Policy Forum for Wales

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The new Curriculum for Wales in early years education - opportunities and issues for implementation, the Areas of Learning and Experience, building responsive environments, staff support and leadership, and raising standards

July 2022

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

This conference was an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the new early years curriculum as part of the new Curriculum for Wales.

Due to be rolled out this September, the new framework is set to give educators more freedom to design their own curricula - with broad guidance that emphasises thematic learning with the introduction of six Areas of Learning and Experience, as well as learner-centred education, and children’s health and wellbeing.

There was also discussion on the introduction into the curriculum of mandatory Religion, Values and Ethics study, looking at best practice in the implementation and how teachers can be supported in teaching.

Areas for discussion included key challenges for:

  • assessment - squaring the curriculum’s focus on child-centred learning with assessment and evaluation of learner progress
  • quality - raising the standards of provision
  • implementation - change management and the role of leadership in early years education
  • nurturing understanding - creating more space and time for teachers to understand and develop the new curriculum during the implementation phase
  • training - staff professional development and support
  • transitioning to primary - improving coordination between early years and primary education, and smoothing the transition for learners under the new curriculum

The conference was also a chance to examine the anticipated non-maintained nursery curriculum and assessment framework, with discussion on:

  • priorities - for both the design and implementation phase
  • support - what more might be required by early years settings to successfully teach the new curriculum
  • challenges - the key challenges that early years practitioners expect to face with the new Areas of Learning and Experience

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Hannah Chivers, Senior Policy Lead, Foundation Phase, Welsh Government; Dr Gisselle Tur Porres, Programme Director, BA Early Childhood Studies, and Lecturer, Early Childhood Studies, Swansea University; and Gill Vaisey, Religion and Worldviews Education Consultant, Books at Press.

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the Welsh Government; Senedd Cymru; Senedd Research; Esytn; the DfE; Ofsted; Education Scotland; and the IPO.

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles