New curriculum to create ‘ethical, informed and valued’ young people

Written by: Greg Lewis | Published:
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Wales’ new curriculum will be published in Easter 2019 and will focus on ensuring young people become “ethical, informed and valued members of society”, the education secretary has said.

The curriculum will at first be available for testing and feedback, with all schools having access to the final curriculum from 2020.

Kirsty Williams said this will ensure schools are fully ready and prepared for statutory roll-out in September 2022.

“I believe that the Welsh education system must be a ‘citizens first’ system,” she stated. “That’s why, on taking office, I re-affirmed the government’s commitment to a new curriculum that as well as raising standards of literacy and numeracy will also develop ethical and informed citizens who are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world.”

Ms Williams made her comments while delivering an annual memorial lecture in memory of Welsh academic and novelist Raymond Williams.

She added: “The curriculum will represent what we want – what we expect – the citizens of the future to become, to know, and to have gained from their teachers. But the process of working together to shape that curriculum also represents what we want from our education system. A profession that collaborates; that is open to new ideas; that is always learning and that seeks to raise standards for all pupils. We are setting an international example on how progressive education reforms can be undertaken through collaboration, creativity and confidence.”

The new curriculum approach has been informed by Professor Graham Donaldson’s independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales. His report – Successful Futures – was published in 2015. Ms Williams said that the new curriculum is now being co-constructed with teachers, universities, international experts and civic society.

She said: “I want an education system that seeks to build a common culture and ideas of shared citizenship, from our new curriculum through to adult education. A common endeavour that encourages questioning and challenge – to challenge the established ways of thinking and of organising, but also to challenge definitions and differences where appropriate. To be curious about others and the wider world beyond your own identity – however you choose to define.

“A common set of purposes, but based on combining the knowledge and skills that enable individual citizens to become part of that process of social change.”


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