A Welsh-medium primary school in Mold has welcomed the Minister for Education and Welsh Language as construction is completed on a major renovation and extension on the site. Jeremy Miles MS visited Ysgol Glanrafon to view the finished works, which have been undertaken by Wynne Construction on behalf of Flintshire County Council.
The council appointed Wynne Construction to upgrade the school with the aim of boosting the level of access to Welsh language education within the county. The new £4m development has seen the construction of a six-classroom extension, new main entrance, and the remodelling of the existing school building located on Bryn Coch Lane. An additional purpose-built pre-school provision was also installed on the grounds of the new-look Ysgol Glanrafon which will provide a seamless Welsh-medium offer of childcare and early years education to children and families prior to their transition into statutory education.
Research shows that children who access Welsh medium pre-school provision are significantly more likely continue their education through the Welsh language, which is hugely important to the national strategy for one million speakers by 2050.
The project, which was funded through the Welsh Government’s Welsh Medium Capital grant, was welcomed by the Minister, who said:
"It’s been fantastic see the new developments at Ysgol Glanrafon, which are crucial to achieving our goal of a million Welsh speakers by 2050. I want Welsh-medium education to be an option for everyone and I want everyone to have the opportunity to be bilingual citizens of Wales.”
Ian Roberts, Flintshire’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Welsh Language, Culture and Leisure, said: “I am once again delighted to be able to show the Minister another state-of-the-art primary school - another milestone in the provision of the 21st Century Schools programme in Flintshire. This investment provides a wonderful modern facility for children, young people and the wider community and provides a new inspirational learning experience for primary school children.”
Mark Wilson, our project manager, said: “As a business born and bred in North Wales, it has been fantastic delivering this major investment in Welsh medium education to the area. Pupils have been able to start the year in a modern building with improved school facilities, which will only have a positive impact on their learning experiences.”
To complement our ‘fabric-first’ approach to constructing the site and commitment to sustainable development, an alternative scaffold-less handrail system was utilised to ensure worker safety on the roof during the course of the build. The system, which required a temporary timber beam along the edge of the roof, allowed for mobile elevated working platforms (MEWPs) to progress works on the facades with greater flexibility. The temporary material has been repurposed into planters upon build completion, with the planters due to be donated to other schemes the company is working on within Flintshire, including the Flintshire Early Years project.
The redevelopment marks one of the largest changes to the school since it opened in 1949, with the site now better suited to deliver Welsh learning opportunities for children between the ages of 3 and 11. It was also identified by the Welsh Government as one likely to assist with its target of having one million Welsh speakers by 2050.