PUPILS past, present and even future at a primary school in a thriving rural Radnorshire community have made an emotional video hoping to save it from closure.
In the three-minute, 52-second video, generations of pupils who’ve attended Llanfihangel Rhydithon Community Primary School in the tiny village of Dolau are filmed initially catching and then passing on a green/turquoise-coloured school jumper. The jumper is a symbol of the school being passed down among the generations, with the heart-warming video set to the song ‘This Is Me’ by Kesha.
At the end of the video, the youngest current pupil is seen receiving the jumper as she stands in the middle of a green-shaped heart formed by fellow learners in a field.
The powerful clip really catches the spirit of a passionate community, with former pupils going about their everyday lives, whether its working on the farm, including during lambing season, doing the ironing at home or making a cup of tea.
“The video is to show the jumper being thrown down the generations, ending at the heart of the school with the youngest pupil catching it,” said Sarah Price, a spokesperson for the Dolau School Action Group, which has been set up to oppose the school’s closure.
“Also, in the video, you will see some future Dolau school pupils. We are trying to show what a strong community we are and will be no community without the school.”
The school, near Llandrindod Wells, is one of seven throughout Powys that the county council have proposed to close by the end of the 2021/22 school year. The others are Castle Caereinon Church in Wales School near Llanfair Caereinion, Churchstoke County Primary School, Llanbedr Church in Wales School near Crickhowell as well as three in Brecon – Mount Street Infants, Mount Street Juniors and Cradoc School.
Powys County Council says it is consulting to close Llanfihangel Rhydithon and the others from August 31 next year, with pupils to attend their nearest alternative schools if the proposals go ahead. Consultation started on April 14 and will end on June 2.
The Llanfihangel Rhydithon video has prompted strong response from the local community. Stephen Powell posted on Facebook: “Please take a moment and watch this short video, it’s to help support our local school that I went to.
“My children went here also and hopefully maybe one day my grandchildren may also attend. It’s a fantastic school that is the heart of our community.”
Shirley Hughes, who plays a part in the video, said: “Very proud to be part of this video, well done to everyone who put it together. Dolau School is where you make the best childhood memories and best friends for a lifetime and keeps the community together.”
Gilly Howl added: “Fabulous video, shared. Showing real community. I sincerely hope that the school remains open for the generations to follow.”
In a post promoting the video on its Facebook page, the school added: “We are so proud of our children (past and present) and of our community.
“Keep the heart beating. Share the video, share the passion. We are Dolau. We are proud.”
The action group are also hoping to raise money to put towards the campaign and fight for the immediate and long-term future of the school, and have set up a gofundme page. Since being set up two weeks ago it has generated £1,240, with a goal to get to £2,000. You can donate to the cause by visiting the page here.
Watch the uplifting video on YouTube above or check in with the latest school news by visiting the Dolau School Action Group or Llanfihangel Rhydithon Community Primary School Facebook pages.
If you’d like to save the school or find out more, you can fill in a from opposing its closure by visiting the school’s page on the council website. Alternatively, email the transforming education team at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to them at: Powys County Council, County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5LG.