Teachers to be given more resources to teach Welsh history ‘in all its diversity and complexity’
Welsh history “in all its diversity and complexity” will be taught in Wales from September this year, according to a progress report on strengthening teaching of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities’ histories in Wales.
The report by the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the New Curriculum Working Group says that they recommended the development of a “new suite” of resources that could be used to teach the subject.
In July 2020, the Welsh Government appointed Professor Charlotte Williams OBE to chair the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the New Curriculum Working Group. The group published its final report in March 2021, and today has published its second.
“The development of a new suite of bilingual professional development resources that provide a detailed exploration of diversity in Wales in the past and present was recommended to support teachers to include the contributions of ethnic minority communities across all areas in the curriculum,” the report says.
The change to the curriculum will “mean that the study of Welsh history in all its diversity and complexity is both explicit and compulsory for schools and settings in Wales from September 2022.
“This is not about compartmentalising Wales and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic histories into one part of the curriculum; it is about embedding an understanding of Wales, its culture and histories across learning in all areas.”
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “My vision is that through our new Curriculum all young people will understand how our unique history, language and culture, in all their diversity, have shaped the proud nation Wales is today.
“I am pleased that we’ve made strong progress, with a number of the original report’s recommendations already implemented. However, we still have work to do to ensure the education system in Wales reflects the experiences of the whole of Wales, past and present.
“I am hugely grateful for the ongoing support we have received from Professor Charlotte Williams OBE, who continues to play a pivotal role in supporting us to take forward this important work.”
Today’s report sets out the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the previous report, with the aim of reinforcing the importance of teaching past and present experiences and contributions of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across Wales.
The report highlights the actions the Welsh Government has taken over the last year, including:
- Making the learning of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic histories mandatory in the new Curriculum, to be rolled out from September;
- Introducing new incentives to attract more people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds into teaching;
- Introducing new learning materials to support teachers to teach Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic histories and contributions within the new Curriculum;
- Supporting Cardiff Metropolitan University and the BAME Education Wales Network to set up the Diversity and Anti-Racism Professional Learning project, to provide a national model for professional learning for those working in education to develop an understanding and development of anti-racist practice;
- Launching the new Betty Campbell MBE Professional Teaching Award to promote the work schools are doing to teach the importance of inclusion.
Professor Charlotte Williams OBE said: “We are at a crucial time for education in Wales, with the new curriculum being rolled out in schools from September.
“The new mandatory elements of the curriculum, in particular the teaching of the experiences and contributions of people from minority backgrounds, will broaden the education of every child in Wales, so that it better reflects the experiences of the whole population of Wales.
“Educating young people about the experiences and contributions of minority ethnic peoples in Wales, past and present, will assist in promoting lasting change aimed at tackling broader inequalities within society.
“The Working Group will continue to advise government and take forward action to ensure the continuity and sustainability of this work, with a focus on its positive impact on wider society.”
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