Ysgol Penglais School – Curriculum

‘Courage, Strength, Heart’

A New Curriculum for Wales 2022

This is an exciting time for the young people of Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government has published a new Curriculum for Wales.  This new curriculum will enthuse learners from 3 to 16, giving them the foundations they need to succeed in a changing world. The first teaching of all year groups from primary school to Year 7 will begin in September 2022 and the new curriculum will roll out year-on-year from this point.

Elements of the new Curriculum for Wales

The Four Purposes

The four purposes will be at the heart of the new curriculum.  Decisions on the content and experiences developed as part of the curriculum will support our children and young people to be:

  • ambitious, capable learners ready to learn throughout their lives
  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
  • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

Key Elements

The new curriculum will include:

  • six Areas of Learning and Experience from 3 to 16
  • three cross curriculum responsibilities: literacy, numeracy and digital competence
  • progression reference points at ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16
  • achievement outcomes which describe expected achievements at each progression reference point.

The curriculum will be organised into six Areas of Learning and Experience:

  • Expressive arts
  • Health and well-being
  • Humanities (including RE which should remain compulsory to age 16)
  • Languages, literacy and communication (including Welsh, which should remain compulsory to age 16, and modern foreign languages)
  • Mathematics and numeracy
  • Science and technology (including computer science).

Designing and developing the new Penglais curriculum

 We view the new curriculum for Wales as an opportunity to review and develop our curriculum at Penglais.  More recently the Curriculum and Assessment Research Group have been analysing and understanding the final documentation from the Welsh Assembly, evaluating our current provision at Key Stage 3 and researching models of curriculum and assessment. The group have also worked on writing curriculum principles that identify ‘The Penglais Way’ and these have been scrutinised, evaluated and refined by all sectors of the school community.

From September 2020, all members of the Curriculum & Assessment Research Group will be carrying out more practice-based research. This research will involve planning, delivering and evaluating a way of teaching, learning and assessment, that builds on our now strong pedagogical approach, is rooted in our new Penglais curriculum principles, but explores a new or different way to deliver learning and assessment as enabled by the new curriculum framework.

Timeline of our progress towards the new Penglais curriculum

September 2018;

Introduce, develop and embed improvements to pedagogy to support new curriculum developments at Penglais, with a focus on Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction

September 2019

Teachers at Penglais appointed to the Curriculum and Assessment Research Group to research curriculum and assessment models, review current curriculum in year 7, 8 & 9 and write curriculum principles for Penglais School

January 2020: Final curriculum and assessment arrangements available from the Welsh Assembly Government

April 2020: Full implementation of National Approach to Professional Learning

July 2020:  Penglais Curriculum Principles evaluated and in place

September 2020: Teachers at Penglais collaborate in departments, faculties and areas of learning and experience to plan, trial and evaluate possible content, approaches to teaching, learning and assessment with identified classes

July 2021: Complete draft Year 7 programmes of learning for September

September 2021:Year 7 programmes of learning in place and evaluated  

September 2022: All maintained schools and settings using the new curriculum and assessment arrangements


Curriculum Summary link: https://penglais.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Currculum-Summary-2023-V2.docx


Links to information about the new Curriculum for Wales 2022

Guide for children, young people and families


A new curriculum in Wales: easy read


Education is changing website


Curriculum for Wales Guidance


Donaldson Report: Successful Futures


 A new curriculum for Wales


Education in Wales is changing

Transition plan – Abersystwyth