The NASUWT continues to press for the development of a curriculum, assessment and qualifications system in Wales that supports teachers in meeting the needs of learners effectively.

This work includes ensuring that systems are manageable, do not add to the workload burdens of teachers and school leaders and allow them to concentrate on their core responsibilities for teaching and leading teaching and learning.

For more information, see our new Qualifications (Wales) page.

The Curriculum for Wales - update August 2023

The intention of the Curriculum for Wales (CfW) is that it is constructed at school level by practitioners. However, little time and training has been allowed for practitioners to enable them to do this work. This combined with the disruption caused by the pandemic led to the NASUWT calling upon the Welsh Government to delay the implementation of the CfW.

In response to the NASUWT and responding to a survey of secondary schools in Wales which found that half were not ready, the Education Minister announced that schools could choose to delay the roll-out of the CfW to Year 7 in September 2022. Whilst this did allow for another year when preparation could be made, it does now mean that from September 2023 the CfW has to be followed in Year 7 and 8 in secondary schools, especially in the area of assessing the CfW.

Curriculum for Wales Assessment

The Welsh Government has produced a CfW Progression Code the intent of which is to support assessment of the CfW. A pdf of this is available on the Curriculum for Wales: Progression Code web page.

The full NASUWT consultation response is available on our Consultation Responses page. The NASUWT response stated that:

  • Practitioners understand and are familiar with progression through knowledge, understanding and skills. However, ‘making connections’ and ‘increasing effectiveness’ are new and require more detail and support. It is notable that mathematics and numeracy have set different principles or ‘proficiencies’. This should be extended to all AoLE (areas of learning and experience).

  • There is an attempt in the Progression Code to require consistency where none exists.

  • In the principle of ‘Making connections’ there is a danger that ‘learning in more unfamiliar and challenging contexts’ puts a burden on schools and practitioners to provide those ‘unfamiliar and challenging contexts.’ This requires organisation, time and money. There are serious workload implications here for practitioners. If the school does not provide these contexts, the requirement falls upon the learner which is implied in the code. This brings in disadvantage to pupils from more challenging social backgrounds. There are important social equality issues that are exposed in this principle.

  • The principle of ‘Increasing effectiveness’ seems to be the home of ‘everything else’. Included in this principle is self-evaluation, self-regulation, research skills and work experience. It is a disconnected collection of diverse skills that have been lumped together. In short, there is too much in this one principle.

  • Some of the AoLE progression points are obscure and esoteric. It is extremely important that there is more clarity here, especially with regard to the final two principles.

  • It is also vital that a Progression Code gives realistic examples of what can be assessed. In some of the AoLE ‘Making connections’ points there are passages that could not be assessed.

  • The overarching principles do not apply to mathematics which somewhat undermines the goal of overarching principles. There is also a tendency in the AoLEs to create obscure and/or unattainable goals in ‘Making connections’ and ‘Increasing effectiveness’. It is notable that mathematics has avoided both of these.

  • The practitioner is going to have to effectively build the curriculum from scratch. The NASUWT has expressed its serious concerns over the workload involved in this. The draft Progression Code gives little support to practitioners. Many practitioners will be concerned as to how they assess the principles in ‘Making connections’ and ‘Increasing effectiveness’. A great deal more work needs to be done to give absolute clarity as to what are the expectations on practitioners in these principles and how assessment can and should be conducted.

The NASUWT remains concerned that there is a great deal of confusion that exists in schools in Wales over CfW assessment.

Welsh Government support for teaching the Curriculum for Wales can be found on the Curriculum for Wales Hwb.


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