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Brackla Primary School’s research project reaches Welsh Minister for Education and Welsh Language

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A research project undertaken by Year 4 and 5 pupils from Brackla Primary School was presented to trainee teachers, university academics and the Minister for Education and Welsh Language at Swansea University. The project was part of a pilot programme, in collaboration with and instigated by the university, to teach and support pupils of all ages to carry out quantifiable research.

Focusing on the impact of learning outdoors, the project was based on an established cycle of activities that most adult researchers undertake – namely, planning what they want to find out, collecting and analysing data, sharing findings and evaluating the process. All of these steps are underpinned by a set of ethics devised by the research team.

Project lead at the school, Natalie Hunter, said: “Providing children with opportunities to explore new things and engage in research, not only nurtures their curiosity, but also fosters important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. It’s essential to recognise that children are capable of more than we might initially assume. Allowing them the chance to explore diverse topics can be incredibly enriching for their development.”

Classroom teacher, Tracey Hayter, added: “Research is an essential skill in today’s age and this project has provided the children with the opportunities to grow as a critical, independent thinkers, whilst building their confidence and ability to work both collaboratively, as well as independently. The project has been wonderful for enhancing their awareness of ethical issues too, that they may not have otherwise encountered.”

Pupils at the school are already capitalizing on their newly acquired research skills through embarking on a fresh project – ‘What it means to be creative in Brackla Primary School’.  One pupil said that these projects allow them to “connect with others, not just those in the classroom” and another added that the projects provide “the opportunity to do different types of work.”

Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “How fantastic! The project highlights how we should never underestimate the capabilities of our children.

“In the appropriate environment and given the necessary support, these learners have shown how young people have the capacity to learn advanced and complex skills.

“We can learn a lot from the pilot programme offered by Swansea University about the unlimited potential of our young people. I really hope that the children maintain their enthusiasm for learning in this way and continue to build upon their skills. Well done all!”

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