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Welsh Government announced on May 18th, a change to the way in which schools are required to report against the LNF with immediate effect. All schools will now only be expected to provide an annual narrative report for parents against the LNF in English, Welsh and Mathematics, or Mathematical Development, Language, Literacy and Communication in Foundation Phase.

Further information regarding the announcement can be found here

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What do the changes to LNF Reporting mean for the future?

The recent announcement from Welsh Government that reporting on the LNF would be changing with immediate effect, came as quite a surprise. WG outlined the rationale given for the change as

"The aim of this changes is to enable schools to focus efforts on literacy and numeracy development in effective curriculum planning and assessment for learning approaches; a key focus of the new curriculum."

This reveals a determination on Kirsty Williams' part to make the new curriculum a success. She has listened to Estyn and OECD, who both mention formative assessment as needing further development. She has also heard teaching unions and other advocates of teacher well being, who say workload is an issue and she has tried to reduce that load by focussing on the elements of the LNF implementation that will have a lasting impact on pupil outcomes.

Another very important point that this change highlights, is the importance that is being placed on getting the explicit teaching and assessment of the LNF right at all levels. This reaffirms WG's intention that Literacy and Numeracy will underpin the entire curriculum. With the suggestion from the Strategy Group for Cross Curricular Responsibilities that skill pathways from the LNF may appear within the curriculum documents for each Area of Learning & Experience, it has never been so important to ensure every teacher in your school fully understands the expectations of the LNF and what that means in terms of explicit teaching, formative assessment and making sure pupils make measurable progress in Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum.

Preparing for Donaldson a Case Study

Ty Sign Primary in Risca is a large primary school in the Caerphilly local authority where a third of pupils are eligible for free school meals and approximately 30% have additional learning needs.

In September 2016, head teacher Alison Dacey decided the way in which her staff taught in the classroom and supported and collaborated with each other needed to change in line with the newly published Donaldson Report. Alison contacted Impact School Improvement to support her Subject Coordinators and Senior Leaders with a particular focus on raising standards in Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum.

Over the last year the actions that Ty Sign staff have been working on include:

  • Re-organised staffing structure that reflects the Areas of Learning & Experience
  • Renewed Curriculum Maps for all subjects that address the 4 Purposes of the new curriculum
  • Renewed Schemes of Learning that provide a breadth of experiential learning in line with the 12 pedagogical principles of the Donaldson Review
  • A focus on formative assessment strategies for key Literacy and Numeracy skills across the curriculum
  • A digital exemplification process to develop staff understanding of what progress looks like for key Literacy and Numeracy skills
  • Linking digital competence skills that support and develop key Literacy and Numeracy skills across the curriculum and how these can be taught effectively
  • Using Sketchnoting to develop reading comprehension & numerical reasoning skills

The school has also begun a MAT project with Impact Ltd, looking at Higher Order Reading skills for more able pupils. The focus for this project is providing a consistent, effective MAT identification process in order to develop independent, capable learners who "set themselves high standards, and seek and enjoy challenge". The long term aim of the project is to embed an understanding of how to progress analytical reading skills across the curriculum that eventually all pupils will benefit from, not just those at the top end of the ability spectrum.

In response to these strategic improvements Estyn commented in a report on the school's work published in January of this year:

"A particular strength of the school is the detailed provision now in place to support

the progressive development of pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills. Pupils benefit

from structured opportunities to apply these skills in relevant and increasingly

challenging contexts across the curriculum."

If you would like to find out more about how Ty Sign Primary or other primary and secondary schools across Wales have begun their preparation for "a better education" in line with Donaldson's 68 recommendations to Welsh Government, go to our website for more case studies, or contact us at for a free initial consultation.

Reduced Budgets making CPD too expensive? Host an Impact Workshop!

Are you struggling to make difficult decisions about how to spend a reduced budget on CPD? We have an answer that will enable you to access high quality professional learning on topics that are highly relevant to the current situation in Wales and the changes that all schools will need to make in readiness for the new curriculum due in September 2018.
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Host an Impact Workshop

We bring one of our highly popular workshops to your school for a flat rate which allows you to share the cost of training with partner schools.

Key Benefits:

  • High quality training at a fraction of the cost
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues from local schools
  • Get a workshop amended specifically for your context

To get further details of all the workshops and support we offer go to our profile page To find out more about our range of workshops drop us a line to

A Little More About Us

Who are we? - We are Finola & Jane, Literacy & Numeracy specialists, with 35+ years of teaching, training & leadership experience between us.

Can you trust us? - We have both worked for Welsh Government supporting schools & senior leaders across Wales. We have held senior leadership posts, delivered support to strategic education advisers, and published curriculum support guidance with Oxford University Publishing...but if you need to know more visit our website for testimonials from schools we've worked with.

Why should you buy our support? - Put simply, because we believe in impact. We do exactly what our name suggests. Our school support is always bespoke, high quality and designed specifically for each school we work with. Our focus is on delivering measurable impact for pupils.