By Bethan Marsh and Emma Proux
On Wednesday 6th November, pupils from primary and secondary schools across Wales united in the country’s capital to share their journeys to becoming a Peace School, with the theme ‘Building Peace in Wales and the World’.
The Wales Peace Schools Scheme enables schools to develop peace as a cross-curricular theme and whole-school approach, generating exciting learning opportunities and initiatives.
During the morning session, pupils were treated to a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the Senedd building, before sharing their experiences of how the scheme has impacted positively on their learning and experiences. See photos from the day here.
Pupils were then given the opportunity to grill a panel of AMs (Assembly Members) including John Griffiths AM, Mark Isherwood AM, and Delyth Jewell AM, on contemporary issues such as climate change, inclusive communities and refugees. The event was sponsored and supported by the Office of the Presiding Officer, Elin Jones AM.
Kirsty Williams AM and Cabinet Secretary for Education, met with pupils and learnt more about the ideas behind their Peace School exhibitions. She said:
“Children are born learners and we want to make sure this thirst for knowledge continues throughout their lives. Events like these gives me great hope. It shows how important education is and what it can do. I want to see all the themes discussed today mentioned in our classrooms.”
The conference ended with members of Ysgol Bro Myrddin’s Peace Committee, presenting their journey towards achieving level 1 Peace School status.
One members of the committee, said: “Peace is more than what we hear in our history lessons. On World Peace day 2019, we raised the banner in Carmarthen and stood as a young person with millions of other young people worldwide in the name of peace. Peace is always the answer.”
The scheme is funded through the generous support of the Sallie Davies Memorial Fund, and we would like to thank the fund for their contributions. WCIA would also like to thank Sallie Slade from the family, for presenting the 2019 Peace Schools Award.
Jane Harries, Peace Education Coordinator for the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), who organised the event said:
“It was fantastic to see the young people participate and great to see what they have achieved in their journey to becoming a Peace School.”
Susie Ventris-Field, CEO of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), said:
“As Wales embarks on the new curriculum and its first international strategy, this is a vital time for young people to have the possibility to discuss and ask questions to Wales’ leaders, about the issues that matter to them relating to peace.”