WG White Paper on Curriculum Reform

Why it's so important to have your say!

The key changes & what it will mean for teachers in Wales

Welsh Government has opened the consultation on the legislation that will underpin arrangements for the new curriculum and assessment. Below, we go through some of the key changes and what they might mean for teachers in Wales.

The consultation is open until March 25th, so click on the link to access the original WG document & have your say!


Please remember, this is just our interpretation of the White Paper, and our understanding of what key elements may mean for schools and teachers.

Curriculum content & coverage of the 4 Purposes and the 6 AoLEs is projected to become part of the evaluation process completed by Estyn inspections, Regional Consortia core visits and detailed in school improvement plans.

  • Teachers will need to be able to provide evidence of how their local school curriculum enables pupils to achieve the age appropriate Achievement Outcomes (AOs). Teachers will use the AOs to shape their planning.

LNF/DCF are not “set out in legislation”.

  • Teachers will need to check how the LNF/DCF is referenced in each AoLE and continue to use the LNF/DCF documents to help them plan for progression in these skills, the detail of these two frameworks will not be included in legislation. Pupils literacy and numeracy skills will continue to be tested via the new Personalised Assessments.

HTs will decide and possibly need to report, how many pupils will achieve age related AOs each year – this will be scrutinised by Regional Consortia, LA, Estyn.

  • Teachers will need to assess pupils’ skills, knowledge and experience against the AOs, so they can accurately predict whether at each Progression Step pupils will achieve the age-related outcome or not. This information will then need to be shared and stored centrally in school to help headteachers make appropriate judgements, and be ready to share as part of the evaluation process.

Teachers will design in school assessments themselves in order to decide which AO “best fits” a pupils’ progress.

  • The AOs statements are broad, not detailed and have not been exemplified. This will mean a standard will need to be set and agreed upon. In the first instance this may happen at school level, but longer term this may be set and moderated by Regional Consortia.

There will be an increased focus on how a school’s curriculum allows pupils to achieve AOs. This may become a large part of the new standardised SER.

  • What this will look like for class teachers is unclear as there has been no further information on how pupils’ achievement of the AOs will or will not be reported/evaluated. Further accountability information is due to be published by WG in February 2019.

FP will no longer have separate statutory documentation. FP will teach Relationships & Sexuality Education as standard and English in all provisions including WM.

  • WG expects EM classroom teachers to focus more on their Welsh language provision. Teachers in WM FP will be expected to teach English, which may affect the immersion model of Welsh language teaching at this early age. FP teachers will also need to include new curriculum content on Relationships and Sexuality.

UPDATE 04/02/19: WG issue a statement regarding statutory teaching of English language in WM FP provisions. More information here https://beta.gov.wales/our-national-mission-transformational-curriculum?_ga=2.158971256.315721998.1549277097-1283207896.1543501848

MFL will not be legislated for. HTs may decide how and when MFL or International Languages are taught.

  • MFL in both primary and secondary schools may be side-lined in favour of other curriculum content by headteachers.

WG will be providing a statutory e-portfolio platform to be used by all pupils.

  • All teachers will need to support pupils to create their own individual e-portfolio using a WG digital tool & platform. This will be for use across all areas of the curriculum. The structure of this e-portfolio is still in development, but the intention by WG is that this is where pupils’ progress and next steps are recorded and stored, ready to be shared and utilised as part of the learning process.

No new primary legislation will be implemented for evaluation and improvement of schools.

  • All the current accountability structures and methods will be applied to the new curriculum. For classroom teachers and schools, in reality this may mean that the accountability culture within Wales changes relatively little. The current system will be shifted to a new set of criteria.

The SER will become a key element of the Estyn inspection process.

  • Schools’ SER will be validated by both Regional Consortia and as part of inspection. Kirsty Williams has mentioned that one possibility is that if Estyn deem it good enough, the school may ‘buy out’ of inspection for a period of time. The white paper states that all schools will need to publish their SIP actions as a result of the evaluation of their SER. For schools this will mean writing a ‘good’ SER, one that is validated both by Regional Consortia and Estyn may become a key focus of school’s work as it may mean an inspection holiday for all involved.

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.

What's our experience? - 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, both hold school governor posts and have 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 book our support? - Put simply, because we believe in impact. We do exactly what our name suggests. Our workshop keeps things simple and ensures school actions really work. Our focus is always on delivering measurable impact for pupils

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