Changes to how and what children learn in Wales are “new and exciting” but pose a challenge for schools, teachers have warned.

All Welsh primary schools and around half of secondary schools will start introducing a new curriculum next term.

But there are fears many are still living with the legacy of the Covid pandemic.

The Chief Inspector for Education for Wales has accepted that not all schools will be ready to introduce the new curriculum in September.

“I think anyone who works in schools would agree that this change with the new curriculum must be welcome,” said a primary school headmaster from North Wales, Osian Jones.

“It’s something fresh, something new and something exciting.”

Plas Coch and Bro Alun head teacher Osian Jones in a classroom
Image caption,New lessons are welcomed but also pose a challenge for schools, says primary headteacher Osian Jones

But Mr Jones, head of Plas Coch and Bro Alun schools in Wrexham, said it also posed huge challenges for classrooms.

“Our priority over the last two terms, since the start of this school year, has been to ensure the safety of learners,” the official said.

“Due to the challenges presented by Covid, staffing levels have been low. It’s always a challenge to get supply staff sick.

“The time needed for strategic thinking was very limited.”

He said introducing the new program might prove “difficult in the first few months” but will be successful in the longer term.

After years of preparation, primary schools will be legally required to introduce the new curriculum for Wales from September.

Secondary schools have been given the option to introduce it for pupils starting year seven in September 2022 – as originally planned- or delaying until September 2023 due to the impact of the pandemic.

Owen Evans
Image caption,Estyn head Owen Evans says the picture is mixed on rolling out the reforms

Owen Evans, the Estyn Schools watchdog leader, said some schools’ work on the new lessons was “outstanding” but others needed support to catch up.

Primary schools were more ready because of the way they operated, while it was more of a change for secondary schools, Mr Evans said.

Acknowledging that the pandemic had “definitely set things back” and placed “tremendous pressure”, he said the top schools had still managed to think through and experiment with the curriculum.

But he said while the picture was generally positive, it was mixed.

‘Embraced the journey’

“We started our journey many years ago really, back five or six years ago, when we noticed our children transitioning up to years three and four from the foundation phase were finding it quite difficult,” she told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.

“So we started making changes then that were really in line with the new curriculum.”

Llandeilo Primary
Image caption,Staff at Llandeilo Primary feel better prepared for the new curriculum

While she said the pandemic hasn’t helped many schools, the information has been out for a long time, and it’s all about “taking the initiative and doing it yourself.”

She added: “As long as you have a consistent journey with your teachers, take them with you and have plenty of information to support it.”

The Welsh government said a “huge amount” had been reached.

Education Minister Jeremy Miles said the new curriculum was “a once-in-a-generation reform” and welcomed the “enthusiasm, motivation and support for the new curriculum and the real and awe-inspiring innovation that is happening across Wales”.

Presentational grey line

What is the new curriculum for Wales?

The master plan for the program was first published in 2015 and it has been called the biggest change in Welsh education for a generation.

It is based on six areas of learning and experience, rather than narrow topics – with the aim of helping children and young people achieve four goals – to become ambitious and capable learners; enterprising and creative contributors to society; ethical and informed citizens; and healthy, confident individuals.

While the Curriculum for Wales establishes a framework, schools are encouraged to develop their own programs tailored to their students and communities.

But some worry that this does not provide enough structure for teachers and that it will lead to too much variation in standards.

The curriculum will eventually cover all three to 16-year olds and is due to be rolled out year by year, reaching Year 11 in 2026.

Student takes exam
Image caption,The new curriculum is also being rolled out to secondary school in Wales

The workload could ‘set the profession in check and have a detrimental impact on the health and well-being of staff and learners’, said National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) President Cymru Kerina Hanson.

Eithne Hughes, director of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Cymru called the program a “social movement” and described it as “enormous”.

But she warned ‘we should not be considering a series of other reforms, for example talks about changing the school day and school year, at the same time’.

Another union warned that a mixed picture would mean ‘children in Wales have rather different educational experiences’ and some may experience ‘no change at all’.

“There is still widespread concern about the timing and the speed at which reforms are being rolled out,” said Neil Butler, country manager for NASUWT Cymru.

“Schools are still grappling with the effects of the pandemic on children’s learning and development and there are concerns that the addition of the new curriculum will exacerbate, rather than help, the challenges faced. schools face.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said he “appreciated the challenges education as a whole has faced during the pandemic” and that is why secondary schools have been given some flexibility.

An additional £35million has been provided this year to support the rollout of the scheme, he said.

* Nguồn bài viết Tư vấn du học Anh Quốc – Quốc Tế Du Học Đồng Thịnh dongthinh.co.uk (+84) 96 993.7773 | (+84) 96 1660.266 | (+44) 020 753 800 87 | info@dongthinh.co.uk

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Nguyễn Xuân Khôi

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