New Curriculum

This is a very exciting time for the young people who are being educated in Wales. A new Curriculum for Wales is coming that will enthuse learners from 3 to 16, giving them the foundations they need to succeed in a changing world.

Why is it changing?

The last curriculum in Wales was introduced in 1988. Consider for a moment the changes that have happened since then. Tablets and smart phones didn’t exist and the development of the internet was at very early stages.

Schools and teachers need to respond to these changes in order to engage all students and to help them to achieve their full potential.  

Professor Graham Donaldson’s independent review of curriculum and assessment, Successful Futures, sums up the dire need for change.

What’s changing?

  The Old Curriculum The New Curriculum
Basis:   *Promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society.
*Preparing pupils at school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
*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.
Subjects:   Core:
Foundation Subjects:
*Design and Technology *Information and communication technology
*Physical education
6 Areas of Learning:
*Expressive ArtsHealth and well-being
*Humanities (includes RE)
*Languages, literacy and communication (includes Welsh)
*Mathematics and numeracy
*Science and technology
Assessment:   *Summative Assessment
*National Tests
*Formative Assessments
*Online Personal Testing
*Annual online testing in addition to assessment against proposed progression steps at ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16.
*Formative Assessment
*Summative Assessment
Sections   *Foundation Phase (ages 3 to 7)
*Key Stage 2 (ages 8 to 11)
*Remove Foundation Phase and Key Stages.
*There will be a continuum of learning from ages 3 to 16.
*Progression will be signalled through progression steps at ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16.
Content *Cross Curricular Subjects *Literacy
*Digital Framework
*Cross Curricular Subjects
*Digital Framework

When’s it happening?

Work on developing the new curriculum is well underway, but this is not a process that will be rushed. The key milestones on the journey are set out below.

2015 – 2016: Pioneer Network established

2015 – 2019: Design and development phase of the new curriculum

September 2016: Digital Competence Framework available

December 2017: Digital Professional Learning Approach (DPLA) Available

2017 – 2022: Practical support to schools to prepare for the new curriculum

April 2018: Initial National Approach to Professional Learning Available (Phase 1)

April 2019: National Approach to Professional Learning Available (Phase 2)

April 2019: New curriculum and assessment arrangements available for feedback

January 2020: Final curriculum and assessment arrangements available

April 2020: Full Implementation of National Approach to Professional Learning (Phase 3)

September 2022: All maintained schools and settings using the new curriculum and assessment arrangements

The first teaching of all year groups from primary school to Year 7 will begin in September 2022 and the new curriculum will roll out year-on-year from this point.

A plan for designing and developing the new curriculum and assessment framework has also been developed in collaboration with Pioneer Schools and key stakeholders.

Keep up to date with developments to the new curriculum through the Curriculum for Wales blog.