The New Welsh Curriculum – An Update

News lately has been filled with information coming from the Welsh Education Minister. She has stated that schools need more help with enforcing the new curriculum. However, how many of us can say that we know what the new curriculum entails? It may have been in force for some time already. However, budgets have been thinning out for schools, and the curriculum was hardly enforced in one fell swoop. It is taking time to be fully fleshed out.

If you don’t know what the new Welsh curriculum is for schools, we have you covered. Today we will tell you all there is to know about the new updated curriculum and what the Welsh government has been saying about it!

So, What Is The New Curriculum All About?

Not really to anyone’s surprise, the new Welsh curriculum has a focus on literacy, numeracy and digital competence. This curriculum is enforced for all under 16 years of age. Although the curriculum is to be enforced countrywide, the way it is to be enforced locally will depend on independent schools.

Let’s talk a little more about what each independent aspect of the curriculum covers and break it down into easy-to-digest chunks!

Literacy & Numeracy Framework (LNF)

The literacy and numeracy framework includes several notable areas:

  • Translanguaging for literacy.
  • Listening for literacy.
  • Reading for literacy.
  • Speaking for literacy.
  • Writing for literacy.
  • Developing mathematical proficiency for numeracy.
  • Understanding that the number system helps us to represent and compare relationships between numbers and quantities for numeracy.
  • Learning about geometry helps us to understand shape, space, and position. And learning about measurement helps us quantify in the real world for numeracy.
  • Learning that statistics represent data and probability models chance, helps us to make informed inferences and decisions for numeracy.

The first focus listed in this framework is ‘Translanguaging’. This is the ability to communicate in various languages. In this sense, the education system is focused on trying to broaden the linguistic horizons and opportunities of the Welsh youth. The aim is to help students diversify their future opportunities by giving them language skills that enable them to compete in the growing global economy. Many schools already work with MFL (Modern Foreign Language) staff and this aspect of the curriculum is already in place in many schools, including primary schools.

The key wording for this curriculum area is that it states ‘enable learners to communicate effectively using Welsh, English, and international languages’. Furthermore, this could help the next generation get more opportunities due to having multi-language skills.

Digital Competence Framework (DCF)

There are several areas that the digital competence framework will be focusing on. This includes focuses on the following subtopics:

  • Digital citizenship.
  • Interacting and collaborating online.
  • Producing.
  • Data and computational thinking.

Digital citizenship is a great area for children to be educated in. Through digital citizenship, learners will better understand what it means for them to be a citizen of the digital world. This enables them to contribute in a more positive way to the online world and helps them to understand, learn, and conceptualise what it means to be a part of an online community.

Interaction and collaboration open up lines of communication. In some ways, this aspect of the curriculum is better geared towards utilising digital media as a way to enhance and distribute work. Next is production, which is another route that is being taken to help inform children how online creation is relevant to working environments. This includes the use of text, audio, graphics, video and so on.

The final aspect of DCF is computational thinking which uses problem-solving, scientific enquiry, and thinking. This includes the use of computer literacy, controlling devices through instructions, understanding algorithms and in some cases coding.

What Does This Tell Us?

Overall it is safe to say that the curriculum for Wales has a more pin-pointed focus on improving linguistics as well as considering a population of bilinguals. This is as well as preparing children for a world run by technology where they need to be able to understand and control the digital world.

This is a big step forward and has a lot of potential for substantial growth in the futures of our children. Tell us what you think about this curriculum change! Leave a comment below!