The Curriculum Wales framework tells us that the principles of progression provide a mandatory requirement of what progression must look like for learners. They describe what it means for learners to progress, and the capacities and behaviours practitioners must seek to support, regardless of a learner’s age or stage of development.
As schools explore the ways in which the principles of progression apply to their learners across the 3-16 continuum, they can use these principles to support curriculum and assessment design along with their evolving understanding of progression.
At Ysgol Y Strade, leaders and practitioners have been exploring the ways in which the principles of progression relate to their learners. Viewing learner progression through the lens of the principles of progression has allowed them to challenge their thinking around curriculum and assessment design. These principles have given them a shared and consistent language to discuss progression across the curriculum.
One example can be found within their newly introduced Lifelong Learning lessons for year 7 learners (part of the provision within the Health and Wellbeing Area), which seek to ensure that purposeful life-skills have a curriculum focus. Leaders from across the areas began by discussing the essential skills which could support this cohort early on in their secondary education; learners were also given the opportunity to offer their views as to which skills they felt needed to be developed. As a result, the provision for Lifelong Learning began with a focus on developing oral communication skills, primarily to improve learner confidence in speaking to an audience.
Later in the year, as the school set about their evaluation and improvement activities, it came to light that learners were not only being supported in the development of their confidence, but were also making natural connections between their learning experiences in Lifelong Learning and their learning in Welsh and English lessons (where they were being asked to give presentations and carry out groups tasks). In discussions with learners, school leaders were told how they felt that their confidence was developing which was allowing them to make progress in their language lessons; their articulation of this evidenced their increasing effectiveness as learners. In addition, teachers within Language, Literacy and Communication noted that they were then able to focus on the refinement of language skills as learners were generally approaching the tasks with much more willingness.
The school feels that this has given them an opportunity to consider and reflect on other opportunities to support learner progress in a variety of new ways across their curriculum.
Here is a case study from Ysgol Y Strade:
This case study has been added to a new and increasing collection of supporting materials on Hwb, designed to help schools evolve their approaches to assessment and progression.
Assistant Headteacher, currently on secondment as professional advisor to Welsh Government.