A new term in a new school starts Wednesday evening, 20 January on S4C in the award-winning drama series Gwaith/Cartref. Discipline at the school is out of control and the new Head Teacher is determined to shake up the school’s stagnant routine and introduce some serious changes.
Notorious valleys comprehensive Porth y Glo has been put under special measures and its new head teacher faces a huge challenge.
While some members of staff think Dr Murphy is a breath of fresh air in this school at the heart of the South Wales valleys, others are stubborn and unwilling to change their ways.
Long standing teachers Llywela and Eurig, played by Sue Roderick and Ieuan Rees, feel more disgruntled than ever and aren’t ready to listen to the new Head’s fresh ideas.
“Llywela is very old fashioned in her style of teaching and is set on sticking to the rules,” says Sue Roderick, who’s originally from Porthmadog but now lives in Cardiff. “She isn’t fond of people trying to challenge her way of doing things and she definitely likes to have her own way. The students in the school tend to listen to her and have a hidden respect for her, probably because they are scared of her and her ruler!
“It was so much fun playing her, especially later on in the series when we learn more about her personal life and some secrets are revealed. Life has been tough for Llywela; maybe that’s why she can be so defensive,” says Sue, who has starred in a bewildering variety of roles in drama series, soap operas and films including Pobol y Cwm, Coronation Street and the Oscar-nominated film Hedd Wyn.
“I haven’t played a character like this before and I definitely have a new found respect for teachers and some of the challenges they face. For one thing, they have all these rules to abide by and I’m not one to stick to the rules!”
It’s also a first day for a familiar face but who is this mystery character? What hope does he or she have of success in a school on its last legs?
The cast also includes Jâms Thomas, Shelley Rees, Lisa Jen Brown, Lowri Palfrey, Aled Bidder and Bradley Freegard.
Welsh learners can read more about Gwaith/Cartref on the Dal Ati app. It will include vocabulary, information about the characters and stories from the series.