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Teachers: Citizenship:

Last Updated: Tuesday March 01 2005 11:10 GMT

Challenging regional stereotypes

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Prejudice and stereotypes


Daffodils are worn on St David's Day
In his St David's Day message, First Minister Rhodri Morgan said other countries still associate Wales with sheep and coal mines, despite the 'progress' made in sports, culture and the economy since devolution.

Students look at breaking down regional stereotyping.

Learning aims
  • Learn about the regional stereotyping that occurs
  • Form and express a personal opinion about whether they agree with these views

Students write a list of images they associate with Wales.

They compare them with this list:

  • Welsh Assembly
  • Wales Millennium Centre arts venue. Students may have seen pictures of the steel and slate building in Cardiff Bay.
  • Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
  • Welsh rugby team
  • Airbus factory in north Wales; the UK's largest manufacturing complex
Ask students:
    Stereotype - a conventional perception of something
    Prejudice - an opinion formed beforehand

  • Can you give evidence for the images you wrote down. E.g. if you wrote coal mining, can you name a pit? There is only one deep coal mine left in Wales - Tower Colliery in Hirwaun, south Wales.
  • Did you write down anything that was a stereotype?
  • Did you write down any of the things in the second list?

Present the following list of adjectives used to describe people.
This is available as a printable worksheet.

Welsh national flag

Ask the class to place them in order of kindness:

  • sour-faced
  • grumpy
  • crude
  • drunken
  • not generous
  • whining
  • happy
  • loyal
  • friendly
  • trusting
Explain that some of these words have been used to describe people from different parts of the UK.

Main activity

Illustration from Simon Henry's book, A Tourist's Guide to the British

Read out this story UK split by personalities to the class and distribute copies.

Display a collection of images, like the ones provided in the blue box, and a map of the UK.

Encourage the students to try to say which part of the UK the images represent.

These are available as a printable worksheet.

  • Yorkshire
  • Devon
  • London
  • Birmingham
  • Bournemouth
  • South Queensferry, Scotland

Many of the images will be very hard to 'place' which will help develop their sense of national identity.

Extension activity

Daffodils are worn on St David's Day
How much do the students know about the different areas mentioned in the news story?

How much do they agree with these stereotypes?

How and why do stereotypes form?


Recap on what a stereotype is and how they are not founded in fact.

Turn this into an assembly

Make enlarged versions of suitable images.

Display a wall-chart of the UK.

Ask for volunteers to express opinions.

Teachers' Background

What has changed in Wales in the last six years

The new Welsh Assembly debating chamber is being constructed in Cardiff Bay. The 40 million project is due to open this autumn, and will be officially opened by the Queen on St David's Day 2006.

Unemployment in Wales has dropped from 7.7 per cent in 1999 to 4.2 per cent in 2005.

The 106 million Wales Millennium Centre arts venue opened in November 2004. The steel and slate building in Cardiff Bay houses the Welsh National Opera and six other arts bodies.

A new National Industrial and Maritime Museum is due to open in Swansea in 2005.

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff opened in 1999. The Welsh football side narrowly missed out on qualifying for Euro 2004. The rugby team has won the first three games of the 2005 Six Nations Championship.

The Airbus factory in Broughton, north Wales, is the UK's largest manufacturing complex. It has helped the growth of the aerospace industry in Wales.

Latest figures on the Welsh language show 20.5 per cent speak the language fluently, the highest number since 1961.

Wales has seen a slight rise in the number of tourists; 9.6 million in 2003, a one per cent rise on the previous year. They spent more than 1.4 billion; a 17 per cent increase on the previous year.

There were 9.8 million sheep in Wales in 2003, down from 11.1 million in 1993. This is still more than the 2.9 million people.

There is only one deep coal mine left in Wales; Tower Colliery in Hirwaun, south Wales.

For hundreds more news-based lessons, click on Teachers on the left hand side.