Ein Cwricwlwm Newydd – New National Curriculum for Wales


Ein Cwricwlwm Newydd – New National Curriculum for Wales

The New National Curriculum for Wales launched on 28th January 2020 and will be statutory from September 2022 with schools preparing and making implementations over the next 2 years.

Why is the curriculum changing?

  • Essential features of our curriculum devised in 1988 do
    not reflect our world of technology and globalisation.
  • Relatively low performance in PISA surveys.
  • Perceived shortcomings in the current curriculum and assessment arrangements.
  • The perception of highly prescriptive content allied to increasingly powerful accountability mechanisms has diminished the creative role of schools and professionals

Vision and philosophy

  • Allow the space for all learners to be creative.
  • Make the offer fully inclusive.
  • Link to positive health and well-being outcomes.
  • Ensure that Expressive Arts skills are recognised
    as transferable and that they have a direct link to careers and lifelong learning.

The rationale for change

  • An arts-rich education is core to the whole-school experience of a learner.
  • All learners need to have access to rich contexts in which they have time to explore, to respond and to create.
  • Learners need access to all Expressive Arts disciplines.

What were the key recommendations from Successful Futures?

  • Four purposes of the curriculum.
  • Six areas of learning and experience.
  • Three cross-curricular responsibilities.
  • Progression steps at ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16.
  • Achievement outcomes.
  • A range of pedagogical approaches.
  • Refocusing assessment on learning, including learners’ self- and peer-assessment.
  • Monitoring performance of the system at a national level through annual sampling.

The new curriculum is:

  • purpose-led curriculum – the four purposes are the heart of curriculum development at a national and local level
  • organised as a continuum of learning from ages 3 to 16 – all children and young people will make progress along the same continuum
  • organised around progression steps, articulated as achievement outcomes
  • inclusive of the three cross-curricular responsibilities
  • the basis for thinking of the 14–16 phase, qualifications and beyond.

How is it different?

  • It encompasses dance, drama, film and digital media, music, and visual arts linked by a common creative process and transferable skills.
  • Learning is linked through the creative process enabling a deeper understanding of individual disciplines to be developed.
  • Progression is not linear.
  • A focus on rich, authentic contexts for learning runs from ages 3 to 16.
  • Learner voice is encouraged.
  • Collaboration across the area of learning and experience and across other areas of learning and experience.
  • Flexibility – variety of delivery models

4 Purposes

The purpose of the new curriculum is to support our children and young people to be:

  • ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
  • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

6 Areas of learning and experience (AoLEs)

Each area of learning and experience is organised into a suite of what matters statements which prioritise the important concepts about which learners must have experiences, knowledge and skills

Achievement outcomes

  • Described from the learner’s perspective, using terms like ‘I can … ’ or ‘I have … ’.
  • Describe the broad knowledge, competency or experience a learner needs to gain.
  • Should contribute clearly to the four purposes of the curriculum and have emphasis on achievement in a broad sense, rather than narrow measures of assessment.
  • Allow learners to make progress along the same continuum, regardless of any additional learning needs they might have, though they may move between progression steps at a different pace.
  • Should be used as the basis to build assessment approaches,
    e.g. formative, summative, self, peer, portfolio.
  • Should provide agency for professionals in developing curriculum and helping learners realise the achievement outcomes

What can you do now?