From September 2022, The new Curriculum for Wales will be introduced to children from the ages of 3 to 16. There won’t be a separate curriculum for primary and secondary schools; rather, it will be a continuum across all stages. Oldcastle Primary has been working as a Pioneer School with Welsh Government to develop the new curriculum.
As a school we have focused on the understanding of the theoretical principles of learning and through our INSET programme and research, we are developing a knowledge-rich curriculum which is progressive and rigorous.
The curriculum is being reformed in order to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap between students, and equip young people to lead ‘fulfilling personal, civic and professional lives’ in modern society. It aims to prepare children to thrive in a future where digital skills, adaptability and creativity are crucial, and is rich in Welsh values and culture.
The new Curriculum for Wales has been developed to fulfil four key purposes. It aims to produce children who are, or will become:
Ambitious, capable learners
Healthy, confident individuals
Enterprising, creative contributors
Ethical, informed citizens
The Curriculum for Wales will have six areas of learning.
1. Expressive arts incorporating art, dance, drama, film and digital media, and music. It will encourage creativity, critical thinking and include performance.
2. Humanities incorporating geography, history, RE, business studies and social studies. It will be based on human experiences and will also cover Welsh culture.
3. Health and wellbeing: this covers the physical, psychological, emotional and social aspects of life, helping students make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing and learn how to manage social influences. It will include PE.
4. Science and technology incorporating biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and design and technology.
5. Mathematics and numeracy: in the early years, this will involve learning through play. In later stages, it will include working both independently and collaboratively with others.
6. Languages, literacy and communication: this will include Welsh and English, literature and international languages. Welsh language teaching will still be compulsory (as an additional language for children who don’t use Welsh as their first language).
In addition, literacy, numeracy and digital skills will be embedded throughout all curriculum areas.
Although there is a new curriculum, many of the changes that we will make are already part of the long term plan for our school, based on educational research. This includes how we include pupils in shaping the curriculum and the rich experiences we already offer pupils.
One of the areas we have been focusing on this term is our English Language, Literacy and Communication Area of Learning. We have redesigned our lessons by introducing ‘Core Knowledge Language Skills’ units for pupils in Reception to Year 4. These units focus on phonological awareness, spelling patterns, decoding and encoding and writing structures for 60 minutes each day. We have begun the term with clear diagnostic testing and an assessment of current understanding and misconceptions. This new approach is different from previous years and you may recognise this in your child’s books.
In Years 5 and 6 most pupils have mastered the elements of reading and writing and develop their literacy knowledge through the use of shared novels, poetry and non-fiction texts and articles. We do ensure that children continue to develop their grammar and punctuation through a focused Expressive Writing scheme which focuses on the writing and editing of sentences, paragraphs, developing story writing and editing.
At Oldcastle, we have high expectations for all our pupils, staff, governors and parents. The four key purposes, underpin our vision along with our drive to educate, motivate and inspire, and allows us to build a knowledge-rich curriculum that is challenging, and creates rich opportunities and experiences for all pupils.
We would like to invite parents to attend an informal meeting to find out about Oldcastle's approach to the curriculum on Friday 7th February. Sessions will be held at 9.30am, 1.30pm and 4.30pm. Please complete the Google form to indicate which session you would like to attend.