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Written Statement - New curriculum and assessment arrangements

Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education
I would like to update members on progress in developing the new curriculum and assessment arrangements that will begin to roll out in September 2020 as part of our national mission to raise standards, close the attainment gap and create an education system that’s a source of national pride.

The work on developing the new curriculum and assessment framework is progressing well and to timescale and a draft version will be available in April 2019.

Since January Pioneer Schools, supported by world leading educationalist, Welsh Higher Education Institutions, Welsh Government and our stakeholders have made significant progress.

Pioneer schools have developed ‘what matters’ statements for each Area of Learning and Experience - the ways of organising learning across the curriculum. The ‘what matters’ statements set out the most important knowledge and skills to be gained and aim to make what children and young people learn relevant to the world we live in today and help them adapt to a changing society and world.

Our new curriculum and assessment arrangements are being built on ‘progression’.  The CAMAU project run by the University of Wales, Trinity St David and Glasgow University has supported Pioneers in developing this approach. It will be based on a nationally described continuum of learning from 3 - 16.

Progression Steps will be at 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16 and take the form of Achievement Outcomes relating broadly to expectations at those ages.   These will help teachers sequence learning purposefully for each learner.

Pioneers are also considering emerging professional learning needs which is informing the National Model for Professional Learning that will be launched in the Autumn to support professionals to move to the new curriculum.

In June, Estyn published a route map to help schools prepare. Schools leaders can start preparing for change now by using the route map and looking at the case studies showing how some of our schools are starting to prepare.

Our reforms are being developed collaboratively and transparently, with regularly published updates.  This week we have published 5 papers outlining our approach to the AoLE’s, with a further paper to publish in July. We have also released the latest EducationWales podcast focusing on the new curriculum in which teachers and Professors Graham Donaldson, Mark Priestley and Louise Hayward talk about how our reforms are putting Welsh education on the world map.

Anyone interested in following the progress of our reforms can subscribe to the Curriculum for Wales blog, listen to the recently launched EducationWales podcast or sign up to receive the Welsh Government’s education newsletter Dysg, which this week will focus entirely on progress in developing curriculum and assessment arrangements.

Pioneer Schools are engaging with cluster schools. If schools want further information about progress locally or getting involved they can contact their regional consortia.