Education in Wales in 2017 or To boldly go where no Pioneer has gone before. 

I fully appreciate that I’m deliberately using an incorrect quote however the point remains the same. In Wales we have the opportunity to develop a curriculum that is exciting, innovative and fully appreciates the progress that can be made by pupils at every age. Kirsty Williams expresses clearly in her New Year message, that every parent, pupil, teacher, school staff, support staff for Education including the voluntary role of the Governing Body have a role to play on our journey.

There are many new initiatives at present and on occasion it can be overwhelming but it is about guiding ourselves on the journey in a reasonable, sustainable and ultimately positive approach in the hope that the opportunity we have been given will truly make a difference to every pupil. 

Every single teacher is the heartbeat of the new reforms in our curriculum. Without their commitment and drive we would not be able to move forward,

“Teachers are at the heart of this. As I have said and will keep saying, I believe that supporting, developing and challenging our teachers to be as good as they can is at the heart of a great education. As the new curriculum for Wales is developed they will gain new freedom to teach in the way that works best for their pupils.” – Kirsty Williams 

What is crucial is that we accept that on our journey mistakes will be made but ultimately it is how we use the time we have before the new curriculum is fully implemented to learn from these mistakes and to strive to be the best we can. Sometimes we must accept that we can only do the best we can.  We often refer to many of our tasks in Wales as ticking the box but now we must consider, 

How will ESTYN inspect a School if we begin changes now?

“Inspectors should consider to what extent the leadership and management of the school supports innovation and creativity in the delivery of a stimulating curriculum for its learners. Inspectors should approach innovation andflexibility of approach in a positive way when schools have tried to be creative and imaginative in taking forward initiatives for the benefit of pupils.” – Estyn

A number of Schools across Wales are Pioneer Schools but as I have said in a previous post, this should not prevent any school from being creative and innovative. The time to adapt and try a different approach is now as the curriculum is being developed by ourselves. Estyn as stated above will respond positively to changes. Many questions are left in our minds and the following g link has tried to answer many of them including assessment,

Every child has the potential to succeed but many pupils lack the confidence to believe this.

As teachers we have the opportunity to support pupils on what could and should be an exciting journey of discovery. 

Every ship needs a Captain but a ship can’t steer in the right direction without the support of a team that shares the values and ethos of the school thus making and developing an effective learning environment. As Kirsty Williams explains,

“There is a natural fit between this and developments with teaching standards, teacher professional learning and leadership. These closely linked reforms will combine to produce an exciting future for those who influence education as much as for the children and young people that benefit from it.

Let’s go forward together.”

My final point is a request, the journey can be bumpy and feel quite alien on occasions but as you strive forward make sure that your well being and the well being of every pupil takes centre stage because ultimately we all want to,

Enjoy 2017 and all the opportunities that it could bring!

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