Skip to main content

New podcast! Prof. Charlotte Williams talks realism, radiates positivity.

Read this page in Welsh

Prof. Charlotte Williams OBE

An Independent review to advise on and improve the teaching of themes and experiences relating to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across the curriculum was Chaired recently by Professor Charlotte Williams. The final report, published in March this year, included coverage of resources and professional learning. It was a ‘ground-breaking trajectory in curriculum reform in Wales’.

Now, in black history month, Charlotte talks about her work on the Review, her personal experiences of growing up and being educated in North Wales, and her optimism for changes that are underway. Honest and heart-felt, it’s an inspirational listen.

Listen on our channel through your chosen platform below:

Apple podcasts 



Or for any mobile phone, use this ‘magic link’

The podcast was recorded early in October and also refers to the Professional Teaching Awards Cymru new category: The Betty Campbell MBE award for promoting the contributions and perspectives of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities. Nominations are still open, until 23 November.

She also mentions a new Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Initial Teacher recruitment plan and campaign aimed at reducing the imbalance in representation.

Introducing a new Curriculum during challenging times

Read this page in Welsh

During the years CfW was being co-constructed, the prospect of the new framework and guidance (we’re careful not to call it a curriculum!) seemed to many of us a far-away thing, not something to get overly excited or concerned about for some time. 

Kath Lewis, Strategic Lead for Curriculum Reform

Over a four-year period, experts, academics, and teachers alike spent time grappling with huge philosophical questions, pondering ‘curriculum’ and what it could be in Wales.  The “wouldn’t it be great if…?”, “why have we always had to…?” and “why don’t we…?” philosophical conversations echoed through corridors, along with the sometimes-heated debates about what should make it into the national framework, and what should be for schools and practitioners to decide. 

These conversations however were happening for the ‘lucky few’ who had secured a seat at the pioneer table.  What then for the others? What for those who disagreed with what they were presented with?  What for those who didn’t want this new way?  The draft was published, the consultation period happened (with 2,103 responses received), the final framework and guidance arrived and regardless of whether you had been sat at that pioneer table, whether you had shared your views through the consultation, or had not been involved at all, 28th January 2020 became Day 1 for CfW; a reset for all, taking everybody to the framework, not to drafts or copies they may have seen or borrowed along the way. 

Before that day, many may have explored the four purposes and considered the pedagogical principles, but it wasn’t until the publication of the framework that we could all work reliably from the guidance and start making sense of it within each school context.  Day 1 marked the beginning of a process that could arguably be the most challenging that Wales’ school school practitioners had experienced since the introduction of the National Curriculum in 1988.

And so, we zoom ahead to the present day.  19 months on from Day 1.  In that time we would have been able to get to know the framework, to collaborate within school teams, clusters and networks; to unpick, to ask what might be possible for learners, to consider how to take this national framework – not curriculum – and transform it into a curriculum so befitting our learners that it be unequivocally better than what came before. But that was before the world was changed by Covid-19.  Who could have possibly imagined a pandemic throwing us off course? Stealing time away from us and disrupting lives as it has done?  From CfW being the biggest game in town, for many schools it has become the least of their concerns, the thing they’ll get to but not yet, not whilst they are functioning in crisis management mode. The pandemic has not been forgiving, it has not made allowances for those who hadn’t been part of the pioneer process and needed more time, for those with a huge mountain to climb. Covid has significantly affected all schools, and is continuing to do so, in many cases now worse than ever.  

Read more

Reimagining GCSE qualifications

Read this page in Welsh

Emyr George, Director of Qualifications Policy and Reform

Reimagining and reforming GCSE qualifications is crucial to create a new way of learning that will prepare learners for life, study and work in the 21st century.

To complement the new Curriculum for Wales, we are looking at how we can innovate qualifications to prepare learners to succeed in an ever-changing and uncertain world.

We have now agreed the subjects in which a new generation of fit-for-the-future GCSEs will be offered.

Over the coming months we will be listening and discussing ideas through our national conversation to co-create GCSE qualifications. New content and new assessment approaches are just some of the things we will be looking at as we shift to more flexible and agile ways of learning.

As part of our Qualified for the Future programme we are recruiting teachers and educational professionals to help us with this exciting challenge.  Anyone interested in joining us can apply through our website.

We want everyone with an interest in education to contribute to the national conversation so that we can meet the needs of our communities.

Read more

New School Evaluation and Improvement Resource in Development – a Chance to find out more on 12th October

Read this page in Welsh

A resource to help schools self-evaluate and improve has been developed over the past two years. It has been designed with practitioners, supported by Estyn, and has been tested by a group of 100 schools over the past few weeks. A national pilot will take place from November.

A chance to find out about the resource and get an early idea of how to use it will be open to practitioners on 12th October from 2:00-3:00pm. The ‘Policy Insight’ event will include a description of the features and how it can be used in the school context without increasing the burden of administration.

To join the session, register here. If you can’t take part in the event, the whole session will be available as an offline playlist resource and the link added to this page. See the session here.

‘Policy Insight’ events are organised by teachers seconded to Welsh Government and designed to keep practitioners up to date about professional learning, especially as it relates to curriculum implementation. An overview, list of events and booking form is here.

Forthcoming events include:

Professional learning update and National Professional Enquiry Project re-launch – 11th November

Digital Professional Learning Journey update – 9th December