Curriculum For Wales Guidance PDF

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Curriculumfor Walesguidance

Digital ISBN 978 1 80038 057 8 Crown copyright January 2020WG39993

ContentsIntroduction to the Curriculum for Wales guidance4A vision for every school’s curriculum5The Curriculum for Wales framework5An integrated approach to learning and teaching6Designing a school curriculum6Progression and assessment at the heart of curriculum design8Curriculum for Wales: summary of proposed legislation10Introduction10Purpose10Who does this Framework apply to?11Proposed legislative requirements – the curriculum requirements11Wider requirements18Designing your curriculum21Introduction21Developing a vision for curriculum design23Your curriculum design34Developing a methodology for designing your curriculum38Developing a methodology for curriculum design: Implementation and practicalconsiderations47Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience53Introduction53Statements of what matters55Principles of progression57Descriptions of learning59Designing your curriculum64Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience73Introduction73Statements of what matters74Principles of progression76Descriptions of learning78Designing your curriculum85Humanities Area of Learning and Experience98Introduction98Statements of what matters100Principles of progression103Descriptions of learning105Designing your curriculum116

Languages, Literacy and Communication Area of Learning andExperienceIntroductionStatements of what mattersPrinciples of ProgressionDescriptions of LearningDesigning your curriculumMathematics and Numeracy Area of Learning and ExperienceIntroductionStatements of what mattersPrinciples of ProgressionDescriptions of learningDesigning your curriculumScience and Technology Area of Learning and ExperienceIntroductionStatements of What MattersPrinciples of ProgressionDescriptions of LearningDesigning your curriculumSupporting learner progression: Assessment guidanceIntroductionOur key principlesThe purpose of assessmentWho needs to engage in the assessment process?Evaluation and improvement arrangements and assessmentPlanning for assessment within a school curriculumDeveloping a shared understanding of progression within and acrossschoolsTransition along the 3 to 16 continuumCommunicating and engaging with 236237239

Introduction to the Curriculum for Wales guidanceThe Curriculum for Wales guidance aims to help each school develop its owncurriculum, enabling their learners to develop towards the four purposes of thecurriculum – the starting point and aspiration for every child and young person inWales. This guidance will also be relevant for funded non-maintained nursery settings,pupil referral units (PRUs) and those responsible for the provision of education otherthan at school (EOTAS) in other settings, enabling them to develop an understandingof the Curriculum for Wales Framework (Framework).The Curriculum for Wales guidance sets out: the proposed curriculum requirements set out in legislation for all learners aged3 to 16, to ensure all schools cover the same core learning and to secure aconsistency of approach for learners across Walesguidelines for schools in developing their curriculaexpectations around assessment arrangements to support learner progression.It consists of the following. Introduction to the Curriculum for Wales guidance.Guidance for legislation – an outline of proposed legislation.Designing your curriculum – general guidance on developing a curriculumacross all areas of learning and experience (Area/Areas).Introduction to each area of learning and experience.Statements of what matters – the ‘big ideas’ and key principles in each Area.Principles of progression – how learners make progress throughout theirlearning across the curriculum.Descriptions of learning – how learners should make progress within eachstatement of what matters.Designing your curriculum – principles for each Area – more Area-specificguidance on developing a curriculum.Supporting learner progression – assessment guidance.A Curriculum and Assessment Bill is proposed for introduction in the Senedd in 2020.To assist schools to develop their curriculum, we will publish the Curriculum for Walesguidance. This is an early version of that guidance and its purpose is to help schoolsto start thinking about designing their curriculum and the assessment arrangements tosupport it.4

A vision for every school’s curriculumImproving education is our national mission. Nothing is so essential as universalaccess to, and acquisition of, the experiences, knowledge and skills and that ouryoung people need for employment, lifelong learning and active citizenship.The Curriculum for Wales guidance is a clear statement of what is important indelivering a broad and balanced education. The four purposes are the shared visionand aspiration for every child and young person. In fulfilling these, we set highexpectations for all, promote individual and national well-being, tackle ignorance andmisinformation, and encourage critical and civic engagement.A school’s curriculum is everything a learner experiences in pursuit of the fourpurposes. It is not simply what we teach, but how we teach and crucially, why weteach it.Curriculum development should be at the heart of practitioner, school and nationalefforts which seek to raise standards for all, tackle the attainment gap, and ensure aneducation system that is a source of national pride and enjoys public confidence.This development will also contribute to our goals as a nation as set out in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. It is also an important vehicle forembedding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in theexperience of learning and teaching for our children and young people and for givingthem an understanding of their rights.The Curriculum for Wales FrameworkThe Curriculum for Wales guidance forms part of the Curriculum for Wales Framework(Framework). The Framework is determined nationally and includes both thecurriculum requirements, which will be set out in legislation, and a range of supportingguidance.The Curriculum for Wales guidance, and the other guidance we are publishingalongside it, is the result of co-construction. It has been developed in Wales, bypractitioners for practitioners, bringing together educational expertise and widerresearch and evidence.It has been published primarily to help schools begin to design their own curriculum. Itcontains information on the proposed legal requirements, guidance on how to developa school curriculum, and an explanation of the purposes and principles of assessment.Assessment should be intrinsic to curriculum design. Funded non-maintained settings,pupil referral units (PRUs) and those responsible for the provision of education otherthan at school (EOTAS), will not be required to design a curriculum in the same wayas a maintained school or maintained special school and further, more specificguidance will be published for these settings in 2021 to support them in fulfilling theirlegal obligations in relation to the Framework.5

The Curriculum for Wales guidance is initial guidance and if the Curriculum andAssessment Bill is passed by the Senedd, it will be revised to reflect any changes.What’s differentAn integrated approach to learning and teachingThe Framework is designed to help practitioners to develop a more integratedapproach to learning. The six Areas bring together familiar disciplines and encouragestrong and meaningful links across different disciplines. Those individual disciplineswill still play an important role, especially as learners progress and begin to specialise.The Curriculum for Wales guidance promotes collaboration and cross-disciplinaryplanning, learning and teaching, both within and across Areas. This will enablelearners to build connections across their learning and combine different experiences,knowledge and skills.There are 27 statements of what matters in this Framework. These ensure a level ofconsistency in curriculum design across settings and schools, as learners mustdevelop an understanding of all statements. The process of exploring and revisitingthese statements will enable learners to develop ever deeper knowledge over thelearning continuum and to progress to a more sophisticated understanding of the keyknowledge, ideas and principles in each Area.This more sophisticated understanding allows learners to value how their learningcontributes to these ideas and why it is important, rather than simply being able torecall isolated facts without understanding the context. This progression should besupported by a variety of assessment approaches which enable the learner and thepractitioner to understand where a learner is and what they need to do next.The Framework does not require settings and schools to develop a timetable explicitlystructured along the lines of the Areas or to organise the setting or school or staffingon that basis.Designing a school curriculumA defining feature of the Framework is that it requires schools to design their owncurriculum and assessment arrangements. By itself, it is not an ‘off the shelf’programme for delivery. Our new approach recognises: the role of leadership in enabling high-quality learning and teaching.Establishing a high-performing education system through high-quality learningand teaching depends on building its professional capacity, developing localleadership, responsibility and decision-making6

within the national framework, schools and practitioners are best placed tomake decisions about the needs of their specific learners, including choosingtopics and activities which will best support their learning the importance of meaningful learning: A content-focused curriculum does notguarantee meaningful learning, only that certain topics are covered to varyingextents; instead, the Curriculum for Wales guidance articulates what conceptsand essence of learning should underpin a range of different topics, learningactivities and acquisition of knowledge the need for innovation and creativity: Practitioners select content, enablingthem to use their professional skills to drive improved learning and outcomesfor their learners the scope for practitioners to make greater links between Areas and disciplines:Practitioners will have the licence to use topics and activities to combinemeaningful learning from different Areas, disciplines and concepts.It is for these reasons that the Framework does not try to prescribe a full list of specifictopics or activities. That is not to say that the specific topics or activities areunimportant. Instead, the Curriculum for Wales guidance sets out the essence oflearning which should underpin them. It is for schools and practitioners, drawing onguidance and resources, to decide what specific experiences, knowledge and skillswill support their specific learners to realise the four purposes. This is set within theconsistency provided by the national framework. Designing your curriculum givesguidance and support in developing a curriculum, offering key principles that serve asa common starting point for schools.Other settings can use this as a starting point if they wish, however the WelshMinisters will: be required to provide a curriculum which funded non-maintained nurserysettings can adopt. If a setting wished to create its own curriculum, thatcurriculum would have to meet the requirements set out in the legislation and itcould use the Curriculum for Wales guidance to inform their approach issue guidance for PRUs and those responsible for EOTAS provision, tosupport them in providing learning and teaching in line with the Framework andfulfilling their specific responsibilities in the legislation.7

Progression and assessment at the heart of curriculum designAnother defining characteristic of the framework is the emphasis placed on learners’progression. The Curriculum for Wales guidance has been informed by internationalevidence of what it means to make progress in learning.The statements of what matters are the basis of learners’ progression. It is throughexploration of the key ideas and principles contained in these statements that they willdevelop their learning. Practitioners will need to design learning which supports anincreasingly sophisticated understanding and application of the statements of whatmatters. Taken together, the statements of what matters provide breadth and depth inthe curriculum, and a level of consistency in curriculum design across settings andschools. That is why they will be drawn together in a mandatory statement of whatmatters once the Curriculum and Assessment Bill becomes law.The Curriculum for Wales guidance describes principles of progression for thecurriculum as a whole and for each individual Area. These articulate the ways in whichlearners make progress in their learning and contribute to the four purposes. Thesewill be incorporated in a statutory code once the Curriculum and Assessment Billbecomes law. This means that progression must be embedded in learning andteaching and should form the basis of thinking in schools when designing andplanning the school curriculum.Progression is further supported by descriptions of learning which provide guidance onhow learners should progress within each statement of what matters as they journeythrough the continuum of learning. These are arranged in five progression steps whichprovide reference points for the pace of that progression. These expectations areexpressed from the learner’s perspective and are framed broadly so that they cansustain learning over a series of years. They are not designed as stand-alone tasks,activities or assessment criteria. While the learning continuum is the same for eachlearner, the pace of progress through it may differ. As a result, the progression stepsonly broadly relate to age. They broadly correspond to expectations at ages 5, 8, 11,14 and 16.Together, the principles of progression and the descriptions of learning are intended toguide the development of a curriculum which reflects appropriate progression.Learners’ progress can then be identified through assessment, and allowspractitioners to plan learning and teaching.Progression should be supported through ‘deep’ learning. Each description of learningis designed to support increasing depth and sophistication of learning over time. Thisallows: space for a variety of diversion, repetition and reflection as learners’ thinkingdevelops over time to new levels of sophistication. They are also designed to beconsidered through a range of contexts.8

Learning should bring together through experiences a breadth of knowledge and skills,allowing the learners to use and apply them in new and challenging contexts.Assessment is key to supporting ‘deep’ learning and should be used to identify whetherlearners need to conso

curriculum requirements, which will be set out in legislation, and a range of supporting guidance. The Curriculum for Wales guidance, and the other guidance we are publishing alongside it, is the result of co-construction. It has been developed in Wales, by