Policy Forum for Wales

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Next steps for curriculum reform and implementation in Wales - assessing progress and options for further development, attainment and progression, support for pupils, teachers and schools, and best practice in other jurisdictions

May 2023

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

This conference focused on implementation of the new school curriculum in Wales, including priorities for delivery and assessment of student progression.

It was an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss further development of the curriculum as the Government seeks to understand the impact of new measures - including on teachers - as well as how the curriculum can evolve, and what support may be needed.

It followed the September 2022 rollout of the new curriculum in nursery settings, primary schools and year 7 of some secondary schools, with the remaining secondary schools being given the option to teach the new curriculum to year 7 and 8 from September 2023.

Delegates assessed the impact of increased flexibility in curriculum design, including how teachers are adapting to opportunities for customised approaches, the added pressures this may bring, and prospects for achieving increases in quality as a result.

We expected discussion on what is needed to ensure that delivery of the reformed curriculum sufficiently supports students and their progression in all Areas of Learning and Experience.

Further sessions looked at priorities for professional development and training to support the teaching workforce in delivering the new curriculum, and aligning teaching and learning with the skills that are valued by employers.

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote contributions with Lloyd Hopkin, Head of Curriculum Reform, Welsh Government; David Stacey, Senior Lecturer, University of Wales Trinity St David; Ian Morgan, Chief Executive, WJEC; and a session on best practice in other jurisdictions from Dr Ben Jensen, Chief Executive, Learning First.

Overall, sessions in the agenda focused on:

  • implementation of the new Curriculum for Wales:
    • progress so far - lessons learnt from adoption
    • adapting to the new Areas of Learning and Experience - preparing for implementation in remaining schools
  • curriculum design:
    • increasing flexibility in teaching - learning from other jurisdictions - identifying individual student needs - alignment with ongoing qualification reform
    • delivery of the four purposes for students - attainment and ambition, creativity and enterprise, confidence and health, and becoming ethical, informed citizens
  • curriculum delivery:
    • resource allocation - coordination within schools across the new Areas of Learning and Experience
    • reducing the burden on individual schools - opportunities for collaboration between schools
  • support for the workforce: balancing teacher workloads - professional training and development - providing clarity for teachers and learners - assessing wider workforce and staffing issues
  • educational outcomes: progression through school - strategies to boost performance - embedding integral skills throughout learning - quality and standards - support for additional needs
  • progression to further study and employment: aligning content with skills valued by employers - developing local partnerships to meet industry needs - supporting progression to FE and HE

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