As part of the Schools centenary celebrations in 2010 a book was published, this included the memories written by many of the schools teachers. Over the following weeks we will be adding excerpts from these to the website.
It is a great honour and a very humbling experience to be the Headteacher of Ysgol Rhys Prichard during this year, our Centenary. It is a time to reflect on the rich history of education in Llandovery and to glory in the great characters in whose footprints we follow. Through the detailed research that has happened over the year, it becomes clear that the close relationship between pupils, parents and staff is a theme that occurs continually throughout our history and is something to be truly proud of.
My teaching career started at Llandovery Primary School when I worked as a supply teacher during the spring and summer terms, 1979. I was very fortunate to come under the wing of Mr David Howells, Headmaster, who had time for everyone and would keep us royally entertained with stories about fishing and the countryside. His words that he repeated often to me have stayed close to my teaching heart throughout my career….. ‘Jones Bach! Make sure that the children do enough reading, writing and sums……….and then enjoy!’
After 4 years of working as a supply teacher and then being employed as a teacher at Llanwrda Primary for a year, I was fortunate enough to be accepted at this school as a teacher with responsibility for ‘Aesthetic Subjects and PE.’ On the retirement of Mrs Enid Gealy, I was lucky enough to be appointed to the post of Deputy Headteacher, under the leadership of Mr John Davies. When John unfortunately had to take early retirement through ill health, it was my honour to be appointed as Headteacher in January 2005.
Many happenings come to mind when thinking about this unique place, some of a humorous nature, like sitting on top of a garage roof trying to entice a rather reluctant pupil back to the school or fishing Mr Howells’ pipe out of a boy’s bowl of ‘cawl’ when it shot out of his hands whilst trying to clean it . At the other end of the spectrum, the impact of the National Curriculum, the testing of children at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 and the Foundation Stage in latter years meant a huge change to the way pupils were educated and were challenging to all members of staff involved. Thankfully, sense has prevailed with some of these changes condemned to history leaving us with a more manageable skills based curriculum.
We hear often about school league tables in England. We were quite fortunate to be at the top of a particular table within Carmarthenshire schools a few years ago. This one was for the number of Portakabins at a school. As part of the modernising education scheme, this was one criteria taken into account in providing new school buildings. The wonderful new extension born from this, now housing our infant department in a purpose built environment, was opened for use in January 2004 at a cost of £836,000, catapulting the facilities at the school into the 21st Century. Refurbishment work carried out during 2009 has sympathetically restored the look of the old part of the school which now blends in perfectly with the new and ready to accept the challenge of another century of education.
There can be no more fitting a way to celebrate the century now gone than having a visit from her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, a close neighbour of ours at Llwynwormwood, Myddfai. We are truly grateful for this honour.
In ending, I would like to thank sincerely all who have worked so tirelessly in making the Centenary celebrations truly unforgettable and a fitting end to one century and a springboard for the next.
Diolch o galon i bawb sydd wedi helpu i wneud yr Ysgol yma’n le unigryw, hapus, sy’n cynnig y profiadau gorau i blant ar bob achlysur.