Crownbridge School: Why we look forward to the new curriculum

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Crownbridge School girl with dogWe are Torfaen’s only Special School.  We have 116 pupils on roll, who travel to us from across the Borough. We are a Pioneer school.

We want to tell you why we are so optimistic about the new curriculum, compared with a current curriculum that has at times been a challenge in the way it defines ‘content’.

Our pupils are aged between 3 and 19 years with a wide range of learning difficulties. These include Severe Learning difficulty (SLD), Profound and Multiple learning difficulty (PMLD), and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).



Before Successful Futures: Continue reading

Bridgend’s Festival of Learning has an eye to the new Curriculum

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Bees at St MarysEvery one of the primary, secondary and special schools in Bridgend ran a learning event during the week of 25 June 2018.

Teachers, governors, challenge advisers, local business people and a range of other partners were able to choose from a huge learning menu developed by teachers, for teachers – with a little help from learners.

On the one hand you could just call it good practice. On the other, you could say it’s a radical approach to professional learning that works now but will also fit perfectly with the new curriculum. Continue reading

Developing our ‘Thrive Curriculum’ at Jubilee Park Primary School

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Thrive curriculum Jubilee logo for end of piece

Jubilee Park is a new school and our staff relish a challenge. We are not a Pioneer school, but we see this as a new exciting chapter in education and an opportunity to tailor our curriculum to the needs of our learners in Wales. So we have been creating a curriculum based on recommendations from Successful Futures, which has been a great challenge, but a rewarding one.

Our curriculum is more than a series of lessons or a scheme of work, to us it is everything in our school – it is what we are about. Our Thrive Curriculum was borne out of research and ideas shared from pioneer schools. It is informed by the ‘Schools as a Learning Organisation’ OECD report and curriculum reform documentation. We have also had many discussions and debates with colleagues! Continue reading

New ANIMATION: How Wales’ new curriculum and assessment arrangements are being built on progression

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In line with ‘Successful Futures’, the Curriculum and its assessment arrangements will be built on progression, so each Area of Learning and Experience will include progression steps. In this way learning and progression go hand in hand.

Our new animation explains how this will happen.

Here’s a list of our blog posts since March, organised in groups.

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in one placeIn the absence of an index we hope you find this list useful for finding items you might want to read.

It includes links to the posts for Curriculum and Assessment, Professional Learning, Digital Competence and wider Education Reform.


If you find it helpful we’ll do this each term – please let us know. Continue reading

Latest Evaluation of the Pioneer Model of Curriculum Development

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459082897A bold, committed approach to curriculum development still needs thorough evaluation of the process to inform improvements as it goes along. The latest report from independent researchers does just that, and is a very accessible read.

It celebrates the approach being taken but suggests that schools outside the Pioneer network need more awareness of progress: Continue reading

Bountiful Estyn Report: Preparing for the Digital Competence Framework

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Estyn DCF July 2018 ENGHow well are schools preparing for the Digital Competence Framework? Kirsty Williams, Education Secretary, asked Estyn to report and highlight good practice that schools could learn from.

Their insightful findings look at leadership, the role of digital leads, and professional learning. Recommendations are offered to schools, consortia and Welsh Government.

The ‘Effective approaches to preparing’ section digs into the detail and gives useful pointers on topics from vision and planning through to resources and curriculum mapping. ‘Common characteristics of successful realisation of the DCF’ gives a checklist and even a tabulated chart for moving from ‘starting the journey’ to ‘sustaining progress’.

The report is clear that different schools may well take different approaches, but offers a wealth of good practice for all schools, showcased by multiple case studies.