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Primary humanities: a perspective from Wales

Jones, Mark; Whitehouse, Sarah


Mark Jones


© 2017 ASPE. How the humanities subjects are represented in primary schools in Wales has been influenced by curriculum developments including Curriculum Cymraeg, the Skills Framework and the Foundation Phase. A central tenet of Welsh Government policy has been to actively encourage schools to promote a sense of ‘Welshness’ through curriculum content, pedagogies and school policies. In addition, early years’ education has been extended to 5–7-year olds and at Key Stage 2 skills and competencies are priorities, with subject content providing the context for learning. In 2015, the Donaldson Review’s recommendations were fully implemented in the Government’s plans for a new 3–16 Curriculum for Wales to be fully implemented by 2021. Humanities became one of six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE) with the curriculum content to be developed by an all-Wales partnership team which includes the Pioneer Schools’ network. This article traces the post devolution build-up to this latest ‘radical change’. It suggests that for stakeholders developing the humanities curriculum the challenge will be considering how the key concepts of different ‘subject pedagogies’ are represented, while fulfilling the Government’s emphasis on early years’ pedagogy and its focus on a competency-led curriculum.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 4, 2017
Journal Education 3-13
Print ISSN 0300-4279
Electronic ISSN 1475-7575
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 3
Pages 332-342
APA6 Citation Jones, M., & Whitehouse, S. (2017). Primary humanities: a perspective from Wales. Education 3-13, 45(3), 332-342.
Keywords Welsh, Welshness, curriculum, Cymreig, foundation phase, Donaldson Report, Estyn, areas of learning and experience, pioneer schools, pioneer practitioners
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