We are currently working towards the new Curriculum for Wales which will come into effect from September 2022. The curriculum has been reformed at a national level in order to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap between students and equip young people with the skills they need to live in today’s ever changing society.
At Cosheston VC School we are making good progress. Working as part of a successful Triad of schools we have developed a Statement of Intent:
- Teachers plan for stage not age of pupils.
- Theme lessons are taught in a carousel which include 1 or 2 bubble groups taught by a teacher and/or TA and 1 or 2 groups will either be directed to an independent task and/or directed to continuous or enhanced provision (missions/quests).
- Discrete maths lessons are focused on Number and Algebra
- Focused bubble task – teacher/staff led group activity with a focus on developing skills
- Independent task – pupils work on a directed independent task where they are provided with success criteria
- Missions/Quests – an independent movement group that choose from a variety of cross curricular learning experiences which provide opportunities to develop the skills taught in focussed tasks. Some of these activities are planned by the pupils.
- During the focussed bubble task both teacher and/or TA are responsible for ‘checking in’ on the independent learners ensuring that they remain on task. This means that pupils will not always have an adult working directly with them.
- Pupils working outside of the focused bubble task are not expected to disturb the focus group, and should explore all other strategies (BLP/3B4Me), unless they feel it is essential.
- Topic maths – shape/ space / measure / data handling etc will be planned through meaningful activities in theme work bubble tasks and/or missions.
- It is expected that outdoor learning is planned regularly throughout the week where appropriate e.g. in maths and also on designated Messy Monday/Fresh Air Friday.
- Staff use a blended learning approach to ensure that the pupils are prepared for any possible future school closure.
As a small school with limited numbers of staff we have found working as a triad hugely beneficial as we have been able to work collaboratively on the changes occurring throughout education such as the ALN transformation. We are now able to call on the expertise of staff across the schools and this has made planning for the 6 Areas of Learning Experience AoLEs much more robust.
- A Curriculum lead to who will attend training and disseminate information to staff.
- Begun to embed the Four Core Purposes of the New Curriculum and created our own Four Purposes symbols.
- Created Area of Learning and Experience teams and staff have written and are working on action plans to develop each of these areas.
- Adapted our planning in line with the new Areas of Learning Experience. Our planning is constantly evolving as we attempt to design and explore a curriculum suitable for our children.
What about the current ‘Key Stages’?
While Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 will disappear the principles of the Foundation Phase will remain the same 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 ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16 relating to broad expectations of a child’s progress.
Will the way children learn change?
The way children learn in primary 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 are the Four Purposes?
The new Curriculum for Wales has been developed to fulfil four key purposes and these underpin everything we do in school. We aim to produce children who are:
Ambitious, capable learners
Healthy, confident individuals
Enterprising, creative contributors
Ethical, informed citizens
Subjects will be grouped into six Areas of Learning and Experience but this doesn’t mean an end to traditional subjects. For example, in the Humanities Area of Learning and Experience, History will still be taught but perhaps with broader context by comparing its religious and societal impact to events happening today.
The six Areas of Learning and Experience are:
Health and Well-Being
Languages, Literacy and Communication (including Welsh)
Mathematics and Numeracy
Science and Technology (STEM)
We are currently working on our Curriculum for Wales summary and this will appear on our website shortly.