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Tom Anderson: Exploring how qualifications can help support the new curriculum for Wales: how can teachers participate in the evolving discussion

Tom AndersonQualifications Wales is undertaking research to help shape the future design and development of qualifications for 14-16-year-olds in Wales. Central to this programme of work is considering how qualifications can support the new curriculum for Wales.

As an evidence-led organisation we want to hear about the experiences and perceptions of teachers and learners to ensure that their views contribute to this process. We are running a number of projects seeking input from teachers so there are plenty of ways to get involved. Please take a look at the projects below to see how you could take part:

1. Discussions with teachers about non-examination assessment (NEA)

Between January and March 2019, we will be facilitating a series of focus groups across Wales to discuss teacher experiences and perceptions of non-examination assessment (NEA). We are interested to know what you feel is working well, and what opportunities and challenges different forms of NEA present.

The discussions will focus on ten different GCSE subjects: English Language, English Literature, Welsh Language, Welsh Literature, Science, Art, PE, Drama, Geography and Computer Science. We will focus on the principles and purposes of NEA, assessment methods, levels of teacher involvement at task setting, task taking and task marking and experiences of delivering and assessing NEA.

For further information about the project and to register to attend one of the focus groups, please visit the Qualifications Wales website.

2. Exploring GCSE mathematics qualifications in Wales

Between December 2018 and March 2019, we will run an online survey to gather teacher views about the new Mathematics and Mathematics-Numeracy GCSEs, as well as the Level 2 Certificate in Additional Maths. The survey will ask for views on the design, tiering, content and manageability of each qualification, as well as about what influences exam entry decisions.

A link to the survey will be available on the Qualifications Wales website from 4th December 2018.

3. Skills Challenge Certificate

We are running an online questionnaire to find out more about how centres across Wales are delivering the Skills Challenge Certificate. WJEC has sent a link for the survey to all Welsh Baccalaureate coordinators with responsibility for the Key Stage 4 and Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate. If you have not received a link, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The questionnaire will close on Friday 14th December 2018.

4. Teacher perceptions of reformed GCSEs

We have also commissioned a study to investigate teacher opinions about recently reformed GCSEs. Our aims are to find out how the new qualifications are working and what impact the changes are having, to gather evidence to inform any future qualification reforms.

Our research partner, Wavehill, be contacting a sample of schools directly inviting them to take part in interviews and focus groups. These will explore the views of teachers of the following GCSE subjects: Geography, Science, Performing Arts, English, Welsh, Maths and Modern foreign languages.

We hope you will be able to help contribute to our work and have your say in how qualifications could be designed and developed in the future. For more information on any of the projects, please visit our website or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Anderson is Head of Research at Qualifications Wales