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Reducing the Attainment Gap: Learning from others but implementing in your own way – A message from Sir Alasdair McDonald.

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Multiethnic children in a circleWhile Pioneers are designing and developing the new curriculum and identifying the professional support the workforce needs, primary and secondary heads have been working with Government, experts and partners on co-constructing a new model of schools accountability.

In the new model every learner will count, which presents significant opportunities in terms of focussing on the progress of our vulnerable learners. However reducing the attainment gap between groups of learners is important right now, so action is underway to improve life chances for our pupils in many of our schools today; that work will be supported by our programme of education reform in Wales. Read more

Improving the experiences of Welsh Learners

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Symposium2It’s an exciting time for us in Wales in terms of the future of the Welsh language. Our Welsh language strategy Cymraeg 2050: A million Welsh speakers, sets the ambition clearly. The aim is to:



  1. increase the number of speakers
  2. increase the use of Welsh; and
  3. create favourable conditions for the language

We’re all aware that our education system has a significant contribution to make to achieve the long-term vision to reach a million speakers by 2050. Read more

How Cardiff and Vale College is embedding digital competence and developing its digital vision

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The journey to digital transformation is not an easy one and doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s the approach we’re taking at Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC).

DCF CAVC Hannah Profile Pic 300dpi

We are driving digital transformation in a number of ways, firstly through staff training and secondly through cultural change and change management.

Training is crucial, so we are using INSET days, workshops, one to one sessions, and departmental Digital Leaders providing bespoke training to support the teachers with Technology Enhanced learning (TEL) experiments, via the Microsoft Educator Community (MEC) website and the Microsoft Imagine Academy. Read more

Kirsty Williams: Progress with Wales’ national mission for education.

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Kirsty“When I announced our national mission for education last September I said that to achieve our ambitions we must keep moving forward. That’s why the past year has been all about momentum – a drive for self-improvement that reaches right across our education system.

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We still have much work to do but I’m proud of the reforms that we have introduced in a relatively short space of time. I am also genuinely impressed by how everyone in the education system has responded. Read more

St Christopher’s School, Wrexham: ‘cracking the code’ in a special way

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DCF 'Cracking the code' pupil picJosh Pickett: “I think all pupils need to learn how to solve problems because it will help them with lots of things, not just ICT”.

St Christopher’s is the largest special school in Wales. One year after the launch of ‘cracking the code’, a drive to give teachers and learners coding skills, it has a popular coding club and great examples of how pupils benefit.

All pupils have additional learning needs and traditionally would not be pupils who would participate in computer science. We were one of the first schools to participate cracking the code initiative with GWE in September. As a result of this training we set up a code club every Monday at lunch times which has been attended well throughout the year. We started our code club off in the September using the Redfern electronics crumble board. We created a booklet which was completely independent and the pupils could follow it step by step. Read more

Porthcawl Comprehensive School – ‘Don’t Scare the Horses’ when introducing Digital Competence.

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porthcawl comprehensivePorthcawl Comprehensive School has 1,400 pupils and over 80 staff. Working with the Digital Competence Framework has been steady and progressive, starting in September 2016 with the school and faculty improvement plans.

Q: How did you begin to work with the Framework?

After building it into our planning, we started by identifying early wins – people who were already doing digital work – such as in science – who could share success stories.

We didn’t want to confuse people with the technical jargon because it was potentially frightening for some staff, so we had an inset day on Curriculum and rather than scare staff we looked at the big picture and showed the value that digital could bring through good examples. We started by looking at what was already being done and how we could take this forward, particularly focusing on the Producing strand in the first instance. Read more

St Martin’s School, Caerphilly: Taking the ‘head on’ approach to digital competence

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St Martins comprehensive - DCFSt Martin’s comprehensive school has 1000 pupils aged between 12 and 18. It took on the Digital Competence Framework by making ‘digital’ work for the whole school, including pastoral care and support for learners as well as across the curriculum.

Q: How did you begin to work with the Framework?

A: We saw it as bigger than curriculum. We wanted to use digital means for all sorts of school activity, so we decided to go totally ‘google’ and use their tools across the school. And we started early: we could see what was coming so started our planning in May 2015.

The senior team had to come on board first because we all had to take out the same message and approach. Then we met Heads of Faculty – who were positive – and did a staff audit of skills. There was some apprehension, but we’ve tried to overcome that by being as open and supportive as we can.

Q: So was it a culture shock for staff? Read more

No time to wait; digital competence must be a priority

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Steve DaviesOur world is changing so quickly that we can barely imagine the implications for our adult futures, let alone those for our young people.

That’s why the Digital Competence Framework was prioritised and delivered early as part of the new curriculum. The need for pupils and teachers to be confident and succeed in our digital world was clear.

So it is part of our National mission to provide all our learners with high-level digital skills; digital competence is one of three curriculum responsibilities alongside literacy and numeracy within our new curriculum. Read more

New Animations and Updated Materials for the Digital Competence Framework

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DCF image with girlA central part of our National Mission is to give all our learners high level digital skills.

Digital Competence will be one of three cross curricular responsibilities in our new curriculum and it is important to get skills embedded now as we make the transition. So we have updated some key messages and provided new materials to support your work and make the DCF a focus for schools alongside Literacy and numeracy.

The DCF Guidance, ‘Your Questions Answered’, and the Presentation have all been updated. Meanwhile four new short animations explain the strands of the framework in simple terms.

See the resources on our Learning Wales page