Bangor University: Excellence For Bangor University And Its Welsh For Adults Teaching Provision

DCGO is one of 11 providers of Welsh for adults courses in Wales and employs over 70 staff. It offers the service on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, and this Estyn award confirms the university’s status as the highest quality provider throughout Wales.

With over 2000 learners in Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey annually, this provision is making an extremely important contribution to the aims of the 2050 Welsh language strategy: A Million Speakers, Welsh Government.

Since the first lockdown two years ago, and the move towards online learning, hundreds of new learners have been learning Welsh on DCGO courses. As well as learners from Wales, a significant number of learners from around the world are now studying on DCGO courses with great success.

Estyn noted that DCGO has “a very clear and strong vision for delivering a high quality service” and that it “focuses on ensuring rich learning experiences in order to support learners’ progress”.

In reference to the learners’ success, they praised the fact that DCGO learners use Welsh in the community and “… show a determination to become part of the area’s Welsh-speaking communities. They become independent learners … ”.

Bespectalced lightly bearded man and a screen of online participantsWelsh language tutor, Martyn Croydon leads an on-line Welsh class which used to meet in a classroom, during the pandemic.
Estyn praised DCGO’s efforts to safeguard the welfare of its learners and to “give priority to creating a sense of an inclusive learning community” and that the learners themselves “stated strongly that distance learning [during Covid] had been very beneficial to their mental health and wellbeing during this time”. In addition, regarding the care and support given to learners, Estyn noted that “the manner in which all members of this close-knit, caring community are fully committed to supporting all learners” is a “particular characteristic”.
DCGO is the only provider of the 11 in Wales to receive an ‘Excellent’ rating for the quality of the teaching provided by its staff. Estyn noted that the tutors “provide enriching experiences in classes and virtual communities that support learners as they develop in confidence to speak Welsh”.

Responding to this, the Director of DCGO, Dr Ifor Gruffydd said:

“The two aspects that stand out in this report for me are the praise given to the ability and dedication of the learners throughout, and the quality of our teaching staff who provide the highest quality service. Estyn saw the result of both of these, a close and supportive learning community where learners succeed in learning the Welsh language.”

In terms of leadership and management of provision, the report went on to state that “DCGO has a very clear and strong vision for delivering the highest quality service” and that there is a passion “for ensuring the best possible provision”.

As Covid’s restrictions are further relaxed by the Welsh Government, Dr Gruffydd is now looking forward to offering in-person lessons again, as well as continuing with the online provision.

“We are now looking forward to being able to offer a choice to our current and new learners, and this Estyn report reassures them that what we have to offer is of the highest standard,” he added.

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