Welsh is taught in schools in Wales at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4. Understandably ‘The National Curriculum for Wales’ focuses on an understanding of Wales and the Welsh Language. Gaelic is also available as an additional language in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Given the focus on the Welsh and Gaelic we have set out what we regard as the best resources for Primary School Welsh and Gaelic languages:
- Bowns: Part of the Wales Education and Learning section of the bbc.co.uk, this site, aimed at children aged approximately 3 to 6, invites children to join an animated character, Bowns, and take part in games which have been created to develop basic numeracy and literacy skills. Hand-and-eye coordination is also improved through the child’s handling of the mouse. Children can use most of the site by themselves, though they will need help from their parents or teachers to read the story provided. Games hone on an array of skills, including counting, filling in the blanks and singing.
- Cymru: Astro Antics (Welsh for learners): Float through outer space and discover new stories, songs and games for Welsh learners aged 5 to 7. A talking animated language guide called Bliblob ‘morphs’ into the meaning of Welsh words encountered in stories and songs. Bliblob will also teach children new words and sentences in his own inimitable manner. Children can use the material as they like, reading stories, watching stories (with or without text included), and even writing stories with the help of a ‘story maker’, which helps them add text and pictures to create their own universe within the story. A section called ‘Sequence the story’ tests children on their comprehension of what they have read by asking them to place pictures representing the story in the correct order and to complete sentences. The site offers plenty of audio and visual help, with captions available for most of the video and audio material.
- Cymru: Y Goeden Greu (Welsh 1st language): This handy site contains a wealth of resources for children aged 5 to 7, including animated stories, songs and poems. Children can choose to watch or simply read the stories, completing comprehension activities afterwards, including sequencing, changing the story and writing their own story. The songs are performed by adorable animated creatures and children can tune into their creative side by changing the songs’ words or dressing the characters up in different outfits. Captions are also available for most of the video and audio content.
- Cymru: Tacteg Cymraeg: This site is aimed at Key Stage 2 students, and its main aim is to develop creative Welsh language writing skills.
- Saunt Petherick’s Stravaigins (Ulster Scots as a first language): This site contains useful information on the history of the Celts in Ireland and the story of Saint Patrick. Excellent video content is provided, as well as downloadable images, a gallery of artwork created by other children, and a glossary of commonly used terms. The site is available in Irish, Ulster-Scots and English. The site is aimed at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 students.
- Turas Naomh Pádraig (Irish as a first language): Also aimed at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 students, this site is almost identical to the one directly above, except that it is aimed at students studying Irish as a first language.
We hope that you have found these resources useful. If you have come across other resources which you would like to share and think are worth including on our list, please let us know via the comments section of this blog post.