Archive for “April, 2015”

Young People’s views on a new curriculum for Wales are heard thanks to a SNAP Cymru Young Ambassador

Parent and Young People’s views will be heard in the ‘great debate’ on proposals for a new curriculum for Wales thanks to a SNAP Cymru Young Ambassador.

SNAP Cymru will present Parents and Young People’s views on a proposed new curriculum for Wales at the Policy Forum Seminar at the Millennium Centre, in Cardiff. Their views will be heard by key policy-makers , stakeholders and  delegates who are assessing the outcomes of the Independent Review of the National Curriculum – Developing a Curriculum for Wales, due to be published in early 2015.

Professor Graham Donaldson was commissioned by the Welsh Government to consider new assessment and curriculum arrangements, has believed that the introduction of “progression steps” would provide a more coherent basis for learning, teaching and assessment.

Prof Donaldson also supports the introduction of three “cross-curriculum responsibilities” – literacy, numeracy and digital competence – that all teachers would be expected to deliver.

Education Minister Huw Lewis said the review set out a “compelling, exciting and ambitious vision for a new curriculum in Wales”.

Timed as the Welsh Government prepare their response to the proposals, delegates at the policy forum event considers the Review’s findings, the proposed new subject content and assessment systems, and the key implementation challenges these present.

In order to ‘hear the voice’ of parents and young people and to ensure the emphasis on an inclusive curriculum is heard at this seminar; SNAP Cymru Young Ambassador Eman Omar seventeen from Olchfa School in Swansea supported a group of young people to discuss and respond to Professor Donaldson’s proposals.  In addition SNAP Cymru NEC member Pauline Lewis and Family and Young Persons Officer Cara Bellamy facilitated a consultation with parents of children with ALN to consider the following

  • Implementation of a new curriculum – including timetabling, equipment, assessment, and teacher training and development;
  • Pupil progression – assessing how well the proposals will equip young people for transitions to further education and employment;
  • Implications – examining the potential impact of the new curriculum on wider educational reforms;
  • Resources and success factors – looking at teacher and system capacity, accountability, school standards, pupil attainment and drivers of educational quality.

Parents were pleased that there were to be clear 4 clear purpose to the proposed curriculum and in particular the focus on the development of individuals to play their full part in society.

Parents also felt that the purposes of the curriculum were implicitly inclusive, which is positive……….

However past experience has taught them to be cautious as it has meant that the ALN element is often a bolt on unless it is explicit at the outset.

The Policy Forum event in Cardiff will discuss whether the new curriculum will adequately prepare young people for further education and work, lessons learnt from curriculums in other nations and the role that external organisations such as sports bodies, businesses and cultural organisations can play in helping schools deliver the programmes of study.  Denise Inger Chief Executive Director of SNAP Cymru will be keen to highlight the necessity of a curriculum for all learners in her address.

Here are the main points from the Donaldson Report:

Incorporates all learners aged three to 16, from Foundation Phase to Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

Bids to develop: 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; and healthy, confident individuals ready to live fulfilling lives as valued members of society

Replaces existing key stages with “progression steps”, relating broadly to expectations at ages five, eight, 11, 14 and 16

Progression steps to provide reference points for teachers and parents, while providing a “road map” for pupils according to their individual needs

Organised into six “areas of learning and experience”: expressive arts; health and wellbeing; humanities; languages, literacy and communication; maths and numeracy; and science and technology

Introduces three “cross-curriculum responsibilities” – literacy, numeracy and digital competence – that would be expected of all teachers

Teacher assessment remains the “main vehicle for assessment before qualifications”

Teaching of the Welsh language remains compulsory up to the age of 16, but new expectation that learners gain “transactional competence” by end of studies

Welsh-medium schools to act as hubs for the Welsh language, supporting teachers and practitioners in English-medium schools

All teaching and learning to be directed to achieving the four curriculum purposes

External, standardised testing to provide important benchmarking information – but its frequency “kept to a minimum” in view of its impact on the curriculum and teaching and learning

Programme of professional learning to be developed to ensure that the implications of the review for the skills and knowledge of teachers are fully met

Wales’ national school categorisation system to be adjusted to reflect the recommendations of the review

No timescale for delivery but expected to be quicker than Scotland, which took six years


The Donaldson Report – A Family Perspective

Successful Futures – Independent Review of Curriculum and Assessment Arrangements in Wales – A Pupil Perspective