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ERW Curriculum Team 10/12/2020

Professional learning

Languages, Literacy and Communication brings languages together in Curriculum for Wales, and is based on the premise that any learning in one language - whether it is the development of vocabulary, grammar, skills or appreciation of literature - can support learning in all subsequent languages. This provides an opportunity to enable learners to build on their bilingualism to become multilingual from an early stage.

Whereas many primary schools already introduce a third language and celebrate additional languages within their school community, a new component of CfW is that progress in an international language will be a requirement at Progression Step 3. The definition of international languages in the guidance is “languages other than Welsh and English which are learned at school and which can include community languages, modern languages, classical languages and British Sign Language”. Primary schools will therefore need to select which international language they wish to deliver as part of their provision in LLC.

Professional learning to support international languages in primary schools has been identified by Welsh Government as an area for development, and ERW is currently funding up to 50 schools for support in each of the following two programmes:

Cerdd Iaith is a powerful new resource which uses music and drama to help primary school children to learn Welsh, English and Spanish together. It is packed full of unique and exciting activities, including many original songs. Cerdd Iaith is the result of a three-year collaboration between British Council, the University of Wales Trinity St David, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and ERW. Following its successful pilot stage in ERW primary schools, British Council is now offering two online training sessions on how to use the Cerdd Iaith website which includes follow-up support for teachers as they experiment with this resource in their classrooms.

PowerLanguage is a comprehensive resource which supports specialist and non-specialist practitioners to teach French and Spanish from Year 1. Originally developed to support Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, PowerLanguage is now being used by over a 100 primary schools in Wales. It enables learners to progress through songs, stories and videos in cross-curricular contexts, and there are sound files to accompany all the vocabulary and structures presented.

Funded places for these opportunities are still available at the moment. For more information, click here and contact to register:

The British Council Wales report published in September 2019 provides strategies on how to develop multilingualism in primary schools and includes case studies from ten schools across Wales:


Recent school support

Members of the curriculum team worked recently with the Directors of Learning at Crickhowell High in Powys as they develop the areas of learning and experience at the school. The aim of the half-day training was to support them to deliver a whole-day INSET on January 4th , when they will lead their teams to plan for learning within their Areas. The session started with an overview of the vision and key principles of Curriculum for Wales as a starting point for developing a shared vision for their learners for each Area at Crickhowell High. This included in-depth discussions on how practitioners could collaborate to enable learners to progress towards the four purposes and also an opportunity to engage with the key concepts expressed in the statements of what matters as they start to identify the essential learning required within and across the AoLEs. The workshop, which was based on the Journey to Curriculum for Wales ERW site, provided further activities, resources and considerations for the Directors of Learning as they prepare for this day of planning with their teams for the implementation of Curriculum for Wales.

Question of the week: Where do we start with our AoLE?

Learning in Curriculum for Wales will be delivered through the six areas of learning and experience. The most important thing to know about them is that they are not an end in themselves, but rather vehicles which will enable schools to realise the vision of Curriculum for Wales provided by the four purposes. The guidance for the areas of learning and experience must therefore be considered together with the overarching guidance throughout the whole design process.

A useful starting point for engagement with the AoLEs is the third video on the Journey to Curriculum for Wales ERW site, which provides a clear outline of the role of the Areas as well as a comprehensive summary of the content:

You will see that the video is accompanied by a narrative in PDF format for you to download.

The first step towards designing a curriculum for each AoLE is to develop a shared vision for the Area in your school. This will entail identifying the needs of your learners and will require collaboration among practitioners from different disciplines to ensure an integrated approach to teaching and learning. The AoLE workshops on the Journey to Curriculum for Wales ERW site provide a step-by- step approach to creating your vision:

Each workshop includes suggested activities and resources as you reflect on how the AoLE provides opportunities for your learners to work towards the four purposes. This shared vision for the learners in your Area will be unique to your school and will be the first essential step to designing your AoLE curriculum.