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Outcome 4 - More learners study for assessed qualifications in Welsh (as a subject) and subjects through the medium of Welsh

Where are we now?

As outlined in Outcome 3, pupils who have attended Welsh-medium primary education are strongly encouraged to follow the same continuum through the key stages.

Pupils at Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera Bro Dur secondary phase are able to study all subjects at GCSE level through the medium of Welsh. Science and Mathematics are optional with learners choosing either to be taught through the medium of Welsh or English. At present YGYBD secondary phase offer in excess of 36 KS3 courses through the medium of Welsh at GCSE, BTEC, Welsh Baccalaureate, Agored Cymru Tystysgrif Lefel 2 and vocational CBAC level.

All sixth form pupils at Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera Bro Dur secondary phase can study their chosen subjects through the medium of Welsh (with the exception of Science). The Local Authority recognises the need to cater for vocational courses through the medium of Welsh at KS4.

The data for assessed qualification in Welsh as a subject at GCSE, A level and AS level is as follows:

Year 11 Cohort 1st Language GCSE 2nd Language GCSE 2nd Lang (SC GCSE) Total Total % of cohort % cohort 1st language GCSE % cohort 2nd language GCSE % cohort 2nd language SC GCSE
2018 1486 190 917 40 1147 77% 13% 62% 3%
2019 1456 166 1038 0 1204 83% 11% 71%  
2020 1513 171 984 0 1155 76% 11% 65%  
2021 1619 196 1061 0 1257 78% 12% 66%  


Numbers of pupils studying the first and second language Welsh specification at A and AS level - YG Ystalyfera Bro Dur secondary phase and St Joseph's

Year AS Welsh 2nd language AS Welsh 1st language A Level Welsh 2nd language A Level Welsh 1st language
2019 5 4 3 5
2020 1 5 2 5
2021 2 1 1 4
Year Year 12 St Joseph's Year 13 St Joseph's Year 12 Ystalyfera Year 13 Ystalyfera Total Year 12 Total Year 13 Overall Total
2019 110 76 109 100 219 176 395
2020 121 99 92 88 213 187 400
2021 133 94 96 81 229 175 404

The NPTC Group of Colleges offers AS and A Level first and second Welsh language courses. Figures from the past three years can be seen below:

Year AS Welsh 2nd language AS Welsh 1st language A Level Welsh 2nd language A Level Welsh 1st language
2019 21 0 12 0
2020 8 0 11 0
2021 7 0 3 0

Also, to date units from the following courses at NPT Group of Colleges have been translated / delivered in Welsh or bilingually:

  • Mathematics
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Sport
  • Public Services
  • Childcare
  • Hairdressing

The Urdd also offers apprenticeships through the medium of Welsh within the Local Authority. The apprenticeships offer new opportunities to learn, develop and increase confidence in the workplace. From sports, outdoor activities and youth work apprenticeships to qualifications and accreditations, the Urdd offer a range of opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Where do we aim to be within the first 5 years of this Plan and how we propose to get there?

Our target is to increase the number of pupils receiving WM education by 208 pupils and to retain a higher percentage of pupils studying for assessed qualifications through the medium of Welsh and Welsh as a subject by the end of the 10 year plan. We aim to do this by implementing the following targets.


  • Raise the status of the Welsh language as a medium of study and work across all education system partnerships.
  • Develop a language and learning continuum across all progression steps. Promoting learner confidence and parental reassurance.
  • Monitor post 16 welsh medium uptake. WESP to be adapted in line with data.
  • At present, there is no vocational provision in the Local Authority outside YGYBD. The role of Colegau Cymru (Neath / Afan College) Vocational Courses – skills workforce, will need to develop to include Welsh medium and bilingual courses.
  • Establish Bro Dur as a Post-16 Welsh Medium Vocational Qualification centre, providing pathways for ALL pupils in line with Scandinavian model where national qualification programmes are divided into two categories: preparatory and vocational. Preparatory programmes satisfy the requirements needed to study university courses in specific subject areas. Vocational education provides learning which builds on secondary education and prepares students for the labour market. It is developed and run in close cooperation with employers and industries.
  • Work with Careers Wales and Colegau Cymru to develop a menu of Welsh medium and bilingual apprenticeships for the current pupils in the system.
  • Include the Urdd in future post 16 qualification discussions with the aim of increasing the number of students completing apprenticeships with the Urdd through the medium of Welsh.
  • Increase numbers who choose Science GCSE through medium of Welsh in YGYBD (currently Welsh/ English optional).
  • Work towards transitioning A level science to Welsh medium (currently all English).
  • English medium schools to provide and deliver high quality Welsh language Teaching and Learning in line with new curriculum and one equal qualification (no second language Welsh GCSE)
  • Promote Welsh across the curriculum (and not Welsh in isolation) in all schools, with the expectation that all teachers will be able to promote, enrich and encourage the process of developing Welsh as a language.
  • Provide a menu of language support and training for staff of all levels and identify gaps in provision.
  • Employ a Welsh in Education Promotion Officer to support / lead the ‘need for Welsh’, with the aim of changing mindsets. Co-ordinate the provision across the Local Authority. Embed the new vision for Welsh medium and Welsh education across all providers.
  • Provide support for Bro Dur as KS4 pupils transfer to KS5. Ensure suitable routes and transport for these pupils.
  • Careers Wales to promote Welsh language as essential skills for the future within the Local Authority, emphasising the requirement for Welsh language skills in all jobs by 2030.

Where do we expect to be at the end of our ten year Plan?

By the end of the 10 year plan, we aim to see a significant increase in the percentage of qualifications studied through the medium of Welsh as learners and parents become more confident in choosing Welsh medium education.

There will also be a wider variety of vocational qualifications taught through the medium of Welsh available within the Local Authority in order to allow full access of the Welsh language to all learners.