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Education

Lecture explores ‘hundred years of crisis’

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THE VICE-CHANCELLOR of the University of Oxford will deliver a public lecture at Aberystwyth University on Thursday 7 February 2019, as part of the Department of International Politics Centenary Speakers Series.

Professor Louise Richardson, a political scientist by training, specialises in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements and has become widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost experts on terrorism and counter-terrorism.

She will deliver a lecture entitled ‘A Hundred Years’ Crisis? In defence of globalism and International Relations’ at 6.30pm on Thursday 7 February 2019 in the Main Hall of the International Politics Building on Penglais Campus.

Professor Richardson became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford in January 2016, having previously served as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews for seven years.

She has written widely on international terrorism, British foreign and defence policy, security institutions and international relations. Her publications include Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (2007), What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006), The Roots of Terrorism (2006), and When Allies Differ (1996).

She has lectured on the subject of terrorism and counter-terrorism to public, professional, media and education groups across the world, and served on the editorial boards of several journals and presses. She has won numerous awards for her work including the Sumner Prize for work towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace.

The lecture forms one of the Centenary Speakers Series celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the world’s first Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University.

Dr Jan Ruzicka, Director of the Department of International Politics’ Centenary Celebrations, said: “Besides being one of the leading figures in the UK higher education, Louise Richardson is also an extremely accomplished academic in our field. We are delighted that she will speak on a topic that will clearly continue to define global political relations in the years to come.”

The lecture will take place in the Main Hall of the International Politics Building on Penglais Campus at 6.30pm on Thursday, February 7, 2019.

The Department of International Politics warmly invites members of the public as well as University students and staff to attend.

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Education

Funding package of £3 million to support ‘digitally excluded’ learners

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SCHOOLCHILDREN in Carmarthenshire will benefit from a funding package of £3 million to support ‘digitally excluded’ learners in Wales during the coronavirus pandemic.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams made the announcement as part of Welsh Government’s ‘Stay Safe. Stay Learning’ programme.

A digitally excluded learner is someone who does not have access to a suitable internet-connected device to take part in online learning activities from home.

The funding will be used to provide digitally excluded learners with repurposed school devices and 4G MiFi connectivity. Replacement devices will also be funded for schools out of the wider Hwb infrastructure programme.

In Carmarthenshire, schools have already started contacting parents and carers to identify digitally excluded learners, and the council’s IT department are identifying devices which can be repurposed with up-to-date software.

To date, more than 500 families who require further assistance with access to learning have been identified, with some further work to be carried out over the next week.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “We welcome this extra funding from Welsh Government to provide families with the support they need so that their children can continue to learn. No child should be left behind because they do not have access to a computer or broadband.

“This is a huge logistical effort and colleagues from across the council are working together to deliver this support for families as quickly as possible.

“I would like to thank the schools for working hard with us on this, we have already made a good start; and I would also like to thank parents for their patience, support and understanding whilst we put this into place.”

The council’s Education and Children’s Services department have put together a Distance Learning Plan which sets out the way forward for learning in Carmarthenshire during the coronavirus outbreak.

The main aim is to mitigate the impact of school closures on our children and young people as far as possible so that they can quickly catch up when schools reopen; and access to learning and connectivity is one of the key priorities.

Carmarthenshire’s Distance Learning Plan can be found on the ‘Information and support for Parents’ page on the council website, visit newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/coronavirus

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Education

Learning plan in place for Carmarthenshire pupils

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THE council’s education department has been working hard to develop a learning continuity plan for children and young people in Carmarthenshire during the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the closure of schools, a lot of good work has been carried out to mitigate the impact on pupils by providing appropriate activities and high-quality learning resources.

However, with the lockdown continuing for at least another three weeks, it is important that plans are in place to build on the excellent work carried out to date.

We would like to reassure parents that preparations are well underway, and that Carmarthenshire is in a strong position to maintain a constructive and robust learning continuity plan for our young people.

Officers from the education department have been working closely with Welsh Government, ESTYN, regional partners, headteachers and school staff to develop this new way of learning.

The aim is to motivate and engage with all our learners with a range of relevant activities to ensure both educational delivery as well as safeguarding their wellbeing.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “I want to thank headteachers, school staff and parents for all their support and for the highly commendable work that has been carried out to date, during such difficult circumstances.

“Our priority is of course to keep our children safe, but we also need to keep them learning so that they can catch up as quickly as possible when schools reopen.

“I have had lots of positive feedback from teachers and parents on the excellent work that is being done. We are very fortunate that we have access to digital learning platforms and the latest online classroom tools, and it is working well.

“Going forward, although we do not expect parents to be formal teachers, we do need to provide support to help them help their children. This also includes support for their mental and physical wellbeing, which is equally as important, especially at this time.

“I am satisfied that we have a good plan in place to help continue and build upon all the fantastic work carried out so far.”

Schools will be in direct contact with parents with further information on the continuation of learning for pupils.

Parents are being asked to answer this Welsh Government survey on learning at home whilst schools are closed.

Further information on Welsh Government’s Stay Safe, Stay Learning: Continuity of Learning Policy Statement can be found on its website.

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Education

Sculpture students to exhibit in New Mexico

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Students from Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art will be exhibiting their work in a student exhibition of iron sculpture at New Mexico Highlands University in the USA.

No stranger to visiting America, the department has long-established links within an exchange programme at Kansas State University.

The exhibition takes place from August 17 to September 18 at the university’s Burris Hall Gallery.

Lisa Evans, programme director of the degree honours programme in sculpture at Carmarthen School of Art has connections with arts professor David Lobdell at New Mexico Highlands University. She said: “We are thrilled to be invited to this prestigious event and students are currently preparing work which will be molded, cast and finished by the university in the next few months.

“The work is an open brief, we just have to ensure that we use material that can be used to make moulds and be cast in iron.”

Lisa has also been invited as a panel member at the Western Cast Iron Art Conference at the University of Dakota. The panel addresses international and collaborative activities including iron pours, workshops and performance.

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