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Re‐educating the nation? A Curriculum Journal special issue on the new curriculum for Wales

A new special issue of the Curriculum Journal, published simultaneously in English and Welsh, explores the many issues that arise when a country decides to rewrite the school curriculum – particularly when that rewriting entails a radical departure from a conventional subject‐based approach. Schools in Wales, particularly secondary schools, are preparing for a dramatic shift towards a more interdisciplinary and experiential education, which entails significant reforms to curriculum content, teaching and learning for all young people in maintained schools.

It is, special issue editors Sally Power and Chris Taylor write, ‘incumbent on the education research community… to examine the process of curriculum‐making, identify the successes and weaknesses of such reforms and lose to provide insights to those still involved in the process’. This special issue draws on a range of empirical studies undertaken during the design and development phase of the Curriculum for Wales. It brings together 10 papers that each examine a different aspect of the curriculum reform journey in Wales, providing more detail on the reforms and offering their insights into how this reform journey is going and what challenges still lie ahead.

See the full contents listing below. Three teams have also published articles on the BERA Blog summarising their research published in this special issue:


Re‐educating the nation? The development of a new curriculum for Wales
Chris Taylor & Sally Power
Ailaddysgu’r genedl? Datblygu cwricwlwm newydd i Gymru


Successful futures, successful curriculum: What can Wales learn from international curriculum reforms?
Claire Sinnema, Nienke Nieveen & Mark Priestley
Dyfodol llwyddiannus, cwricwlwm llwyddiannus: Beth all Cymru ei ddysgu o ddiwygio cwricwla mewn gwledydd eraill?


Can the New Welsh Curriculum achieve its purposes?
Jane Gatley
A fydd y Cwricwlwm i Gymru newydd yn gallu cyflawni ei ddibenion?


The rationale for subsidiarity as a principle applied within curriculum reform and its unintended consequences
Nigel Newton
Y sail resymegol dros gymhwyso egwyddor sybsidiaredd wrth ddiwygio cwricwla a’i ganlyniadau anfwriadol


The significance of context: autonomy and curriculum reform in rural schools
Susan Chapman
Pwysigrwydd y cyd‐destun: ymreolaeth a diwygio’r cwricwlwm mewn ysgolion gwledig


Multilingual perspectives: preparing for language learning in the new curriculum for Wales
Claire Gorrara, Lucy Jenkins, Eira Jepson & Tallulah Llewelyn Machin
Persbectifau amlieithog: paratoi ar gyfer dysgu ieithoedd yn y cwricwlwm newydd i Gymru


Curriculum integration: the challenges for primary and secondary schools in developing a new curriculum in the expressive arts
Judith Kneen, Thomas Breeze, Sian Davies‐Barnes, Vivienne John & Emma Thayer
Integreiddio’r cwricwlwm: yr heriau sy’n wynebu ysgolion cynradd ac uwchradd wrth ddatblygu cwricwlwm newydd yn y celfyddydau mynegiannol


Learning progression in the humanities: identifying tensions in articulating progression in humanities in Wales
Sioned Hughes, Kara Makara & Dave Stacey
Cynnydd dysgu yn y dyniaethau: canfod tensiynau wrth gyfleu cynnydd yn y dyniaethau yng Nghymru


Tensions in current curriculum reform and the development of teachers’ professional autonomy
Sioned Hughes & Helen Lewis
Tensiynau yn y broses bresennol o ddiwygio’r cwricwlwm a datblygu ymreolaeth broffesiynol athrawon


‘[It] isn’t designed to be assessed how we assess’: rethinking assessment for qualification in the context of the implementation of the Curriculum for Wales
Elizabeth Titley Andrew James Davies Stephen Atherton
‘Nid yw wedi’i fwriadu i gael ei asesu yn y ffordd rydyn ni’n asesu’: Ailfeddwl am asesu ar gyfer cymhwyster yng nghyddestun gweithredu’r Cwricwlwm i Gymru


‘Successful futures’ for all in Wales? The challenges of curriculum reform for addressing educational inequalities
Sally Power, Nigel Newton & Chris Taylor
‘Dyfodol llwyddiannus’ i bawb yng Nghymru? Yr heriau wrth ddiwygio cwricwla i ymdrin ag anghydraddoldeb addysgol