In a report in 2013, the Welsh Government suggested that raising the status of Physical Education (PE) to become a core subject, similar to Welsh and Mathematics, is an essential element in tackling the current obesity epidemic. However, PE lessons must be of a high quality in order to have a positive effect on pupils. PE teachers play a crucial role in delivering high-quality PE lessons; therefore, gaining an understanding of their perceptions about high-quality PE is essential. Interviews were held with ten PE teachers (seven males and three females) from Welsh-medium schools across south Wales. Similarities between the theory and teachers’ perceptions were evident, for example the importance of creating a positive learning environment. However, there were differences between the theory and practice, including lack of clarity about the term physical literacy. One implication of the study is the need to consult with PE teachers to design policies for high-quality PE. In the future, action research should be undertaken to promote the term physical literacy.
Physical Education teachers’ perceptions of high-quality Physical Education...
Physical Education teachers’ perceptions of high-quality Physical Education in Welsh-medium schools across sou...
The psychological foundations of reading fluency: a review
Forty years of research into reading has elucidated many of the psychological processes underpinning the reading process, but until recently, the cognitive underpinnings of fluency have been relatively unknown. In this review, a description is provided of reading fluency as a cognitive and neurobiological phenomenon, including the research that has gone into understanding this process. My own and my colleagues’ work has focused heavily on this area, and I outline our main findings to date. I end by outlining the implications of this work for our understanding of reading fluency in normally developed and dyslexic adults.
“Daring to live": Work-life balance in the letters of George Sand and Gusta...
“Daring to live": Work-life balance in the letters of George Sand and Gustave Flaubert, Kate Roberts and Saund...
This article compares the renowned letters of Kate Roberts and Saunders Lewis with the correspondence of two leading nineteenth-century French authors, Gustave Flaubert and George Sand, considering the value and purpose of letters between authors. In addition to widening our understanding of Roberts and Lewis’s works, the article also places the Sand-Flaubert correspondence in a new context, and considers the development of authorial correspondence over the decades. It draws original conclusions by revealing that literary letters continue to play a key role for writers in the twentieth century: offering encouragement and advice, a means of escape from current circumstances, and an important tool in the struggle against the emptiness of modern society.
‘What if this is Armageddon?’: Religion and the Welsh Press in the First Wo...
‘What if this is Armageddon?’: Religion and the Welsh Press in the First World War
This paper analyses the Welsh periodical press during the First World War, with an emphasis on the way an important aspect of the Welsh war culture was constructed. As an integral part of civil society, the press represented a powerful platform from where audiences could be influenced, as contributors of prominent social standing presented, interpreted, and framed the war in particular ways and in accordance with personal beliefs and cultural traditions. This paper argues that a powerful religious discourse was constructed by commentators in the Welsh press with regards to the meaning and purpose of the war, with thoughtful consideration given to prophecy, salvation, and the coming of a new age where Christianity would play a central role.
(D.J. and I)
‘D.J. a fi’ draws on aspects of the work of Welsh author D.J. Williams and examines their potential to inspire the creation and inform the analysis of contemporary site-specific performance. Williams’s memoir, The Old Farmhouse, provides unique insights into the landscape of childhood, the located nature of memory, the dramaturgy of storytelling and the role of the teller. The author employs these insights to develop and suggest a number of practical and theoretical approaches to the use of biography, family history, domestic architecture and local knowledge in devised performance.
Referring extensively to his own work, ‘Bubbling Tom’ (2000), a peripatetic solo performance staged in the village of his own upbringing in rural Lincolnshire: a guided tour of the places he knew at the age of seven – he discusses the importance of Williams’s work in inspiring dramatic forms that seek to reveal the grain of experience by addressing the intimate and familiar, the details of everyday life and its fabric.
Welsh in the Foundation Phase
The Foundation Phase (FP) is a statutory curriculum in each state school in Wales since 2008. The curriculum follows a developmentally appropriate pedagogy, and encourages children to engage by learning through experiences. The paper that follows is taken from a wider evaluation of the FP, commissioned by Welsh Government in 2012 and considers one of the seven areas of learning; Welsh language development. Results indicated no significant difference between how the Foundation Phase was implemented in Welsh and English medium schools. But, Welsh language development usually took place in whole-class morning activities (e.g. circle time) which doesn’t pair with the Welsh Government’s vision of intertwining the language in every aspect of the FP. The paper considers how schools and settings go about developing bilingual individuals, according to Welsh Government policy aspirations.
Choice and the citizen? Health decisions and their implications for develop...
Choice and the citizen? Health decisions and their implications for developing a Welsh citizenship
Health services offer a privileged space to define the proper relationship of the citizen and the modern state. Individuals have been expected to make choices in health care in Wales and England since the 1980s. A new vaccine against some types of cervical cancer was recently introduced for girls. Parents are expected to consent on behalf of their daughters. This paper reports the results of the largest qualitative study in this area world-wide. It depicts attitudes to health care choice and discusses parents’ experiences of consenting or not. Parents’ decisional strategies in the face of uncertainty are analysed. Consequences of the study relate to the individuals’ relationship with the Welsh National Health Service (NHS) and to developing a concept of Welsh citizenship.
Woyzeck Büchner, Peter Szondi and the crisis of drama
In this article Myfanwy Miles Jones analyses Büchner’s portrayal of the central character’s developing psychosis in the light of R. D. Laing’s existential psychiatric theory. Observing the progressive nature of Büchner’s dramatisation of the depth and coplexity of the human mind in turn reveals the formal limitations of drama in the Nineteenth Century. Setting Woyczeck in the context of Szondi’s formal analysis of modern drama, the article argues that Büchner’s treatment of madness casts new light on the formal development of modernist drama and argues that the fact that the play is unfinished is an inevitable consequence of the project itself, given that the formal resolution of the dramatic situation required the existence of conditions which had not at that time come into being.
The legacy of coal mining in the south Wales coalfield: water contamination...
The legacy of coal mining in the south Wales coalfield: water contamination and remedial options
Historic coal mining and the associated processes have had a detrimental effect on the natural environment in the south Wales coalfield as contaminated mine drainage from abandoned mines discharges into the local hydrological system. The legacy of coal mining includes the discharge of contaminated mine drainage from several abandoned mines and the formation of insoluble iron minerals. This article discusses the underground processes that lead to the formation of contaminated water and iron minerals. Four abandoned coal mines located in the western part of the coal field and the remediation systems operational at these sites were investigated. Contaminated mine waters at these sites are being remediated through the removal of iron so that the final concentrations are in line with those recommended by the Water Framework Directive.
'The Light shall Return': Music and dementia in Wales
This article focuses on the effects of music on sufferers of dementia as a means of communicating through familiar songs within a Welsh context. The fieldwork is based on the author’s experience singing to the accompaniment of the Celtic harp at an assessment unit for dementia and at resident homes for the elderly on the Llŷn Peninsula during the Summer of 2010 and presents insights gained from observing patients recalling familiar songs when conversation was difficult. On this basis, the article examines the way in which music can assist patients who suffer from this condition, describing and analysing the results.
Faith’s reaction to modern science
A version of this article appeared originally in The SCM Core Text on World Christianity in the 20th Century, co-authored with Dr Martin Conway (London: SCM Press 2008). Having set the debate between Science and Christianity in its historical context, it explores a range of contemporary scientific questions such as Quantum Theory and Relativity, Cosmology, The discovery of DNA, Genetic Manipulation and Advances in Medical Treatment. The final section examines Roman Catholic responses, Evangelical and fundamentalist approaches and ecumenical responses to some of these key issues. The article concludes by affirming that an engagement between Christian theology and contemporary developments in science is essential if the contemporary articulation of faith is to have meaning and coherence.
The role of stem cells in cardiac tissue regeneration: evaluating treatment...
The role of stem cells in cardiac tissue regeneration: evaluating treatments and identifying risk
This article evaluates the potential of a range of stem cells in cardiac tissue regeneration following a heart attack. Following an initial review of relevant research, some of the main biological mechanisms involved in cardiac tissue regeneration are presented, including:
- the role of transcription factors, such as oxytocin and c-kit and paracrine transcription factors;
- studies on zebra fish that display mechanisms such as the regnerative role of cardionogen 1, 2- and 3- in reversing the effect of induced cardiac phenotypes that normally regulate heart development;
- delivery and engraftment mechanisms, including viral and plasmid vectors, electrical stimulation and nantoechnology.
The results of in vitro and in vivo experiments are reported that have shown the clinical potential of stem cells as well as their immunological and tumorgenic risks. At the time of writing (2012), while the clinical evidence is limited, complex therapeutic models are proposed for future development in the field.