DO YOU have a class full of animal lovers who want to make a difference in the animal welfare world?
The RSPCA has launched its Compassionate Class competition for 2020 – which is an innovative programme that encourages children to develop compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare.
This year’s entrants will follow in the footsteps of the Year 3 class at Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof who were recognised as 2019’s ‘Most Compassionate Class’ across England and Wales.
Last year around 700 schools took part with the Cardiff school impressing judges with their Welsh-language animation, which incorporated into a short production several key animal welfare messages.
Compassionate Class takes an interactive, discussion-based approach to develop emotional literacy and consider the welfare needs of animals. These PSHE Association-accredited resources are designed to provide an exciting learning experience as well as supporting schools in the delivery of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC) for 7 – 11-year-olds.
Through a series of enquiry-led activities, children will consider what it means to be compassionate, understand the needs of different types of animals, and work collaboratively to develop empathy skills for their school lives and beyond.
The programme – which is now open and closes on March 23 – finishes with the chance to enter the Most Compassionate Class awards.
Dave Allen, Head of Prevention and Education at the RSPCA said: “We are very much looking forward to this year’s Compassionate Class which is about developing compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare and the programme encourages children to think about the needs of animals and help them to realise that animals have feelings and are sentient.
“The activities teach children about the five animal welfare needs, while the resources get them talking and debating about the importance of animals and creates an awareness of how we should respect them and each other. In turn, we hope this will help to create a kinder society in the future.
“We were just blown away with Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof last year and we can’t wait to see what participating schools come up with this year.”
Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof’s animated video featured the rules people need to follow to keep animals safe and healthy in a whole series of environments.
Year 3 teacher Nia Norman at Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof, said: “We felt taking part in Compassionate Class would be a great opportunity for the children to build compassion towards animals and hopefully each other as a result. The children loved learning about animals, their habitats and their needs. They were all very passionate about protecting animals’ environments and what we as individuals can do to help preserve them.
“I’m super proud of the children, they worked so hard. We were thrilled to hear that we had won. We didn’t really enter the competition to win but to be able to complete the project with the children so that they would have an end product for which they would be really proud.
“The children were so excited when they found out we’d won. We hope that they will always remember that they are national winners although, of course, they’re winners for us every day!”
For more information, or to sign-up your school, visit www.rspca.org.uk/compassionateclass
Award wants to unearth College talent
THE SEARCH is on to find the cream of Carmarthen’s creative photography and film talent, as one of the nation’s most prestigious student photography awards is now open for entries.
The annual ‘EIZO Awards’ organised by a leading manufacturer of monitor solutions, EIZO, is designed to champion creativity behind the lens and provide a vital career kick-start to talented students looking to follow in the footsteps of the UK’s photography greats.
Coleg Sir Gar students across creative disciplines such as commercial and editorial photography and film direction can enter the awards to be in with a chance of winning the top prize – an EIZO ColorEdge monitor and exclusive placement with one of the world-renowned judges.
This year, the EIZO award is open to film submissions as well as photography entries.
Now in its 4th year, the judges for this year’s awards are all UK-based professional photographers and include; Tim Flach a London based animal photographer; Helen Jennings, an esteemed editor, consultant and curator whose specialisms include visual arts and Alistair Taylor-Young, a British photographer and film director whose impressive client list boasts Dior, Bloomingdales and Fendi.
There will be three total winners, one chosen by each of the judges. One of the former winners of the 2018-19 award is Jimmy Lee (26), a previous student from University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, who commented: “I entered the award as EIZO is a well-established brand in the creative industry. It was a great opportunity to connect with professionals in the creative network. My advice would be to be yourself and submit the work that you really enjoy!”
Hayley Osborne, Head of Marketing and Communications for EIZO Limited, added: “There is a wealth of photography talent across the UK and so our awards are designed to unlock that skill, flair and imagination. By working closely with universities, we want to champion the creative photographer film and image-makers of the future and give students the best possible platform to showcase their work. We’d love to see what the students of Carmarthen have to offer!”
Both universities and students can now download a copy of the EIZO Awards brief and find details on how to enter including terms and conditions at www.eizocolour.com/eizo-award/. Entry submissions are now open and close on Thursday 14th May 2020. Judging will commence in May next year, before the winners are announced in June 2020.
‘Skills Olympics’ date for Zack
UWTSD’s Software Engineering Degree Apprentice Zack Evans (pictured centre) will join 137 apprentices and students at WorldSkills UK’s talent programme for the ‘Skills Olympics’ in Shanghai, China in 2021.
The announcement was made this month by the education and skills charity which manages the UK’s entry into the ‘Skills Olympics’, known officially as WorldSkills, which has also set out its ambition over the next decade to use its ongoing participation in this global event to bring back innovation from other leading world economies to the UK to help create a world-class skill system to support economic growth, productivity and competitiveness.
Zack, a first-year Software Engineering Degree Apprentice employed at Inngot Ltd in Swansea’s city centre, represented the University alongside Paul Lawrence and James Dunhill at The UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event, WorldSkills Finals which took place on November 21-23 at Birmingham NEC – and was awarded a silver medal.
Over the three days, there were competitions in 70 different skills across the Digital, Technology, Engineering, Construction and Hospitality industries with finalists having to a set task or series of tasks in their respective skill area within a limited time and front of the 70,000 plus visitors attending the event.
WorldSkills UK’s goal is to mainstream the excellence in teaching, training and assessment to be received by the young people in the WorldSkills UK elite team announced this week, so more and more young people all across the UK can also benefit from world-class training methods.
It has a global reach with over 80 countries and regions participating in the event, and this provides WorldSkills UK with unique access to skills innovation from around the world. Through its Productivity Lab programme, WorldSkills UK announced it is seeking to work with partners in education, training and business to use this insight to mainstream global best practice to raise standards in everyday training to world-class levels. It believes this focus on excellence will inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to take up apprenticeships and technical education as a prestige route to success for them and their employers.
Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “It is fantastic to see such a strong squad of young people all of whom are aiming to represent the UK on the world stage in Shanghai.
“They will be flying the flag for the UK, demonstrating to the rest of the world that we are developing the high-quality skills needed to help us to trade internationally and attract inward investment across all of the UK to creating and maintain jobs. Now more than ever, we need to invest in excellence in training for the next generation if we are to remain competitive globally and help create a thriving economy.
“Congratulations to all of those on the WorldSkills UK Talent Programme, they really are the high flyers of their generation and should help inspire young people and parents everywhere – turning vocational snobbery on its head – showing that choosing a technical career is a clear route to success in work and life.”
The apprentices and students on the WorldSkills UK Talent Programme will now spend the next 18 months in training. This is fitted around their study and employment commitments before they face the ultimate selection test next year to secure a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills Shanghai 2021.
Bridget Moseley, Head of UWTSD’s Apprenticeship Unit said: “This is fantastic news. I am absolutely delighted that Zack’s abilities have been recognised at this level and that he has been given the opportunity to demonstrate them on the world stage.”
Barry Liles, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Skills and Lifelong Learning at UWTSD said: “The University is so pleased for Zack having been selected to compete for a place in Team UK for Shanghai in 2021. We will now do our utmost to support Zack during this development period, working with both WorldSkills UK and the Inspiring Skills Excellence Project in Wales. Zack’s success shows the importance of the vocational skills pathway that exists in the region where commencing their studies in a further education college, in Zack’s case Neath Port Talbot College Group, with progression to higher education locally develops young people who can compete on the World stage and achieve vocational excellence.”
More Welsh students head to uni
NEW DATA show the number of students from Wales enrolled at universities in the UK increased by 2.6% last year.
The number of Wales-based students at UK Higher Education Institutions rose to 99,310 in 2018/19, from 96,780 in 2017/18, putting an end to a six-year decline.
The overall increase was driven primarily by a rise of 9.2% in postgraduate students, from 16,665 to 18,200, the second year in a row the number has risen. This follows the introduction of additional support for post-graduate students in Wales.
The figures, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, show admissions to Welsh universities also increased to 121,880, up from 121,010 the previous year.
The number of postgraduate enrolments in Welsh universities increased by 5.9%, while full-time undergraduates remained at a similar level to 2017/18.
The Welsh Government has been reforming student finance in Wales, following a review of higher education funding led by Professor Sir Ian Diamond which reported in 2016.
The reforms include an increase in the amount of total support available to £17,000 and a move to help students with their day-to-day living costs, rather than for tuition fees only.
The reforms also include improved support for Master’s students, designed to make access to post-graduate qualifications accessible to more graduates.
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has previously set a goal of a 10% increase in the number of Welsh post-graduate students by the end of this Government term.
The figures published today show a 33% increase in enrolments by first-year postgraduate students from Wales since 2015/16.
The Welsh Government also introduced improved support for part-time students from the academic year 2018-19. There was a 6.9% increase in first-year part-time undergraduates from Wales.
In response to the figures, the Education Minister said: “I want to make higher education more accessible to people from Wales, so these figures are welcome.
“The number of enrolments is especially pleasing given that the number of 18-year-olds in Wales has fallen in recent years.
“Since I accepted the recommendations of the Diamond Review three years ago we’ve reformed our support for undergraduates and postgraduates from Wales, making ours the most generous student package in the UK.
“Improving access to higher education is a key driver of social mobility.
“I’m particularly pleased with the increase in post-graduates, by more than 1,500, which play an important role in supplying talented researchers and innovators to help grow our economy.”
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