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OF WALES & THE WELSH

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Kirsty Williams urges people to get involved with the new curriculum and future qualifications in Wales …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

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.

Hi,

To get involved in this risible & unworkable Charade see:

Our National Mission: A Transformational Curriculum

The data can be found at CLICK HERE though sadly it does not help much in explaining WHY or HOW they aim to carry out their aims, which look very much like accepting the wishes of a tiny corrupt minority seeking the ridiculous aim of imposing their aims on the vaste majority in Wales & the majority of Welsh peoples – One is tempted to speculate just what personal rewards are on offer to fulfill this corruption & damage to Wales & the Welsh.

What’s in it and for whom because I can not for a moment identify any benefits for Wales or its peoples nor for these United Kingdoms.

Wales’ new curriculum and qualifications

Kirsty Williams urges people to get involved with the new curriculum and future qualifications

Kirsty Williams is Wales’ Education Minister

Keeping it simple, strategic and focused on standards – three important reminders from the IWA’s curriculum reform event a fortnight ago.

Keir Bloomer’s speech at the launch of the IWA’s Common Purposes report was clear about the pitfalls and successes of Scotland’s curriculum journey.

Of course, my officials and many others within our system have had regular discussions with our friends in Scotland.

And of course our engagement has gone much further than that, working with New Zealand, the Netherlands, provinces and states in North America, Ireland, and of course not forgetting colleagues from across the Severn Bridge.

As Mark Priestley, Professor of Education at Stirling University and sometime critic of the Scottish experience, has put it:

“Wales is heeding the lessons from other countries…and have put in place principles and processes that address some of the criticisms… (with) the importance of knowledge foregrounded in the curriculum guidance.”

One of the most significant lessons for us to heed from Scotland is, as Keir pointed out, the problems that arose from introducing new examinations and qualifications too soon in the realisation of the new curriculum.

That’s why it’s so important for us to take the time to get this process right.

The independent regulator Qualifications Wales has now written to me to outlining how they will be considering the new curriculum and its implications.

Once the draft curriculum is made available in April, they will build on the co-construction approach that has been central to the development of the new curriculum – ensuring that teachers, students and others within the education sector play a central role in helping to shape future qualifications.

Employers, colleges and universities will also play a vital role in this process – reflecting how important qualifications are to progression into education and employment. I have made this clear to Qualifications Wales in my reply to their letter.

We saw earlier this month that the existence of GCSEs is being challenged in England, despite it being a recognised brand. Qualifications Wales have said that their “view is that the GCSE title offers substantial flexibility and could accommodate a wide range of different qualification design features to support alignment with the new curriculum”.

I accept this proposition, but in my reply to them I have been careful not to seek to limit the review to any sort of status-quo.  It’s important to add, however, that no decisions will be taken about the range of qualifications that will be needed or how they will be designed until extensive consultation has taken place.

Schools accountability along with qualifications, as we heard from the Common Purposes event, are significant drivers for secondary schools in particular. In order to change behaviour we also need to change mindsets – at government, local government and school level. This week I published more information about our approach to accountability moving more towards a system of self-evaluation for improvement and greater schools autonomy.  Estyn also announced how they will take forward the recommendations in ‘A Learning Inspectorate’ showing how, over the next few years, the work of the Inspectorate will evolve and change to support the embedding of the new curriculum and the new evaluation and improvement arrangements. All of this will be subject to extensive consultation to make sure parents in particular understand and have confidence in the new system.

So, over the coming period, we are entering an important phase of engagement and preparation – not just about qualifications but the new curriculum as a whole.

We’ve worked hard over the last couple of years to reach out, but I know that we must now re-double our efforts.

At the Commons Purposes event, I welcomed the IWA’s work in spotting the challenges ahead and giving me and officials recommendations on next steps.

I am now able to confirm that we will soon roll-out a new programme of engagement, going beyond the school system.

This builds on my regular Twitter Q&As, ongoing parental engagement, education is changing online campaign, podcasts and much more.

In the coming months, I will lead Our National Mission roadshow, engaging directly with non-school audiences and stakeholders.

This is not instead of working with schools and practitioners – it will build on that, run alongside and also involve them where relevant and appropriate.

We will do this face to face at events, but also digitally and online.

And I know that there is an audience across Wales keen to learn more and to offer ideas on our education reforms.

But this is not a job for me alone. The best advocates and presenters are those teachers who’ve been leading the way on these reforms.

I also realise that many of you reading this blog will be school governors, parents or engaged in different ways with your local schools.

Make sure you get involved and ask questions about the new curriculum, challenge us, get onto the website in April and see the full draft detail, encourage your colleagues and staff to do the same.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

The very limited public response so far is:

5 thoughts on “Wales’ new curriculum and qualifications”

  1. Mixed emotions having read Kirsty’s article and truly bewildered that after 20 years of abject failure the Welsh Education is being ‘transformed’ yet again but the key element responsible for the failure of our education system not even mentioned once.

    The unmentionable is only mentioned in the Welsh Governments propaganda when it suits them and in the safe knowledge that there will be no scrutiny and therefore no accountability (Down to the Y Fro Gymraeg media who share ‘Common Purpose’ with the Welsh Government).

    Welsh education reforms are based upon some absurd statements that defy the logic and will be the unravelling of anything good that might be contained in the new curriculum for ‘excellence’ that as yet I have not come across.

    The fundamental principle behind Welsh education strategy stripped down to its naked form is to socially engineer our children into Welsh speakers, hence the following statement from the Welsh Government that underpins the current education reform:

    “The Welsh language belongs to us all – it needs to be included in strategic planning to make it a part of every aspect of life”.

    We are talking about a language and a culture that largely stopped evolving in the XIII c that is only relevant to some 8% of Welsh population excluding the Wenglish who amount to further 10% of our nation and who don’t have any hang-ups which language they speak.

    The sad fact is that the Welsh Government is driving roughshod over internationally recognised norms that teaching children through a language not spoken at home will stifle/damage their educational journey and has failed to address this very subject via any meaningful scrutiny.

    Kirsty Williams often uses social media to tell us how wonderful it is to have two children who are both ‘bilingual’ and at ease with English and Welsh even though she is not a Welsh speaker. I have no idea how bright her kids are but do know as the fact that only the top 3-5%, the very bright/exceptional kids can cope with the Welsh language submersion.

    Equally, I’m in the dark if Kirsty made any effort to participate in her children’s educational journey through a language she doesn’t understand but willing to impose it on children and parents who are most likely to become bystanders unable to share the wonderful learning experience that young children should have but denied to most for the sake of a language and a culture irrelevant to most people of Wales?

    I’ll leave it to others who may wish to address Kirsty with the hard facts contained in Welsh education statistics KS2/GCSE who all show the demise of the Welsh Medium Education (WME) when compared with the English Medium Education EME) and the damage done to children with no Welsh at home in the imposed WME.

    If Kirsty wants scrutiny, I suggest, she goes no further than the Y Fro Gymraeg County of Gwynedd which prides itself on having no EME in primary years and ask them for a copy of Bangor University report titled:
    “Report of a Survey on the Social Use of Welsh by Gwynedd’s Primary Sector Children” – Authors: Dylan Bryn Roberts and Dr Enlli Thomas (Removed from the public domain by Gwynedd LEA).

    The study concludes that most children do not use Welsh outside of confines of their classrooms and this is unlikely to change even in a month of Sundays.

    Children with no Welsh at home end up damaged for life being illiterate/innumerate in two languages (KS2/GCSE data) – CRIMINAL IMO.

    Finally, suggest Kirsty listens to the Irish if she is not prepared to listen to our children (A must watch): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrg_xuJZsDQ&feature=youtu.be

  2. “Make sure you get involved and ask questions about the new curriculum, challenge us, get onto the website in April and see the full draft detail, encourage your colleagues and staff to do the same.”

    WOW! I am totally on board with this; scenting a new openness and willingness to consider varying opinions I rushed over to the last posting on their “Successful futures” forum to read my own contributions…sadly still nothing.
    I have to emphasise that there is nothing in their “rules of engagement” that suggests that anything that I have written should be deemed unacceptable to the moderators; indeed I have reproduced one post exactly in the IWA blog here:-

    https://www.iwa.wales/click/2019/02/plenty-of-lessons-to-learn/

    Post number 3.

    Ironic on so many levels when Kirsty Williams urges the population of Wales to “get involved”.
    It isn’t the hypocrisy that concerns me so much as the wider implications of what is being done here by the Department of Education but also elsewhere in the Welsh government. What we are seeing is authoritarianism in action.
    Instead of Wales being an open, outward looking and confident country all the instincts of our government and political class is towards secrecy and repression of free expression.
    At the same time that, on the face of it, we are urged to lend our voices to debates about our future, opinions and facts that run counter to the direction of travel that the nationalist factions in our government, political parties and institutions are determined to travel, are banished from government sites and ignored by politicians and media alike.
    This is regrettably the inevitable road to regression and isolation and ultimately a dictatorial and authoritarian regime.

  3. This is an interesting example of openness from the department of education; quite a good article on Finnish education after a number of teachers had gone on a visit. In particular they looked at how a famously multi-lingual country managed to teach languages to a high standard:-
    https://curriculumforwales.gov.wales/2018/03/21/finding-out-about-finlands-language-learning-teacher-autonomy-and-work-play-balance/

    After a brief introduction where the writer mentions “language showers” where children are introduced to other languages (but not systematically taught other languages) follows this sentence:-

    ” At school the first optional language is usually offered at Grade 5 (age 11/12). English is a popular choice (fuelled in part by its use in on-line gaming and popular culture). However, people increasingly consider that proficiency in Finnish and English is sufficient and interest in and uptake of other languages is in decline.”

    Coincidentally age 11/12 is the age at which Dutch children are first taught a foreign language…once again usually English.
    In fact not one European country habitually uses early immersion to teach a language. In Finland the Sami minority and the Swedish enclave have Sami and Swedish language schools but that is for pupils whose home language is the language of those schools.

    So this article actually runs counter to Welsh government policy on Welsh early immersion schooling for children from English speaking homes. Welsh policy also runs counter to UNESCO policy on early learning good practice.
    I wrote this comment:-

    “J.Jones on March 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    This is an interesting review of the literature on teaching a second language:-

    https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/periodicals/goldenberg.pdf

    In particular note this:-

    “The NLP was the latest of five meta-analyses
    that reached the same
    conclusion: learning to read in the
    home language promotes reading
    achievement in the second language.”

    So the Finnish model with the Sami and enlightened American teaching of Spanish first language children in an English medium setting are all exactly the opposite of the immersion system being used in Wales.
    Welsh medium schooling is all about Nationalist and identity politics; not the education and well-being of children.”

    Still awaiting moderation after all this time…
    Of course it’s never going to be published because it is unacceptable to the Welsh department of education to have ANY comment on their “Curriculum for Wales” blog that challenges the orthodox doctrine.

    The problem is a systemic one; if the various Welsh language acts demand that services are available in Welsh then the people who deliver those services, particularly in the field of education, will be first language Welsh speakers. Those people have a vested interest in making sure that they themselves, and their children, are in a privileged position when it comes to future employment. They also view the propagation of the Welsh language as an almost religious duty. They cannot ever allow any challenge to their own agenda.
    So, IWA, if you are going to proselytise on behalf of Kirsty Williams, I believe that you should, perhaps, point out to her her enormous hypocrisy…..No?

     

  4. ‘I also realise that many of you reading this blog will be school governors, parents or engaged in different ways with your local schools.

    Make sure you get involved and ask questions about the new curriculum, challenge us, …’

    We tried challenging you on the Curriculum for Wales blog and got permanently censored as long ago as the 24th of November, 2016 in what looks like just the 38th comment on the blog! Does Kirsty Williams even know what is going on in her own department?

    https://curriculumforwales.gov.wales/2016/10/07/believing-in-teachers-benchmarking-against-the-best/#comment-38

    ‘Education digital team on November 24, 2016 at 3:42 pm said:

    Dear Glasnost and others, thank you for your comments.

    Professor Donaldson’s ‘Successful Futures’ report took full consideration of language issues. The decision to introduce a new curriculum for Wales, along the lines of the recommendations in Professor Donaldson’s report, received cross party support.

    I hope you will agree that your views and those of your colleagues who hold similar opinions have been aired very fully on this blog. However for the sake of moving forward in a positive vein, we will not be publishing further contributions of a similar nature.’

    The last comment I managed to get published was comment #8. It was a direct challenge to a statement Kirsty Williams wrote and I will repeat it here:

    https://curriculumforwales.gov.wales/2016/10/07/believing-in-teachers-benchmarking-against-the-best/#comment-8

    ‘John R Walker on October 19, 2016 at 7:59 am said:

    “I believe all decisions made by governments must be based on sound evidence.”

    Why then is the accumulated evidence that Welsh-medium schools under-perform English-medium schools when compared on a like-for-like basis using EFSMs not being factored into WG policy? What do you propose to do about it?

    Why then is the accumulated evidence that L1 English pupils under-perform in the core subjects in Welsh-medium schools when compared on a like-for-like basis using EFSMs not being factored into WG policy? What do you propose to do about it and specifically when will the WG make it unlawful for LEAs such as Gwynedd to deny L1 English children an English-medium primary education since all the available evidence suggests that most children learn best through their first language?’

    I am STILL waiting for an answer from Kirsty Williams why this statement of hers:

    “I believe all decisions made by governments must be based on sound evidence.”

    flies in the face of the considerable body of evidence available to her own department?

    I agree – I want evidence-based education policies and the evidence says that doubling-down on existing policies which are failing, and have failed for the best part of 30 years, has no more chance of succeeding in future than it did in the past. You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig. This is all the WG is doing.

    The decline of education in Wales since ~1990 has been momentous by any standards and looks set to continue at a similar, or at an even higher, rate. Why? Because consultation is a total sham. Research has not been robust or thorough or unbiased. Research has been cherry-picked to fit an ideological narrative which has already failed and the inconvenient material has been ignored altogether – and that includes by authors who have actually put their names to conflicting evidence in recent years. Pedagogy has not triumphed over a failed and almost racist ideology. Just because it has cross-party support doesn’t make it right – actually it makes it worse!

    Welsh language SUBMERSION techniques in primary schools have failed dismally – typically L1 English pupils leaving KS2 are a full 2 years behind where they ought to be at age 11. Worse, in many cases their most useful L1 of English has actually been damaged by being taught to read and write in Welsh. Their opportunity for school-based consolidation and progression in English has been denied to them. In many ways they are worse off than EAL pupils in the rest of the UK who have the benefit of English medium immersion. Welsh language SUBMERSION is a lose-lose programme for almost everybody except the L1 Welsh pupils who have at least one parent fully fluent and fully literate in Welsh. Yet this madness is set to be increased! In my view, the policy in Wales should actually be the exact reverse with L1 Welsh pupils being given the same advantages as AEL pupils in the rest of the UK with English language immersion education. English is complex and the sooner it is started the better.

    Then the damage being done in primary rolls forward into secondary where KS3 is increasingly a case of doing remedial work not building on skills from primary years to take forward to the GCSE and A Level stages.

    There is nothing new or revolutionary in what Donaldson has proposed – except perhaps the opaqueness of its language and jargon. Teacher-led education was the hallmark of Alec Clegg in the West Riding of Yorkshire back in the 1950s – arguably still the most successful large-scale LEA the UK has ever known. But in the West Riding it really was teacher led… And, as Sir Alec often remarked, Socrates beat him to it by some 2,400 years! So how has Wales managed to get something so simple so wrong for so long? With no end in sight…

May I suggest if you wish to understand the true level of corruption and damage being done to Wales and the Welsh peoples you study the accurate background and the truth at CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L

-W.

NB:
in the interest of accuracy material in the main text in blue was written by someone other than myself.

When in black text the wording ‘Welsh Language’ means the ‘Language of the peoples of Wales’ and is therefore the majority language ie ‘English’

The ancient language of parts of Wales, varied as it is, as spoken by a tiny minority in Wales is called ‘Welsh’ or ‘the ancient Welsh language’

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