From September 2015, English Language, Welsh Language, Mathematics – Numeracy and Mathematics GCSEs will assess learners on the same types of skills that the international PISA assessments test. Our new 2015 qualifications are being designed to emphasise the mastery of processes, the understanding of concepts and the ability to function in various types of situations.
This follows on from the introduction of the statutory National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) in 2013 which focuses on literacy and numeracy skills across the curriculum. Changes are also being made to the Areas of Learning (AoLs) for Language, Literacy and Communication Skills and Mathematical Development and programmes of study (PoS) for English, Welsh (first language) and mathematics so that they align with the LNF. These revised AoLs and PoS will be statutory from September 2015.
In a nutshell, our curriculum, GCSEs and the refreshed Welsh Baccalaureate, in line with PISA, will teach and test the skills that are regarded internationally, as fundamental to success in further study and employment. We want our learners to be confident in applying the knowledge acquired in the classroom to real-life problems and be able to apply what they have learned in unfamiliar settings,
both in and outside of school.
Your role in making sure that learners in Wales are ready for these new qualifications is vital and we want to make sure that you are fully prepared to take on these new challenges. This leaflet is an easy guide to understand how the new English Language, Welsh Language, Mathematics – Numeracy and Mathematics GCSEs differ from the current qualifications and outlines the support that you can expect from the Welsh Government, WJEC and consortia as we move to our new qualifications system in Wales and introduce a new curriculum into schools in Wales.