Welsh teachers help students to develop communication skills and express themselves imaginatively. They enable students to analyse and respond to spoken and written language, understanding its impact and purpose.
Welsh teachers develop students' ability to examine a wide range of texts, including novels, poetry, drama, adverts, websites and newspaper articles.
Secondary school Welsh Teachers help students develop the skills to communicate confidently and effectively. You aim to equip students with the ability to express themselves, using appropriate language (so, standard Welsh in an interview, rather than slang). Welsh Teachers develop students' ability to analyse and respond to a wide range of texts, understanding their purpose and how an author's language achieves its impact on the reader.
You teach both Welsh language and literature. Welsh language involves reading and analysing texts including fiction such as novels, poetry and drama. Students also study non-fiction texts, especially things that they'd encounter in everyday life, such as adverts, newspaper articles, film reviews and travel websites.
Teachers encourage students to respond to texts using creative writing, group work, debates and drama activities. Welsh language also involves speaking and listening activities, and studying and responding to spoken language such as a Politician's speech.
Welsh literature is the study of prose texts, poetry and drama. This includes texts from our literary heritage, as well as modern works and, as with Welsh language, a variety of different cultural voices.
Welsh Teachers use a mixture of activities and resources to stimulate interest, learning and imagination. These also help to develop skills and meet the needs of students with differing learning styles. For example, Welsh Teachers use audio-visual materials, interactive whiteboards and online learning games.
Teachers might also arrange and lead theatre trips, and other visits to places of interest.
Depending on the text they're using, Welsh Teachers might work closely with Teachers of other subjects.
For example, you might work with a History Teacher to gain a better understanding of Medieval Wales when you're teaching the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym or the tales of the Mabinogi.
Other activities include:
- preparing and planning lessons
- marking work and giving feedback
- preparing pupils for exams
- going to staff meetings and parents' evenings
- setting and enforcing standards of behaviour
Some Welsh Teachers are also Form Tutors, involving duties such as taking a register, providing general information and giving guidance.
Welsh Teachers might supervise the work of one or more Teaching Assistants.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Welsh Teacher, you'll need:
- the ability to encourage, motivate and inspire your students
- communication skills
- tact and patience
- the ability to maintain discipline and deal with challenging behaviour
- organisational and planning skills
Pay and Opportunities
Teachers in the state education sector are paid on a scale according to their qualifications, experience and responsibilities.
The pay rates (per year) given below are approximate:
- Unqualified teachers are typically paid in the range of £17,000 to £27,000 a year
- Qualified teachers are typically paid in the range of £23,000 to £29,500 a year
- With experience this can rise to £36,500 to £48,000 a year
Teachers with management responsibility can receive a higher salary than this.
Hours of work
Teachers normally work from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm or 4 pm, Monday to Friday. However, most Teachers work extra hours - marking work, preparing lessons and going to meetings. You often have to work in the evenings and at weekends to prepare lessons and mark work.
Where could I work?
Employers are state and private schools.
There are also opportunities to teach in other countries.
Some Teachers supplement their income by teaching privately, marking national exams or writing textbooks.
In Wales there is high demand for Welsh-medium education.
You could get financial support through a Welsh-medium incentive scheme. Check with your course provider.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised by local authorities and in the local and national press, including The Guardian and The Times Educational Supplement (TES). There are also job boards, such as eTeach.
Entry Routes and Training
To become a secondary school Welsh Teacher, you usually need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through initial teacher training (ITT). There are several routes.
In Wales, there will be new professional standards for students starting their ITE programme from September 2019. For more information on Teaching in Wales www.discoverteaching.wales/routes-into-teaching
There are a small number of degree courses in secondary Welsh education, leading to QTS.
Most people follow their degree with a PGCE. Some courses include specialist areas such as drama, media studies or special educational needs. Courses are one-year full-time. You need to apply through UCAS Teacher training.
There are incentives of up to £20,000 for graduates with certain degrees who want to train to be a Teacher in Wales.
There is also the employment-based school direct scheme: you'll train while working in a school. The expectation is that you'd go on to work in the school or group of schools where you trained, although there's no guarantee of employment at the end of your training.
In Wales, you can train whilst employed at a maintained school through the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) but places are limited and subject to local recruitment needs.
Also in Wales, all candidates for teacher training need to have Grade B in English Language and Maths. Students training to teach through the medium of Welsh will also need a GCSE grade C or above in Welsh (first language).
Teach First is a charity that recruits and supports graduates to teach in schools in low-income communities in a number of UK regions. The programme takes two years to complete and leads to QTS.
To achieve QTS, student Teachers need to pass tests in Welsh (first language), English and maths.
Once employed, newly qualified teachers (NQTs) must complete a three-term induction period, usually within a single school year.
Previous experience working with children or young adults would be useful. This could include community centres or child care positions.
There are opportunities for Welsh Teachers to move into teacher training, advisory work, educational research or schools inspection.
Teachers can become heads of department, heads of year, or co-ordinators of special educational needs or careers guidance.
Rehabilitation of Offenders
This career is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to. This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to
In Wales, all candidates for teacher training need GCSEs (or recognised equivalent qualifications) at grade B/7 or above in Welsh (first language) and mathematics.
If you don't have the GCSEs that are usually needed, you might be able to sit a pre-entry equivalency test; you should contact individual course providers to discuss your situation before making your application.
For entry to a PGCE, you'll usually need a degree in Welsh or a subject that included at least 50% Welsh content. Some universities accept students with degrees in closely-related subjects such as drama, performance arts, media and film.
For entry to a degree in Welsh, the usual requirements are:
- 2/3 A levels, including Welsh language or Welsh literature
- 5 GCSEs at grades A*- C (9 - 4)
Alternatives to A levels include:
- BTEC level 3 qualifications
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma
However, course requirements vary, so please check prospectuses carefully.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
If you don't have the qualifications you need to enter a degree course, you might be able to start one after completing a college or university Access course, such as Access to Welsh. You don't usually need any qualifications to start an Access course, although you should check this with the course provider.
Some PGCE courses are available on a flexible learning basis. For example, you might be able to train by distance learning in combination with classroom-based teaching practice and campus study.
Instead of going to university to do a PGCE, graduates can follow an employment-based route. This is where you train in a school. Employment-based routes include School Direct, school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) and the scheme offered by Teach First. For more information, please see 'Entry Routes and Training'.
For funding information, take a look www.studentfinancewales.co.uk
UCAS Teacher Training
Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
Information on Higher Education courses and scholarships through the medium of Welsh
Welsh Government Education and Skills Department
Teacher Training & Education in Wales