Dylan Thomas School pupils reach out to the local community
PUPILS from a Swansea school are leaving the classroom behind to help their local community — and you are being invited to along to meet them.
Around 90 youngsters from Dylan Thomas Community School are spending two weeks at the Phoenix Centre in Townhill, helping to spruce up the venue, organising sports tournaments for local children, putting on exhibitions and talks and making refreshments for visitors and staff.
And the pupils are sending an open invitation to members of the community — "come along and meet us, and find out what we do".
All the students involved in the project are working towards the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification at the school.
One of those swapping the classroom for the community centre is Curtis Mills.
He said: "As pupils of Dylan Thomas, we really want to show the community what we can do, and how much we want to support our community.
"We are looking forward to our time at the Phoenix Centre.
"Sometimes people have a different view of young people which we want to challenge — we would really like it if you could take 10 minutes from your day and come along to the centre to meet us and find out more about us."
The Welsh Bacc, as it is known, is a qualification that in addition to the normal academic courses such as English, maths and science, also requires pupils to learn about subjects like Wales and it position in the world, and personal and social issues. The pupils also have to carry out work placements and a community initiative.
The Phoenix Centre project has been organised by former South Wales Police chief superintendent Mark Mathias. After retiring from the force in January he became a Welsh Bacc mentor at Dylan Thomas.
Over the coming days the students will be carrying out a range of work at the Phoenix from painting lines in the car park to repairing fences.
They will also be organising five-a-side football and netball matches for primary schools in the area, holding a series of talks about Dylan Thomas school, and making those all-important cups of tea and sandwiches for centre staff and for visitors who pop in for a chat.
The students will be at the centre today, Wednesday and Thursday this week, from 10am to noon.
They will be returning to the centre again next week, from Tuesday to Thursday, again from 10am to noon.
Dylan Thomas head teacher Rob Philips said the Phoenix Centre project was a great example of the school being at the heart of the community.
He said: "This initiative is part of the students' community participation programme.
"The students have been involved in designing this project and are now delivering it — and benefiting from learning lots of valuable life skills along the way.
"The community also benefits from having the work done at the centre.
"The students are the best advertisement for the school — and this project will give people an insight into what we do here at Dylan Thomas school."