New Curriculum for Welsh Education

The long-planned change in the reform of Elementary education in Wales unveiled its first detail of what will the new curriculum looks like as a whole at the end of April.

The new curriculum will have more emphasis on equipping young people for life. It will build their ability to learn new skills and apply their subject knowledge more positively and creatively.

The purpose of the new curriculum is to 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.

It will have 6 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.

Among them, the change in the teaching of Welsh draws people’s attention most. Welsh has been taught in primary school as the second language for decades, which seems to be unfair to a country that viewed it as the national language.

Sarah Merry, the Councillor and the cabinet member for Education, says the change in Welsh teaching aiming to build up the actual use of Welsh in English primary and medium schools.

Sarah Merry, Cabinet Member for Education                                      Photo: CNP

Currently, Welsh is taught in the primary schools as a subject and resulted in not being fluent in Welsh after primary education, which seems to be unfair to this national language of Wales.

‘We’ ve been campaigning for the abolish of Welsh being taught as the second language and for it to be introduced as one continuing leaning for every pupil.’ says Colin Nosworthy, communication officer for the Welsh language campaign organization, Cymdeithas.

Colin Nosworthy, Communication Officer for Cymdeithas               Photo: CNP

But for the new curriculum to implement as well as to increase the Welsh speakers, the shortage in Welsh teachers is a big problem.

The organisation, Cymdeithas, has proposed 4 suggestions to the government to address the problem of short in professional Welsh teachers. Firstly, increasing quota for recruiting more welsh teachers, extending the training course for those trainee welsh teachers, investing on the job training to upgrade the ability of the existing teachers,

Eoghan Walsh is a teacher from Radnor primary school. He is quite confident that the new curriculum is a step forward. But he is worrying about schools cannot get enough funding.

Eoghan Walsh, Radnor Primary School Teacher                                 Photo: CNP

‘Every years we tried to adapt to the changes and we adapted very well. But we’ve had to reduce our staffing numbers despite the progress we made. We are struggling, financially.’

Relentless efforts have been made all the time in protecting and promoting the national language. This February, the local council made decision of having more Welsh name streets. But three months passed, there is no progress at all. Colin said he was disappointment to the authority’s lazy actions towards the national language.

Welsh may mean a lot to people who were born and raised here as part of their national identity. And revitalizing language under the pressure of globalisation is a hard work as Colin said. But to numerous people who are keen to see the rejuvenation of their national language like him. It is a ray of hope.

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