The New Curriculum for Wales

Children in Wales will be studying a new curriculum from September 2022

Children who attend school in Wales follow a different curriculum from the National Curriculum used in England – and that curriculum is currently undergoing a significant shake-up. The Curriculum for Wales is due to be rolled out from September 2022, with primary schools being the first to switch to the new curriculum.

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. 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

Curriculum Areas

The Curriculum for Wales will have six areas of learning ...

Non-Curriculum Areas

Relationships and Sexuality Education

RSE will be mandatory in all maintained schools, including primary schools. Parents will no longer be allowed to withdraw their children from these lessons. The focus will be on building relationships based on mutual trust, and developing mental and emotional wellbeing, resilience and empathy. The Welsh government will issue guidance to schools on how to provide RSE that is age-appropriate and relevant to pupils’ developmental stage, but it will give schools the flexibility to design their own programme of teaching that reflects diversity and difference in relationships, sex, gender and sexuality.

Religious education (RE) will continue to be compulsory, as it is at the moment, with an agreed syllabus.

The RE guidance will be updated to include philosophy and religious views, plus non-religious worldviews that have similarities with religious views, such as Humanism.


Achievement and Assessment

Currently, there are no SATs (statutory assessment tests) for primary school pupils in Wales.

The draft Curriculum for Wales hasn’t specified whether mandatory testing such as SATs will be introduced for primary school children.

Currently, it’s proposed that headteachers will set their own ‘achievement outcomes,’ which will build an accurate picture of pupils’ skills, knowledge and competencies.

It’s suggested that this will be in the form of:

  • ‘I can’ statements (e.g. ‘I can do my times tables up to 12 x 12’)

  • ‘I have’ statements (e.g. ‘I have learned about the water cycle’)

It’s not yet known whether National Reading and Numeracy Tests, which are taken in the summer term by pupils in Years 2 to 9, will continue under the new curriculum.