The curriculum guidance published in January 2020 was created in partnership with schools, supported by experts, over several years. It was also informed by an extensive consultation exercise in 2019, whose feedback pointed to the need for additional guidance and some amendment in key areas.
Over the last year, practitioners, stakeholders and partners have been co-constructing that additional and revised guidance, which is now being published for consultation.
Eight areas are open for consultation, which will run for eight weeks until 16th July. Once the feedback has been analysed, the curriculum guidance will be updated and published in two tranches – September and December – this year.
In a ‘normal’ year, over 200,000 pupils in Wales and beyond would engage with Amgueddfa Cymru’s learning offer. In 2020, with our museums closed for periods of time, we had to think about how to ensure that every child in Wales had access to us and how best to support the Curriculum for Wales ‘remotely’.
We invested in equipment that would enable us to connect with schools through Teams and ensure access to our collections. We developed content that would encourage enquiry skills and inspire curiosity, focused on the Curriculum for Wales.
In just two months, over 4,000 pupils had taken part in one or more of our virtual sessions and the response to them was overwhelmingly positive. Here is teacher Laura Luxton’s response to a session on the Celts:
This year, after many years in Foundation Phase, I have moved to KS2. I was really excited by this prospect, until I realised that we would be teaching “The Celts”! I was undeniably petrified. Having never learned about them in school myself, I had no topic knowledge or experience in teaching it. I ordered several books online and read those, I ‘googled’ and researched all that I could. I was still very nervous. I was unsure of how to start the topic or where to go with it. I was keen to do it justice, especially as the emphasis on the new curriculum promotes children to become ‘ethically informed citizens of Wales’. “In contemporary and historical contexts, investigation and exploration of the human experience in their own localities and elsewhere in Wales, as well as in the wider world, can help learners discover their heritage and develop a sense of place and cynefin. It can also promote an understanding of how the people of Wales, its communities, history, culture, landscape, resources and industries, interrelate with the rest of the world.”
I mentioned to Leisa, from the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, that we were about to start teaching the Celts. Within minutes she had sent me links and posters to online workshops about…The Celts!!!! I read the information and it sounded amazing, I have visited St Fagans before and always had a great time so would welcome, and trust, anything from Amgueddfa Cymru! I mentioned it to the rest of the Key Stage Two staff and all of them were keen to be involved. As per the easy instructions on the links Leisa sent, I sent a quick email to Rachel. The same day we were offered dates for workshops, given more information, a bond was formed and the confidence was growing! I felt empowered to start the topic, knowing I had experts on my side.