The professional learning journey has been developed to help guide schools through the structural and professional learning aspects of preparing for Curriculum for Wales. It helps you find your way through the different models for professional learning, and plan your own school’s journey

With many different models and approaches available, as well as significant developments also underway in projects such as the National Pedagogy Project, the National Evaluation and Improvement Resource, further development with schools as learning organisations and support for designing the curriculum, the professional learning journey is a way of linking the professional learning around these into one area, providing links to more detail from this web page.

A trailer video has been produced to summarise the journey.

The professional learning journey directly incorporates these models and approaches at its core.

It aligns closely with the developments and prompts in the upcoming National Evaluation and Improvement Resource.

The professional learning journey turns these into a linear model, making them easier to navigate, access and use in planning. The following user guide provides more information on how to use the interactive window below and the links between this and other models, guidance and approaches.

The window below provides an interactive experience of viewing the professional learning journey at varying levels of detail and it can also be used as a tool to navigate to specific sections and to access resources. You are able to zoom in to view the professional learning journey in more detail and to scroll through the journey as well as being able to overlay the following additional information:

  • additional detail to exemplify some of the thinking and actions for each component
  • view the cross-regional support programmes, aligned to each component.

As a starting point we recommend that schools undertake the schools as learning organisations survey to provide a baseline assessment. The schools as learning organisations snapshot survey report will provide you with a profile based upon the responses from your school. This can be used to support you with identifying areas of priority on the professional learning journey.

The professional learning journey provides a possible structure but is not designed as a prescriptive model for schools to follow directly. Although it is recommended that schools begin with a vision for the school, the remaining components of the professional learning journey can be addressed in any order. It is important that this is seen as continual improvement and must not be considered a task and finish approach.

One possible route would be by developing a whole-school vision, modelling and growing learning leadership and leading change, moving on to addressing staff professional learning to implementing Curriculum for Wales.

To support the professional learning journey, a group of 20 lead enquiry schools have been developing playlists of how they have addressed different components of the professional learning journey. These are grouped according to the relevant component of the professional learning journey to which they align.

You are able to access these resources in the sections below or by searching for the playlists and resources contained within them by key words.

To help you find resources, the following taxonomy will provide a list of the key words used to identify the resources.

A set of frequently asked questions raised by a reference group of schools involved in testing the professional learning journey also provides a useful reference.

The professional learning journey interactive window (above) is designed as both an information and navigation tool. However, you are also able to navigate to the different sections via the links below.

The professional learning journey is designed to help schools think, plan and support their professional learning while preparing for Curriculum for Wales. It provides a structure for schools to consider and combines a number of models and approaches.

The purpose of this model is to:

  • demonstrate how the different models for professional learning align together
  • provide a possible order of implementation for the different aspects of schools as learning organisations and the national approach to professional learning
  • indicate how this journey is supported by the cross-regional support programmes
  • provide a structure for a web presence and hierarchical access to resources
  • provide links to work undertaken in other areas
  • provide a structure for resources being produced by schools to support national leading professional learning (INSET) days in schools.

The professional learning journey and its purpose for different levels of staff and stakeholders

For all:

To begin, Curriculum for Wales national INSET days in the summer terms will give all staff in Wales the opportunity to engage, reflect and plan for the Curriculum for Wales. Resources to support this work will be provided free on Hwb, so schools will not need to purchase additional resources.

At school leader level you can do the following.

  • As a first step, use the schools as learning organisations model to find out the extent to which your school is geared to support professional learning and develop as a learning organisation.
  • Get a wider perspective on the strategic approach to professional learning and see how all the elements fit together by reviewing the professional learning journey.
  • Find out about leadership development options at the National Academy for Educational Leadership Wales.
  • Review the options in your regional support programme and, if necessary, consult your regional challenge advisor.

Early considerations will be:

  • understanding the four purposes of the curriculum
  • reviewing the school’s vision in relation to the four purposes
  • reflecting on how the school’s vision will improve learning and teaching
  • understanding curriculum making
  • reviewing the approach to staff professional learning.

As an individual you can do the following.

  • Review Curriculum for Wales (start with the essence – the purposes and overarching elements – before the areas of learning and experience).
  • Check your strengths and areas for improvement against the Professional Teaching Standards.
  • Explore the school case studies for this and other projects.
  • Discuss your needs in the usual way.

At all levels, and evolving over time, support will be in place via the cross-regional support programme so that all can use Curriculum for Wales to fulfil our ambitions for the learners of Wales.

Additional guidance

The National Academy for Educational Leadership Wales is producing guidance to help schools in organising and delivering leading professional learning. This is hosted on the National Academy for Educational Leadership Wales website and is still under development.

Sharing experiences

The following Sway consists of a series of cameos from people involved in the development of the playlist resources on this site during 2019-20, outlining their work, the benefits of taking part and some advice for schools taking part in the next phase of the project.