The Welsh Fire and Rescue Services’ in partnership with the WJEC and The College Merthyr Tydfil have launched a joint Welsh Baccalaureate program - 'Welsh Baccalaureate Challenges project'.
The three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services have been delivering an education program to schools for a number of years while the WJEC have been running the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification within schools for a similar period of time. As such, a proposal was made and subsequently developed for the Welsh Fire and Rescue Services and the WJEC to work jointly on an education project to be delivered in schools across Wales – the resulting project is the joint Welsh Baccalaureate program.
Chief Fire Officer of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Huw Jakeway explains; “On behalf of the three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services’ I would like to take this opportunity to say I am extremely pleased and proud to be working in partnership with the WJEC and The College Merthyr Tydfil on this new and exciting approach to delivering education and community safety within our schools across Wales.
“Over the last year a great deal of enthusiasm and commitment from personnel from the three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services, the WJEC and The College Merthyr Tydfil has gone in to achieving the aim of getting the Welsh FRS fully involved in the Welsh Baccalaureate program and I would like to thank you all for your continued hard work towards the project. Peer teaching and learning is something we believe may open new doors for us and spread Community Safety messages to a wider audience while making best use of our resources.”
Leading on the project for the three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services, Station Manager, John Jenkins said; “After a year of development by personnel at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, personnel at the WJEC and Dawn Price at The College Merthyr Tydfil, the Welsh Fire and Rescue Services have in partnership with WJEC and schools and colleges in Wales developed four exciting and meaningful challenges that Welsh Baccalaureate students can now take up from September 2015.”
“Peer learning and teaching is an exciting new concept for the Welsh FRS to be involved in. We are always looking for new and innovative ways of sharing our Community Safety messages and I believe that by getting pupils to develop projects and spread our Community Safety messages to fellow pupils as well as other groups within their communities is an ideal opportunity to reach people we haven’t been able to reach previously.”
Mick Crennell, Deputy Chief Fire Officer from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales to further strengthen their role in engaging and working with schoolchildren. This project provides new and exciting opportunities for embedding our community safety messages within the School curriculum. I look forward very much to our Service being able to support this initiative for pupils across Wales.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dawn Docx from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “This project is an excellent example of how the three Welsh fire and rescue services working together can help enhance our engagement with young people throughout Wales.
“We already engage with a wide variety of groups of young people through a wealth of different initiatives and this adds to this and helps us to engage with individuals in education who may otherwise be overlooked. It represents an exciting new step in peer learning and teaching for the three fire and rescue services – and one which we are proud to be a part of.”
Leading on the project for The College Merthyr Tydfil, Head of Welsh Baccalaureate, Dawn Price commented; “The college believes that this an exciting opportunity for the Fire Service to get truly involved in educational awards for students, directly contributing to their educational experience and providing first-hand experience and advice on community safety. Over the last two years we have worked very closely with Tony Jackson from Merthyr Fire Service on a range of projects, including charity and community work and this seems to be a natural next progression. We are very proud that this project has been taken up on a national level."
"The Welsh Baccalaureate is central to the future of education in Wales and will offer a unique and valuable experience for learners. We are very pleased to be able to announce that the Fire and Rescue Service Wales is the first organization to launch their Challenges linked to the new qualification. We look forward to working collaboratively with many other organizations, charities and businesses to develop additional Challenge Briefs for the new Welsh Baccalaureate." Caroline Morgan, Welsh Baccalaureate Framework Manager, WJEC
From September 2015 the revised and more rigorous Welsh Baccalaureate programme is based on a Skills Challenge Certificate, which will be graded with supporting qualifications.
The primary aim of the programme is to enable learners to develop and demonstrate an understanding of and proficiency in essential and employability skills namely communication, numeracy, digital literacy, planning and organisation, creativity and Innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, and personal effectiveness. The emphasis is on applied and purposeful learning and assessment in a range of real life context through three challenge briefs and an individual project.
These challenges will be run at 4 levels being:
1. National Foundation – Key stage 4
2. Foundation – Post 16
3. National – Post 16
4. Advanced – Post 16
The Welsh Fire and Rescue Services have produced challenges for all 4 qualifications being:
1. Helping to Reduce Deliberate Fires
2. Helping to keep your Community Safe
3. Helping to Reduce Accidental Fires in the Home
4. Road Safety
Welsh Fire and Rescue Services program aims:
The Welsh Baccalaureate project compliments the Welsh FRS mission of ‘Working Together for a Safer Wales’. By working in partnership with WJEC and schools and their pupils it enables the Welsh FRS to reach more people with our safety messages.
How will it work?
- The four challenges will be available to students at both schools and colleges from September 2015.
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