The New Curriculum for Wales – What we are doing at Ysgol Maes y Felin
The whole approach to developing young people aged 3 to 16 will change. The new curriculum will have more emphasis on equipping young people for life. It will build their ability to learn new skills and apply their subject knowledge more positively and creatively. As the world changes, they will be more able to adapt positively.
They will also get a deep understanding of how to thrive in an increasingly digital world. A new digital competence framework is now introducing digital skills across the curriculum, preparing them for the opportunities and risks that an online world presents.
Meanwhile teachers will have more freedom to teach in ways they feel will have the best outcomes for their learners.
The central focus of assessment arrangements will be to ensure learners understand how they are performing and what they need to do next. There will be a renewed emphasis on assessment for learning as an essential and integral feature of learning and teaching.
The purpose of the new curriculum is to support our children and young people to be:
ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
It will have six ‘Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE).
Health and well-being.
Humanities (including RE which should remain compulsory to age 16).
Languages, literacy and communication (including Welsh, which should remain compulsory to age 16, and modern foreign languages).
Mathematics and numeracy.
Science and technology.
It will also include three cross-curricular responsibilities: literacy, numeracy and digital competence.
Why it is changing?
Now more than ever, young people need to be adaptable to change, capable of learning new skills throughout life and equipped to cope with new life scenarios.
Advances in technology and globalisation have transformed the way we live and work. These changes have profound implications for what, and how, children and young people need to learn. After all, tablets and smart phones didn’t even exist when the last curriculum was introduced in 1993.
Schools and teachers need more flexibility to respond to this environment, using a new curriculum which will promote high achievement and engage the interest of all children and young people to help them reach their potential.
The new curriculum will bring this about by making learning more experience-based, the assessment of progress more developmental, and by giving teachers the flexibility to deliver in more creative ways that suit the learners they teach.
This new approach was informed by Professor Graham Donaldson’s independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales, Successful Futures (pdf 1.7MB), in February 2015 which provided the foundations for a twenty-first Century curriculum shaped by the very latest national and international thinking.
The Digital Competence Framework
The first element of the new curriculum to be developed was the Digital Competence Framework (external link).
The framework introduces and develops the skills needed to live and work in an increasingly online and digital world, ranging from communicating and collaborating to problem solving and handling online bullying.
Like literacy and numeracy it applies across all subjects, developing skills and confidence in learners that make them adaptable to changes in technology over time. The framework has four strands of equal importance. Each has a number of elements which explore the detail within it.
The strands are:
Citizenship – which includes the elements of ‘Identity, image and reputation’, ‘Health and well-being’, ‘Digital rights, licensing and ownership’, and ‘Online behaviour and cyberbullying’
- Interacting and collaborating – which includes the elements of ‘Communication’, ‘Collaboration’, and ‘Storing and sharing’
- Producing – which includes the elements of ‘Planning, sourcing and searching’, ‘Creating’, and ‘Evaluating and improving’
- Data and computational thinking – which includes the elements of ‘Problem solving and modelling’, and ‘Data and information literacy’.
If you have any questions about how we are developing the curriculum please ask, we are very happy to talk to you about approaches we are taking in the classroom.