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Hearing is believing

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

Steve DaviesI listened to a radio debate about arts education in England on Radio 4 last month.

The pained discussion about creativity being a key skill in the economy of the future, and young people needing to be adaptable in a rapidly changing jobs market, didn’t reflect well on the English approach.

Now I’m not writing to compound that criticism on our dear neighbour, but the contrast with our own approach couldn’t have been clearer. For me the debate could have been a celebration of where we’re heading with the new curriculum for Wales. Read more

Working with the New Professional Teaching Standards at Pentrehafod (secondary) School

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Pentrehafod 1We are Pentrehafod school. We have a caring culture, consistently improving results, and are using the new Professional Teaching Standards (2018) to underpin our school vision to deliver the very best provision for all of our learners.

Our journey with the new Standards actually began in the Summer Term of 2017, with the inception of a working party that embraced opinions and insights from practitioners at all stages in their career, from NQTs to Middle and Senior Leadership. Working in partnership with colleagues from across our cluster, along with another local Secondary School, we adopted a collaborative and collegiate approach to refine and strengthen our current systems to ensure that our teachers were equipped with the knowledge and skills to work with the standards in order to continually improve learning outcomes for all of our students. Read more

Animation – how the new National Approach to Professional Learning will support the new curriculum

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Schools will have much more freedom to develop school-level curriculum under the new national curriculum. All practitioners will be encouraged to re-visit and refresh their skills to help bring it to life successfully for pupils.

This animation describes the new National Approach to Professional Learning that has been created to support practitioners’ development.

Read more

‘A Journey of Aspiration, Pragmatism and Reflection’ – Creating the Professional Standards for Teachers and Leaders in Wales

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Langstone Primary School - Blog post Nov 18 - croppedWhen, in January 2016, I was first asked to engage with Welsh Government in developing new professional standards for teachers, I was enthusiastic and highly motivated to play a part in such an influential task but had no idea of the magnitude of what would be involved.

As a professional learning pioneer school, I was very aware of the many changes that were happening within Welsh education. The Minister for Education and Skills had published ‘Qualified for Life’ (2014) a six-year education improvement plan for Wales. This was closely followed by the publication of ‘Successful Futures’ which focused on the new curriculum for Wales and ‘Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers’ which looked at how initial teacher education (ITE) would ensure the workforce of Wales was fit for purpose (February and March 2015 respectively). Read more

Respecting the Good Work of Today as we Look Forward to Tomorrow

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Whitchur primary school 2There has never been a more exciting time to teach! This is said sincerely.  Teachers are working in a time of high change and huge possibilities.  The national agenda of creating a practitioner-led curriculum is a significant shift; and whilst it might not be the easiest way to generate a new curriculum, it is certainly one that recognises that it is teachers working in Wales who have the knowledge and skills to create a curriculum that provides our learners with the best possible outcomes. As a member of a pioneer school it has been a privilege to be part of the process. Read more

Parallel tracks – how professional Learning is evolving to help teachers bring the new curriculum to life

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Professional Learning pioneer schools are now working with new Curriculum pioneer schools to decide what preparatory learning would help practitioners.

Clarissa Brind, Senior teacher from Rhydypenau Primary, and Head teacher Jackie Parker from Crickhowell High School talk about what they’re finding out and how other practitioners will be kept informed.

Clarrisa Brind

Jackie Parker

Wider support will also be available to schools. Ruth Thackray from the GWE consortium  talks about the Consortia role and  Dave Stacey from Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education, University of Wales Trinity St. David, considers the role of HEIs. Read more

Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy – our journey towards the new curriculum as a secondary school (and cluster!)

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Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy logoWe are a naturally bilingual 11-18 school situated in the rural Conwy Valley.   We have a strong partnership with local primary schools and have worked towards Successful Futures collaboratively with them over the last two years. We are a pioneer school but work extensively with those who are not.

Our journey started with making our school community and 3-16 cluster of 14 primary schools ready for the new Curriculum. We’ve worked as a staff and in cluster to better understand the different components of the emerging Curriculum, sharing the information through staff meetings, leadership groups and INSET at school and Area of Learning and Experience (AoLE)  level. We’ve also engaged with other AoLE schools and with colleagues in GWE. Read more