Western Learning Federation is exemplar of best practice by Estyn


The Western Learning Federation in Ely has had an impressive six areas of effective practice published by Estyn.

Following a visit in November last year, Wales's Education Inspectorate invited all three of the federated schools; Riverbank, Ty Gwyn and Woodlands to prepare case studies on some of the positive work taking place, so that other educational settings can learn from them.


Riverbank Special School were praised for its efforts in relation to the work of the family liaison officer, particularly on the way parents and carers are supported around addressing the poverty agenda and the school's use of outdoor learning to meet the needs of pupils with complex and sensory needs.


Inspectors acknowledged Ty Gwyn for the school's support for families, including those who have English as an additional language, and its work within the curriculum to support pupils with complex needs to attend appointments for their personal care.


Finally, Woodlands High School were commended for the way the school supports pupils' attitudes to learning and the sharing of curriculum and learning experiences and developing a culture that supports staff well-being.


Reflecting on the positive news, headteacher of the Western Learning Federation, Wayne Murphy said: "The Estyn Case Studies recently published, have really evidenced all the hard work that is being undertaken by pupils, parents and carers, staff, governors and all partners to drive the Western Learning Federation forward. 


"I am incredible proud of everyone for all their hard work. The benefits of working collaboratively and drawing on expertise across the three schools Riverbank, Ty Gwyn and Woodlands is having a positive impact on improving the quality of life of all involved within the Federation."

Bianca Rees Chair of Governors, added: "It is so great to see that the dedication and collaborative working has been recognised in such a way. The fact that we have had six case studies selected from across the federation shows how well the vision and values of Western Learning Federation are imbedded throughout all 3 schools. The question at the heart of everything is always 'what is the impact for the child?'

"I am immensely proud of Riverbank, Ty Gwyn and Woodlands and the hard work that is done by all of the stakeholders involved but particularly to all the staff who are our most valuable resource. It is a very exciting time, the work that is being done here has a positive effect on all children with additional needs across Cardiff and beyond. I look forward to continuing this work with Western Learning Federation to continue to make the lives and learning better for our most vulnerable pupils."


Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "There is some fantastic work taking place at the Western Learning Federation, a result of close collaborate working across all three schools which benefits both pupils and staff and helps to develop and improve leadership capacity, whilst maintaining the individual identity of Riverbank, Ty Gwyn and Woodlands.


"I am delighted that this positive work has been recognised by Estyn. To have one case study of best practice published is superb but to have six is outstanding and this is owing to the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by the staff, governors, and the wider school community."


The best practice case studies have now been published on the Estyn website. You can view them here:


Riverbank Special School:

Supporting families through the cost of living crisis-


The schools use of outdoor learning to meet the complex and sensory needs of pupils -


Ty Gwyn Special School:

Support for families -


Drama and Health Intervention Project-


Woodlands High School:

Supporting pupils' attitudes to learning and the sharing of curriculum and learning experiences through dissemination events -


Developing a culture that supports staff well-being -