The New Curriculum For Wales

The New Curriculum for Wales


Children who attenschool in Wales follow a different curriculum from the National Curriculum in England.


The Curriculum for Wales rolled out from September 2022, with primary schools being the first to switch.


The curriculum is being reformed to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap between students, and equip young people to lead ‘fulfilling personal, civic and professional lives’ in modern society.


It aims to prepare children to thrive in a future where digital skills, adaptability and creativity are crucial, and that is rooted in Welsh values and culture.


Curriculum for Wales: The Basics


The New Curriculum for Wales will be followed by children from the ages of three to 16. There won’t be separate curriculums for primary and secondary schools. It will be a continuum across all stages.


The curriculum will be statutory for all maintained schools in Wales. Non-maintained schools won’t have to follow the curriculum, but will have to provide a ‘broad and balanced’ teaching programme that incorporates the six areas of learning set out in the new curriculum.


The Curriculum for Wales will have two hierarchies:

  • The National-Level Curriculum defined by the Welsh government.
  • The School-Level Curriculum will follow the national-level curriculum, but will be developed and planned by teachers in individual schools and in clusters.
    It won’t be biased towards knowledge or skills, but will allow schools to provide a balance of knowledge, skills and experiences.

The Four Purposes of the Curriculum


The new Curriculum for Wales has been developed to fulfil four key purposes. It aims to create learners who are:

  • Ambitious and capable
  • Healthy, confident individuals
  • Enterprising, creative contributors
  • Ethical and informed citizens


Areas of Learning


The Curriculum for Wales will have six Areas of Learning Experience (AoLE).

  • Expressive Arts: Art, Dance, Drama, Film and Digital Media, and Music.
  • Humanities: GeographyHistoryR.E., Business Studies and Social Studies.
  • Health and Wellbeing: The physical, psychological, emotional and social aspects of life, helping students make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing and learn how to manage social influences. It will include P.E.
  • Science and Technology: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Design and Technology.
  • Mathematics and Numeracy: In the Early Years, this will involve learning through play. In later stages, it will include working both independently and collaboratively with others.
  • Languages, Literacy and Communication: Welsh and English, Literature and International Languages. Welsh Language teaching will still be compulsory (as an additional language for children who don’t use Welsh as their first language).


  • Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Skills will be embedded throughout all curriculum areas.

Non-Curriculum Areas

Relationships and Sexuality Education: RSE will be mandatory in all maintained schools, including primary schools. Parents will no longer be allowed to withdraw their children from these lessons.

The focus will be on building relationships based on mutual trust, and developing mental and emotional wellbeing, resilience and empathy.

The Welsh government will issue guidance to schools on how to provide R.S.E. that is age-appropriate and relevant to pupils’ developmental stage, but it will give schools flexibility to design their own programme of teaching that reflects diversity and difference in relationships, sex, gender and sexuality.

Religious education: R.E. will continue to be compulsory, as it is at the moment, with an agreed syllabus. Faith schools will be allowed to teach a syllabus that reflects their religious denomination.

The R.E. guidance will be updated to include philosophy and religious views, plus non-religious worldviews that have similarities with religious views, such as Humanism.


Achievement and Assessment


Currently, there are no SATs (statutory assessment tests) for primary school pupils in Wales.

The draft Curriculum for Wales hasn’t specified whether mandatory testing such as SATs will be introduced for primary school children. Currently, it’s proposed that headteachers will set their own ‘achievement outcomes,’ which will build an accurate picture of pupils’ skills, knowledge and competencies.

National Reading and Numeracy Tests, which are taken in the summer term by pupils in Years 2 to 9, are currently continuing under the New Curriculum.