Skip to main content

This website uses cookies to make the website simpler.

Find out more about our privacy policy. Ok

The school close to the border where the Welsh language is thriving

The school close to the border where the Welsh language is thriving

The school close to the border where the Welsh language is thriving

Located a stone's throw from the English border, the Welsh language is thriving in a primary school near Newport, after teachers started learning Welsh during lockdown.

A group of teachers at Langstone Primary School started their language journey at the beginning of lockdown, and are now enjoying learning and teaching the language at the school.

Jude Russell, the Deputy Headteacher, explains, “When lockdown came, the head teacher was keen to ensure that we used our time for professional development. She asked all the staff to take an online Learn Welsh taster module for teachers, which is available for free from the National Centre for Learning Welsh’s website."

Following the online taster module, four of the teachers, including Jude, went on to do an evening course with Learn Welsh Gwent, run by Coleg Gwent on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

Jude adds, "A group of us continued to learn Welsh and are enjoying it very much. But the person who has been driving the Welsh language in the school and has done an amazing job is Paula Watts who is a Year 3 and 4 teacher at the school."

Paula Watts went on a sabbatical 'Welsh in a Year' course for teachers at Cardiff University and is passionate about the language.

Paula says, “I love speaking Welsh and I take advantage of every possible opportunity to introduce the language to the children across the school. We have several new games in Welsh to help the children build sentences, introduce new vocabulary, and hold a simple conversation.

"I also share Welsh instructions with staff that they can use in class while teaching and offer them ideas when they are planning their Welsh lessons.

“We have a 'paned a sgwrs' (cuppa and a chat) session every Tuesday morning at 8:15am which gives staff the opportunity to chat in Welsh.

"Welsh Wednesday is one of our and the children's favourite days - we have a lot of fun and start the day with games and songs in Welsh."

The school was also recently inspected by Estyn, which praised the regular and relevant opportunities for the children to use the Welsh language.

Jude adds, "It is also nice that the Estyn inspectors appreciate the work that’s being done and have praised us for encouraging the language - in a corner of Wales where the Welsh language isn’t often heard."

Learn Welsh courses are free for the educational workforce. For more information, visit