Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Assembly for Wales

Y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg | Children, Young People and Education Committee

Hynt y gwaith gan Lywodraeth Cymru wrth ddatblygu Cwricwlwm newydd Cymru | Welsh Government's progress in developing the new Curriculum for Wales

CR 12

Ymateb gan: Chwaraeon Cymru
Response from: Sport Wales


Sport Wales are the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales.

We are the main adviser on sporting matters to the Welsh Government and are responsible for distributing National Lottery funds to both elite and grassroots sport in Wales.

Areas for response:

·         The role of Pioneer Schools and any opportunities and challenges in their involvement in curriculum design.

The pioneer schools’ representatives have received significant support in the development of their understanding from variety of external sources.  From the perspective of Physical Literacy this support has led to the development of a physical literacy informed curriculum.  Although there are some minor concerns (the prominence of physical activity and sport across the health and well-being AoLE and the prominence of water safety and swimming as life skills), overall, we are pleased with the progress made to date.

·         The latest position regarding the work of the Working Groups which have been established for each of the six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE).

We are unable to comment wider than the Health and Wellbeing AoLE group.  However, within the Health and Wellbeing AoLE there have been significant developments by the group of which we have had direct involvement since September 2018 and we are pleased with the cooperative approach that has been undertaken.

·         The involvement of academic and other external expertise in informing curriculum design.

We are pleased and feel privileged to have an excellent relationship with the Welsh Government within the context of the AoLE pioneers’ group.  Sport Wales have provided direct guidance and support to the pioneer team by working alongside representatives.  However, we strongly believe that there is now much work to be done to support schools in their understanding and de-coding of the curriculum. 

As the HWB AoLE is new, and in many respects breaking new ground globally, there will need to be significant investment in the development of both resources and professional learning opportunities and career long learning pathways.  Sport Wales have supported the professional learning of teachers since 2000 and are in a strong position to further support the Welsh Government in this development. Sport Wales also has a successful track record of co-constructing resources to support practitioners in delivery. Some resources have already been highlighted to the Welsh Government Resource Development Team as they were developed in alignment with the philosophy of ‘Successful Futures’.

·         How the ‘What Matters?’ statements, published in December 2017, are evolving into the design of curriculum content in each of the six AoLEs.

Good progress has been made in developing the ‘What Matters’ statements, however, the profile of physical activity and sport needs to remain a prominent feature of the achievement outcomes and within Knowledge Skills and Experiences moving forward.  

·         Progress in defining achievement outcomes at the various progression steps within the new curriculum.

Achievement Outcomes in the AoLE HWB are Physical Literacy informed (specifically What Matters Statement 1 – Physical Health and Well-Being). The current profile of physical activity in the achievement outcomes and knowledge skills and experiences section will need to be supported with significant professional learning.  These requirements will centre on Physical Literacy and supporting Pedagogy.  However, there are concerns over the profile of Swimming from the perspective of Water safety in the current draft version.  Water safety does feature but the link is at best, tenuous.

·         How the development of the new Curriculum for Wales is aligning with the development of the new national professional learning offer for teachers.

It remains to be seen how the pathway will incorporate the needs of teachers and leaders from a HWB AoLE perspective.  Support and opportunities will require a collaboration between Sport Wales, Public Health and Healthy Schools, SHRN and HEI etc.

·         Effectiveness of the governance arrangements, role of the Independent Advisory Group and Change Board, and involvement of the Education Reform Strategic Stakeholder Group.

Sport Wales does have representation on the Strategic Stakeholder Group.  The sessions provide updates on the developments and offer an opportunity to feed in and network.  However, it is not clear what feedback is taken on board and we would support greater engagement with stakeholders within the pioneer groups to add expertise and advice.

·         The preparedness of schools and teachers for delivering the new curriculum and to what extent the concepts of Professor Donaldson’s Successful Futures review are being tested and carried out already.

There will need to be considerable investment in teachers’ professional learning in and around the AoLE HWB.  Specifically, the pedagogies supporting engagement in physical activity and a child’s physical literacy.  This will also need to be considered in the context of extra-curricular provision, pre -school settings and wrap around care in order for the wider offer making sense to pupils and ensuring every opportunity offers enrichment to their learning and application.

We further believe that the work Sport Wales has undertaken in developing the five ‘Elements of Engagement’ would be beneficial for the professional development and understanding of the teaching profession.  These are the key drivers of participation and have been developed through our qualitative and quantitative work.

·         Any other issue stakeholders wish to draw to the Committee’s attention.

In the Health and Wellbeing AoLE there will be a need for considerable investment in the development of resources and professional learning opportunities.  To support the needs of schools in developing a school level curriculum and supporting staff development, a network of partners working collaboratively will need to be established.  Furthermore, the inspectorate, including accountability frameworks, will need to incorporate curriculum health and wellbeing including physical activity provision and experiences into future inspection frameworks. 

We believe the findings of the school sport survey would be a crucial element of this work in order to be able to find a consistent physical activity offer across Wales.