Following three years of development, on August 1st 2013 Coleg Sir Gar was formally dissolved as a Further Education Institution and a new entity created, Coleg Sir Gar, a limited company with charitable status.
This new entity was designated for the purpose of delivering further and higher education. Simultaneously, in conjunction with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David a new Group structure was created with Coleg Sir Gar entering the group as a wholly owned subsidiary. In doing so a sustainable future is ensured for the college and more importantly greater opportunities for our learners.
In May 2013 Estyn arrived for a college wide inspection, generally good but in the areas of Partnerships, Literacy and Development and The Learning environment Coleg Sir Gar was deemed excellent. This helps in the colleges overall vision “To be Excellent”.
There has recently been a new building for Animal Science and Equine Studies at Pibwrlwyd. This is just one example of the broad and diverse teaching at Coleg Sir Gar
spanning from Entry Level to Graduate Qualifications. The 14-16 provision, in partnership with the Carmarthenshire Network of schools, apprenticeships working with business as part of work based learning provision.
Within Wales Coleg Sir Gar continue to be the lead college for success and participation in Skills Competitions. Managing on behalf of the Welsh Government the Skills Competitions Wales.
Coleg Sir Gar as based across 5 campuses across Carmarthenshire many purpose built to suit the studies delivered at that centre
November 2018 Update 3
Performing arts student Joseph at Coleg Sir Gâr is one of only 12 men to be handpicked from across the UK to perform with an award-winning London theatre company.
Joseph Wendrich from Llanelli will be working with sector-leading company, Frantic Assembly, which runs a national training programme called Ignition for young male performers. Their aim is to bring together a dynamic group from across the UK to work together for a week to create innovative physical theatre. Joseph will be performing at three UK locations including Stratford Circus and the Imperial War Museum at the end of October.
Frantic Assembly is a regular visitor to Coleg Sir Gâr where students experience taster sessions and workshops. From these regional events run UK-wide, the company handpicks students to audition for Ignition, which Joseph successfully did in Swansea after being approached by the company.
“I’m really excited,” said Joseph. “I will be auditioning for drama schools in the new year and so this is a really amazing opportunity for me as I really want to study in London and it will give me first-hand experience working with a London-based theatre company.
Sara Kelly, lecturer at Coleg Sir Gâr said: “We are all very proud of Joe. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Home-schooled Joseph Wendrich, who also won a college achievement of excellence award this year, added: “The performing arts diploma provides you with opportunities such as working with these companies and the teaching staff are all amazing and supportive, it’s just up to you to take up opportunities offered to you.”
November 2018 Update 2
Public services students at Coleg Sir Gâr have won the RAF Recruiting Challenge, beating nine other establishments including four military colleges.
The event was held at RAF Wittering and around 100 students from across the UK took part in a series of physical and mental challenges designed for those studying defence and public services.
The competition, devised by Squadron Leader Tamzin Keenlyside, included a warm-up with Wittering’s physical education instructors, a one and a half mile run and a fitness and drill test before learning about professions within the Royal Air Force and learning about military aviation.
Royal Air Force Wittering is home to the RAF A4 Force, the deployable engineering and logistics squadrons which support UK air operations across the world. The students met trainee pilots from 16 Squadron, drivers from 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron and technicians from 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron.
RAF Police dogs, drill training, a presentation on an RAF trade, a turn on the digital shooting range and an RAF knowledge test made up the rest of the day.
Glyn Price, Coleg Sir Gâr public services lecturer said: “I was delighted when it was announced that our team had won, it’s absolutely amazing and I couldn’t be any prouder of the guys, watching them grow and bond as a team has been fantastic.”
Group Captain William Dole is the in charge of RAF Recruiting & Selection. He added: “Competition through sport is a fundamental component of life in the RAF and teamwork is the very platform on which we operate and achieve. These qualities have been evident in every activity and event today and the teams have achieved an excellent level of accomplishment.”
November 2018 Update 1
Simon Nehan – a seasoned British top actor with an impressive repertoire for TV and stage work joins Coleg Sir Gâr creative industries team.
From treading the boards on Broadway to the red carpet on Leicester Square, Simon Thomas, known in the acting business as Simon Nehan, is looking forward to his future teaching role following recent filming on Netflix’s The Crown. His career has taken him as far as Madrid, Budapest, Paris and New York and as a former Coedcae pupil armed with years of experience, Simon is keen to inspire local students sharing his experiences of working with actors such as Zac Effron, Eddie Marsan and Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne.
Simon’s many acting roles have included Merlin and Made in Dagenham but the role he is most proud of is in the BBC’s adaptation of Birdsong, a two-part British TV drama based on Sebastian Faulks’s war novel. “Watching good actors at work is always a great learning curve,” said Simon. “It was a big production by the BBC with great writing, great performers and a great production team, plus it involved 10 weeks of filming in Budapest.”
Comparing theatre work to television, some roles are more demanding than others and Simon says that stage work is the most demanding. “I was offered a part in Sarah Kane’s Blasted which was a highly controversial and graphic play which in its first production, drew fierce criticism from the press as well as theatre protests,” he said. “It uses themes of ethnic cleansing, torture, rape and genocide based on the 1990s Bosnian war, so to recreate scenes like this was mentally challenging.”
Simon’s other work includes Casualty, Holby City and even a panto with Katie Price and he says he’s been lucky finding work but not all auditions are set in stone. “You need to be driven and realise that not every audition will go your way,” he said. “There is an element of luck involved but you need to work at it and you need to be on time; you can lose a part because your eyes aren’t the right colour but don’t lose the part because someone has done more work than you on the script.”
Always drawn to the idea of teaching, Simon feels he has the experience to share with a new generation of aspiring performers and can relate to students as he also studied a BTEC diploma before attending Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. “Acting is a craft,” he added. “Getting students to ask the right questions before approaching a role and encouraging them to take risks and express themselves is vital. I tell the students I’m one of them, I’m from Llanelli, I’m a steelworker’s son and if I can do it, so can they.”
September 2018 Update 4
Prosiectslyri Project is a Welsh Government funded project run in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and Swansea-based company, Power and Water.
The project is developing a cost-effective slurry dewatering and water purification system in response to the increasing volumes of slurry and deteriorating water quality in rivers due to the intensification of dairy farming.
Due to significant interest from the industry, the project held its first open day on August 31 at Coleg Sir Gâr’s agricultural campus in Gelli Aur where the processing unit has been installed using the expertise of Power & Water, which specialises in sono-electrochemical water treatment. If successful, the system will be a world’s first in agriculture.
Project staff are resolute that the system should be suitable for every farm, regardless of size. “If this process isn’t suitable for all farmers, it won’t make a difference to water quality,” said project manager John Owen. “Technology hasn’t really moved forward within the industry to manage the amount of slurry we’re producing and although this technology has always existed, it has never been applied to the agricultural industry until now.”
The event, which was co-hosted by Farming Connect, attracted around 300 delegates consisting of farmers and industry representatives who were given insights into the science, analysis and effects of nutrient management.
Industry experts gave presentations about slurry storage and management, Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales explained their role in the process including how contaminated water affects the environment and their ability to protect public health and wildlife.
Project manager John Owen added: “This project will continually undergo independent analysis by Natural Resources Wales and processed water will comply to licence regulations for discharge consent, based on low continual volumes rather than a batch treatment approach and emissions will be monitored to process the system’s current output which is around 3,000 litres of slurry per hour.”
The system uses Soneco® (sono-electrochemistry) to break down contaminants and nutrients, then separates them from the water. The remaining water is treated using the Soneco® advanced oxidation process to reduce any remaining ammonia, which is broken down to nitrogen and hydrogen.
The processing unit reduces water content of the nutrients by 80% but increases the nutrient concentration, resulting in the requirement of a new nutrient management plan. The equipment will be categorised by herd size, ensuring a cost effective and robust solution to any size farm.
Gareth Morgan, Power and Water CEO said: “We are pleased with the outcomes achieved to date and will continue our joint efforts to ensure that that the treated water from the slurry is of good quality for re-use or discharge, and that the nutrient value of the solids is retained or improved for a variety of re-use applications.”
Further work could be carried out on improved biosecurity, destruction of pathogens and possibly weed seeds.
Prosiectslyri Project has received funding through the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for rural Development and the Welsh Government
September 2018 Update 3
Former Coleg Sir Gar fashion graduate Justine Allen is currently working at Primark’s head office as a buying and merchandising training manager where she is supporting the integration of new system software.
But during her time studying at Coleg Sir Gar Justine demonstrated her fashion brilliance being included in the prestigious Vogue Graduate Fashion Week. As shown in the image below.
Following graduation, Justine gained employment with Peacocks in Cardiff, here she tells us how her career has developed.
I am currently working on the Primark/Oracle project at our head office to support the integration of new systems software into the business.
My role in the project is to write the training material, which will be delivered to the buying and merchandising community once the new systems go live.
After five years of working in buying, life on the project is very different but I am really enjoying seeing a completely different side to the business and working on one of the biggest Oracle systems projects in Europe.
I split my time between our head offices in Reading and Dublin as we have different teams from the project in both places so lots of travel at times but it’s great being able to network with so many people.
What did you do following graduation?
My first job was at Peacocks head office in Cardiff where I was an assistant buyer on ladies clothing and I spent a year learning the ins and outs of the buying role.
I applied for an assistant buyer job for children’s wear at Primark and got the job. I moved to Reading and I’ve been there for the last four and half years.
I absolutely loved being in such a creative role and being so involved with the product you see in store. I worked my way up in Primark over the next few years and finally ended up on the ladies denim buying team.
At this time a vacancy came up on the Oracle project so I applied as I think it is really important to understand other aspects of the business and as this project is so high profile I wanted to get involved.
You never know what doors will open if you are open to new experiences and I have found already that I have developed skills and knowledge I didn’t have a year ago.
What advice would you give others starting out or studying?
I really felt that I had the tools I needed for employment after my degree at Carmarthen School or Art as the course was so varied, I gained lots of different skills that I have been able to apply to my jobs in fashion.
My main piece of advice would be not to give up or get disheartened if you don’t succeed at securing jobs at first. I applied for so many buying jobs when I graduated and either had no response or an email saying I wasn’t what they were looking for. It is tough being knocked back but when I finally got an interview for the assistant buyer role at Peacocks I knew I had to give everything I had.
My feedback after the interview was that my positivity about the role really shone through so it’s really important to have that attitude when you work in the fashion industry.
Try to gain work experience if you can as it does put you in a better place when it comes to interviews and will give you an idea of whether the role you are doing in work experience is really for you.
I have met a lot of students who want to work in buying but decided that it’s not right for them after a few weeks; likewise I have met lots of students who came to Primark for a placement and are now employed there in buying roles after graduation.
You can find more about Vogue’s Graduate Fashion week especially the year Justine was involved at
September 2018 Update 2
New principal appointed at Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigon
New principal and chief executive officer is the news that Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigon has at the start of this new academic year. Dr Andrew Cornish has been appointed by a board of directors, following the announcement of current principal Barry Liles’ retirement in August.
As the current deputy principal for both Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, Dr Andrew Cornish is preparing to take the helm as the new principal at both colleges, bringing a familiar face to staff and students when he officially takes over the role this September.
Dr Cornish began his education at Maesteg Comprehensive School where he studied A-levels before progressing to study an honours degree in physics at University of Liverpool and then a PhD in physics at Cardiff University. He is a member of the Institute of Physics (CPhys MinstP) and has worked as a peer assessor for Estyn for nearly 20 years, assessing the standards of other further education colleges in Wales. He is also the former chair of the pan Wales curriculum and standards group for further education.
Following his doctorate he began working at Coleg Sir Gâr as a physics lecturer, and subsequently has undertaken various managerial and leadership roles including faculty manager for A-levels, access and sport and later as assistant principal, with the responsibility of teaching, learning and quality across the college. He is also the driving force behind significant new projects at the college’s Graig campus, including the development of the atrium, the 3G pitch and the performance and innovation centre, which is set to open in September. Over the last year, his focus has been on creating a new curriculum at Coleg Ceredigion, ensuring that the integration of the two colleges continues to progress smoothly.
Dr Andrew Cornish’s aim, as the new principal, is to achieve a highly skilled, confident, sustainable workforce for Wales, creating ambitious and capable learners equipped with the employability skills and academic abilities to achieve in high quality jobs. “Developing a curriculum that aligns itself to the needs of employers is a vital and crucial part of our work,” he said. “We will continue to develop our strong links with employers, schools in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, to build upon the already established dual sector university partnership.”
As a committed learner of the Welsh language, Dr Cornish is very passionate about opportunities for Welsh medium learning, shared by his two sons who are currently studying at university primarily through the medium of Welsh, along with his family who are all Welsh speakers. “Mae’r iaith Gymraeg yn bwsig iawn yn Sir Gâr ac yng Ngheredigion hefyd, I think that being able to speak Welsh offers additional employability opportunities,” he said. “Ultimately, that is what we’re preparing our students for as well as ensuring they progress in their learning, including into university education.”
With nearly 25 years experience in education, Dr Cornish has a profound understanding of the real challenges that lie ahead in the sector. His ethos ‘an education for all’ and his passion to improve teaching and learning as core business values, stands him in good stead to lead two substantial organisations confidently into the future.
Dr Andrew Cornish added: “I am very privileged and proud to be the next new principal of Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion and I will work tirelessly to ensure the college provides an excellent experience for all our learners and partners.”
September 2018 Update 1
Coleg Sirgar’s School of art is calling GCSE and A-level artists
The project brings together students with a particular talent in the visual arts who are currently studying GCSE and A-level art.
Portfolio – This strand of the project is aimed at GCSE students (year 10 and 11).
Raising the Bar – This strand of the project is aimed at A-level students (years 12 and 13).
Both projects invite students to masterclasses led by professional artists and designers who offer a wider investigation into visual arts practice and the future possibilities of creative and academic training. An educational visit is also included and students exhibit their work in an end of year public exhibition.
Masterclasses are held at Coleg Sir Gâr’s School of Art, Job’s Well Road, Carmarthen.
This is a national project coordinated in various regions across Wales.
Applicants are asked to submit a minimum of one piece of art, design or craftwork and complete the application form. Photographs are accepted electronically at 200-300dpi/A5.
Application form deadline is Friday, September 21st at 4.30pm.
For further information and an application for contact email@example.com.
To find out more about Coleg Sir Gar and in particular the School of Art follows are some notes but you could also visit their website
Carmarthen School of Art has been providing Art education since 1854, being one of the first Art Schools set up in Britain following the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace in London. The School has been continually evolving ever since, responding to social, creative and cultural developments and the changing needs of its students, industry and wider community. Our heritage is important to us and influences our School ethos.
The School is a friendly, dynamic and creative community with a real ‘Art School’ atmosphere; renowned for its inclusive culture and open door policy across departments. We know our students and strive to develop their individuality, ours is a balanced approach, supporting whilst challenging students. We have a national reputation for skill based teaching & learning underpinned by academic rigour and an emphasis on employability; developing knowledgeable, highly skilled creative practitioners for the future.
Rural & connected
We are rural, being in one of the most beautiful counties in Wales yet we are well connected within the world of art and design; connected regionally, nationally and internationally through live projects, events, competitions, educational visits, alumni and industry links. Our Art and Design degrees are validated by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
November 2017 Update
Coleg Sir Gar is hosting a Welsh-medium Agriculture Conference and Learning Fair at its Gelli Aur campus on December 8.
The public event hosted by Coleg Sir Gar will include a talk about the future of the agricultural industry in Wales by Simon Thomas, AM and Dr Cerys Ann Jones from Aberystwyth University will be talking about the challenges of climate change for Welsh farmers.
Coleg Sir Gar lecturer Cennydd Jones will also be talking about the benefits of studying a degree in agriculture.
October 2017 Update
A chef-de-rang from Carmarthenshire representing Coleg Sir Gâr, has won a medal of excellence for her world-class skills in restaurant services at WorldSkills, Abu Dhabi.
Elizabeth Forkuoh, a hospitality, supervision and leadership student at Coleg Sir Gâr and former pupil of Coedcae Comprehensive School, represented the college within Team UK at the largest international skills Olympics.
Team UK retained their top 10 position at WorldSkills this year rivalling 45 nations.
The journey towards Team UK selection has been a life-changing experience for Elizabeth and also for Alfie Hopkin who represented the college competing in the web design competition.
Elizabeth steadily rose through the competition ranks whilst at college and made such significant headway in UKSkills competitions, she received employment offers from some of the top restaurants in the country. As a result, she now works for Gleneagles in Scotland, one of the best restaurants in the UK for customer care and food service. She also underwent professional training at The Ritz, completed a wine appreciation course in London and attended a training event in Taiwan. She also won a British Education award when she was at college and working part-time at the Stradey Park Hotel.
Elizabeth and Alfie were two out of four competitors representing Wales within Team UK.
Backing Team UK and the Welsh contingency is Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion principal Barry Liles who in his role as Skills Champion for Wales and in partnership with the Welsh Government-funded Inspiring Skills Excellence project, ensures the Welsh contingency is supported throughout their competition journey.
Barry Liles said: “WorldSkills is an extravaganza of an event which replicates the Olympic Games, showcasing the very best of skills from young people around the world who have been through a rigorous competition journey.
“For me, being part of WorldSkills is crucial in not only raising aspirations of our young people but raising their skills levels, for Wales to take a competitive stand in a global economy.
“I was thrilled to see Elizabeth win a medal of excellence as she’s trained phenomenally hard, as have all our competitors.
“Witnessing Team UK, the Welsh squad and Coleg Sir Gâr competitors on the world stage will always be a very proud moment for me.”
Elizabeth Forkuoh added: “It’s been hard work over the last few years but with the support of my employer and trainer, I have given my best and I definitely know that fine dining is where I belong.”
September 2017 Update
An innovative new motorsport academy is inspiring young people into the diverse range of fields available within the motorsport industry, such as rallying and autograss at Coleg Sir Gar.
Run by Coleg Sir Gar ‘s Motor Vehicle Centre in Carmarthen, children aged between 13-15 have been learning a number of skills, including how to read and create their own rally Pacenotes, all within a 10 week course.
As part of the programme, youngsters met industry specialists such as GotBoost, who maintain and run Ginetta race cars. They learnt how to prepare a car for racing, from wheel changes to data logging. They also learnt about co-driving from the MSA Academy, how to read pace notes and experienced a Darrian T9 GTR stage rally car. The group also practiced road rally navigation, motocross, how to run a stage rally event, how to get into motorsport, scrutineering, chassis set-up and tyre technology, rolling road and rally car preparation.
Alan James, Coleg Sir Gar motor vehicle lecturer, who runs the college’s Motorsport Academy, said: “It’s an exciting experience for young people who want to get involved and learn about the different disciplines within motorsport.
“I’d like to show our enormous appreciation to all our industry specialists for their professional input and time dedicated to inspiring and sharing their experiences with members of the academy who were very keen to learn.”
The next motorsport academy for 13-15 year-olds at Coleg Sir Gar will take place in mid-October on a Tuesday evening from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.
Contact Alan.firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Coleg Sir Gar Motor Vehicle on Facebook.
July 2017 update 2
An innovative project is underway to address the agricultural industry’s impact on the environment by developing a dewatering and purification system to manage slurry.
Driving the project are Coleg Sir Gâr’s Gelli Aur agricultural campus and Power & Water, a Swansea based company specialising in electrochemical-based water treatments.
This Project has received funding through the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for rural Development and the Welsh Government. The project will apply innovative and proven concept technology to reduce air and water pollution to reduce the overall volume of slurry by up to 80%. A de-watering and purification system is used to filter slurry, transforming the water to a suitable quality for recycling or discharging to a clean watercourse. The system will also utilise nutrients from the slurry to produce good quality fertiliser.
John Owen, farm manager at Coleg Sir Gâr, said: “With the intensification of the dairy industry, slurry management is becoming an increasing issue for farmers and the environment.
“We aim to reduce significantly the risk of air and water pollution at the same time as maximising the recycling nutrient value. This development process will considerably reduce storage of slurry on farms as well as handling costs.
“Efficiently extracting nutrients from manures could save on the cost of commercial fertilisers and reduce serious environmental impact. However poor manure management can cause pollutants, including nutrients, to enter the water cycle through run-off or drainage.”
The project also aims to design, develop and validate economically viable systems that will be made available commercially and used on farms.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) states that the number of pollution incidents caused by dairy and beef farms across Wales has fluctuated between 85 and 120 for each of the last six years. Wet winters and a significant downturn in the dairy market have added to the pressure on the environment and farmers; reducing their capacity to invest in slurry and silage store management and over 60% of the incidents involving pollution during the last three years took place within the milk field of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
- According to the Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in its ‘Agricultural Pollution Issues – and the implications for natural resource management’ document (Summer 2016), agricultural pollution is the third most frequent reason for failing to achieve good status in Wales. It affects some 180 individual waterbodies. The number of pollution incidents caused by dairy and beef farms across Wales has fluctuated between 85 and 120 for each of the last six (6) years. Recent wet winters and a significant downturn in the dairy market have added to the pressure on the environment and farmers; reducing their capacity to invest in slurry and silage store management.
- Point of source pollution incidents (such as those caused by overflowing slurry stores) are concentrated in particularly parts of Wales.
- The ongoing agricultural pollution arising from both point and diffuse sources is having a serious detrimental effect on the Welsh environment and impacts on the ability to meet WFD targets under the River Basin Management This situation could lead to substantially extending the area currently covered by Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ).
July 2017 update 1
A new project, managed by Coleg Sir Gar ‘s Agriculture Resource Centre, is being launched at this year’s Royal Welsh Show that aims to support Welsh farmers in eradicating bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in cattle.
The project is funded by the Welsh Government’s Rural Development Programme and all cattle farms in Wales are eligible to be part of the project irrespective of size. Coleg Sir Gar ’s Agriculture Resource Centre is managing the project in partnership with the Royal Veterinary College and in particular Dr Neil Paton – lecturer in farm animal health and production – who has played a significant part in its development and is the project’s Veterinary Technical lead.
BVD is a viral and immunosuppressive disease maintained by a small population of animals that become persistently infected and are a risk to the health of the rest of the herd. This affects the farm’s production system in terms of cost and animal welfare issues that can lead to pneumonia, scour, infertility and reproductive disorders.
John Griffiths, Agriculture Resource Centre manager based at Coleg Sir Gar ’s Gelli Aur campus who is also chair of Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework’s BVD eradication sub-group, said: “This new voluntary disease eradication programme will be conducted alongside Wales’s annual herd TB testing regime to help identify herds infected with BVD.
“Support will also be available to locate the PI animals from infected herds.
“The testing phase will continue over a three year period when complete we’ll hopefully be in an improved position with regards to BVD in Wales with the aim of making Wales BVD free.”
The new project, entitled Animal Health & Welfare Wales – Eradicating Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) in Wales, will be officially announced at this year’s Royal Welsh Show.
June 2017 update 3
WATCH out Julien McDonald, there is a new Welsh designer, from Coleg Sir Gar, about to take the fashion world by storm.
Lian Cara Poulson is the winner of the Beacon Bursary and will receive a cash prize of £3000, free office space within the Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, and business mentoring support to help develop her business.The 23-year-old from Llandovery recently completed her degree at Coleg Sir Gar ’s Carmarthen School of Art and will establish her own fashion label Lian Cara. She impressed the judges with her blend of creative talent, commercial vision and professional business plan and presentation.
Lian was one of 10 new entrepreneurs to reach the final of the Beacon Bursary competition and pitch their proposals to a panel of judges including Carmarthenshire Council Leader Emlyn Dole, Angharad Harding, manager of Yr Atom in Carmarthen; Chris Jenkins from Gerald Thomas Accountants and last year’s Beacon Bursary winner Martin Goddard of Music HQ.
Second place went to Jennifer Collins, a 35-year-old mum from Burry Port, who wants to set up a school holiday club in the Llanelli area called Clwb Oasis. Her idea is to introduce a more formal activity schedule delivered over a longer day to allow parents to manage work life balance better during school holidays. Jennifer, who is studying a BA in Events Management in University of Wales Trinity Saint David, aims to develop a good brand locally before expanding the business model further afield.
Third place went to Danielle Ace for her online community and ecommerce business The Stitching Bee specialising in the stitching, yarning and crafting market. The online shop will sell a wide range of products associated to the market including creative well-being gift boxes, zenbroidery kits, and much more. Danielle, aged 30, from Llanelli, is currently studying Counselling and Psychotherapy in Swansea University having previously graduated in psychology and a foundation course with the British Association of Art Therapy.
The Beacon Bursary is an annual competition run by by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
The award provides new businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to access finance, office space and a wealth of advice and support and which will provide the best opportunity for their new businesses to flourish.
The vision for The Beacon, Centre for Enterprise is to act as a leading light in nurturing and training both young enterprise skills and to develop entrepreneur business talent to enter the private sector across South West Wales.
Council Leader Emlyn Dole, who is responsible for Economic Development, said: “I would like to congratulate Lian, a very worthy winner, and I am looking forward to seeing her business develop. I would also like to commend Jennifer and Danielle and all the other finalists; it was a very close call and we could see the potential in all the business ideas and we will do our best to help and support each and every one of them.
“As a council, we are committed to developing entrepreneurship within the county and this is reflected through important initiatives such as the Beacon Bursary.”
June 2017 Update 2
Lecturer presented with Pearson Teaching Award Coleg Sir Gar lecturer Charlie Hammond, has won a silver award in the Pearson Teaching Awards’ category of outstanding use of technology.
Selected from thousands of nominations across the UK and Ireland, Charlie, who runs outdoor adventure courses at Coleg Sir Gar ‘s Graig campus, is one of 56 winners who are being recognised for their innovative teaching methods.
Charlie will join fellow silver award winners at the UK final of the Pearson Teaching Awards held in London on October 22 where they will find out who has won just one of 11 Gold Plato Awards, the UK’s Oscars for Teachers.
Louis Dare, e-learning development manager at Coleg Sir Gâr said:
“Charlie has effectively adopted the use of ILT in the classroom using Google Classroom as a platform for assignments, learner files and course management.
“He’s highly proactive and experimental and has excelled in the project using student feedback as the core driver for progression.”
Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK said: “It’s an honour for us to support the Teaching Awards each year. Great teaching can have a huge impact on a child’s education so it’s vital for us to recognise and celebrate inspirational teachers, for their commitment to teaching and learning and for improving the life chances of the next generation. All those receiving a silver trophy today should feel extremely proud of their achievement and I Iook forward to meeting them at the final ceremony later this year.”
This ceremony, entitled Britain’s Classroom Heroes, will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.
Coleg Sir Gâr was created in 1985 and became a corporate institution in 1993. In 2013 it became Coleg Sir Gar Ltd, a company within the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David Group, and part of a regional Dual Sector University. The College has an annual turnover of over £30m and employs around 800 staff.
June 2017 Update
The stunning work of two BA Textiles graduates from Carmarthen School of Art, Coleg Sir Gar has been recognised by a new bursary from the premier Wool & Natural Fibre Festival in Wales.
Wonderwool Wales has set up a Bursary scheme for students graduating from the BA Textiles; knit, weave and mixed media course at Carmarthen School of Art, part of Coleg Sir Gar in Carmarthen. Students Kathleen Lloyd from Carmarthen and Julia Davies from Llandysul have become the first to benefit and were presented with their awards during their Degree Show.
Wonderwool Wales organisers had only intended to award one bursary, but could not choose between the two shortlisted candidates, who each received a cheque for £1000 and the chance to showcase their work at Wonderwool Wales 2018, at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells on April 28 and 29.
Show organiser Chrissie Menzies said: “We visited the Degree Show and had a lovely day meeting with and chatting to the students who had all produced some amazing work. It was a very hard choice which is why we have ended up awarding two bursaries in this, the inaugural year of the bursary scheme.
“What Kathleen and Julia both put into their work and the finished work was so exciting. We are delighted to be able to assist them in starting out now that they have finished their degree and we are equally delighted that visitors to Wonderwool Wales 2018 will be able to admire their degree work and work that has followed on from this at their special stand at next year’s show.”
Kathleen Lloyd’s award-winning scarves and tops were influenced by a visit to Jaipur, where she found inspiration for her fashion accessories for men and women from both the architecture and the heritage of indigo dyeing and block printing.
Meanwhile Julia Davies found inspiration for her handwoven, mixed yarn scarves, clothes and throws closer to home. “They are all based on the industrial heritage of Wales,” she said, explaining how her use of colours was influenced by her observations, including heather growing on coal heaps and rusted machinery with ivy growing over it. Sites which she visited to inform her work included Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon and the sites of former quarries. She quipped: “So, Kathleen went to India for her inspiration and I went to Blaenau Ffestiniog!”
She continued: “I am honoured to receive this bursary. I am a big fan of Wonderwool Wales and it will give me the opportunity to showcase my work to a wider audience.”
Kathleen, who plans to develop her block printing work and start giving workshops, also said she was looking forward to Wonderwool Wales 2018: “I am over the moon to have a stand at the show next year. It has given me a new deadline to work towards.”
For more information about Coleg Sir Gar visit: www.colegsirgar.ac.uk
For more information about Wonderwool Wales 2018 visit: www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk.
May 2017 Update
Two students from Coleg Sir Gar are representing the UK at WordSkills, Abu Dhabi this October following a rigorous selection process.
Elizabeth Forkuoh, 20 and Alfie Hopkin, 19 both from Llanelli, are two out of four competitors from Wales who have been selected to compete as part of Team UK at the largest skills competition in the world. Alfie Hopkin is competing in the web design competition and Elizabeth Forkuoh will compete in the restaurant services category. Coleg Sir Gar has an established reputation for students competing at national and international level. Three have returned from EuroSkills with a gold and two silver medals and many others have competed as far as Sao Paulo and Calgary.
As Skills Champion for Wales, college principal Barry Liles is at the helm of Wales’ involvement in skills competitions and is passionate about promoting the nation at international level. Coleg Sir Gar also leads the Welsh Government funded project, Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales, which supports Welsh competitors training to compete nationally and internationally.
Elizabeth Forkuoh is no stranger to skills competitions having this year being awarded a British Education Award, which recognises her competition success including winning a UK-wide gold award for restaurant services at the Skills Show at Birmingham NEC in 2015. Receiving nationwide recognition for her skills, Elizabeth has been offered employment by a London-based Michelin star restaurant and has experienced a placement at The Ritz London. As well as working at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli, she is currently studying an NVQ level three diploma in hospitality supervision and leadership at Coleg Sir Gar’s Pibwrlwyd campus following successful completion of qualifications in professional cookery, professional food and beverage and barista skills.
Alfie Hopkin, who is studying a level three extended diploma in IT in Llanelli, began his competition journey in 2015 when he won the Welsh heat of a web design competition run by Skills Competitions Wales, the launch pad into the international skills arena. He then won a bronze award in the national final and was selected for Squad UK with four other competitors. He has gained the only place available in the UK team to compete in web design at Abu Dhabi following a recent team selection event in Manchester. He will begin intense training in the UK and overseas including competing in the Canadian web design final in Winnipeg in May.
Barry Liles, Coleg Sir Gar principal and Welsh Government Skills Champion for Wales has been driving the skills agenda in Wales for a number of years. He said: “The competitions aim to inspire young people to be ambitious and exceptional within their area of expertise.
“Driving excellence in skills helps businesses to compete and in turn helps Wales and the UK proudly compete in a global market. I am thrilled with Wales’ performance and very proud of our Coleg Sir Gâr students.”
March 2017 Update 3
The 2nd Year BA Textiles Students from Carmarthen School of Art, Coleg Sir Gar, will be showing their work at the ‘Wonderwool’ festival in Builth Wells on the 22nd and 23rd of April.
The title of the Coleg Sir Gar students exhibition is ‘Ar Ddangos’, which means ‘On Show’. It is based this year on the ‘Welsh Dresser’, a piece of highly prized furniture which could be found in the front room or parlour, and was used as a display space to showcase the best family china and ornaments. Inspired by this tradition and the students’ love of colour and design, they have put together a stunning homage in the reverence to this iconic institution of cultural heritage basing their design ideas on primary research from their own collections.
Llio James, art and design lecturer at Carmarthen School of Art said:
“This group project has allowed the second years to collaborate with each other, using their individual strengths to create a unique and wonderful exhibition. They’ve recorded each stage of the project through a combination of sketchbooks/photography and a very intriguing blog. What a fantastic opportunity it is to show at Wonderwool!”
This platform enables the students of Carmarthen school of Art to work in a realistic professional environment and experience first- hand the adrenaline rush of curating a show of this scale. The year group involved are a diverse and creative team who have collectively produced a specialised body of work. Good communication has allowed this project to come together and each student has fulfilled their role in the outcome.
The students hope the exhibition at the Wonderwool festival will inspire and inform the visitors and contribute to a great day out!
March 2017 Update 2
Sculpture students at Coleg Sir Gar ’s Carmarthen School of Art are preparing to visit Alabama for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices.The international conference is a biennial union of students, educators, academics, and professionals dedicated to exploring and advancing cast iron as an art medium.
Five Coleg Sir Gar degree students following a BA honours course in sculpture in Carmarthen will be travelling to Birmingham to compete in the student cupola competition at Sloss Furnaces – a former and significant iron-manufacturing site established in 1881 which played a large part in Birmingham’s economic development.
Students have a flat-pack furnace which they will take with them to compete at the US competition.
The art school has established links within the metal casting industry in the UK and USA and is well-known for its unique metal-casting facility in Carmarthen.
Degree student Ashleigh Harold said: “I’m so excited to go over there and get involved with such an amazing event.
“We’ve had so much support from our tutors and friends both here and state side. Now we’re looking forward to melting iron and hopefully bringing home the trophy!”
March 2017 Update
This year’s marks the 10th anniversary of the Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards, which celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success, will officially recognise the contribution of trainers for the first time.
An award for trainer of the year joins the three existing award categories – employer of the year, intermediate learner of the year and higher level learner of the year. The awards coincide with VQ Day on 7 June, a celebration of vocational qualifications for learners, trainers, and employers. The new VQ Trainer of the Year Award recognises individual trainers who have made a telling contribution to supporting learners in the workplace to achieve excellence whilst also constantly improving their own skills and knowledge. Linda Thomas, Coleg Sir Gar ’s chief hospitality lecturer and Sector Skills Champion, has welcomed the introduction of the new award.
“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “Trainers put in so many hours and so much hard work which isn’t seen by the public. We don’t do it for publicity, but it’s nice to be recognised.
“I have always aspired to achieve the highest standards and encourage my learners to do the same. The person who will receive this new award means that they have reached a high standard.”
Linda is the mentor of star learner Elizabeth Forkuoh, 20, who not only won the VQ Learner of the Year Intermediate Award last year but also recently collected British Education Awards for Wales and Great Britain and is competing to represent the UK in restaurant services at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.
Elizabeth is one of many learners, including Hannah Bagshaw who was selected for the WorldSkills UK squad in patisserie three years ago, who have benefited from Linda’s tutelage and passion for the hospitality industry.
During her 37-year-career Linda has been a pastry chef at some of London’s top hotels, including the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane and the Hyde Park Hotel, Knightsbridge. She has also worked in Oman and been a product development chef for Bowyers in Plymouth.
She returned to Coleg Sir Gar, where her training began 25 years ago, and uses her knowledge and excellent network of contacts in the hospitality industry to arrange placements for learners at five star hotels and restaurants across the UK.
Linda from Tumble near Llanelli, counts herself very fortunate to have been trained by “professional, dedicated and knowledgeable” tutors at Coleg Sir Gar when she began her career and welcomed the creation of the new VQ award to recognise the contribution of trainers.
Reflecting on star learner Elizabeth’s achievements to date, she said it was obvious from the first time they met that she was a perfect competitor. “She is determined to succeed and in every single competition she has entered, she has won a gold medal. To win a British Education Award is a massive achievement,” she added
The VQ awards offer individuals and organisations the chance to be recognised and rewarded for their commitment, hard work and achievements. Nominations close on April 21 and the finalists in each category will be shortlisted and announced in early May. For more information about the awards and access to the nomination form please visit https://www.vqday.wales
The awards ceremony will be held at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff on 6 June, the eve of VQ Day on 7 June which is a celebration of vocational qualifications for learners, teachers, training providers and employers.
Colleges and learning providers across Wales are being encouraged to organise regional events to celebrate VQ Day and engage with learners of all ages.
The awards are part funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund, Qualifications Wales, National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and ColegauCymru/CollegesWales.
February 2017 Update 2
Coleg Sir Gar hosted a talk from a member of the House of Lords to give students an insight into the political and parliamentary process.
Public services lecturer, Carolann Healy, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with someone who knows the parliamentary system inside out, as it can sometimes seem far removed from their daily lives.”
Students were able to grasp a thorough understanding of issues such as how a bill becomes an act, the roles of the House of Lords in relation to the House of Parliament, how members are appointed and how government is positively influenced by members.
The visit was arranged through the Lord Speaker’s Peers in Schools programme, which has been running across the UK since 2007 and has so far involved around 75,000 young people. This continuing outreach programme sends members of the House of Lords into schools/academies and colleges across the country to give talks in support of the citizenship curriculum.
February 2017 Update
A Coleg Sir Gar hospitality and leadership student has been perfecting her skills in fine dining and a service fit for royalty at The Ritz hotel in London.
Elizabeth Forkhuoh, a Coleg Sir Gar student from Llanelli, visited The Ritz as part of her training with WorldSkills where she is currently training in Squad UK, hoping to be selected to compete in the restaurant services category in Abu Dhabi this year.
Under the guidance of restaurant manager Luigi Cagnin, Elizabeth learned carving techniques using salmon, poultry, chateaubriand and Dover sole as well as discovering how dishes such as steak tartar are prepared in lavish Ritz style.
Elizabeth Forkuoh, who this year won a British Education Award, said: “I was amazed how polite and well presented the staff were at all times and how impeccable the service was, I immediately felt like royalty when I arrived.
“We experienced a traditional afternoon tea in the spectacular Palm Court, surrounded by high mirrored walls, birdcage chandeliers and a soaring floral display.
“The deputy manager of Palm Court which serves 400 covers a day, also known as Ritz tea master Giandomenico Scanu, explained how he pairs different teas to the customer and food, similarly as does a wine sommelier.”
Elizabeth, who works part-time at the Stradey Park Hotel is studying an NVQ at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Pibwrlwyd campus in Carmarthen where she started her competition journey where she also completed qualifications in professional cookery and professional food and beverage skills with merit and distinction grades.
Coleg Sir Gâr was created in 1985 and became a corporate institution in 1993. In 2013 it became Coleg Sir Gar Ltd, a company within the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David Group, and part of a regional Dual Sector University. The College has an annual turnover of over £30m and employs around 800 staff.
January 2017 Update 2
Coleg Sir Gar has brand new Pottinger machinery installed at Gelli Aur campus to help agricultural engineering students study high-end technology onsite.
Using European funding, the agricultural engineering team tendered for new machinery and as a result, Tallis Amos Group in Narberth supplied a Servo 25 plough and Davies Implements Ltd supplied a Power Harrow combination seed drill to Coleg Sir Gar ‘s Gelli Aur campus.
Representatives from all organisations involved, including former students employed by Tallis Amos and Davies Implements, attended the Pottinger workshop. An insight into the extensive working knowledge of the machinery was given to both agricultural and engineering students by Barry Humphreys, territory service manager for Wales, North West and West of England and Clive Richardson, area service manager.
Geraint Evans, Coleg Sir Gâr’s Agricultural Engineering Team Leader said: “We have a close working relationship with Pottinger as well as all the local dealers. Later on this year, we will be hosting trials on a new concept of companion cropping, simultaneously drilling maize and grass seed.
“The new machinery will further enhance the excellent teaching and learning experiences of our students. We are very aware of the need to supply engineers to work in such a fast growing technological and manufacturing industry.”
January 2017 Update
A Coleg Sir Gâr student who is training in the UK Squad for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, has been shortlisted in the British Education Awards.
With a gold medal for restaurant services under her belt from last year’s national Skills Show and a string of other competition medals, Coleg Sir Gâr Student, Elizabeth Forkuoh from Llanelli is currently training to represent the UK in restaurant services and as a result of her success, has been shortlisted for an award in the vocational category.
Currently experiencing a placement at The Ritz London and with a recent offer of employment by a Michelin starred restaurant, Elizabeth’s skills are receiving nationwide recognition. She is currently studying an NVQ level three diploma in hospitality supervision and leadership at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Pibwrlwyd campus following successful completion of qualifications in professional cookery, professional food and beverage and barista skills where she received mostly merit and distinction grades.
In 2016 Elizabeth won the VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year award organised by the Welsh Government, National Training Federation for Wales and CollegesWales. She has also won competitions run by the British Culinary Federation, winning Best Front of House and the Institute of Hospitality’s Dining Experience, winning gold as part of a team of six.
Elizabeth has been supported through her competition journey by Linda Thomas, Coleg Sir Gâr lecturer and Sector Skills Champion for the Welsh Government as well as the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli where she is employed.
Coleg Sir Gâr lecturer Linda Thomas, said: “We are immensely proud of Elizabeth’s achievements and her abilities to work at such a high level of skill in the area of restaurant service.
“Elizabeth is an asset to any establishment and she’s proved that by being offered employment by every restaurant she’s trained with, including Le Gavroche, Gleneagles Hotel and The French in Manchester.
“We hope she will enjoy the very prestigious awards ceremony being held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.”
Elizabeth, who has hopes of running her own Italian restaurant will be undertaking a degree in international hotel management in 2018 following her decision to postpone university to continue competing in skills competitions.
December 2016 Update
Coleg Sir Gâr’s Mary Richards will be braving the shave for charity
Coleg Sir Gâr’s Mary Richards will be braving the shave and losing her locks on January 13, as she undergoes the clippers in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Normally more used to shearing sheep, this formidable woman will brave the barn and get sheared at 7.30pm on January 13 at her home at Llandre Farm. Coleg Sir Gâr’s Mary Richards will be braving the shave and losing her locks on January 13, as she undergoes the clippers in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Inspired by her students to brave the shave, opting for a cancer charity was a natural choice as sadly, Mary lost her mother Morina, to breast cancer when she was a child.
Later in life, her best friend underwent a mastectomy as she battled the disease with phenomenal courage and grace.
Mary is also dedicating ‘brave the shave’ to the memory of a significant number of her students who have lost mums and dads to cancer.
Mary Richards said: “I am shaving my head for those who had no choice for Macmillan Cancer Support because brave people close to me have been affected.
“We have a duty to live each day to the best of our ability and to do this in honour of the ones who have had their life’s thread cut short.”
Donations are being collected by Just Giving: justgiving.com/fundraising/Mary-Richards9
November 2016 Update
Coleg Sir Gâr’s Young Chefs Academy learn from crème de la crème
Children taking part in Coleg Sir Gâr’s Young Chefs Academy have been learning from a UK-renowned chef who earned a himself a Michelin star before reaching the age of 30.
Will Holland, head chef at Coast restaurant in Saundersfoot worked with a group of 13-15 year olds in the college’s training restaurant, Merlin’s, where they learned how to prepare and cook a muffin recipe which Will once featured on Great British Menu.
Linda Thomas, head of professional cookery and hospitality at Coleg Sir Gâr, said: “We have worked with Will on many occasions and we thought it would be nice for our younger cohort in our new chefs’ academy, to gain from the experience.”
Will Holland, head chef at Coast restaurant, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see The Seren Academy in action and spend time with these school children to help drive their passion and possible career path.
“For this session I chose to make a dish I created from my time on the Great British Menu which was something fun that they could enjoy and more importantly could take home.”
September 2016 Update
Coleg Sir Gar is attracting students from all over Europe and the UK
A summer course at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Gelli Aur campus is attracting students from all over Europe and the UK.
The Welsh farm veterinary taster course is the only course of its kind in Wales and this year it’s hosted participants from Belgium, France, England and Wales.
It’s open to 16 to 25 year-olds considering a career in veterinary medicine within the agricultural industry and co-hosted by the Royal Veterinary College.
Coleg Sir Gâr has a leading reputation for its agricultural provision and using local farms for home stays, participants are offered an extensive itinerary which explores local farms, how farm vets work in the agricultural industry, nutrition, parasites, lameness, pathology and bacteriology. They are also introduced to current students from Royal Veterinary College.
Dairy Development Centre manager John Griffiths with support from Ann Owen of Coleg Sir Gâr’s farm services, organise the annual event with Dr Neil Paton and Lesley Grifith from the Royal Veterinary College. Ann Owen said: “It’s a great opportunity for aspiring veterinary surgeons and over recent years, the course has attracted people from as far as Japan and Dubai.”
February 2016 Update
Don’t miss the Welsh Drawing Book Exhibition at Carmarthen School of Art!
The Welsh Drawing Book Exhibition and Competition, dedicated to the memory of Welsh artist Osi Rhys Osmond, is running at Oriel Henry Thomas, Carmarthen School of Art, Coleg Sir Gar, until 19th February and is not to be missed!
On exhibit are over 100 drawing books made by professional artists and art students from South Wales – including several by KSG members.
Many of these books have been generously loaned for the public to handle in order to share insight into how artists think and work. The show includes several of Osi’s own books which are captivating visual records of his everyday life, passions and travels abroad.
December 2015 Update
Coleg Sir Gar students help document community history with National Botanic Garden
Coleg Sir Gâr students have been working with the National Botanic Garden and the Llanarthne community to capture memories of a bygone era as part of the Garden’s £6.7m Heritage Lottery-funded Regency Restoration project.
As part of their Welsh Baccalaureate studies, computing and A-level photography students were invited to document the history brought in by local people to Llanarthne community centre to support the National Botanic Garden’s history archive. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, generations of farming families lived and worked on the land which is now home to some of the world’s rarest plants on the garden’s 568 acre estate and the project is reaching out to those who were involved to capture memories from the 1950s onwards.
Elliot Muldoon, a Coleg Sir Gâr computing student, originally from Alabama, was tasked to document spoken memories by interviewing local residents. “It’s great to be here and to be able to capture the past,” he said.
Local resident Mair Morgan, said: “It’s nice that people are interested in local history as it can get lost over time. It’s the kind of thing you wish you’d have asked your mam and dad but often it’s too late.”
Rebecca Davies, Coleg Sir Gâr Welsh Baccalaureate and skills quality advisor, said: “Supporting the community to capture memories of their lives in Llanarthne provided a fantastic opportunity for students allowing them to develop a wide range of skills. The experience has also supported them with their Welsh Baccalaureate study programme.”
Project manager at the Garden, Helen John said: “We’ve had an amazing response, giving us a unique insight into the lives of the local community and those who live and grew up here and developed such an affection for the place.”
June 2015 update
A land based lecturer and recently appointed assistant curriculum head in land based studies at Coleg Sir Gar has won the CollegesWales Teacher of the Year award.
The passion and enthusiasm of Mary Richards has been recognised with the CollegesWales Teacher of the Year award 2015.
Since 1997, Ms Richards has been an eager and passionate member of the land based curriculum team. Not only does she share her enthusiasm for land based studies but she also has a particular aptitude in communicating with her learners. Ms Richards injects life into every classroom, regardless of abilities or age and has a unique ability to inspire every person with her lively delivery and desire to see everyone achieve.
Practicing by example, Ms Richards is highly regarded in the farming community as an established sheep farmer. She is also a former science teacher and head of year at Ysgol Gyfun Ddwyieithog Ystalafera.
Her ‘hands on’ energetic and team playing skills have gained respect from her peers as well as her levels of enthusiasm and work ethic which she instils into her students. Ms Richards has the ability to effectively communicate with a variety of learners whether they are school pupils, college or university level students and those training directly within the industry.
Ms Richards sees education as a holistic experience for the learner and believes that there are many vital parts in their journey, from pastoral support, relevant education, industrial and international visits, practical demonstrations, underpinning knowledge and the use of innovative technology. As a result of her belief in using technology in the land based sector, she won an award and met former Prime Minister Tony Blair as a result.
Being familiar with the farming community, she is also well known for delivering teaching in the Welsh language, before any official bilingual sessions were put in place at the college. She has, as a result, played an integral part in the development of Welsh language provision at Gelli Aur campus.
Mary Richards is highly respected by learners and staff for her exceptional and natural teaching ability.