KIRSTY Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, visited Ysgol Y Preseli in Crymych on Thursday, May 3, to learn more about the school’s excellent provision for well-being identified in a recent Estyn inspection.

Ysgol Y Preseli is also working in partnership with the PEAR Institute at Harvard University in Amercia on a Key Stage 3 project aiming to improve pupils’ resilience, self-esteem and confidence.

Skype conferences involving the world-renowned academic Dr Gil Noam and local retired educational psychologist, Dr Tim Thomas, together with staff at Ysgol Y Preseli have enabled the school to develop a deep understanding of how to help pupils to build resilience and relationships.

There has also been a keen focus on how to help pupils to engage productively in their learning.

During the past three years the ‘Cynllun Cam Ymlaen’, ‘Cynllun Cam Pellach’ and ‘Cynllun Cam Pendant’ groups of pupils - led by Gareth Owens and Mari Phillips - have participated in a series of projects that have led to improvements in the pupils` social and academic performance.

Kirsty Williams said: “This was a great opportunity for me to see at first hand the effective structures that the school has put in place to ensure pupils’ well-being is supported both inside and outside the classroom.

“Children and young people with higher levels of well-being are more engaged in school and are higher achievers and I am determined to ensure that pupils in every school in Wales can access the support they need.”

Head teacher Michael Davies, said: “Ysgol Y Preseli was very pleased to welcome the Education Secretary to the school. We are very fortunate that our Harvard University partnership has been recognised by Welsh Assembly Government as making a difference to the well-being provision for our pupils.

“It has been very interesting to research the strategies implemented in Boston and replicate them in a rural context. Both pupils and staff have benefited greatly from taking part in action research with staff in America and we look forward to further developing our partnership in the future.”