The most radical reform to Welsh education in a generation is set for its final vote in the Senedd later today.

The Curriculum and Assessment Bill is the final stage of Wales’ new national curriculum before it becomes law.

The new curriculum will see schools given greater flexibility to deliver teaching across six broad subject areas.

This will include combining traditional subjects like languages, literacy, and communication, where literacy and oral skills in the Welsh and English languages will become a cross-curricular responsibility in both Welsh and English medium schools.

Set to be implemented from 2022 for all children in years seven and below, it is the first-time complete reform of the system will be implemented in Wales for more than 30 years.

It will then be rolled out to years eight to eleven each year up to 2026.

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The intention is to help teachers develop a more integrated approach to learning, while encouraging links across different disciplines.

The new framework also allows individual schools to design their own curriculum and assessment arrangements, as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the whole of Wales.

It emphasises outcomes from education that go well beyond just grades and qualifications, encouraging creativity, citizenship, confidence, health and wellbeing.

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Last month, it was agreed that the new curriculum will also impose a legal duty on schools to consider the mental health and wellbeing of children.

Wales will also join England and Scotland in making the teaching of life saving skills a requirement of the new school curriculum after an amendment secured by Welsh Conservative MS Suzy Davies.

Speaking to The National, Education Minister Kirsty Williams said she believes the new curriculum’s emphasis on health and wellbeing takes on even more importance as Wales recovers from the pandemic and its impact on education.

Ms Williams, who is standing down from the Senedd after the election on May 6, said: “Curriculum reform has been at the centre of the largest reform programme we have had in education in a generation.

“What our curriculum allows us to do is trust our teachers in their ability to design a curriculum that really engages the children in front of them, rather than a curriculum that is set many miles away with no thought about what the children in that class really need.

“So, we will be able to unleash the creativity and prof of our teach workforce that meets the needs of the children in front of them, that engages them and that lights that fire underneath them that gives them a passion.

“It is particularly important that we do that now, with particular emphasis on the health and wellbeing of our learners.

“We know that learning cannot stick unless we address issues around the wellbeing of our children and young people.

“We know this new curriculum gives our professionals the space to do just that.”

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There have previously been concerns about the impact on history teaching in the curriculum, with the Senedd’s education committee calling for stronger references to Welsh history, BAME history, diversity and identity in the Bill.

Last month, The National Education Union (NEU) Cymru called for a delay to the implementation of the new curriculum, citing the disruption already experienced by children and young people during the pandemic.

While NEU Cymru supports the principles behind the new Curriculum for Wales, it said in its ‘Wales Education Recovery Plan’ last month that “now is not the time to rush, but to ensure schools have everything they need to make the new curriculum a success over the longer-term.”

A final vote on the Curriculum and Assessment Bill is due at the end of today’s Senedd session.