Pupils win recognition for their achievements in national awards
Pupils from Penyrheol Comprehensive School, Swansea, Bryngwyn Comprehensive School, Llanelli and Abertillery Learning Community have been awarded with prizes for their achievements in following an innovative BTEC course in Personal and Social Development (PSD).
Osprey’s star Lloyd Ashley visited Penyrheol Comprehensive school to award former pupils Sandy Saunders and Lee Rayner awards for the Most Outstanding Sweet* student, and an Achievement of Excellence.
Sweet* (Succeeding with employment, education and training) has been developed by Portal Training and was originally designed to be a resource that could combat some of the barriers learners faced when trying to engage in any form of learning. It is being delivered in 148 schools and centres in Wales and England, to over 7000 learners.
Portal’s Managing Director, Gwawr Booth commented
“We started to develop sweet* 7 years ago, and it was originally designed to be a resource that could combat some of the barriers learners faced when trying to engage in any form of learning.
It has evolved over the years to the course that Penyrheol, and nearly another 150 centres are delivering across Wales and beyond, which is much more comprehensive and aimed at all young learners. It tackles important life skills such as money matters, personal identity and managing relationships.
We are delighted to see the impact it is having on learners, as evidenced in the winning entries from Sandy and Lee.”
The competition was open to all 7000 learners following sweet* and learners had to evidence how it has helped them gain self confidence, create positive relationships, understand and respects people from different backgrounds and helped with gaining employment.
The competition winners are 1st Prize: Most Outstanding Sweet Student, Sandy Saunders, Penyrheol Comprehensive School.
2nd Prize: Most Exceptional Sweet Student, Kylie Staveley - Bryngwyn Comprehensive School, Llanelli
3rd Prize: Most Creative Sweet Student. Courtney Collier - Abertillery Learning Community
And an Achievement of Excellence to Lee Rayner - Penyrheol Comprehensive School
In her entry, Sandy Saunders outlined how she is now able to budget and manage her money which has led to more confidence whilst out shopping. She added
“I feel that sweet has had a magnificent positive impact on my self-esteem and especially working with others…. Sweet has also helped me with my future career by teaching to have positive body language and positive self-esteem…. it taught me to recognise my strengths and my weaknesses."
Kylie Staveley from Bryngwyn highlighted how Sweet* helped her as she moved schools in year 11. She said,
“I was so nervous about what was going to happen, but the Sweet programme turned out to be the answer to my problems.”
She added that Sweet* had given her a better understanding of what is required of her in the world outside of school, and also helped her to gain a part time job.
“I learnt about the skills I would need for my dream future career and I completed a skills audits to show what I needed to improve. I completed a challenge to teach children about the skills employers are looking for and about jobs in the future. I completed research, I spoke to employers face to face and I had the chance to act as team leader and organise my group. I also did a role play interview in front of the children, this is something I would never have had the confidence to do before. I completed a CV which I used to apply for a part time job, I used my new skills to talk confidently at the interview and I have landed a job in Home Bargains for the summer! They were impressed that I could talk about the money management module, as saving money for customers is part of the company’s ethos.”
Commenting on the success of their students, Penyrheol’s Headteacher Mr Alan Tootill added
“We are delighted that two of our pupils have been recognised by sweet* for the quality of their work and their commitment to learning. Sweet* is a set of qualifications which enables pupils to develop not just intellectually, but also socially. The young people studying for these qualifications are able to learn about real-life, relevant issues that will support them beyond education and to develop practical skills that can be transferred into employment.”
Rob Jones, Assistant Headteacher at Ysgol Bryngwyn, Llanelli added
“The Sweet* course has been very successful at Bryngwyn school. It is easy to follow and the resources provide plenty of support for staff who deliver the course. Through Sweet* pupils have been able to engage in discussion and activities about relevant issues that will help them as they move onto the next step after compulsory education. Pupils studying the Sweet* course at Bryngwyn have developed their understanding relating to healthy living, relationships, finance and goal setting and have become more confident individuals as a result.”
Rhodri Thomas, Head of Secondary Campus at Abertillery Learning Community added,
“Sweet* has offered a fantastic opportunity for our learners to develop their knowledge and skills using the PSE Framework on topics such as money matters, healthy living and the world of work to name a few. Our after school club was a real success with many of our sweet* learners continuing their development beyond the school day. The success rate at ALC has been very pleasing and we look forward to offering sweet* to our future learners to enable them to access the same opportunities to secure their futures.”
Please contact Nerys Evans, Director of Strategy
Photo 1 (l – r)
Gwawr Booth (Portal Managing Director), Miss C Metcalfe (Specialist Teaching Facility Manager), Lee Rayner, Sandy Saunders, Lloyd Ashley (Osprey’s), Mrs T J Ashford (Teaching Assistant), Mrs J M Tanner (Deputy Head teacher)
Photo 2 (l-r)
Rob Jones, Assistant Headteacher, Kylie Staveley