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New Curriculum for Wales 2022

Why is the school curriculum being changed?

The main basis for the current curriculum dates from 1988. Technological developments have led to major changes in society and that means young people need different skills.

Over 30 years, extra elements were bolted on to the curriculum so some argue it has become too unwieldy.

The new curriculum aims to set out a more coherent and relevant blueprint of what pupils should be getting out of their time at school.

The reforms also came out of concerns about standards and poor results in international Pisa tests and ministers will hope it will pay dividends in better results too.

What’s Changing

The new curriculum will have more emphasis on equipping young people for life. It will build their ability to learn new skills and apply their subject knowledge more positively and creatively. As the world changes, they will be more able to adapt positively.

They will also get a deep understanding of how to thrive in an increasingly digital world. A new digital competence framework is now introducing digital skills across the curriculum, preparing them for the opportunities and risks that an online world presents.

Meanwhile teachers will have more freedom to teach in ways they feel will have the best outcomes for their learners.

The central focus of assessment arrangements will be to ensure learners understand how they are performing and what they need to do next. There will be a renewed emphasis on assessment for learning as an essential and integral feature of learning and teaching.

The Four Purposes

The four purposes will be at the heart of our new curriculum.

They are the starting point for all decisions on the content and experiences developed as part of the curriculum. More than that, they are designed to influence how practitioners plan, teach and assess.

At Gnoll Primary School we aim to develop learners who:

set themselves high standards and seek and enjoy challenge

are building up a body of knowledge and have the skills to connect and apply that knowledge in different contexts

are questioning and enjoy solving problems

can communicate effectively in different forms
and settings, using both Welsh and English

can explain the ideas and concepts they are learning about

can use number effectively in different contexts

understand how to interpret data and apply
mathematical concepts

use digital technologies creatively to communicate, find
and analyse information

undertake research and evaluate critically what they find

are ready to learn throughout their lives

have secure values and are establishing their spiritual and ethical beliefs

are building their mental and emotional well-being by developing confidence, resilience and empathy

apply knowledge about the impact of diet and exercise on physical and mental health in their daily lives

know how to find the information and support to keep safe and well

take part in physical activity

take measured decisions about lifestyle and
manage risk

have the confidence to participate in performance

form positive relationships based upon trust and
mutual respect

face and overcome challenge

have the skills and knowledge to manage everyday
life as independently as they can

are ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society

find, evaluate and use evidence in forming views

engage with contemporary issues based upon their
knowledge and values

understand and exercise their human and
democratic responsibilities and rights

understand and consider the impact of their actions
when making choices and acting

are knowledgeable about their culture, community,
society and the world, now and in the past

respect the needs and rights of others, as a member
of a diverse society

show their commitment to the sustainability
of the planet

are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world

connect and apply their knowledge and skills to create ideas and products

think creatively to reframe and solve problems

identify and grasp opportunities

take measured risks

lead and play different roles in teams
effectively and responsibly

express ideas and emotions through
different media

give of their energy and skills so that other
people will benefit

are ready to play a full part in life and work

It will have six ‘Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE).

      • Expressive arts.
      • Health and well-being.
      • Humanities (including RE which should remain compulsory to age 16).
      • Languages, literacy and communication (including Welsh, which should remain compulsory to age 16, and modern foreign languages).
      • Mathematics and numeracy.
      • Science and technology.

It will also include three cross-curricular responsibilities: literacy, numeracy and digital competence.

Assessment is a continuous process and takes place on a daily basis in schools. Progression reference points help learners, teachers, parents and carers to understand if appropriate progress is being made. They will set out expectations for learners in each area of their learning relating broadly to ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16.

Why it’s changing

Now more than ever, young people need to be adaptable to change, capable of learning new skills throughout life and equipped to cope with new life scenarios.

Advances in technology and globalisation have transformed the way we live and work. These changes have profound implications for what, and how, children and young people need to learn. After all, tablets and smart phones didn’t even exist when the last curriculum was introduced in 1993.

Schools and teachers need more flexibility to respond to this environment, using a new curriculum which will promote high achievement and engage the interest of all children and young people to help them reach their potential.

The new curriculum will bring this about by making learning more experience-based, the assessment of progress more developmental, and by giving teachers the flexibility to deliver in more creative ways that suit the learners they teach.

This new approach was informed by Professor Graham Donaldson’s independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales, Successful Futures, in February 2015 which provided the foundations for a twenty-first Century curriculum shaped by the very latest national and international thinking.

Since the report, teachers and stakeholders have been consulted at events across Wales to gather their thoughts and start to shape future curriculum and assessment arrangements.