Pupils aged 11-14 years who attend innovative schools are more motivated and their teachers more enthused. This report examines the impact of the 2008 National Curriculum changes which gave schools more control over what they teach.
Success depends on the leadership of the school and staff enthusiasm for new ways of working. However, schools don’t provide enough opportunities for independent learning, especially for more able and talented learners.
- share their best curriculum and teaching practice more often with other schools;
- consult more with learners on what and how they want to learn; and
- monitor and evaluate the impact of innovations on learner outcomes.
Local authorities should:
- support and challenge schools that are not effective or innovative in their curriculum planning and delivery;
- lead the development of professional learning communities for sharing best practice in innovation between schools;
The Welsh Assembly Government should:
- consider introducing greater flexibility in the National Curriculum to encourage more innovation;
- provide more guidance and support for innovation in key stage 3 and during transitions from key stage 2 and to key stage 4; and
- work with local authorities to make sure that all schools have access to better resources, particularly Welsh-medium resources.
For a full list of recommendations, please download the report.
Case studies within the report include best practice from Pontypridd High School, Connah’s Quay High School, St Christopher’s School, Ysgol Aberconwy, Maesteg Comprehensive School, Cwrt Sart Comprehensive School, Caerphilly local authority, Tasker Milward VC School, and Barry Comprehensive School.