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Minister launches new Student Parliament and sports facility at Pen Y Dre High

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Education Minister, Huw Lewis has been at Pen Y Dre High in Merthyr today to officially launch the school’s Student Parliament and open its newly refurbished sports facility.
Friday 06 November 2015

The Student Parliament, which has seen the appointment of school Prime Ministers and a full Cabinet, has been developed to engage pupils more closely in school life, develop their leadership skills and political awareness,  and provide them with a genuine voice.

Meanwhile the recently refurbished gym and sports hall means the school is all set to deliver its new programme  aimed at using sport to drive up pupil  literacy and numeracy levels.

And not only will the new sports facility be used by Pen Y Dre pupils, it will also be enjoyed by local primary school pupils as well as the wider  local community.

Pen Y Dre is one of the 40 schools participating in the Welsh Government’s multi million pound, Schools Challenge Cymru programme, aimed at improving performance in some of Wales’s most challenged schools.

All schools participating in the Challenge benefit from a tailor made package of support designed to help them overcome their specific  challenge.

In  Pen Y Dre’s case this has included a bespoke programme for improving literacy levels, including the embedding of literacy and numeracy into all PE lessons  up to Key Stage 4, as well as £60,000 capital funding to refurbish and improve the school’s sports facilities.

Speaking about his visit, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to be at Pen Y Dre High today to officially open the new sports facilities that are the direct result of Schools Challenge Cymru support.

“The new facilities really are first class and as well as providing improved opportunities for students, they are also helping to improve attendance, increase pupil engagement and drive up levels of literacy and numeracy.

“It was also really interesting see the new Student Parliament in action and witness pupils taking such an active and positive interest in school life and making their voices heard.  I would like to see many more schools developing these type of opportunities that motivate, excite and inspire our young people and help them reach their full potential.

“Pen Y Dre really is a school on the up. That is evident from the school’s  most recent  results and the  positive atmosphere that is running throughout the building .

“The improvements made so far are the  result of a great deal of hard work by pupils and teachers and the whole  Challenge team.

“The important thing now is to maintain that hard work and momentum and build on Pen Y Dre’s  initial success.  I am confident that everyone involved with Pen Y Dre’s improvement  will work hard to make that happen.”



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Education and skills 06 November 2015 Schools South East Wales

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