Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
In Welsh culture, an eisteddfod is a Welsh festival of literature and performance. The tradition of such a meeting of Welsh artists dates back to at least the 12th century, when a festival of poetry and music was held by Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth at his court in Cardigan in 1176, but the decline of the bardic tradition made it fall into abeyance; the current format owes much to an 18th-century revival arising out of a number of informal eisteddfodau. The closest English equivalent to eisteddfod is "session". In some countries, the term eisteddfod is used for certain types of performing arts competitions that have nothing to do with Welsh culture; the date of the first eisteddfod is a matter of much debate among scholars, but boards for the judging of poetry existed in Wales from at least the early 12th century. These judging boards had derived from ancient Celtic bardic traditions; the first recorded eisteddfod was held under the auspices of The Lord Rhys at Cardigan Castle in 1176. There he held a gathering to which were invited musicians from all parts of Wales.
A chair at the Lord's table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that prevails in the modern day National Eisteddfod. The earliest large-scale eisteddfod, known is the Carmarthen Eisteddfod in 1451 under Thomas ap Gruffydd of Llandeilo; the next recorded large-scale eisteddfod was held in Caerwys in 1568. The prizes awarded were a miniature silver chair to the successful poet, a little silver crwth to the winning fiddler, a silver tongue to the best singer, a tiny silver harp to the best harpist; the contests were limited to professional Welsh bards who were paid by the nobility. In the 16th century, Elizabeth I of England commanded that the bards be examined and licensed to ensure performance standards, but interest in the Welsh arts declined during the 17th and 18th centuries, leading to the standard of the main eisteddfod deteriorating. Gatherings became more informal; these meetings kept traditions alive. A chair was a prized award because of its perceived social status. Throughout the medieval period, high-backed chairs with arm rests were reserved for royalty and high-status leaders in military and civic affairs.
As most ordinary people sat on stools until the 1700s, an armchair conveyed status to a winning bard. In 1789, Thomas Jones organised an eisteddfod in Corwen, where for the first time the public were admitted; the success of this event led to a revival of interest in Welsh music. The earliest known surviving Bardic chair made for an Eisteddfod was built in Carmarthen in 1819. Iolo Morganwg founded "Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain" in 1792 to restore and replace the ancient eisteddfod; the first eisteddfod of the revival was held on London. The Gentleman's Magazine of October 1792 reported on the revival of the eisteddfod tradition; this being the day on which the autumnal equinox occurred, some Welsh bards resident in London assembled in congress on Primrose Hill, according to ancient usage. Present at the meeting was Edward Jones who had published his "The Musical and Poetical Reelicks of the Welsh Bards" in 1784 in a belated effort to try to preserve the native Welsh traditions being so ruthlessly stamped out by the new breed of Methodists.
The Blue Books' notorious attack on the character of the Welsh as a nation in 1846 led to public anger and the belief that it was important for the Welsh to create a new national image. By the 1850s people began to talk of a national eisteddfod to showcase Wales's culture. In 1858 John Williams ab Ithel held a "National" Eisteddfod complete with Gorsedd in Llangollen. "The great Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858" was a significant event. Thomas Stephens won a prize with an essay demolishing the claim of John Williams that Madoc discovered America; as Williams had expected Stephens's essay to reinforce the myth, he was not willing to award the prize to Stephens and, it is recorded, "matters became turbulent". This eisteddfod saw the first public appearance of John Ceiriog Hughes who won a prize for a love poem, Myfanwy Fychan of Dinas Brân, which became an instant hit. There is speculation that this was a result of its depiction of a "deserving, moral, well-mannered Welshwoman", in stark contrast to The Blue Books' depiction of Welsh women as having questionable morals.
The National Eisteddfod Council was created after Llangollen, the Gorsedd subsequently merged with it. The Gorsedd holds the right of governance while the Council organises the event; the first true National Eisteddfod organised by the Council was held in Denbigh in 1860 on a pattern that continues to the present day. One of the most important eisteddfods is the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the largest festival of competitive music and poetry in Europe, its eight days of competitions and performances in the Welsh language, are staged annually in the first week of August alternating between north and south Wales. Competitors number 6,000 or more, overall attendances exceed 150,000 visitors. Another important eisteddfod in the calendar is ` the Youth Eisteddfod. Organised by Urdd Gobaith Cymru, it involves Welsh children from nursery age to 25 in a week of competition in singing, dancing and musicianship during the summer half-term school holiday; the even
Chepstow School and Sixth Form Centre is a comprehensive school located in the town of Chepstow, Wales. The catchment area includes its surrounding villages; the school was founded by Monmouthshire County Council in 1964, as St Kingsmark School and Community College. Its name was changed to Chepstow School; the name "St Kingsmark" derived from that of a mediaeval priory which existed close to the school, on what is now Kingsmark Lane. No traces of the priory now remain above ground; as a state school, Chepstow School follows the National Curriculum. English, English Literature, Welsh,Mathematics and Science are required GCSE subjects while religious studies is a required non-exam course; the school was linked to the OCR innovative science model since the introduction of the pilot scheme over 5 years ago. Since the introduction of the broadened curriculum, results have improved from 55% to 65% for the science core and 72% for Additional Science. An Estyn inspection of the school in January 2012 reported both the school's performance, its prospects for improvement, as "adequate".
It reported that good features of the school's work include recent improvements in performance in key stage 4. However, it considered that performance at key stage 3 is weak; the school’s prospects for improvement were judged as adequate because leadership has been effective in making recent improvements in performance at key stage 4. However, many of the processes were considered to be too new to have their planned impact. Students in years 7 to 11 are required to dress in a uniform consisting of light blue shirts, black trousers or skirts, black shoes, black blazer with the school logo on it and a school-issued tie. A black jumper is optional. Sixth Form are required to wear casual smart clothes of their choice; the sports facilities include two rugby union pitches, one football pitch, four tennis courts, an astro-turf all weather playing surface, a swimming pool and indoor sports hall, part of Chepstow Leisure Centre. The school campus is used for community education in the evenings; the buildings are wheelchair-friendly and accessible for disabled students.
Students are encouraged to be involved in the community. Work experience is available for 12 students. Students taking AS French spend a week of work experience in France; the "5x60" programme works alongside the existing school sports system. The 5x60 clubs give students the opportunity to perform in physical activity for 60 minutes, 5 times a week; the clubs run after school. Through this programme, students have the opportunity to try non-traditional sports such as fencing and golf. Students George Sariak and Anna Stanley were awarded Youth Sport Trust Ambassador Status in 2012. Claire Price took over as headteacher in January 2012 following the retirement of John E. Barnbrook, she left the post in August 2018. Mike Coady was appointed as interim Head. Jo Lindley took over as interim head following Mike Coady's departure. 2012 Estyn inspection report is available from School Reception
A secondary school is both an organization that provides secondary education and the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools can provide both lower secondary education and upper secondary education, but these can be provided in separate schools, as in the American middle and high school system. Secondary schools follow on from primary schools and lead into vocational and tertiary education. Attendance is compulsory in most countries for students between the ages of 11 and 16; the organisations and terminology are more or less unique in each country. Within the English speaking world, there are three used systems to describe the age of the child; the first is the'equivalent ages' countries that base their education systems on the'English model' use one of two methods to identify the year group, while countries that base their systems on the'American K-12 model' refer to their year groups as'grades'. This terminology extends into research literature. Below is a convenient comparison.
The building needs to accommodate: Curriculum content Teaching methods Costs Education within the political framework Use of school building Constraints imposed by the site Design philosophyEach country will have a different education system and priorities. Schools need to accommodate students, storage and electrical systems, support staff, ancillary staff and administration; the number of rooms required can be determined from the predicted roll of the school and the area needed. According to standards used in the United Kingdom, a general classroom for 30 students needs to be 55 m², or more generously 62 m². A general art room for 30 students needs to be 83 m ². A drama studio or a specialist science laboratory for 30 needs to be 90 m². Examples are given on, and 1,850 place secondary school. The building providing the education has to fulfil the needs of: The students, the teachers, the non-teaching support staff, the administrators and the community, it has to meet general government building guidelines, health requirements, minimal functional requirements for classrooms and showers, electricity and services and storage of textbooks and basic teaching aids.
An optimum secondary school will meet the minimum conditions and will have: adequately sized classrooms. Government accountants having read the advice publish minimum guidelines on schools; these enable environmental establishing building costs. Future design plans are audited to ensure. Government ministries continue to press for cost standards to be reduced; the UK government published this downwardly revised space formula in 2014. It said the floor area should be 1050m² + 6.3m²/pupil place for 11- to 16-year-olds + 7m²/pupil place for post-16s. The external finishes were to be downgraded to meet a build cost of £1113/m². A secondary school locally may be called high senior high school. In some countries there are two phases to secondary education and, here the junior high school, intermediate school, lower secondary school, or middle school occurs between the primary school and high school. Names for secondary schools by countryArgentina: secundaria or polimodal, escuela secundaria Australia: high school, secondary college Austria: Gymnasium, Hauptschule, Höhere Bundeslehranstalt, Höhere Technische Lehranstalt Azerbaijan: orta məktəb Bahamas, The: junior high, senior high Belgium: lagere school/école primaire, secundair onderwijs/école secondaire, humaniora/humanités Bolivia: educación primaria superior and educación secundaria and Herzegovina: srednja škola, gimnazija Brazil: ensino médio, segundo grau Brunei: sekolah menengah, a few maktab Bulgaria: cредно образование Canada: High school, junior high or middle school, secondary school, école secondaire, collegiate institute, polyvalente Chile: enseñanza media China: zhong xue, consisting of chu zhong from grades 7 to 9 and gao zhong from grades 10 to 12 Colombia: bachillerato, segunda enseñanza Croatia: srednja škola, gimnazija Cyprus: Γυμνάσιο, Ενιαίο Λύκειο Czech Republic: střední škola, gymnázium, střední odborné učiliště Denmark: gymnasium Dominican Republic: nivel medio, bachillerato Egypt: Thanawya Amma, Estonia: upper secondary school, Lyceum Finland: lukio gymnasium France: collège, lycée Germany: Gymnasium, Realschule, Fachoberschule Greece: Γυμνάσιο, Γενικό Λύκειο, Ενιαίο Λύκειο, Hong Kong: Secondary school Hungary: gimnázium, k
Rogiet Primary School
Rogiet Primary School is located in the village of Rogiet, Wales. It caters for pupils aged 4 to 11 years of age; the current catchment area is Highmoor Hill, Five Lanes and Caerwent. Owing to the unusual demographics of Rogiet, with an unusually elderly population in the 1970s and 1980s, thus a low number of children, school provision in the area was lagging behind other similar villages; the old school building was small and lacking in modern facilities. A large expansion of housing in the village from the 1990s onwards made better school provision a pressing need. In November 2009, the school moved into a new building with many state of the art features. In 2010, it was awarded the BREEAM Excellence Awards for the UK and Wales, scoring a rating of 78.18%. This award acknowledges the school building as having the highest rating for sustainability of any school or educational building in the country; the building was constructed by Willmott Dixon. Both of these companies worked with the pupils and local community to ensure that all opinions and ideas for the new school were addressed.
The pupils, through the school council and older pupils, requested the inclusion of many eco-friendly features including solar panels, energy efficient lighting and a wind turbine. Children and staff watched the complete process of the school build and were invited onto site by Willmott Dixon’s team; the building has since been seen by architects as an exemplar of current best practice in the building of sustainable schools. Official website
The Welsh Office was a department in the Government of the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Wales. It was established in April 1965 to execute government policy in Wales, was headed by the Secretary of State for Wales, a post, created in October 1964, it was disbanded on 1 July 1999 when most of its powers were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales, with some powers transferred to the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales. The Welsh Office took over the responsibilities related to housing, local government and town and country planning, etc. for Wales, the responsibilities of several other government departments. Its responsibilities included Monmouthshire, which for some purposes had earlier been considered by some to lie within England. Wales had been incorporated into the English legal system through the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542. Legislation specific to Wales, such as the Sunday Closing Act 1881 and the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889, began to be introduced in the late 19th century.
Responsibility for Welsh education was given to the Welsh Department of the Board of Education in 1907, the following year the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire was established. The Welsh Board of Health was formed in 1919, the Welsh Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 1922. A Boundary Commission for Wales was set up under the House of Commons Act 1944. A Council for Wales and Monmouthshire was established in 1949 to monitor the effects of government policy. Government departments which had established Welsh offices or units by 1951 included the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the Ministry of Transport, the Forestry Commission, 1951 the office of Minister for Welsh Affairs was created; this post was vested in the Home Secretary until 1957, when it was transferred to the Minister of Housing and Local Government, assisted by a Minister of State. The post of Minister for Welsh Affairs was replaced in 1964 by the office of Secretary of State for Wales, given responsibility for the new Welsh Office in 1965.
The Welsh Office was created to execute government policy in Wales. It took over, from other departments, functions relating to economic planning, local government, environmental health and country planning, Welsh national parks, historic buildings, cultural activities; the Welsh Language Act 1967 formally dissolved the legislation which provided that references made in Parliament to England automatically included Wales, under the Wales and Berwick Act of 1746. By 1969, the role of the Welsh Office had expanded to cover responsibilities for highway construction and maintenance, water, common land, the Historic Buildings Council for Wales, the Countryside Commission in Wales; that year it was given responsibility for health and welfare services, for the use of the Welsh language in the registration of births and deaths. During the 1970s, changes in central government led to the delegation of additional functions. Most responsibilities for primary and secondary education in Wales, were transferred in 1970.
Responsibilities relating to the promotion of industry in Wales were passed to the Welsh Office in 1974-75. In 1978 it gained sole responsibility for agriculture and fishery matters in Wales. By 1998, the Welsh Office comprised the following departments: Agriculture Transport Planning and Environment Group Welsh Office Health Department Economic Development Group Establishments Group Finance Group Education Department Health Professionals Group Industry and Training Group Legal Group Local Government Group. Most of these had headquarters in Cardiff, with offices in London to help co-ordinate policies with Whitehall departments, to provide secretariat and support services for Ministers and the Permanent Secretary. Following the referendum on Welsh devolution in 1997, the Welsh Office was formally disbanded on 1 July 1999 and the majority of its powers were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales; the cabinet position of Secretary of State for Wales was retained as the head of a newly formed Wales Office.
See List of Secretaries of State for Wales Sir Goronwy Daniel KCVO Sir Idwal Pugh KCB Sir Hywel Evans KCB Sir Trevor Hughes KCB Sir Richard Lloyd KCB Sir Michael Scholar KCB Rachel Lomax Sir Jon Shortridge KCB Welsh Office Clip from a 1969 BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary. Welsh Office: 25 Years BBC documentary programme page
Gray Hill, Monmouthshire
Gray Hill is a hill to the north of the village of Llanvair Discoed, south east Wales. Its summit is at 273 metres. Gray Hill is on the eastern side of Wentwood Reservoir, opposite its'twin', Mynydd Alltir Fach which sits on the western side of the reservoir. Wentwood rises behind these two hills; the nearest large village or town is Caerwent. The summit of the hill has views over the Caldicot Levels and Severn estuary, as well as inland. Gray Hill is known locally for its prehistoric remains which include standing stones, a stone circle at a height of about 900 feet above sea level and overlooking the Severn Estuary, as well as cairns, field boundaries and enclosures including a D-shaped Neolithic or Bronze Age enclosure; the stone circle is 32 feet in diameter and has been dated to the Bronze Age, circa 4000 years ago. There is medieval evidence. Map sources for Gray Hill, Monmouthshire Archaeoastronomy of stone circles in South Wales, incl. Gray Hill The Megalithic Portal on Gray Hill Stone Circle Prehistoric Past - Gray Hill Landscape Research Project Photo of Gray Hill in summer Other finds from the Gray Hill area Gray Hill Virtual Geocache location Chris Barber: Exploring Gwent 1984 Castell Henllys Grayhill farm Tales from the Green Valley Acton Scott Historic Working Farm Victorian Farm Weald and Downland Living Museum Butser Ancient Farm