Curriculum for Wales 2022

The Welsh Government have developed an exciting new curriculum that aims to create a successful and exciting future for all the children and young people of Wales.

 The new curriculum has been developed with the intention of creating students who are;

  • ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
  • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

These four purposes of the new curriculum will form the basis for all future decisions about national and local educational priorities, and underpin all teaching and learning in Wales.

The New curriculum for Wales has been developed to reflect the strengths that the Foundation Phase has brought to education in Wales.

As you may notice from reading the 12 pedagogical principles, current effective practice will still be effective under the new curriculum.

“The Foundation Phase ethos, principles and pedagogy will continue to be central to the delivery of early year’s education and have been incorporated across Curriculum for Wales 2022 to ensure it is appropriate and accessible for all practitioners and learners.” A guide to Curriculum for Wales 2022, April 2019

The final version of the new Curriculum for Wales was published on 28 January 2020.

However, following the original consultation period, it was highlighted that additional guidance was required for the education of learners who are pre-progression step 1 (aged 5 years). Although slightly delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this resulted in the planning for additional guidance to be developed by the Welsh Government.

This guidance is focused primarily on supporting schools to develop their own curriculum. Although, within The Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, the Welsh Government are required to provide a curriculum which funded non-maintained nursery settings can adopt. Settings can adopt this curriculum, design their own, or work with others to design a curriculum.

A curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings

The curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings has been developed through co-construction by practitioners, for practitioners. It is expressed from the viewpoint of the practitioner, drawing on expertise from across our non-maintained sector, and on the views of experts in the field of child development and early education. It has been developed to support the work with children at the very beginning of the 3 to 16 learning continuum of Curriculum for Wales, to ensure they have the best possible start on their journey. Realisation of this curriculum should ensure progression for all children through the descriptions of learning at Progression step 1.

From September 2022, funded settings will be required to deliver this curriculum framework or a curriculum they have designed themselves that met the legislative requirements. As with the current Foundation Phase Framework, it is expected that non-funded settings will also be responsible for ensuring that the principles of the ‘Curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings’ framework is understood and applied in a way appropriate to the age, abilities and stage of development of children in their care and the nature of the provision.

Read the ‘Curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings’:

Assessment framework to support the delivery of the ‘Curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings’

Following the publication of the ‘Curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings’, the Welsh Government have re-established their curriculum working group to co-construct assessment arrangements for funded non-maintained nursery settings. The working group will be focusing on the following;

  • Development of guidance around progression, and what that looks like for children in non-maintained settings
  • Development of appropriate assessment arrangements which support progression for children in settings (expanding on what is in the curriculum for non-maintained settings)
  • Development of an appropriate on-entry assessment tool for use in settings.

The final publication of the assessment framework will take place prior to September 2022 ready for the implementation of the new curriculum from this date.

Supporting resources and documents from Welsh Government

Alongside the work of the non-maintained sector curriculum and assessment framework, the Welsh Government have re-developed some of the original Foundation Phase training modules to support practitioners to reflect on practice and provision in the following areas:

  • Authentic and purposeful learning
  • Child development
  • Observation
  • Outdoor learning
  • Play and play-based learning
  • Transitions.

The suite also contains an Introduction manual, which will need to be understood before undertaking the learning in the modules, along with infographics to support/promote the use of the modules.

Link to the professional learning modules:

Four Purposes
The Four Purposes are the shared vision and aspiration for every child and young person in Wales. All learning decisions within your setting should be in pursuit of the four purposes. Ensuring a secure understanding of the Four Purposes is crucial to a solid foundation for learning within your setting.

Embedding the four purposes – online training

Four purposes – factsheet

Effective pedagogy
Your staff will need the skills to teach the new curriculum well. Professor Donaldson describes in detail 12 Pedagogical Principles that underpin the new curriculum. Understanding the individual components will support your team to confidently embed the new curriculum and achieve high-quality learning experiences for your children.

12 Pedagogical Principles – factsheet

Understanding and preparing for the New Curriculum for Wales
Don’t be scared of the change! Learning through play and child-led learning remains, and the principles and pedagogy derive from the Foundation Phase, something that the early years sector in Wales have been doing for years.

NDNA Cymru have developed an virtual training courseto highlight current effective practice and its place within the new curriculum, alongside introducing the integral components of the ‘Curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings’.

Introduction to the new curriculum in Wales.

For further details on the course and how to book, please contact the NDNA Cymru team on 01824 707823 or

Further supporting resources

NDNA Cymru continue to develop a range of factsheets to support your knowledge and understanding of the key themes that will support the delivery of the new curriculum:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Authentic Learning
  • Case Study- Developing quality outdoor provison
  • Curriculum for Wales: A guide on the terminology
  • Curriculum for Wales: Digital Competency for 3-4 year olds
  • Curriculum for Wales: Info sheet for parents
  • Curriculum for Wales: Welsh language in the new curriculum
  • Guide to good practice: Tackling racism- Coming soon!
  • Information for parents on outdoor and risky play
  • Loose parts play
  • Planning in the moment
  • Q&A on the developing outdoor provision
  • Schemas
  • Top tips for developing the outdoors on a low budget
  • What is Cynefin?

Resources from CWLWM

An online course has been developed by Gwenith Ap Roberts, Curriculum Leader for CWLWM, which offers a clear and lighthearted presentation into the methodology and development of Curriculum for Wales 2022.

Watch a presentation on the background and basic principles of Curriculum for Wales 2022 in English here and in Welsh here.

Download CWLWM Curriculum for Wales poster

If you need more support please contact the NDNA Cymru team:


Telephone: 01824 707823