Manufacturing & engineering to enter Welsh curriculum

Health & Education

Starting from 2025, Wales will see a massive shakeup to schooling system as new subjects are added and old ones combined to form a more streamlined learning process.  

Kicking off the reforms we have the consolidation of a number of subjects. Science will no longer be taken as three separate subjects, instead Physics, Biology, and Chemistry will all fall under a new GCSE Science double award. Similarly, English Literature and Language will be combined, as will the existing two separate Maths awards.  

Why change?

Some will argue that this move dilutes the subjects. This is a valid concern if you possess a particular zeal for any of the aforementioned subjects, but it could certainly be argued that the space in the curriculum this frees up will go to better use than studying the intricacies of Jane Austin. 

In addition to this, new subjects will enter the curriculum, including Engineering, Manufacturing, and Film and Digital Media. Speaking on the new subjects, Qualifications Wales said they would help prepare pupils for ‘life, learning and work’.  

The UK’s engineering and manufacturing industries could certainly use a boost in skilled workers, as we’ve written about previously – some educators were even using Minecraft to teach engineering skills! 

Fostering the right skills

If the UK wants to continue on its path of being the lone wolf of Europe, it must ensure it has the domestic talent to meet the growing requirements of its industry and exports. Educating the population in these fields from a young age certainly feels like a prudent step towards achieving this.  

These changes to the education system do somewhat echo my own experiences with education. Although I enjoyed school, in retrospect it feels like there was a lot of time wasted on subjects that one must study simply because it’s always been part of the curriculum.  

While there have been many adjustments to the national curriculum since its inception in 1989, it still doesn’t really feel like it’s caught up with the reality of the 21st century. To see changes like this happening in Wales certainly bring promise that we could soon see a similar set of reforms hit English schooling systems as well.  

The UK took a large leap of faith with its decision to leave the EU – it’s time now we saw the government supporting this decision by ensuring its population can rise to the challenges an independent Britain faces – chiefly, producing a skilled and motivated workforce. 

Qualifications are constantly evolving seemingly and as the needs of society of employers and of further and higher education institutions change… In short, our curriculum requires a much more fundamental change of qualifications.

By Rebecca Garland on 30/11/2021