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Headteacher conference 20th November – videos and other resources

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For the first time since 2019, headteachers came together in Cardiff to hear Minister Jeremy Miles give a keynote speech, put questions to him, and take part in workshops led by fellow headteachers, followed by a panel discussion involving Estyn, Qualifications Wales, Swansea Council and the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research.

Workshop topics focused on learning after Covid, addressing learning policy 14-16 (in advance of a consultation early in 2024); learning which is inclusive, interesting and relevant but also aspirational; family engagement; effective practice in Additional Learning Needs; and yes, headteacher well-being. All sessions were recorded.

Read the Minister’s speech here.

See the agenda and supporting resources here.

And to see videos of the speeches, workshops and discussion sessions on the day, please choose from our youtube playlist.

Consultation on revising the school calendar

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A consultation opened on 21st November, exploring options for changing the school calendar. Changes are aimed at enhancing pupil and staff well-being and supporting teaching and learning, with breaks being spread out more evenly. The first change would create a 2-week half term autumn break, reducing the summer break by one week. The amount of teaching days and holidays will not change.

One reason for the proposed change is that the current school calendar has an autumn term longer than others. Research suggests this term is tiring and challenging for learners and staff, as more teaching is squeezed into it than any other.

National Network to discuss Curriculum and Progression – Nov. 29th

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The National Network was created by Welsh Government with practitioners as a forum to discuss Curriculum for Wales implementation and practice. It meets again on 29th November.

This virtual session will focus on developing a shared understanding of progression using resources including Understanding curriculum in practice: Camau i’r Dyfodol , and designing curriculum with progression in mind using resources developed during a recent curriculum design pilot project: Curriculum Design Pilot 2023.

Colleagues from across Wales will take part, and practitioners can register to attend here: Sgwrs Rhydwaith Cenedlaethol Cwricwlwm a Chynnydd/ National Network Conversation Curriculum and Progression

Below, Dr Dale Duddridge from Ysgol Maesteg and Ceri-Anwen James from Ysgol Bro Edern explain why attending National Network sessions is so beneficial:

Also see the resources from previous sessions here.

Press notice from Adnodd – Chief Executive appointed

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Adnodd, the new arm’s-length body which will oversee the provision of educational resources in Wales, has appointed Emyr George as its first new chief executive.

Established earlier this year, Adnodd will be the one-stop shop for bilingual education resources. It will oversee the commissioning and provision of high-quality teaching and learning materials to support the Curriculum for Wales, and the roll-out of new qualifications for learners aged 14-16.

Emyr will be joining Adnodd in early 2024 from his current role as Qualifications Policy and Reform Director with Qualifications Wales. He brings a wealth of experience from across the education sector, including eight years at Qualifications Wales and prior experience at Ofqual – the qualifications and exams regulator for England.

More recently, Emyr has been leading on high-profile reforms of qualifications to support the new Curriculum for Wales, including a brand-new set of ‘Made-for-Wales’ GCSEs.