and another member of staff have resigned from their posts. Mr Simon Davies is the acting headteacher. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

Headteacher Graham Daniels was suspended last month - and has now resigned.

The headteacher and a colleague were suspended last month, after a video appeared online, with noises of an allegedly sexual nature coming from an office at the school.

Watch: Parents at Ysgol Bryn Tawe speak out over alleged sex tape

An investigation into an incident at the school is ongoing.

Green-fingered pupils look for national garden gong

When they decided to introduce a little gardening to the curriculum at St Asaph's Ysgol Esgob Morgan, they didn't go in for any half measures. From the front, it looks like any normal school.

Wander round the back and you see the flower meadows, the veggie beds, the chicken coop for free range eggs. Now the nine and ten year olds are a spade's width away from winning a national garden competition. We sent our own Rob Shelley to see how mulching's replaced maths.

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