Welsh in the Foundation Phase - December 2013
Developing Welsh as a first language in primary schools and the non-maintained sector
More than four fifths of children aged 3 to 7 years old are making good progress in learning Welsh as a first language in Welsh-medium schools and non-maintained settings. Standards in pupils’ language, literacy and communication skills are similar to those in English-medium schools and settings, and are line with the expected level at that age.
The report looks at the educational effectiveness of small, medium-sized and large schools based on inspection findings from the current cycle of inspections (2010 2013) and on examination and assessment results.
Mathematics is the lowest performing core subject at key stage 4 in Wales and is proportionately the lowest when compared with the rest of the UK. This report highlights the challenges faced in raising standards in mathematics across Wales and includes case studies of best practice in secondary schools.
Training courses in construction, planning and the built environment need to get better at meeting the demands of today’s Welsh economy in order to benefit learners and local employers.
Learners make less progress when their usual class teacher is absent and their behaviour is often worse. Teaching by supply staff not employed by the school is often less effective because these staff do not know enough about the needs of the pupils they teach.
Standards in ICT are good or excellent in half of the primary schools visited and are generally better in the Foundation Phase than in key stage 2. Pupils’ skills in using ICT to present information are good and nearly all pupils use ICT well to research information in different subjects.