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Education is changing

Our reforms and new curriculum will support young people to develop the skills they need to make the most of life.

What is changing?

There will be a new curriculum, made in Wales by teachers, partners, practitioners, and businesses and shaped by the best ideas from around the world.

Assessment will be part of your child’s learning every day and they’ll work with their teachers to understand how well they’re doing.

There will also be new ways of training and supporting staff and help for schools to improve.

These changes will all complement the new curriculum.

Why must we make these changes? 

The national curriculum was first introduced in 1988 before on-line shopping, Google and the Cloud. Now, the world of work is different, technology is different, society is constantly changing.

The curriculum must prepare young people to develop higher standards of literacy and numeracy, to become more digitally and bilingually competent, and to be confident, capable and compassionate citizens – citizens of Wales and citizens of the world.

When will it happen?

Here’s when the new curriculum will be taught:

  • September 2022 – Up to year 6 and some of year 7
  • September 2023 – Year 7 and 8

The curriculum will then roll out year by year until it includes year 11 by 2026 .

A guide to the new Curriculum for Wales

These guides explain the new curriculum in a straightforward way.

Schools will progress with designing their curriculum based on the suite of Curriculum Guidance 

What could this look like in schools?

The teachers, pupils and parents of Ysgol Bro Edern tell us about their experiences of developing the curriculum in their school.

What do School Governors think?

A Parent Governor, pupils and parents talk about the changes at Pembroke Dock Community School.

Will there be changes to the school year?

The Government is taking forward its manifesto commitment to review the school year, through a national conversation, with opportunities for parents, students, education staff, private and public sector workers and employers to give their views.

Will the way children learn change?

The way children learn in primary and secondary schools will be different. Learning will include skills and experiences, as well as knowledge.

Teachers will have more freedom to teach in ways they feel will have the best outcomes for their learners.

What about the current ‘Key Stages’?

Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 will disappear. The principles of the Foundation Phase will remain, but will become a part of one seamless curriculum for children aged 3 to 16, providing more joined-up learning.

Progression steps will now be in place at age 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16 years of age, relating to broad expectations of a child’s progress.

Will traditional subjects still be taught?

The Curriculum for Wales groups subjects into six Areas of Learning and Experience. Specific subjects will still be taught, but schools can decide to combine them so learners understand the links between them. In humanities for example a topic like climate change can be looked at holistically through geography, history and impact on society. Literacy, numeracy and digital competence will be taught to all throughout their schooling.

The six Areas of Learning and Experience are:

  • Expressive Arts
  • Health and Well-being
  • Humanities
  • Languages, Literacy and Communication
  • Mathematics and Numeracy 
  • Science and Technology

For more information about each of the Areas of Learning and Experience.

What will happen with assessment?

Assessment will take place on a day to day basis to assess each individual’s progress, agree next steps and monitor progress over time. It will not be used to make a one-off judgement at a set age or point in time.

Watch our video outlining how learning will be planned and progress will be assessed (on YouTube).

Will children still study for GCSEs?

GCSEs will still exist but the qualifications your child studies from 14-16 will fit with the new curriculum, so may look different from today’s GCSEs.

Advice and support will be given to learners choosing their options as they prepare for their future careers.

What’s changing with Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE)?

In 2022 a new code will make clear what should be taught within RSE. It will include learning about healthy relationships, keeping safe including online, and being confident to raise issues with responsible adults. Teaching will be age-appropriate, gradually building learners’ knowledge, skills and ethical values.

Faith groups and others representing children’s interests have helped teaching professionals to develop the code.

For more information Repository - Hwb (

Additional learning needs

Improvements will also be made to the support for children with additional learning needs.

Guidance on GOV.WALES explains how some children will move to the ALN system between September 2021 and August 2022.