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Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus (Happy St David’s Day) from all of us at College for 1 March.

Our Gobowen campus is less than three miles from the Welsh border. We are also proud to say that around one quarter of our students are Welsh (as well as many staff). With this in mind, there are Welsh activities going on through March.

Welsh celebrations kicked off in style on 1 March. We enjoyed a visit from the Ladies Orthopaedic Choir, Welsh cakes, tug of war and a performance by DOT (our Derwen On Tour sign and dance group). There was also a ‘name the Welsh dragon’ competition. Everyone wore red, and there were impressive Welsh displays around college and in the Garden Centre and Gift Shop and the Holly Centre. What a celebration!
Looking ahead, we have several Welsh trips planned. For instance, we’re looking forward to a visit to the Welsh Parliament, the Senedd, in Cardiff on 14 March.

25% of students are from Wales

Personal Development Coordinator Tabetha Crinson, said:

“As with lots that we do in Personal Development, ideas start with our students. We became aware last year that we had a number of Welsh students including some who speak Welsh. We did some investigation, and discovered that 25% of our students are funded by Welsh Local Authorities.

“The Student Union Board (SUB) wanted to celebrate that fact, and the idea of a college-wide introduction to Welsh culture was hatched! Members of our SUB have learned about other cultures, and celebrated diversity in PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) sessions along with their peers. This resulted in wanting to add Welsh culture to their learning about their place in the world.

“March gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Wales with St David’s Day on 1 March. We began our celebration month with music, song, poetry, food, dragons and sport, all which feature heavily in Welsh culture and traditions.

“The students loved joining in, trying new things and being introduced to the beautiful language. Students can recognise that all cultures have their own distinct traditions, and that all cultures share some similarity by featuring activities such as music, dance, foods, and special days.”

What’s our dragon called?

There are more activities planned this month along a Welsh theme, with trips to the Welsh Mountain Zoo, Llandudno and Plas Newydd. There’s a Welsh music night on the 15 March in the SU, with songs by well-known Welsh born Artists, and Welsh language pop music. In Functional Skills, staff are running a poetry competition, we hope to find Derwen’s first Bard!

And for those, curious to know what we named our Welsh dragon: He was named Madog, which means lucky or good.

Happy St David’s Day!

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