The draft of Wales’ long awaited new curriculum is published today heralding the start to the biggest change in education in generations.
It will be rolled out in schools from 2022 replacing what the Welsh Government describes as the current “prescriptive, narrow and outdated curriculum introduced in 1988”.
Traditional boundaries between subjects are scrapped and there will be instead six new Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs).
But unions fear specialist subject teachers will be lost and that there is not enough money to successfully deliver the changes.
The changes will mean GCSEs and other qualifications will have to be overhauled or ditched. New qualifications to reflect the changes will be brought in and taught from 2025, regulated by Qualifications Wales, the draft says.
You can see the documents the Welsh Government has published today here.
Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams discusses the new curriculum
Here are details of the six AoLEs published today:
1. Languages, Literacy and Communication:
What is it?
Welsh, English and international languages and literature
How is it different?
By the end of primary school, the draft says that learners will experience different languages and make progress in Welsh, English and at least one international language.
When learners leave school, they will be able to use Welsh, English and their other languages in a meaningful way.
Oracy, reading and writing have equal prominence.
Literature for all learners: opportunities to explore and create a range of literature in Welsh, English and international languages.
2. Mathematics and Numeracy
What is it?
It is what it says, but the draft adds that this AoLE aims to emphasise that maths is “a critical part of life and for the country’s economy”.
It says maths and numeracy must be engaging, exciting and accessible, as well as challenging.
How is it different?
There is currently “too much reliance on procedural fluency (technique/tricks) and not enough conceptual understanding. There will be a change in emphasis from “what” to “what and how”.
The AoLE will be organised around five mathematical proficiencies: conceptual understanding, fluency, communication with symbols, logical reasoning and strategic competence.
Algebra, geometry and statistics are listed among the features that matter.
3. Science and Technology
What is it?
Design and technology, engineering, computer science, biology, chemistry and physics
The draft says: “Science and technology demands a coherent framework for learning across traditional domains, reflecting real-world needs.”
How is it different?
The draft says current learner preparation is “insufficient to meet needs”.
Computation is a new element for ages three to 16.
There will be netter balance between knowledge and skills development through “real-world” learning experiences.
Outdoor learning is proposed to “enhance the learning experience”.
There’s emphasis on the impacts of science and technology on learners’ lives and the environment.
What is it?
History, geography, religious education, business studies and social studies.
How is it different?
Religious education statutory for learners from three to 16
Focus on global citizenship and participating in social action.
Earlier engagement with business studies and social studies.
Balance between local, Welsh/British and global studies.
5. Health and Wellbeing
What is it?
Focuses on the physical, psychological, emotional and social aspects of life.
Designed “to equip learners to lead healthy, fulfilling and productive lives”.
How is it different?
Includes experiences, knowledge and skills that lead to healthy and active lifestyles and supports physical and mental health.
Must reflect local needs as well as national and global issues. Education on mental, emotional and physical health to be more integrated.
6. Expressive Arts
What is it?
Dance, drama, film and digital media, music, and visual arts linked by a common creative process and transferable skills.
How is it different?
Collaboration across the AoLE and other AoLEs.
Ensure that Expressive Arts skills are recognised as transferable and that they have a direct link to careers and lifelong learning.
What Kirsty Williams says
Launching the draft curriculum at Olchfa School ,Education Minister Kirsty Williams said the changes bring education in Wales into the 21st century.
“We’re moving away from an outdated, narrow curriculum that sets out subject by subject, topic by topic and hour by hour what pupils should be learning.”
“Today marks the culmination of years of hard work by our teachers and experts from both inside Wales and beyond.
“What we’re publishing today is very different to what most of us will have experienced and it’s a big culture change. We’re moving away from an outdated, narrow curriculum that sets out subject by subject, topic by topic and hour by hour what pupils should be learning. This isn’t a rule book.
“Using their considerable knowledge, experience and expertise, teachers in Wales have instead built a framework that sets out the fundamentals of a truly 21st century education.
“As I’ve said before, we’re not taking a big bang approach. The curriculum isn’t going to land on a teacher’s desk on a Friday afternoon, to be taught on a Monday. This is going to take time and that means working alongside the profession so that we get things right.
“Today marks the beginning of a major consultation around the draft curriculum framework that runs until 19th July. I’ll soon be embarking on a National Mission Tour around Wales and finding out what the education workforce has to say.
“We’re also calling for the widest possible range of views on this draft framework – from universities and colleges to industry; from youth organisations to businesses and employers from across the public, private and third sectors. Make sure you join the conversation.”
The current “key stages” in schools will be replaced with teacher assessed “progression steps” for each AoLE. These will set out expectations for what learners ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16 should be achieving.
Teachers and schools will be given more freedom over what is taught in the classroom but will follow the framework of the AoLEs – mathematics and numeracy; science and technology; humanities; languages, literacy and communications; health and wellbeing; and expressive arts.
The draft does not list what must be taught in each AoLE but suggests how and why the areas are important and should be taught and what pupils should gain from them.
The document says the new curriculum will not be: “overly prescriptive or specific” and will not “dictate time allocations for areas of learning and experience, subjects or disciplines driven by content coverage”.
And it says it will not be biased towards either knowledge or skills as it has been developed “to allow schools to provide a balance of knowledge, skills and experience”.
This will allow teachers to assess learners progress as they move through school and inform the design of the new curriculum in each school, the Welsh Government said.
“This continuous assessment is intended to give learners, as well as their parents/carers, a clearer picture of areas where they can improve – taking into account their individual abilities, experiences and rates of learning and understanding.”
The Welsh Government is also proposing legislation setting out literacy, numeracy and digital competence as the three cross-curricula responsibilities.
Teachers and schools are being asked their views, including implications of the changes on resources.
The architect of the new curriculum, Professor Graham Donaldson, was brought in to re-haul the system after Wales lagged in international Pisa tests and criticism that the current 30 year-old curriculum is too prescriptive and driven by performance measures.
The new curriculum and AoLEs have been created with help from international research and expert bodies such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, Literature Wales and the US National Mathematics Advisory Panel.
Teachers from pioneer schools across Wales have been working on the draft framework since 2015.
Some £44 million has been specifically set aside to support schools and teachers prepare for the changes. This includes £20 million for development and implementation and a further £24m for professional learning, the single biggest investment in support for teachers in Wales since devolution.
But responses to a consultation carried out by the Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee earlier this year revealed that senior people in education in Wales have major concerns about the proposals being developed.
Some head teachers have also expressed concerns about plans to end the subject of second language Welsh and have one Welsh subject only for English medium, Welsh medium and bi-lingual schools.
The Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW) and the Welsh Local Government Association gave a joint response to the committee.
In it they said: “In too many cases, not enough of what actually matters has been included in the Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs).”
David Evans David Evans, Wales Secretary for the National Education Union Cymru said his union was “interested” to see the plans but said it only brought Wales’ education reforms to “base camp”.
“We have a way to go before we reach the goal – the publication of the curriculum consultation, exciting as it is, is only base camp. To get to the summit, education professionals are going to need support. Extra INSET days is a start, but real investment is needed to ensure that there isn’t an impact on workload and that training is available to everyone involved in education to realise the potential of Curriculum 2022… We want schools to focus on learning, not on tests and exams. “
Dr. Philip Dixon, Chief Executive of the Assessment Foundation said: “Today is a start to the process of putting meat on the bones of the principles and purposes outlined in Successful Futures and elsewhere. The ‘What Matters’ statements will help schools to frame their curriculum offer. Key to this will be the new national model which the Welsh Government will be producing.
“But equally key will be the resources – in terms of both time and money – that will be available to teachers to develop this new curriculum. The workforce are crucial to its success. The new assessment regime will also need careful examination and robust critique to ensure that its main purpose is centred unequivocally on learning”
The NASUWT teachers’ union said the profession has not been properly consulted.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Successful implementation of any curriculum must feature meaningful engagement by the teaching profession.
“The vast majority of teachers, including most of those in the Welsh Government’s small Pioneer Schools network have not been consulted and have been disenfranchised from the process of building the new curriculum.
“The NASUWT will now study the proposals carefully and its response will be guided by the views of its members and the interests of children and young people across Wales.”
Neil Butler, NASUWT national official for Wales, fears subject teachers will be lost.
“We are extremely concerned that the current versions of the design of the curriculum will reduce the need for specialist subject teachers as well as the traditional distinction between core and foundation subjects.
“This could lead schools and local authorities to reduce costs by lowering teaching staff levels and undermine the sense of ownership that the teaching profession must have of these reforms if they are to be implemented successfully.”
The Association of School and College Leaders said it supports the new approaches to learning but warned the £44m pumped in to the reforms is not enough.
Tim Pratt, ASCL Cymru director, said: “Whilst the headline figure of £44m seems significant, when it is divided down it equates to about £28,000 per school or £650 for each teacher and learning support worker.
“Given the state and complexity of thee changes, and the curent funding crisis in schools, there needs to be a greater level of resources allocated to ensure this project can be dleivered successfully.”
Dilwyn Roberts-Young, General Secretary of UCAC teaching union said ““UCAC is proud of the fact that we will have a curriculum that is specific to Wales; a curriculum that puts knowledge, skills and experiences firmly in a Welsh and international context.
“UCAC will continue to discuss specific matters with the minister and her officials, such as sufficient time for teachers to retrain and adapt to the changes.”
Consultation on the draft new curriculum runs until July 14.
The draft will be available to view on hwb.gov.wales
A Q&A about the new curriculum
Why is the curriculum changing?
Because the Welsh Government says the old one is out-dated. It doesn’t reflect what learners need in the 21st century, the Welsh Government says. Wales has also lagged in international tests.
When will the new curriculum be finished?
When will it be taught?
The new curriculum will be taught in all schools up to Year 7 from September 2022. It will then roll out year by year until it includes Year 11 by 2026.
Will traditional subjects still be taught?
Subjects will be grouped into six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs). The Welsh Government says that doesn’t mean an end to traditional subjects but the aim is to break down traditional subject boundaries.
What are the cross-curricular responsibilities then?
The Welsh Government is proposing legislation that sets out literacy, numeracy and digital competence as the three cross-curricula responsibilities within the new curriculum for Wales.
What are the six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLES)?
Mathematics and numeracy; science and technology; humanities; languages, literacy and communications; health and wellbeing; and expressive arts.
Each AoLE is organised into a “suite” of “what matters statements” which prioritise the important concepts about which learners must have experiences, knowledge and skills.
What about qualifications in the new curriculum?
This could be the end of GCSEs as we know them now.
The Welsh Government says qualifications will adapt to reflect the new curriculum.
When will qualifications change then?
The timeline for qualifications development is as follows.
2019 – Consultation on the purposes of future qualifications.
2020 – Independent regulator Qualifications Wales and the Welsh Government confirm the qualifications offer.
2021 – Consultation on detailed design of new qualifications.
2023 – New qualifications approved; training and resources made available.
2025 – New qualifications taught in schools.
What about the current Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Competence Frameworks?
The Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Competence Frameworks are being updated to reflect the new curriculum, and will be available as guidance documents to support the teaching and learning of statutory cross-curricular responsibilities.
What about national school tests?
These will continue but are going online and will be more targeted to map individual progress rather than comparative progress.
What are the ‘four purposes’ of the curriculum?
To Support learners to be:
Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full
Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world,
Healthy, confident individual, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
- U-turn over threat to charitable status of private schools
- EXCLUSIVE: Groom whose best man brother punched his new bride and dragged her downstairs by her dress in drunken wedding reception rampage is soldier on trial for ATTEMPTED MURDER
- Burned out: why are so many teachers quitting or off sick with stress?
- A-level results 2010: A* grade boosts new exams record
- Schools ranked by raw GCSE results for last time
- A*-C grades in dramatic decline as GCSE results are published
- Biggest drop in GCSE pass rate for 30 years due to exam changes
- GCSE results 2015: pass rate rises but A* grades dip
- Wikipedia launching $100m fund to secure long-term future as site turns 15
- Details of Harry and Meghan's royal tour REVEALED: Couple will meet koalas, take part in a 'welly-wanging' contest and recreate the Queen and Prince Philip's 1953 welcome to Fiji
- Do Australians lack protection against religious discrimination?
- Class action looms as Sydney Opal Tower residents speak to lawyers
- John Bercow arrives at Parliament for his last day at work as newly-released photos (and one last selfie with an admirer) document his decade as Mr Speaker
- Last orders! Outgoing Commons Speaker John Bercow leaves the chamber for the final time after another tetchy session in the chair
- England's last roar: Pankaj Mishra on nationalism and the election
- The town that refused to let austerity kill its buses
- The election could go one of three ways. What would each result mean?
- Celia Paul on life after Lucian Freud: ‘I had to make this story my own’
These are Wales' new school subjects have 2668 words, post on www.walesonline.co.uk at April 29, 2019. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.