Finding out about Finland’s language learning, teacher autonomy and work-play balance!

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Finland 1The sun is shining and children are climbing up great mounds of snow, sledging and playing ice hockey! No, it isn’t another snow-day! This is play time at an average primary school in Finland. The children have been in a lesson since 8 a.m. It’s now 8:45 and they’re ready for fifteen minutes fun with friends… outside in the snow!

Fifteen minutes play after each forty-five minute lesson is quite common in Finland. The Government has also recently introduced ‘Finnish Schools on the Move’, a national programme to increase physical activity and decrease sedentary time among school aged children. All children eat a healthy school lunch for free at school too.

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The challenge of making a new curriculum work: we’re professionals, let’s enjoy it!

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mick-watersYoung people represent humanity’s future. What could be more important in school than the curriculum we choose to lay before them? The ongoing challenge is for everyone involved in education in Wales to work together to develop a curriculum for the 21st century that will give all young people the skills, knowledge, understanding and personal qualities they need to flourish.

Developing the curriculum has two key elements; first, produce it and second, make it work. It is essential that the published curriculum approved by the National Assembly is world class. But it is where it meets the learner in the school that it will really show its worth.

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Voices of Children and Young People in the New Curriculum for Wales

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

IMG_0272As Children’s Commissioner for Wales my role is to help drive positive and long-lasting changes for children and young people in Wales. Listening to children and young people is an essential part of this work.  Young people are the experts in their own lives and ensuring their important contribution is heard will always give us stronger policies and better outcomes.   This was at the forefront of my mind when I brought a delegation of young people to join a meeting of the Independent Advisory Group to curriculum reform.

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Understanding ‘progression’ in the context of the new Curriculum

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CAMAU resized picYr Athrofa, University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD’s) Institute of Education, enjoys fruitful collaborations with a number of organisations.
One of its most significant is that currently being undertaken with colleagues at the University of Glasgow, on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Building on the strengths of our strategic partnership, and working closely and collaboratively with the pioneer school network, the CAMAU project seeks to develop a shared understanding of ‘progression’ in the context of Successful Futures.

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