Record Number of Welsh Schools Win Prizes for Their Heritage Projects

Cover of the Full Summary Report 2023 | Photo: Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative
Cover of the Full Summary Report 2023 | Photo: Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative

Over six thousand pupils from across Wales took part in this year’s Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative (WSHI) competition. Sixty-seven schools have been awarded one of the Initiative’s prestigious awards for their creative and varied research, sharing over £32,000 in prize money. This is the highest number of winning schools in the competition's 31-year history.

WHSI Chair, Angharad Williams, said: “With a record number of schools competing this year, it’s clear that the requirement of the new curriculum ensures that our competition is as relevant and appealing as ever. It is encouraging to see such passion and pride in our young people as they discuss and share the results of their research.”

Most of the winners were presented with their prizes on Thursday 6 July at an awards ceremony at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, whilst others received their awards at the National Slate Museum, Llanberis a week later.

For the first time after the COVID pandemic the juries were able to visit the schools in person and directly assess the projects. While this was standard procedure before 2019, the spread of COVID-19 forced the organisers to change the jury process and allowed only digital presentations.

The main WSHI EUSTORY prize, which recognises outstanding work by individual students in Years 12 and 13, was awarded to Mirain Francis from Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr who researched the effects of migration on the number of Welsh speakers. The other 2023 WHSI EUSTORY prize winners are Alice Jewell, Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr; Gabriel Quershi, Ysgol Bro Edern; and Lily Langabeer, Gower College. The four have now qualified to apply to attend the annual EUSTORY Next Generation Summit with other young Europeans.

This year’s winner in the Foundation Phase category were Maerdy Community Primary School, Rhondda Cynon Taf, for their inspiring project, "Made and Moulded in Maerdy", which focused on the area’s history and famous figures.

The top entries in the primary whole-school category were of an exceptionally high standard, with the shield going to Baglan Primary School, Neath Port Talbot, for their community-based research “From the Caribbean to Cymru”, linking their local history with the Windrush Generation.

Ysgol St. Christopher’s School, Wrexham, won the 2023 Special Education and Alternative Provision shield for their engaging whole school’s project which focused on the influence of Wrexham AFC on the town and the school community.

The 2023 Secondary School category shield winners were Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire, for their in-depth research project on their locality, “Our Cynefin”.

Other awards presented this year included the Digital Excellence Award, the Gwen Griffths Prize for the best projects on green issues, the William Menelaus Prize for best project on industrial heritage, the Richard Price Memorial Prize, and the Award for the study of women in Welsh history.

​The awards presented celebrate the excellent work and achievements of pupils of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. They also highlight the importance of developing cross-curricular skills whilst studying the history and culture of Wales.

To read more about each awarded project check out the Full Summary Report 2023 of WSHI.

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