A summary of the group’s purpose and how it will work.
The working group is being established at the request of the Minister for Education who has asked for the group to oversee the procedures for the development of and utilisation of learning resources for use in schools, and identify gaps in current resources or training, which support both the teaching of themes relating to BAME communities and cynefin across all parts of the curriculum and the teaching of the histories of Wales and the world.
This will include, but go beyond, black history to consider a range of minority ethnicities as part of the story of Wales. The group will consider issues, themes, events and resources across the six AOLEs, including but not limited to, literature, social history, art, language and well-being. The statements of what matters for the new curriculum refer to the need for consistent exposure to the story of learners’ locality and the story of Wales, as well as to the story of the wider world, to enable learners to develop an understanding of the complex, pluralistic and diverse nature of societies, past and present.
Learners should be grounded in an understanding of the identities, landscapes and histories that come together to form their cynefin. This will not only allow them to develop a strong sense of their own identity and well-being, but to develop an understanding of others’ identities and make connections with people, places and histories elsewhere in Wales and across the world
The group will work in the spirit of the Curriculum for Wales guidance, considering the strategic and broad principles and direction required, ensuring what is important in delivering a broad and balanced education across each of the areas of learning and experience.
The four purposes are the shared vision and aspiration for every child and young person. They include the aim that that learners should develop as ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world, who ‘are knowledgeable about their culture, community, society and the world now and in the past’ and ‘respect the needs and rights of others, as a member of a diverse society’.
In fulfilling these, we set high expectations for all, promote individual and national well-being, tackle ignorance and misinformation, and encourage critical and civic engagement.
This group will work closely with wider groups across Wales (and beyond), not replicating existing knowledge and good practice, but bringing together a shared approach across all the issues above to support teaching and learning. The group will build an inclusive network with existing groups and those interested in this work to provide practical support for schools, as well as thoughts, learning resources and wider engagement opportunities.
The primary objective of the working group is to:
- review the learning resources currently available to support the teaching of themes relating to BAME communities, their contributions and experiences, across all Areas of Learning and Experience and the teaching of the histories of Wales and the world
- advise on the commission of new learning resources in these areas, drawing on the advice of existing experts and groups
- review and report on professional learning related to BAME communities, their contributions and experiences, across all Areas of Learning and Experience.
Outline objectives are included as Annex A. As the focus of the group is to drive a changed approach to learning and teaching, the working group will comprise educationalists as a priority, as well as others who can contribute across the above objectives.
Membership will be by invitation in discussion between the Chair and the Welsh Government (see Annex B). However, the group will be inclusive and will wish to engage a wide variety of representatives, stakeholders and contributions to come to their conclusions and take forward and deliver the outcomes of the work.
Timescale and meeting arrangements
Resources and professional learning for the teaching of the new curriculum need to be ready to support teachers to prepare for the phased introduction of the new curriculum, which commences rollout in 2022.
The group will contribute thinking to the Welsh Government’s Curriculum Expert Group and connect with the wider work on race equality led and supported by Welsh Government. The Chair will meet with the Minister for Education on a quarterly basis.
The group will meet initially via TEAMs/Skype. The number and frequency of meetings will be discussed and agreed at the inaugural meeting of the group, but this needs to be aligned with milestones and key deliverables of the process.
The meeting agenda and papers will normally be circulated via e-mail, 10 working days prior to each meeting.
Each group member is responsible for reading all materials presented for their consideration and for contributing opinions and relevant examples of experience for discussion at the group, in a timely and appropriate manner.
If a member is unable to attend a meeting, they will be invited to submit a written contribution to the group, to ensure their views are considered in their absence.
Milestones and key deliverables
The group will present their initial findings of the review of current resources and an accompanying narrative report to the Minister including recommendations for new resources for the academic year 2020 to 2021.
The group will present their review and recommendations regarding professional learning related to BAME communities, their contributions and experiences across the curriculum. The group will highlight areas of good practice for continuous sharing across schools to improve the focus on these issues within learning approaches in schools and settings.
The group will present a report to the Minister on their key recommendations.
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Annex A: draft objectives
Specific tasks for working group include, but are not restricted to, the following areas:
- Review and report on learning resources currently available to support the teaching relating to i) BAME communities, their contributions and experiences, across the Areas of Learning and Experience; and ii) the histories of Wales and the world. Engage with the sector to identify areas of good educational practice which should be shared across Wales, and any gaps in quality, subject matter and range, diversity and age-appropriateness (taking into account the advice of wider expert groups). This may include identification of exemplar materials, tools for embedding this across the curriculum, signposting, professional learning, and piloting in schools.
- Consider and advise on the strategic direction for BAME communities, contributions and cynefin, and how to ensure the appropriate levers, mechanisms and tools are available for all schools, to have the confidence to deliver this across their curriculum.
- Consider how the principle of cynefin can be strengthened further across the Curriculum for Wales framework and guidance (ensuring an understanding of identities and connections with people, places and histories within Wales and across the world).This would include:
- the cross-cutting themes guidance
- the Humanities guidance
- the guidance for other Areas such as Science and Technology
- the Design your Curriculum guidance.
- Review and present recommendations on professional learning related to BAME communities, their contributions and experiences; across the Areas of Learning and Experience.
- Oversee development of professional learning resources and other approaches that will encourage practitioners to feel confident teaching these resources across the curriculum.
- Advise the Minister for Education on the commissioning of new learning resources and professional learning challenges to support the teaching of the above, in line with the principles of the new curriculum.
- Oversee development of learning resources commissioned following the group’s advice.
- Consider how best to build upon the results of this project more widely in the future, including professional learning and ensuring that the curriculum reflects the diversity, experiences, perspectives and cultural heritage of contemporary Wales going forward.
Consider and advise on the applicability of this model of building learning and knowledge to other key issues, including cognitive skills, other topics (such as environmental issues), cross-cutting learning.
Annex B: membership of working group
Professor Charlotte Williams OBE.
- Abu-Bakr Madden Al-Shabazz - Cardiff University Centre for Lifelong Learning – Representing Black History Wales
- Angela Heald - Head teacher of St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School, Swansea
- Clara Seery - ADEW; Managing Director of Central South Consortium
- Humie Webbe - National Training Federation Wales
- Dr Marian Gwyn - PHD in Black History, Bangor University. Heritage Specialist
- Professor Martin Johnes - Swansea University
- Nia Williams - Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Preseli
- Nicky Hagendyk - Humanities Lead, EAS Consortia
- Rajvi Glasbrook Griffiths - Deputy Head, High Cross Primary School, Rogerstone
- Dr Shehla Khan - Lecturer in University of Wales Trinity Saint David; Chairperson of EYST Wales
- Gwawr Meirion - Estyn HMI
- Liz Counsell - Estyn HMI