Curriculum for Wales
The world is changing and we have an exciting time ahead. There are lots of new challenges that will need new technology and new ideas. The Welsh Government wants the children of Wales to have the knowledge, skills and experiences they'll need to succeed in this ever changing world. The curriculum in Wales is changing.
"Our national mission in Wales is to raise standards, raise the attainment of all children and ensure we have an education system that is a source of national pride and public confidence."
This is an exciting time for the young people of Wales. The new Curriculum for Wales will enthuse learners from 3 to 16, giving them the foundations they need to succeed in a changing world.
Curriculum isn’t just about what children learn. It’s also about how they learn and the reasons why they learn.
What does 'Curriculum' mean to us at Pentrebane?
• It's finding moments of magic and enabling our children to explore and learn.
• It's having a curriculum that is meaningful and purposeful – a broad range of real and authentic learning experiences!
• The curriculum is the life blood of our school and is an expression of our school community and what we believe, want, desire and think is important for our pupils.
How will we design our new curriculum?
When planning and designing our new curriculum at Pentrebane Primary we will be considering all the different aspects below.
What is the new curriculum and why is it changing?
The national curriculum was first introduced in 1988 before on-line shopping, Google and the Cloud. Now, the world of work is different, technology is different, society is constantly changing.
The curriculum must prepare young people to develop higher standards of literacy and numeracy, to become more digitally and bilingually competent, and to be confident, capable and compassionate citizens – citizens of Wales and citizens of the world.
The curriculum is being reformed in order to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap between students, and equip young people to lead ‘fulfilling personal, civic and professional lives’ in modern society.
It aims to prepare children to thrive in a future where digital skills, adaptability and creativity are crucial, and that is rooted in Welsh values and culture.
The new Curriculum for Wales will be followed by children from the ages of three to 16. There won’t be separate curriculums for primary and secondary schools; rather, it will be a continuum across all stages.
The Four Core Purposes
The ' 4 Purposes ’ have guided the whole design of the Curriculum for Wales and set out the aspirations for all children and young people. They will support our children and young people to be:
12 Pedagogical Principles
The pedagogical principles. Curriculum design for all learners is underpinned by twelve pedagogical principles, which state that good learning and teaching: maintains a consistent focus on the overall purposes of the curriculum.
Areas of Learning (AOLEs)
The Curriculum for Wales has six areas of learning.
1. Expressive arts incorporating art, dance, drama, film and digital media, and music. It will encourage creativity and critical thinking, and include performance.
2. Humanities incorporating geography, history, RE, business studies and social studies. It will be based on human experiences and will also cover Welsh culture.
3. Health and wellbeing: this covers the physical, psychological, emotional and social aspects of life, helping students make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing and learn how to manage social influences. It will include PE.
4. Science and technology incorporating biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and design and technology.
5. Mathematics and numeracy: in the early years, this will involve learning through play. In later stages, it will include working both independently and collaboratively with others.
6. Languages, literacy and communication: this will include Welsh and English, literature and international languages. Welsh language teaching will still be compulsory (as an additional language for children who don’t use Welsh as their first language.
In addition, literacy, numeracy and digital skills will be embedded throughout all curriculum areas.
Cross Curricular Responsibilities
Literacy, numeracy and digital competence are mandatory cross-curricular skills within Curriculum for Wales. Our curriculum at Pentrebane will enable learners to gain experiences related to work and careers by providing authentic experiences as well as opportunities to learn from a diverse range of role models. They will further develop their competency through their application across the breadth and depth of their learning.
Our curriculum follows the mandatory requirements for Religion, Values and Ethics as well as Relationships and Sexuality Education across all age phases.
Our Preparation for the Curriculum for Wales 2022
Our school curriculum has been developed using the principles of co-construction. We have engaged fully with other school leaders, staff, governors, parents and pupils. We have worked with our stakeholders to determine their views on the knowledge, skills and experiences they feel children at Pentrebane should have by the time they move onto secondary education, enabling them to further develop their understanding of the statements of what matters, as well as our school values. We have worked closely alongside colleagues both within and beyond the Cantonian cluster to collaborate and develop shared approaches to curriculum design. Through our collaborative cluster work on the Humanities AoLE, we have identified some specific challenges facing humanity which learners will consider and examine through our curriculum, such as climate change, conflict, health and wellbeing, the rise of technology and diversity. We also considered the key concepts which pupils will develop when exploring these challenges.
Designing a curriculum is a journey.... not a destination!
Our curriculum is under constant review. Please let us know your thoughts.
At Pentrebane we recognise that curriculum design is an ongoing process of continuing improvement. We recognise that developing our school curriculum is never ‘complete’
but rather is an ongoing process of review, reflection and refinement. Throughout the development of our design process practitioners, learners, parents, carers and the wider community will continue to be consulted with regularly. Curriculum design will be constantly reviewed in light of feedback from these stakeholders. eg Questionnaires, Pupil Voice, Curriculum Design Events. Feedback from all stakeholders will be considered when undertaking reviews of our curriculum and will inform any refinements made.
School leaders and staff will continually reflect on the curriculum content and pedagogical approaches employed in our school, and consider how these might need to be adapted to meet the needs of learners now and in the future, and particularly in response to current events. The needs and progression of our learners and is central to our curriculum.
More detailed reviews of our curriculum will take place on a rolling basis over
a 3 year period. All AoLEs as well as other aspects of the curriculum will be
considered. These will evaluate how well the taught curriculum enables
learners to realise the four purposes, the extent to which it allows them to make
progress and develop their understanding of the statements of what matters, and whether lessons and activities enable progression in learning. This process will be supported by seeking the views of learners through our work on pupil voice.
At Pentrebane Primary School, we recognise that we have both mandatory and statutory duties. All of which will be monitored and reviewed throughout the review process.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is at the heart of our school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos. Our belief in “restorative approaches” ensures that every child is listened to and respected.
Our curriculum is being designed to enable every learner to aspire to the four purposes. Every pupil, no matter their age, will be suitably planned for. We always take into account every pupils' ability and aptitude, including any additional learning needs.
Our curriculum will support opportunities and experiences to develop the key concepts, knowledge and skills as described in the 27 statements of what matters.
Assessment and Progression:
As a school we have robust assessment arrangements in place. We draw upon a range of information to ensure every pupil is supported appropriately. Parents receive regular information on their child's progress, and are given help to understand their next steps in learning.
We are clear that the purpose of assessment is to support each individual learner to progress at an appropriate pace, ensuring they are supported and challenged accordingly.
We assess for three key reasons -
In designing our curriculum we have selected the knowledge, skills and experiences that best support our learners to progress. We have developed assessment arrangements to support each individual learner to progress. The focus is on identifying where the learner is in their learning, their next steps and the support or challenge needed to move them forward in their learning.
At Pentrebane our curriculum has been developed to incorporate the progression outlined in the principles of progression. When planning and delivering learning experiences, assessment will be embedded.
The purpose of assessment is to assess that progress is being made, to understand each individual learner’s progress and identify how to tailor ongoing support to effectively enable the learner to continue to progress. This approach will also help provide valuable information to inform transition processes.
Progression in learning is at the centre of our curriculum. Our curriculum has been designed to enable all learners to progress at an appropriate pace, ensuring they are supported and challenged accordingly.
The content of our curriculum - what our children learn and when - has been chosen with reference to the Descriptions of Learning for each AoLE. Our curriculum has also been designed using a shared understanding of the Principles of Progression, as detailed in the guidance, which states that progression in learning may be demonstrated through:
● Increased effectiveness;
● Increased breadth and depth of knowledge;
● A deeper understanding of the ideas and disciplines within the AoLEs;
● A refinement of, and growing sophistication in, the use and application of skills;
● An ability to make connections and transfer learning into new contexts.
In Mathematics and Numeracy, progression is demonstrated through the development of five interdependent proficiencies:
● Conceptual understanding;
● Communication using symbols;
● Logical reasoning;
● Strategic competence.
We recognise that progression in learning is not linear, nor does it happen at the same pace for every child. As such, our curriculum is designed around a continuum of learning, and all pupils are supported to progress along it at a pace appropriate to their individual needs, including those with Additional Learning Needs. Assessment is key to supporting each individual learner to make progress along the same continuum at an appropriate pace, ensuring that they are both supported and challenged to reach their potential.
To further support learners, we are working on developing "child friendly" four purposes to enable pupils to recognise their own success.