Your questions answered
It is natural to have questions about what a welsh-medium education looks like, how you can support your child with their homework and what the benefits are of being bilingual.
What if I'm not a Welsh speaker?
You won't be on your own! Most children in Welsh-medium education in Powys come from homes where very little or no Welsh is spoken.
Teachers are very used to this and can support your family. Ask your local school to put you in touch with parents who have already chosen Welsh-medium education for their children.
How will I be able to help with homework?
Homework is usually an extension of class work, so shouldn't include anything unfamiliar to your child. Even if you don't speak Welsh, you could ask them to explain the work and discuss it with you in your home language. The process of transferring information from one language to another can actually help children learn and understand the work.
Read the homework help leaflet for more useful hints and tips
What about transport?
Powys County Council provides free home to school transport to Welsh-medium education for primary pupils that live more than 2 miles from the nearest provider and secondary pupils that live more than 3 miles from the nearest provider.
What is a Welsh Medium or Bilingual school?
Across Wales, a Welsh-medium school is understood to be a school where every learner in the school is taught and supported to be entirely bilingual in Welsh and English (whilst they also study modern foreign languages). As they work to provide a curriculum to support bilingualism for all learners, it is not uncommon for them to also be called bilingual schools.
What is a dual stream school?
Dual stream schools are schools where only some of the learners are educated in a way that will enable them to become fully bilingual by the time they leave school. In these schools, some learners have their curriculum in English, and others have their curriculum in a mix of English and Welsh. In essence, in the same school, there are learners who are having a bilingual education and others who are having an English language education.
if my child has already started in an English-medium school? Can they have a Welsh-medium education?
No children should be excluded from the opportunities to have an education through the medium of Welsh even if they arrive in Wales part way through their education. Powys County Council provides intensive virtual immersion courses for pupils moving to the area or pupils currently attending English-medium education who would like to transfer to Welsh-medium education.
The courses are an effective and successful way of immersing children in the Welsh language and enabling them to transfer effectively to Welsh-medium education. Children acquire languages very easily with a positive mindset and effective teaching. The same kinds of courses work across the world and across Wales.
What about my child's English?
Learning two languages at the same time, children become aware of how languages work. One language helps the other, often making it easier for the child to learn more languages later on. Children studying through the medium of Welsh often achieve better results in English than children studying through the medium of English.