Major review of the schools national curriculum published today
A major independent report that aims to raise standards and radically change how and what pupils in Wales learn over the decades to come has been published today by the Welsh Government.
The report was commissioned by Education Minister, Huw Lewis last March when he appointed Professor Graham Donaldson to undertake a comprehensive, wide ranging and independent review of the National Curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales.
Professor Donaldson’s resulting ‘Successful Futures’ report has been produced following an extensive national and international evidence-gathering exercise which included over 700 responses from young people, practitioners, parents and businesses. It covers learners from the current Foundation Phase right through to Key Stage 4.
The report’s recommendations have been described as both radical and wide ranging and provide a vision of what successful young people leaving statutory education should look like in the future.
- 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, and
- healthy, confident individuals ready to live fulfilling lives as valued members of society
The report also includes a proposal that digital competence should become a cross- curriculum responsibility for all teachers alongside literacy and numeracy.
Education Minster, Huw Lewis said:
“Professor Donaldson sets out a compelling, exciting and ambitious vision for a new curriculum in Wales. The scope and scale of the changes he envisages are both fundamental and wide ranging and will take time to create and secure .
‘What we do know is that the sustained and active participation of educational practitioners and the wider community will be essential to building this new curriculum.
“Both Professor Donaldson and I are committed to ensuring that Wales’ new curriculum is one that if fit for the 21st century and one that is built by all of us.”
Professor Graham Donaldson said:
“This report is called “Successful Futures because it signals the vital importance of schools to the future success of every child and young person in Wales. It is about better learning and higher standards.
“Better learning because it draws on evidence from Wales and beyond to focus on what really matters in a modern school curriculum. Higher standards because it sets high expectations for learning and provides ways in which schools and teachers can help young people to meet, and often exceed, those expectations.”
“In producing this report we have heard the views of headteachers, teachers, children and parents and have engaged widely with a broad spectrum of Welsh experience and opinion, including employers. The messages we received were clear and consistent, and the review’s proposals aim to make them a reality.
“My proposals build on the many existing strengths of Welsh education and seek to provide both a vision for the future and means of realising that vision.
“I am confident that the proposals in my report will provide Welsh Government and the wider education community with the means to develop a strong and vibrant educational experience for all children and young people in Wales.”
In his report Professor Donaldson sets out 4 key purposes for school education, together with a new framework for organising the curriculum.
He identifies 6 Areas of Learning and Experience as a means to combine subjects and other important aspects of learning to encourage connections and opportunities to apply learning in new ways.
The Welsh Government is keen for the people of Wales to engage on the big issues set out in Professor Donaldson’s report and will shortly launch its ‘Great Debate’ on the curriculum which will include events and online opportunities for engagement.