Designing your curriculum: introduction
- Part of
The Curriculum for Wales Framework (Framework) is a clear statement of what we see as important in a broad and balanced education. At its heart is our aspiration for every child and young person in Wales, as defined by the four purposes of curriculum. To realise this vision, schools must design, adopt and implement a curriculum which must fulfil the curriculum requirements set out in legislation and provide the learning it defines. To support schools, this guidance sets out a clear approach to inform curriculum decision-making.
The Framework gives every school in Wales the opportunity to design their own curriculum within a national approach that ensures a level of consistency. It encourages schools to build their own vision for their learners within the context of the four purposes and the learning defined at a national level. It provides the space for practitioners to be creative and to develop meaningful learning through a range of experiences and contexts that meet the needs of their learners.
When designing and implementing your curriculum, you should consider the following key questions. How will your curriculum:
- enable your learners to realise the four purposes and equip them for ongoing learning, work and life?
- build high expectations and enable all learners to achieve their full potential?
- offer a broad and balanced education, which enables your learners to make links between the different areas of learning and experience (Areas) and apply their learning to new situations and to more complex issues?
- support progression along a continuum of learning and how are you working with others to ensure there is alignment between different points of transition within the 3 to 16 continuum?
- support your learners’ health and well-being, including their mental health and well-being?
- support your learners’ development of knowledge that is the foundation of being an informed citizen?
- recognise your learners’ identity, language(s), ability and background and the different support they may need given their particular circumstances?
- reflect the diversity of perspectives, values and identities which shape your locality and Wales and develop understanding of the wider world?
- build in co-construction with learners, their families and the wider community?
- enable your learners to make sense of growing up in contemporary Wales and of issues which will be important in the future, including well-being, sustainable development and citizenship?
- support your learners to critically engage with a range of information and to assess its value and validity?
- enable your learners to develop an understanding of their rights and the rights of others?
‘Designing your curriculum’ has been developed to support you to engage with these questions in your school. It covers the important principles and considerations that should inform that process and provides guidance on developing:
- a vision for curriculum in a school
- a curriculum to make that vision a reality
It also includes guidance on how to select curriculum content and assess learners to support their progression. Like the rest of this guidance, it is primarily for schools but will also be of use to other educational settings.
The statements of what matters, principles of progression and the descriptions of learning articulate the essence of what should underpin learning and provide the same high expectations for all learners.
Learners will have a range of needs and backgrounds, thus the Framework offers schools and practitioners the agency to choose the specific experiences, knowledge and skills, as well as the specific topics, activities and contexts that will best support learning within the Framework. This flexibility also allows schools to provide different support to different learners to meet those expectations and to tackle different gaps in attainment. This freedom of choice should be underpinned by a robust, evidence-based process of curriculum design, where the aim is always to help learners to realise the four purposes.