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first welsh primary schoolDid you know…..

The first ever Welsh language primary school was set up in Aberystwyth.

Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth was opened by Sir Ifan ap Owen Edwards and amazingly it took until 1939 for a Welsh language primary school to be set up in Wales. The school still operates to this day.

The 19th century was a time of huge social change within Wales, and the rights of the Welsh were fought for fiercely on a national scale.

Even in the late 19th century virtually all lessons in schools across Wales were taught in English, whether the pupils understood it or not! In fact, many schools singled out pupils who were caught speaking Welsh by forcing them to wear a piece of wood around their neck known as the Welsh Not. Any pupil wearing the Welsh Not was also given a beating by a member of school staff.

One of the pioneers of Welsh language education was the founder of Aberystwyth University Sir Hugh Owen, who is credited with the creation of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889, which saw a number of new schools being built in Wales, where the medium of Welsh was used in some lessons.

Fittingly the first school to be built following the act was named Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen, although the school is located in Caernarfon in Gwynedd.

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