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The Curriculum for Wales Framework is being developed for settings and schools in Wales. Following a feedback period which ended in July 2019, the refined version will be available in January 2020, which will be used throughout Wales from 2022.

First published:
1 December 2017
Last updated:

What's changing

The Curriculum for Wales guidance was published in January 2020. It aims to help each school develop its own curriculum, enabling their learners to develop towards the four purposes of the curriculum the starting point and aspiration for every child and young person in Wales. It will also be relevant for funded non-maintained nursery settings, pupil referral units (PRUs) and those responsible for the provision of education other than at school (EOTAS) in other settings, enabling them to develop an understanding of the Curriculum for Wales Framework.

The Curriculum for Wales guidance sets out:

  • the proposed curriculum requirements set out in legislation for all learners aged 3 to 16, to ensure all schools cover the same core learning and to secure a consistency of approach for learners across Wales
  • guidelines for schools in developing their curricula
  • expectations around assessment arrangements to support learner progression

The purpose of the every school’s curriculum will be to support our children and young people to be:

  • ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
  • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society

Why it's changing

Improving education is our national mission. Nothing is so essential as universal access to, and acquisition of, the experiences, knowledge and skills and that our young people need for employment, lifelong learning and active citizenship.

The Curriculum for Wales guidance is a clear statement of what is important in delivering a broad and balanced education. The four purposes are the shared vision and aspiration for every child and young person. 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.

A school’s curriculum is everything a learner experiences in pursuit of the four purposes. It is not simply what we teach, but how we teach and crucially, why we teach it.

Curriculum development should be at the heart of practitioner, school and national efforts which seek to raise standards for all, tackle the attainment gap, and ensure an education system that is a source of national pride and enjoys public confidence.

It is designed to:

  • help practitioners to develop a more integrated approach to learning
  • Support schools to design their own curriculum and assessment arrangements
  • ensure assessment and learners’ progression are intrinsic to a setting or school’s curriculum

When it's changing

It is proposed that schools will be required to implement their curriculum from September 2022 for learners up to and including Year 7. Secondary schools will then be expected to roll out their curricula on a year-by-year basis, with Year 8 in September 2023 through to Year 11 in September 2026.

In advance of September 2022, all schools will be required to design their curriculum, including the supporting assessment arrangements, ready for its adoption. To prepare for this, they should develop the vision and methodology detailed in this ‘Designing your curriculum’ guidance.

Secondary schools will be required to design a curriculum for all year groups in advance of 2022, but will need to continue to refine this design in line with the phased roll-out of the curriculum beyond 2022 and to take account of the details of qualifications when they are confirmed. They will also be required to work with their clusters and with other secondary schools.

As the curriculum is rolled out, schools should consider how their curriculum should be revised in response to learning.

How it's been developed

The Curriculum for Wales guidance has been developed by practitioners through a network of schools. These schools were drawn from across Wales, including settings that were rural and urban; bilingual, English-medium and Welsh-medium; primary, secondary, special schools, schools with a religious character and a range of school sizes.

This network worked in partnership to develop the guidance in partnership with Welsh Government, regional consortia, Estyn, Qualifications Wales and a range of key stakeholders and experts.

The guidance was published for feedback in April 2019.

The guidance was then refined in response to this feedback and published in January 2020.

Teachers and practitioners will be offered specific Professional Learning opportunities to help them realise the new curriculum in schools.

The regional consortia and their networks of Professional Learning and Enquiry Schools will provide practical support and expertise for all schools to develop the pedagogical and leadership skills crucial to successful realisation of the new curriculum.

The radical new approach to the design and ongoing development of the curriculum and the way in which it is taught is wholly consistent with the philosophy of trusting and empowering professionals.

Initial Teacher Education and Training will also be transformed in line with Professor John Furlong’s proposals in his report Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers.

Curriculum for Wales news

Get involved in the conversation and keep up to date with developments to the new curriculum through our Curriculum for Wales blog.

You can also keep updated by listening to the Education Wales podcast on Spreaker or iTunes

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