A SOUTH Wales school will offer Year Six pupils additional cooking, reading, music, drama and sports classes as part of a trial of a longer school day in Wales.

Cadoxton Primary School in Barry will be one of 14 schools across Wales to take part in the scheme which will extend the school day by five hours a week.

The trial will start in the new year and will run for up to 10 weeks at schools in Blaenau Gwent, Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Neath Port Talbot and Cardiff.


Headteachers will be given the final decision on what changes will be implemented in their school, with local needs taken into consideration, and they will also determine how extra sessions are spread out throughout the week.

Rhian Milton, head of Cadoxton Primary School, said they would use the trial to benefit those who the school feels have lost out most during the pandemic.

“We are going to use the funding to target our Year Six children,” she said. “We have 60 Year Six children.

“We feel that they have been most disadvantaged by the pandemic and this will be making sure they have the best opportunities to them ahead of their transition to secondary school.

“It will be an hour after school for four days – Monday to Thursday – and on Friday they will come in between 8am and 9am. They will have a menu of choice to do different things.”

These new options include a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ club; dance and drama; DJ and band skills; sports; and a book club on Friday mornings – complete with a cooked breakfast.

“It’s about their social skills and being in school with their friends, but we are also seeing the value of interweaving literacy and numeracy skills within this,” said Ms Milton.

Laura Doel, director of school leaders’ union NAHT, raised concerns over how the extra provision would be staffed, with schools “clearly suffering from a staff absence crisis” – and called for the trial to be postponed.

However, Ms Milton said that the trial funding would allow the extra activities to be run by external providers.