1. Supporting materials

Context: the meaning of progression

Progression in learning is how a learner develops and improves their skills and knowledge over time. This means increasing their breadth and depth of knowledge, deepening their understanding, and refining their skills, all while becoming more independent and applying their learning to new situations.

Progression is at the heart of the Curriculum for Wales guidance. The principles of progression and the statements of what matters should guide curriculum and assessment design, with assessment arrangements and the pedagogical principles being an integral part of both.

The interrelationship between curriculum, assessment and pedagogy, therefore, is key to supporting learners to make meaningful progress in their learning. When planning and delivering learner experiences, practitioners will be aware of how they are contributing to a learner’s overall journey along the 3 to 16 continuum, with the pace of that progression informed by the reference points set out in the descriptions of learning.

The below supporting materials are practical guides to support curriculum development, quality assurance, and self-evaluation in a way that supports learner progression.

Designing a curriculum with purpose

This material gives a short guide of considerations to support the design and quality assurance of a purpose-led curriculum. It is not a checklist for curriculum design but provides useful prompts to consider your curriculum journey and what you might do next.

Principles of progression: supporting self-evaluation and a shared understanding of progression

The principles of progression provide a mandatory requirement of what progression must look like for learners. They describe what it means for learners to progress, and the capacities and behaviours practitioners must seek to support, regardless of a learners’ stage of development. The principles of progression can provide a consistent language and organising framework for schools and settings, as a starting point for self-evaluation of learners’ progress, and to help develop and maintain a shared understanding of progression within and between schools.

This material provides prompts and questions to support school leaders and practitioners to use the principles of progression to support self-evaluation and improvement processes, and to help develop a shared understanding of progression.

Developing a shared understanding of progression

Schools and settings will need to work together as they develop a shared understanding of progression within the Curriculum for Wales.

This material sets out what a shared understanding of progression is, with practical tips on how to develop this in your own school or setting. This complements ‘supporting learner progression: assessment guidance.

Assessing learner progress

Assessment should support practitioners to establish learners’ understanding of the curriculum designed within each school or setting, and support learner progression along the 3 to 16 continuum. Assessment plays a fundamental role in enabling each individual learner to make progress at an appropriate pace, ensuring they are supported and challenged accordingly. This enables practitioners to plan effectively for learner progression.

The principles of progression are distinct from descriptions of learning which provide specific reference points of what progression looks like as learners work towards the statements of what matters at different points on their journey. Together, practitioners can use these 2 elements to understand what it means for learners to progress, and use this to inform learning, teaching and assessment.

This supporting material provides information, prompts, and guides on the development of assessment arrangements in the Curriculum for Wales.

Self-evaluation and improvement: learner progress

School or setting leaders will need to reflect upon, evaluate and lead improvements in respect of learner progress. To do so they must grasp the interrelationship between curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. Evaluating learner progress should be informed by a wide range of information and evidence.

This guide provides prompts to support evaluating learner progress in school evaluation and improvement arrangements. This complements the Non-statutory school improvement guidance ‘School improvement guidance: framework for evaluation, improvement and accountability’ and the ‘national resource: evaluation and improvement.

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