The curriculum in Wales is changing - what we know so far

30/05/19

The curriculum – what and how subjects are taught – is undergoing a radical overhaul in Wales, and in order to continue supporting learning at home, parents in Wales need to be prepared.

Why is the curriculum changing?

The Welsh Government has said that evidence from international surveys and schools inspectorate Estyn suggest overall levels of achievement could be improved. They also say that the national curriculum needs to be updated to prepare young people in the digital age to thrive once they reach a changing workplace. The change is intended to lead to a broader and more flexible curriculum.

Welsh Government has now published its proposed Draft Curriculum for Wales 2022, which has not yet been finalized, so that anyone interested can feed back their thoughts and make suggestions, which the government will consider before the final version of the new curriculum is decided.

Here’s an overview of what we know so far.

When will the new curriculum be introduced?

Children in classes nursery to Year 7 will study the new curriculum from the academic year starting in September 2022.

Children in Years 8 to 11 will see the new curriculum phased in between 2023 and 2026.

In time, the new curriculum will be studied by all children aged 3-16 studying at a maintained school in Wales. See the table below to know when your child will transition to the new curriculum.

What do the changes involve?

The biggest single change is that, rather than separating the curriculum into distinct subjects that we currently see in place, students will instead learn from six “Areas of Learning and Experience”, or AoLEs for short. 
There are explanatory videos on each AoLE to give parents and students more information:

Welsh Government guidance says, "Curriculum for Wales 2022 seeks to allow for a broadening of learning, supporting settings and schools to be more flexible in their approaches, and provides education leaders and practitioners with greater agency, enabling them to be innovative and creative."

Schools will be required to teach its pupils a “broad and balanced curriculum” composed of the six areas of learning and experience listed above.

The following disciplines must be included as part of each AoLE:

  • Welsh
  • English
  • religious education
  • relationships and sexuality education
  • literacy/numeracy/digital competence.

Where can I find more information?

At the moment, the Welsh Government website is hosting all of the relevant information, and Education is changing has plenty of information for parents.

However, we will soon be posting Q&A video responses to questions we put to the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams. These will provide more details on how parents can find relevant information and get involved in the consultation process.

Can I as a parent have a say on the changes?

If you want to tell the Welsh government about your thoughts on the six areas of learning or any other parts of the curriculum you can do this now. The Welsh government is currently inviting responses to their consultation which remains open until Friday 19th July. We will keep you updated with further opportunities to have a say on the new curriculum. 

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