28 January 2022
ATISN 15910 - Curriculum Changes
Thank you for your request which I received on 2 January. You asked for:
Information about the steps taken to make the creative-based subjects (such as Art & Design, Music, Languages, Drama, etc.) more inclusive to each school year group, and any financial charges or changes that schools in Wales will have to undergo to adjust to this change in time for the new academic year this September.
The information you requested is below:
We noted your request to receive the information in a particular format, however we were unable to open your attachment. We have therefore provided the information as below.
The Curriculum for Wales framework was published on 28 January 2020 to provide a clear statement of what we see as important in a broad and balanced education.
The four purposes of the curriculum sit at the very heart of the framework and outline our aspirations for every learner in Wales. One of the four purposes states that the aim of a school’s curriculum is to support its learners to become enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work. Therefore, creativity is to be developed across the new curriculum, not just the Expressive Arts and Languages, Literacy and Communication areas of learning and experience (Areas). Further to this, the integral skills that underpin the four purposes include a focus on creativity and innovation.
Within the Curriculum for Wales framework, the six mandatory Areas comprise a suite of 27 mandatory statements of what matters, which sum up the most important knowledge, skills and experiences and represent what we want for all educated 16 year old learners in Wales. These mandatory statements provide for breadth and depth of learning across the entire curriculum, emphasising the importance of creativity, and can be seen within the guidance section for each Area published online.
The design and development of a purpose-driven curriculum structured on the basis of six areas, collectively comprised of 27 statements, requires a more holistic view of the process of curriculum construction. Using the statements to underpin learning helps develop a coherent understanding of a range of information, making connections between different learning, rather than accumulating isolated facts and activities; as well as providing a common focus for the whole 3 to 16 continuum. Furthermore, all 6 Areas have equal status under the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 including Expressive Arts and Languages, Literacy and Communication. For more information please see the Areas subsection on our webpage and the summary of legislation.
The steps schools and settings are taking in order to prepare for the new curriculum are detailed in the journey to curriculum roll-out guidance we updated in September 2021. This provides a clear national framework to guide planning and provide support for schools and settings in implementing the new curriculum.
With regards to financial support for schools and settings’ curriculum implementation, this is set out in the Welsh Government’s draft 3 year budget published on 20 December 2021. main narrative document sets out support for curriculum reform. Annex G (page 79) sets out the costs of implementing the Act, reflecting the emphasis we are placing on supporting schools and settings through this process. The proposed budget also reflects our recognition of the need to support schools and settings to respond, as part of their reform journey, to the learning progression needs of children and young people arising from the pandemic.
In the Minister’s budget evidence paper to Children, Young People and Education Committee, available here, he provides more detail in response to the commitment to update the Senedd. In particular paragraphs 1.5 (page 8) and para 2.5 (page 26) provide a further update on the current situation and projected forward work on curriculum reform and the costs of implementing the legislation.
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