person playing the cello to a group of school children
Members of National Orchestra of Wales visit Burry Port Community Primary school in Carmarthenshire ©

Jo Marriot, BBC National Orchestra of Wales 

Primary school teachers can now harness music and drama to help their pupils learn German, Spanish and Welsh by using the Cerdd Iaith website.

Introducing German Resources 

Working in partnership with the Welsh Government, the Goethe Institute, Aberystwyth University and Ceredigion County Council, we are now developing resources using German, Welsh and English for teachers and pupils to use in the classroom and at home. 

The Cerdd Iaith website now includes more than 50 activities, such as simple drama games and songs in Welsh, English and either Spanish or German. Everything teachers need to lead pupils through the activities is provided, including full instructions, demonstration videos, downloadable sheet music, lyrics, audio files and suggestions for extension and reflection.

The songs and activities have been designed specifically to introduce learners to language tools such as basic nouns (such as family members, numbers and food) and different ways of introducing themselves,  in each language, whilst highlighting the similarities and differences between each language. Learners can have fun knowing that some words in Spanish or German sound much more like the word in Welsh than in English! 

Natasha Nicholls, Arts Manager at British Council Wales, said: “Cerdd Iaith is a powerful new resource for primary school teachers that aims to tackle the decline in international language learning in schools. The activities will inspire and stimulate children to learn actively and begin speaking new languages confidently. The site is packed full of engaging, original content. It’s easy to use and we hope teachers will take some time to explore the site. I think that they will find it is an ideal resource to help with the challenging job of teaching children at home. I’d also recommend the site to parents who are looking for fun educational activities to explore with their children".

Visit the Cerdd Iaith website

Age suitability 

The resource has been designed for use with primary school pupils age 7-11. It will be especially useful for Year 6 pupils who are preparing for the transition to secondary school and the introduction of international languages, but can also be used with younger learners.

How it began 

Cerdd Iaith began as a creative learning project exploring new approaches to music and language learning in primary schools in South and West Wales. The original project was delivered by British Council Wales in partnership with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Yr Athrofa – the Institute of Education, and Ein Rhanbarth ar Waith (ERW). It was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation's Teacher Development Fund.

The songs were created especially for the site by poet Mererid Hopwood.and composers Gareth Glyn and Tim Riley.  

Teacher training programme 

The Cerdd Iaith resource supports teachers to build on learners’ knowledge of Welsh and English to introduce an international language to the classroom, as required by the curriculum for Wales within the Languages, Literacy and Communication Area of Learning and Experience and will inspire and stimulate children to learn actively and begin speaking new languages.

The project leaders have been working with musicians, linguists, drama practitioners and teachers from South and West Wales, delivering online training as part of teachers’ continuing professional development. This training consists of ‘on your feet’ creative learning activities and can also include creative practitioners coming into schools to demonstrate the activities directly.

The Cerdd Iaith resource has been designed to complement and extend the training programme we offer, but can also be used independently.

If you or your school are interested in finding out more about the project or want to register for training sessions, please contact us

See also

External links