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Curriculum for Wales

Curriculum for Wales - A Guide for Children and Families

Why is the school curriculum being changed?


  • Advances in technology and globalisation have transformed the way we live and work. These changes have profound implications for what, and how, children and young people need to learn. They need a completely different skills set to 30 years ago. After all, tablets and smart phones didn’t even exist when the last curriculum was introduced in 1993!
  • The new curriculum aims to set out a more coherent and relevant blueprint of what pupils should be getting out of their time at school.
  • The reforms also came out of concerns about standards and poor results in international Pisa tests and ministers will hope it will improve these poor results.


(This new approach was informed by Professor Graham Donaldson’s independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales, Successful Futures, in February 2015 which provided the foundations for a twenty-first Century curriculum shaped by the very latest national and international thinking).


What is changing?


  • The new curriculum will have more emphasis on equipping young people for life and the new scenarios they will face. It will build their ability to learn new skills and apply their subject knowledge more positively and creatively. As the world changes, they will be more able to adapt positively.
  • Young people will also get a deep understanding of how to thrive in an increasingly digital world. A new digital competence framework is now introducing digital skills across the curriculum, preparing them for the opportunities and risks that an online world presents.
  • Schools and teachers will have more flexibility and freedom to respond to this environment. They will be able to teach in ways they feel will have the best outcomes for their learners. Using this new curriculum will promote high achievement and engage the interest of all children and young people to help them reach their potential.
  • The central focus of assessment arrangements will be to ensure learners understand how they are performing and what they need to do next. There will be a renewed emphasis on assessment for learning as an essential and integral feature of learning and teaching.


What are the key elements of the new Curriculum for Wales?


The new curriculum will include:

  • 6 Areas of Learning and Experience from 3 to 16
  • 3 cross curriculum responsibilities: literacy, numeracy and digital competence
  • progression reference points at ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16
  • achievement outcomes which describe expected achievements at each progression reference point.

Curriculum Organisation