How to internationalise Welsh education was the theme of an event at the Senedd on Tuesday 10 March.
Assembly members and policy makers attended the British Council event ‘Wales and the World’, where they were able to talk to students and teachers, and hear how the British Council’s education programmes have benefited them personally.
Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills, gave the opening address, saying: “We can prepare our young people for the world of work, but it’s international education programmes that will give them that extra edge in terms of confidence, language ability, life experience and so on.
“Of course, it’s not just our young people who can benefit from international placements, it’s also of great value to those professionals who are seeking to continue their own development, learning new skills and gaining more experience.”
Pupils from Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Llandeilo showed the British Council’s E-twinning programme in action, with a Skype chat about healthy eating in schools with pupils from their twinned school, Nymarkskolen in Swendborg, Denmark.
Higher education students told the guests about how taking part in the Erasmus+ mobility programme, which is managed in Cardiff, had increased their confidence and widened their horizons.
Students Laura Hurst from Bangor University and Gethin Bennett from Cardiff University explained how their work as student language ambassadors with Routes into Languages Cymru encourages school pupils to study modern foreign languages.
Colin Skinner, head teacher at Roath Park Primary in Cardiff, explained how his teachers have used ideas from the US to improve the educational attainment of their pupils.
Children from Millbrook Primary School, Newport, showed their Mandarin language work with Chinese language assistant Sheng Juan.
Baglan Primary School pupils exhibited some of the work they have produced about Patagonia and met Welsh Patagonian, Dr Walter Ariel Brooks, who spent some time helping the children with their Spanish.
Director of British Council Wales, Jenny Scott, said: “We hope everyone who attended the event will go away inspired, with plenty of ideas about how international education programmes can be used to develop educational opportunities in Wales and help our young people become global citizens.”