Netherlands educators explore the Welsh Approach to curriculum reform

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Dutch visitors.jpgAs we pick up the pace on our education reform journey, the eyes of the international education community are upon us.  Other countries are already keen to learn from Wales.

As they prepare to embark on their own curriculum reform, a delegation from the Ministry of Education in the Netherlands visited during the summer term, to enquire about how Welsh Government is preparing schools to implement the new curriculum.  The team were keen to explore the differences to the current system and the effect on educational practitioners and their professional learning. Continue reading

Sharing, engaging, involving: stakeholders and the new curriculum

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Thankfully, a lot of people care about education in Wales. It’s a national passion.

Engagement - business 2Whilst that’s a wonderful thing it creates a challenge for the core teams involved in the new curriculum; the teachers, officials, Estyn, external experts, Qualifications Wales…

That challenge is to engage and involve people and groups who have an influence on, or are affected by our education changes. It has been resolved through a host of activities that connect everyone with developments.

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Bible’s translator helps pupils explore the Humanities AoLE

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At Esgob Morgan Church in Wales School we have used the life of Bishop William Morgan, who translated the Bible into Welsh from Greek and Hebrew in the 16th Century, to develop the skills of enquiry and explore the breadth of the Humanities AoLE.

William Morgan 3We want to share what we have done to show how this gave us an insight into the What Matters, and created a richness of learning.

 In Humanities we looked at all the What Matters from progression steps 1 to 3.

We began with What Matters Statement 1: Developing an enquiring mind enables learners to explore and investigate the world, past, present and future, for themselves. Pupils investigated our locality, created questions and did primary research.

Our Big Question 1: Who was William Morgan and what was his legacy to Wales?

Year 5 used their enquiry skills to research the life and legacy of Bishop William Morgan.  Pupils had some prior knowledge which supported them in forming questions.

Pupils used their questions to compile letters to Cambridge University, St Asaph Cathedral, Local Records Office, The Bible Society, St Fagan’s Museum and the National Trust.

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The Curriculum for Wales – Dispelling the Myths – Part 1.

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myth buster imagePrior to and increasingly moreso since the publication of the draft Curriculum for Wales, several myths and misinterpretations have emerged that are contrary to the intentions of those involved in the design and development. Over two blog posts, we seek to dispel some of these myths and provide some balance where unhelpful dichotomies have begun to emerge.

Myth #1 – Nothing will really change – it can be delivered in the same way as we are doing now.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? This is a common objection to doing something new. But, does something need to be completely broken before we look to improve, develop and reform it?
The new curriculum for Wales is a different type of curriculum to our current one – built on the 4 purposes. Regardless of how effective you feel your current curriculum provision is, you will need to engage with what a purpose-led curriculum means for learners and consider your curriculum in the light of the 4 Purposes, the AoLEs, What Matters and Achievement Outcomes. This will mean more than simply retro-fitting these elements into the current understanding and ways of working. The new Curriculum for Wales framework is precisely that – a national framework, which can only be realised following school-based curriculum and assessment development. Moreover, it is vital that we understand that the term curriculum refers to all the learning experiences and assessment activities planned in pursuit of our agreed purposes of education.
There will need to be change, for some settings more than others. Is it really going to be possible (or advisable) to have a new curriculum, new professional standards, new assessment and accountability arrangements, development of new qualifications, and the proposed Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, and yet not change anything in your setting at all?

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To all school staff in Wales: An end of term letter from the Minister

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Dear Colleagues,

I would like to thank you for the continued commitment and dedication you show to our children and young people in Wales.

kw-portrait-1In particular, I understand that the scale of reform is significant, and am grateful this summer term for your engagement in providing feedback on the draft Curriculum for Wales.

I have also been across the country to meet with current and future teachers, head teachers, classroom support staff, school governors, parents/carers, the business community and children and young people to get their feedback. Your feedback will now be used to refine the draft Curriculum for Wales, which will be ready for publication in January 2020.

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

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Blog image cfw - In one PlaceIn the absence of an index we hope you find this latest list useful for finding items you might want to read or view.



New curriculum and assessment arrangements


Inside View: the new curriculum at Crownbridge School

Inside View: the new curriculum at Jubilee Park Primary School

New Podcast: When the Heads met the Minister

Inside View – the new curriculum at Olchfa School

The Money Advice Service says ‘Yes’

Our journey to creating the Assessment proposals – and why your feedback is important

Graham Donaldson: my views on progress and next steps for the new curriculum

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Inside View – the new curriculum at Crownbridge School

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Crownbridge is a special day school which educates children and young people with severe learning difficulties in the 2 – 19 age range. In experimenting with the new curriculum they are finding new synergies and new opportunities, as explained below by the Head, Deputy Heads and teachers.

Scroll down to choose whose ‘inside view’ you want to see.


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