On Monday 11th February 2019, I held a pupil assembly regarding the new updates for the curriculum for Wales and discussed how we have moved forward as a school. It was lovely to hear some pupils discussing the 4 purposes and also hearing about our Bubbles and Missions.
On Wednesday 13th February, we held a parent presentation about these updates. May I take this opportunity to thank Hannah Rowe, out Cluster Network, Leader of Learning who presented with our Senior Management Team along with our pupils about the updates to the curriculum and how we, at Casllwchwr, are preparing for the exciting changes. Staff and pupils discussed examples of the focused Bubbles and independent missions carried out in the phases and the positive impact it is having on pupil’s engagement in learning. The 6 Areas of Learning and Experience were discussed and the importance of Health and Well-being, which appears in Area 2 of School Development Plan (a summary of which can be located in the key information section of our school website)
94% of parents who attended, felt the presentations were very beneficial and worthwhile and we provided an opportunity to ask questions.
These are the questions you asked, with what we hope are helpful answers that we have for you at present. If there are any updates, we will do our best to ensure we communicate these to you:
You asked: Will the current national testing methods remain the same?
The tests will all remain. However, the information gathered from them will be used formatively only.
The real purpose of assessment is to provide information for the teachers on how best to support pupils’ learning progress. The current system of ‘Levels’ is being changed, so that learners’ achievements can be assessed in a way that better suits our rapidly changing world. Instead, assessment will be based on achievement outcomes at each of the Progression Steps, and schools will be expected to keep on moving learners forward, shaping what they learn so that they can go above and beyond the age appropriate progression step within each broad three year window.
You asked: How will you deal with problems in the time frame?
As a school we are already making the necessary changes to move towards the new curriculum. Pupil voice; raising awareness of the four purposes within the school and planning for providing engaging, relevant and stimulating experiences and opportunities for the pupils.
As a school we plan for pupil led learning through EPIC planning, Missions and Bubbles; Pupil Voice about new topics and helping to plan them and "Open Your Eyes' weeks to topics.
We have sufficient time (2 years) to plan for any other changes and ensure that they are embedded seamlessly into the curriculum.
You asked: How will teachers be monitored?
Teachers will be continued to be monitored rigorously as they always have by senior management and external agencies. This will ensure that standards are maintained.
You asked: Does this give teachers more freedom, without having to hit targets?
The new curriculum will make sure that the things pupils get taught in the different subjects properly prepare them for their future life and job(s), which is better for learners, better for all of us, and better for the economy.
Teachers will have more freedom to teach in ways they will have the best outcomes for their learners. This means teachers will be able to make lessons more relevant to the places children and young people live in, enabling learners to use local news and events in their learning, with lessons being best shaped to the class.
Teachers will have more control over how they deliver the skills, experience and knowledge, however there will be still be a framework that teachers will be expected to follow. Furthermore, teachers will be expected to support pupils to make the expected progress within each three year window to allow pupils to meet the age appropriate progression step for example by the age of 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16.
You asked: Will the children still do the national tests?
Yes, but these will be only used for formative assessment within schools.
You asked: How does this link to the National curriculum?
It doesn’t, it will replace the National Curriculum.
You asked: How does this fit into assessments e.g. national tests or GCSEs?
At present we know that the new curriculum will come into effect in September 2022. Furthermore, there will be new GCSEs and the current Year 3 will be the first year group to sit these. At present that is all we know.
You asked: When will the curriculum be sent to parents for their comments?
At present we don’t know whether Welsh Government have plans to send it out to parents