Supporting transition from the current arrangements to Curriculum for Wales
The purpose of this update is to provide information to continue to help schools and settings prepare for Curriculum for Wales roll-out beyond September 2022.
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To help schools and settings plan for Curriculum for Wales (CfW) roll-out beyond September 2022, this update provides information in relation to:
- what schools and settings should do while preparing for Curriculum for Wales roll-out
- what schools should do to support learners under the current assessment arrangements until Curriculum for Wales roll-out reaches the relevant year groups
As of 1 September 2022 the new curriculum is now mandatory for the year groups in schools and other settings as follows:
- children receiving nursery education
- pupils in their reception year
- pupils in years 1 to 6
- for pupils in year 7 in schools and other settings where there is a curriculum adopted or otherwise provided in accordance with the Act
The CfW will continue to roll out and will be mandatory for all pupils in maintained schools and settings as follows:
- year 7 and year 8 from 1 September 2023
- pupils in year 9 from 1 September 2024
- pupils in year 10 from 1 September 2025
- and for pupils in year 11 by 1 September 2026
The information included here builds on the Curriculum for Wales framework and should be read in conjunction with 'Curriculum for Wales: the journey to curriculum roll-out' and 'Supporting learner progression: assessment guidance'.
School assessment arrangements from summer term, 2022
Assessment requirements from summer term 2022
As part of assessing learners from summer term 2022, schools must continue to do the following:
- Use ongoing classroom assessment to support learners in Key Stage 3 to make effective progress throughout the current curriculum. This includes supporting progress in literacy and numeracy (using the 'National Literacy and Numeracy Framework').
- Continue to ensure that learners in Years 7 to 9 take personalised assessments in Reading, Numeracy (Procedural) and Numeracy (Reasoning) in accordance with ‘National Reading and Numeracy Personalised Assessments: administration handbook 2022 to 2023’ (the ‘administration handbook’). These statutory assessments are available throughout the academic year for schools to schedule at a time they consider most beneficial to support learning, teaching and progression.
- Except for special schools, undertake end of Key Stage 3 teacher assessments for learners in Year 9, and report on their attainment.
Assessment requirements to be removed from summer term 2022
To make space for practitioners as they prepare their new curriculum and assessment arrangements and create flexibility for them to plan a smoother transition for learners, we have made legislative changes for the following requirements on schools to be removed meaning that schools no longer need to:
- undertake baseline and end of Foundation Phase teacher assessments
- undertake end of Key Stage 2 teacher assessments
- moderate end of Key Stage 2 and end of Key Stage 3 teacher assessments
- include end of Foundation Phase and end of Key Stage 2 teacher assessment outcomes when reporting to parents and carers
- report teacher assessment outcomes at the end of Foundation Phase and end of Key Stage 2 to the local authority (local authorities will no longer need to report these outcomes to Welsh Government)
Further to the above, special schools will not be required to undertake end of Key Stage 3 teacher assessments.
Further information about the rationale for these changes can be found in this written statement.
Communicating to parents and carers: arrangements from 2022
The provision of headteacher written reports, in respect of all learners in maintained schools including Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), remains a statutory requirement for those schools/settings who have not yet rolled out CfW. For those that have, under CfW the regulations place a duty on the head teacher to make arrangements to provide information on the annual progress of learners. The headteacher will determine the most appropriate form with which to provide information to parents and carers and the timing of its provision.
Headteachers of maintained schools delivering the 2008 Curriculum are still required to report to parents and carers on teacher assessment outcomes at the end of Key Stage 3 (the only exception being with regards to outcomes at the end of Key Stage 3 in special schools). Headteachers will also still be required to report on qualifications, or parts of qualifications, obtained by learners.
Reporting to parents and carers should build on effective practices developed during the pandemic, including actively engaging in two-way communication with parents and carers, supporting them in developing a clear understanding of their child’s progression and future needs and how they can support those needs. This active engagement will help provide assurances to parents and carers not only around progression but also around their child’s well-being and how they are engaging in learning. We recommend that schools make every effort to make reports interesting, engaging, informative and accessible to parents and carers.
To confirm requirements for assessing Key Stage 3 learners as Curriculum for Wales rolls out
Supporting progression for each individual learner is the focus of ongoing assessment in a day-to-day context. Certain assessment arrangements will remain in place for Key Stage 3 learners being taught under the current National Curriculum, until Curriculum for Wales roll-out reaches Year 9 in September 2024. This section clarifies what is and isn’t required as part of these arrangements.
For Key Stage 3 learners taught under the 2008 National Curriculum, schools must continue to do the following:
- Support learners through ongoing classroom assessment to make effective progress across the current curriculum. This includes supporting progress in literacy and numeracy (using the ‘National Literacy and Numeracy Framework’).
- Ensure that learners in all year groups within Key Stage 3 still following the 2008 arrangements, and all learners moving to Curriculum for Wales, take personalised assessments in Reading, Numeracy (Procedural) and Numeracy (Reasoning) in accordance with the current administration handbook. These statutory assessments are available throughout the academic year for schools to schedule at a time they consider most beneficial to support learning, teaching and progression.
- Except for special schools, undertake end of Key Stage 3 teacher assessments.
- Except for special schools, report teacher assessment outcomes for end of Key Stage 3 to the local authority.
These arrangements allow some flexibility for schools.
When planning assessment to support Key Stage 3 learners, please keep in mind that:
- all schools, except for special schools, are only required to assess and report on learners’ attainment against National Curriculum level descriptors at the end of the key stage namely in the summer term of Year 9 (no later than 20 working days before the end of term)
- practitioners can draw on evidence gathered previously to support this process
- during the key stage, practitioners should only draw on the level descriptors included in the programmes of study to inform learning and teaching and help support Key Stage 3 learners to make progress. Practitioners are not required to assess learners directly against levels during the key stage.
- There is no requirement to allocate ‘sub-levels’ to a learner or to a piece of work during, or at the end of, the key stage.
In relation to day-to-day learning and teaching and supporting learners to make progress, practitioners can draw on the approach to assessment outlined in 'Supporting learner progression: assessment guidance' should they wish.
Ensuring consistency in end of Key Stage 3 assessments
While we intend to remove the requirements to moderate end of Key Stage 3 assessments to create more flexibility for secondary schools, we strongly advise that practitioners ensure a consistent approach for their learners. This does not mean that a separate process should be put in place, but rather that practitioners participate in professional discussions within the school to ensure consistency in the way learners are assessed and levels are awarded at the end of Key Stage 3.
To support these discussions, practitioners may wish to refer to the guidance provided for national curriculum subjects. Each document includes examples of learners’ work to exemplify the descriptions outlined in the level descriptors and illustrate how to use them to provide learners with an end of Key Stage 3 level.
Preparing for Curriculum for Wales roll-out
As schools and settings prepare for the introduction of Curriculum for Wales, this section provides additional information to what is outlined in ‘Supporting learner progression: assessment guidance’ to support their planning. Further practical supporting materials for curriculum, assessment and evaluating learner progress are now available.
On-entry assessment arrangements
Under Curriculum for Wales, the on-entry assessment arrangements will be an important part of a school or setting’s overall assessment arrangements to plan and appropriately support a learner to make progress within a curriculum.
To support this, under the new arrangements, schools and settings must:
- make and implement assessment arrangements which help build a picture of the learner’s abilities and aptitudes in respect of the school’s or setting’s curriculum
- implement the assessments for newly-registered learners at a school or setting (except for Year 6 learners transitioning to Year 7), recognising that children and learners enter schools and settings at different points across the 3 to 16 continuum
- undertake the assessments within 6 weeks of a learner entering a school or setting to support understanding from the very beginning of a learner’s journey
- use the outcomes of the assessments to plan next steps and tailor learning and teaching to enable progress.
To ensure schools and settings have the flexibility to align their on-entry assessment arrangements with their curriculum, it will be for schools and settings to determine the detail of these assessment arrangements. However, the assessments must:
- be suitable for learners of differing ages, abilities and aptitudes
- support numeracy skills
- support literacy skills
- support the physical, social and emotional development of children and learners
For those learners transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7, information to support their progress along the continuum of learning should be transferred as part of transition arrangements put in place between primary and secondary schools. Effective collaboration across primary and secondary schools is therefore key to support a smooth learning journey along the 3 to 16 continuum.
Developing a shared understanding of progression
Reflecting the fundamental role of progression within Curriculum for Wales, the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language brought forward a Direction relating to developing and maintaining a shared understanding of progression in June 2022 which requires school and setting leaders to put arrangements in place to enable practitioners to engage in professional dialogue to develop a shared understanding of progression. The expectations for these arrangements can be found in the 'Supporting learner progression: assessment guidance'.
To prepare for this approach, schools and settings should:
- continue to develop their approach to progression, ensuring that it reflects the principles of progression for Curriculum for Wales
- build on existing relationships and arrangements within and between schools and settings to enable these discussions between practitioners to take place and establish new relationships if appropriate.
Requirements to make transition plans
The Transition from Primary to Secondary School (Wales) Regulations 2022 (‘2022 regulations’) came into force on 1 July 2022, and require governing bodies of secondary schools and their feeder primary schools to draw up new transition plans to support the transition of Year 6 learners to Year 7 in the 2022 to 2023 academic year, with new transition plans in place by September 2022. These regulations replaced and revoked the previous Transition from Primary to Secondary School (Wales) Regulations 2006.
Assessment arrangements for funded non-maintained nursery settings
To ensure practitioners in funded non-maintained nursery settings are able to assess the progress of learners effectively, work is underway to co-construct appropriate assessment arrangements which can be implemented alongside the curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings.
The arrangements will cover the following:
- guidance to support funded non-maintained nursery settings to develop a shared understanding of progression
- guidance to support the ongoing assessment of progression for learners in funded non-maintained nursery settings
- appropriate on-entry assessment arrangements
The final assessment arrangements will be published before September 2023, with interim guidance being made available to all settings using the curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings on 1 September 2022.