Curriculum for Wales
Stanwell School Roadmap
Where did we begin?
High quality professional development focusing upon learning and teaching, curriculum design and the National Mission has been the essential ingredient on our journey towards the Curriculum for Wales. The school's on-going self-evaluation and a series of weekly training sessions, has helped to co-construct a common language of excellence
All staff were trained in the principles of coaching and introduced to professional enquiry as a means of making change, engaging with educational research and evaluating the impact of practice.
Next, we 'unpicked' what the Four Purposes of the Curriculum for Wales meant for our learners and audited our current schemes of learning. This allowed us to celebrate what we did well and identify what we wanted to improve or change.
Subject and pastoral leaders created a set of 'non-negotiables' within their departments and across Areas of Learning which focused upon knowledge, skills and experience. These became the building blocks for our curriculum design. Practitioners were asked to consider what knowledge, skills and experience a 16-year-old pupil should have at the end of year 11 when the curriculum had been designed.
Subsequently, subject leaders were released, within AOLE teams, to discuss and plan for curriculum design. They were joined by our Curriculum Consultants, a team of pupils with a keen interest in curriculum. These sessions were invaluable in the planning and design process.
Next, we explored representation, diversity, Welsh, global and authentic contexts in AOLE and departmental teams and staff engaged with the Cross Cutting Themes.
When the final curriculum guidance was published, staff were given time to familiarise themselves with the documentation. Numeracy, Literacy and DCF Coordinators undertook 1:1 coaching sessions with every subject leader to discuss natural opportunities to teach skills across Areas of Learning.
INSET was provided on the new skills frameworks and staff were given time to reflect upon best practice in the teaching of skills and how they would be embedded into curriculum design.
We went onto explore the what, how, why and when of curriculum design. This required staff to engage with the Progression Steps, Statements of What Matters, Skills Frameworks and curriculum guidance to start designing our curriculum.
A whole school map has been created and practitioners are using 2023/2024 to plan their curriculum for Year 8 alongside evaluation for Year 7 curriculum. Coaching is utilised to support practitioners through this process and enquiry practices are used to test aspects of curriculum design this as we progress.
We began teaching our new curriculum to Year 7 in September 2022 and to Year 8 in September 2023
At Stanwell our curriculum protects and celebrates subject specialism and this is highly valued. We explore the natural and organic links that occur within and across Areas of Learning, and we develop our learners’ ability to make connections between subjects. Across departments the development of skills underpins ALL learning. Our curriculum places the four purposes at its core, where real- life context is paramount, enabling our learners to value, understand, contribute to and sometimes challenge the world in which we live. We value and promote diversity, inclusion and equality, and lesson content is supported by enrichment activities, a fundamental part of our school life. Curriculum design enables learners to make progress across all areas of the school and nurture a healthy sense of wellbeing.