Curriculum for Wales 2022

The New curriculum for Wales has been developed to reflect the strengths that the Foundation Phase has brought to education in Wales. 

The Foundation Phase ethos, principles and pedagogy will continue to be central to the delivery of early year’s education and have been incorporated across Curriculum for Wales 2022 to ensure it is appropriate and accessible for all practitioners and learners.” A guide to Curriculum for Wales 2022, April 2019

The final version of the new Curriculum for Wales was published on 28 January 2020.   

However, following the original consultation period, it was highlighted that additional guidance was required for the education of learners who are pre-progression step 1. Although slightly delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this resulted in the planning for additional guidance to be developed by the Welsh Government.

This guidance is focused primarily on supporting schools to develop their own curriculum. Although, within The Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, the Welsh Government are required to provide a curriculum which funded non-maintained nursery settings can adopt. Settings can adopt this curriculum, design their own, or work with others to design a curriculum. 

‘Enabling Pathways Guidance’ to support learners at the very beginning of their learning continuum

Following the consultation period of the draft documents for Curriculum for Wales. The Welsh Government recognised that further work was needed to address the rapid developmental changes which occur in children during the period of learning leading to Progression Step 1. The Enabling Pathways Guidance has been developed to support settings and schools with the education of learners aged 3-5 and learners with additional learning needs (ALN) or profound or multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), who are pre progression step 1 in one or more aspect of their learning.

Enabling Pathways has been a product of co-construction with the Welsh Government and a development group consisting of; early year’s advisory teachers, CWLWM representatives, early year’s practitioners, sector professionals and Estyn. The draft Enabling Pathways Guidance will be published in May 2021 for a 8 week consultation period before refinement work is completed and the final document is published December 2021. 

A curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings 

Funded non-maintained nursery settings will be required to adopt a curriculum for their learners. The curriculum should be broad, balanced and suitable for learners of differing ages, abilities and aptitudes.

The adopted curriculum must also:

  • enable learners to develop in the way described in the four purposes
  • cover the six areas of learning and experience
  • encompass the statements of what matters 
  • reflect the principles of progression
  • encompass the mandatory cross-curricular skills
  • include the mandatory curriculum elements
  • consider the range of legislative requirements
  • support assessment arrangements which assess the progress made by learners and identify next steps in learners’ progression and the learning and teaching needed to make that progress
However, as required by The Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, the Welsh Government continued to work with some members or the Enabling Pathways development group, along with further non-maintained sector representatives to co-construct a curriculum and assessment framework to support funded non-maintained settings in the education of 3-4 year olds. 

The draft curriculum framework contains key developmental pathways which are fundamental to the learning and development of all young children. The pathways should be used holistically when planning learning experiences to ensure authentic and purposeful learning takes place that delivers the four purposes of the curriculum. They are child-centred and link closely to the key principles of child development as well as to the overarching statements of what matters of the six areas of learning and experience.

Find out more about Curriculum for Wales 2022

Testing period of the non-maintained sector curriculum and assessment framework

The Welsh Government intends to pilot the draft non-maintained curriculum and assessment arrangements in a range of settings funded to deliver Foundation Phase Nursery provision (early education) and a limited number of childminders in the summer term 2021. 

The feedback received from the sector will be used to refine the curriculum guidance for final publication in December 2021. EAS Consortia (Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen), Rhondda Cynon Taf, Powys and Wrexham have been invited to work with the Welsh Government on the testing phase of the NMS curriculum and assessment arrangements.

Supporting resources and documents from Welsh Government

Alongside the work of Enabling Pathways and the non-maintained sector curriculum and assessment framework, the Welsh Government are re-developing some of the original Foundation Phase training modules and will be looking to replace the Foundation Phase Profile with a suitable tool to support assessment. 

Supporting training and resources from NDNA Cymru

NDNA Cymru has developed an online training course to support with your underpinning knowledge of the New Curriculum for Wales 2022.

Four Purposes
The Four Purposes are the shared vision and aspiration for every child and young person in Wales. All learning decisions within your setting should be in pursuit of the four purposes. Ensuring a secure understanding of the Four Purposes is crucial to a solid foundation for learning within your setting. 

Embedding the Four Purposes - online training and Four Purposes - factsheet  

Effective pedagogy
Your staff will need the skills to teach the new curriculum well. Professor Donaldson describes in detail 12 Pedagogical Principles that underpin the new curriculum. Understanding the individual components will support your team to confidently embed the new curriculum and achieve high-quality learning experiences for your children. 

12 Pedagogical Principles-Factsheet

Understanding and preparing for the New Curriculum for Wales
Don’t be scared of the change! Learning through play and child-led learning remains, and the principles and pedagogy derive from the Foundation Phase, something that the early years sector in Wales have been doing for years. NDNA Cymru have developed an online training webinar to highlight current effective practice and its place within the new curriculum, alongside introducing the integral components and their relevance to the early years and the education of 3-4 year olds. 

The Four Purposes and the Curriculum for Wales 2022 webinar

Resources from CWLWM

An online course has been developed by Gwenith Ap Roberts, Curriculum Leader for CWLWM, which offers a clear and lighthearted presentation into the methodology and development of Curriculum for Wales 2022.

Watch a presentation on the background and basic principles of Curriculum for Wales 2022 in English here and in Welsh here.

Download the CWLWM Curriculum for Wales poster here. 

If you need more support please contact the NDNA Cymru team:


Telephone: 01824 707823

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