Qualifications for the Future: Reimagining Qualifications in Wales

Thursday 14 Oct 2021

Qualifications Wales is launching a national conversation on the future of qualifications and publishing its decisions on the range of subjects in which a new generation of GCSEs will be co-created.  

Qualifications Wales has developed an exciting, progressive work programme, Qualified for the Future, to reimagine qualifications. It will support the delivery of Wales’ new curriculum with qualifications fit for the future. 

A year of intensive collaboration will deliver proposals by summer 2022 for new qualifications that will be ready for learners in 2025.  

Chief Executive Philip Blaker, said: “With the introduction of the new Curriculum for Wales in September 2022, it is crucial that we look at how we can innovate qualifications to prepare learners to succeed in an ever-changing world.” 

“We want to work together with others to rethink and co-construct an entirely new generation of GCSEs. We want everyone – learners, teachers, lecturers, employers and parents – to help re-imagine how qualifications are assessed.  With new content and new assessment focused on experiences and well-being that will bring the new curriculum to life and meet the needs of all learners. 

“We are recruiting teachers and educational professionals to help us shape the new qualifications. This will be a collaborative and creative process over the next few months to help us explore and reimagine the relationship between the curriculum, teaching and assessment. Anyone interested in joining us can apply through our website. 

“This is a unique opportunity to create innovative, creative and sustainable qualifications that will respond and adapt to the ever increasing, rapid changes we face in society. Qualifications that will help prepare learners for life, learning and work in the fourth industrial revolution. 

“Long-term thinking and planning are key to ensuring the future generations in Wales have a deeper and more focused learner experience with well-being and equality at its heart.” 

Agreeing the range of new GCSE subjects marks the beginning of this exciting reform journey.  

These new GCSEs will give learners and schools a choice of subjects that reflects the breadth and balance of the new Curriculum for Wales. Fewer separate GCSEs in mathematics, science and languages will provide more space for learners to gain broader experiences across the whole curriculum. 

For detailed explanation of the thinking behind the choice of GCSE subjects, see the full report on our decisions.

 

 

Expressive arts 

There will be new GCSEs in: 

  • Art and Design 
  • Drama 
  • Music  
  • Film and Digital Media. 

There will be a new made-for-Wales Dance qualification.  

 

A choice of multi-disciplinary qualifications in Expressive Arts will continue to be available. 

 

Health and Wellbeing 

There will be new GCSEs in: 

  • Food and Nutrition 
  • Physical Education 
  • Health and Social Care, and Childcare. 

Humanities 

There will be new GCSEs in: 

  • Business 
  • Geography 
  • History 
  • Religious Studies 
  • Social Studies. 

Languages, Literacy and Communication 

There will be a new integrated English Language and Literature GCSE. 

 

There will be new GCSEs in 

  • French 
  • German 
  • Spanish  
  • There will be a new set of small qualifications in a range of international languages to encourage wider engagement with language learning. 
  • There will be a new made-for-Wales British Sign Language qualification aimed at school-aged learners.  

 

Welsh 

We will confirm in January 2022 the choice of Welsh language qualifications that should be available to support the Curriculum for Wales.  

 

In the meantime, we will work with stakeholders to review our original proposals along other potential options to make sure the changes are as effective as possible in supporting Welsh Government’s policy on the Welsh language in education. 

 

Mathematics 

There will be a new integrated Mathematics and Numeracy GCSE. 

 

And two new made-for-Wales qualifications that can be taken in addition to the GCSE: 

  • A digitally assessed qualification that focuses on numerical proficiency 
  • A Level 2 qualification in Additional Mathematics. 

Science and Technology 

There will be new GCSEs in 

  • Computer Science 
  • Built Environment 
  • Design and Technology 
  • Digital Technology 
  • Engineering and Manufacturing 
  • And a new, integrated GCSE Science double award qualification to replace the existing science GCSEs. 

 

Integral Skills 

The current Skills Challenge Certificate will be replaced with a simpler and more manageable qualification to assess the Integral Skills of: 

  • Creativity and Innovation 
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 
  • Personal Effectiveness 
  • Planning and Organising. 

 

The full Decisions Report is available to read and download on our website. Anyone wishing to contribute to the national conversation, should contact reform@qualificationswales.org