Home Page

Ein Cwricwlwm/ Our Curriculum

Curriculum Statement Infographic

The words behind our Infographic


At Gabalfa Primary, we have worked with our learners, their parents, governors and staff to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of all our children, their families and the diverse community we serve.  Our curriculum encompasses everything a learner experiences as we strive to realise the four purposes – to develop ambitious, capable, enterprising, creative, ethically informed, healthy and confident individuals who make positive contributions to society.

We want to ignite a passion for learning in our children that will serve them well throughout their lives.  By placing Emotional Health and Wellbeing at the heart of our curriculum, we aim to develop an enthusiastic, innovative learning community which enables all to achieve the best they can.  Rooted in Welsh values and culture, the development of good literacy, numeracy and digital skills has a high priority as we recognise these as essential life skills. We have therefore embedded these cross-curricular skills throughout the curriculum.


We recognise that our children learn best through practical 'hands on' learning opportunities that enable them to experience learning in a meaningful way that reflects their interests and needs. We plan learning to provide children with opportunities to develop skills and explore concepts, build their knowledge and understanding through Contexts for Learning that capture their interest and stimulate their imagination.  We teach the mandatory elements of Religion, values and ethics (RVE), Relationships and sexuality education (RSE), Welsh and English both discretely and through our Contexts for Learning.  We encourage our children to take ownership of their own learning and promote decision making so they have the knowledge, skills and dispositions for future challenges as lifelong learners.



Our school and the four purposes


We want Ambitious, capable learners who:

  • set themselves high standards and seek and enjoy challenge
  • are building up a body of knowledge and have the skills to connect and apply that knowledge in different contexts
  • are questioning and enjoy solving problems
  • can communicate effectively in different forms and settings, using both Welsh and English
  • can explain the ideas and concepts they are learning about
  • can use number effectively in different contexts
  • understand how to interpret data and apply mathematical concepts
  • use digital technologies creatively to communicate, find and analyse information
  • undertake research and evaluate critically what they find
  • and are ready to learn throughout their lives


We want Enterprising, creative contributors who:


  • connect and apply their knowledge and skills to create ideas and products
  • think creatively to reframe and solve problems
  • are questioning and enjoy solving problems i
  • identify and grasp opportunities
  • take measured risks
  • lead and play different roles in teams
  • effectively and responsibly express ideas and emotions through different media
  • give of their energy and skills so that other people will benefit
  • and are ready to play a full part in life and work

We want Ethical, informed citizens who:


  • find, evaluate and use evidence in forming views
  • engage with contemporary issues based upon their knowledge and values
  • understand and exercise their human and democratic responsibilities and rights understand and consider the impact of their actions when making choices and acting
  • are knowledgeable about their culture, community, society and the world, now and in the past
  • respect the needs and rights of others,
  • as a member of a diverse society show their commitment to the sustainability of the planet
  • and are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world


We want Healthy, confident individuals who:


  • have secure values and are establishing their spiritual and ethical beliefs
  • are building their mental and emotional well-being by developing confidence,
  • apply knowledge about the impact of diet and exercise on physical and mental health in their daily
  • lives know how to find the information and support to keep safe and well
  • take part in physical activity
  • take measured decisions about lifestyle and manage risk
  • have the confidence to participate in performance
  • form positive relationships based upon trust and mutual respect
  • face and overcome challenge
  • have the skills and knowledge to manage everyday life as independently as they can
  • and are ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society



Skills integral to the four purposes

Integral skills

The four purposes are underpinned by integral skills developed within a wide range of learning and teaching. At the heart of these skills is the importance of learners recognising, using and creating different types of value - worth and importance in a range of contexts, including financial, cultural, social and learning value.


Creativity and innovation

Learners are given space to be curious and inquisitive, and to generate many ideas. They are supported to link and connect disparate experiences, knowledge and skills, and see, explore and justify alternative solutions. They identify opportunities and communicate their strategies. This support learners to create different types of values.


Critical thinking and problem-solving

Learners are supported to ask meaningful questions, and to evaluate information, evidence and situations. They analyse and justify possible solutions, recognising potential issues and problems. Learners become objective in their decision-making, identifying and developing arguments. They are able to propose solutions which generate different types of values.


Personal effectiveness

Learners develop emotional intelligence and awareness, becoming confident and independent. They have opportunities to lead debate and discussions, becoming aware of the social, cultural, ethical and legal implications of their arguments. They evaluate their learning and mistakes, identifying areas for development. They become responsible and reliable, being able to identify and recognise different types of value and then use that value.


Planning and organising

Where developmentally appropriate, learners are able to set goals, make decisions and monitor interim results. They are able to reflect and adapt, as well as manage time, people and resources. They are able to check for accuracy and be able create different types of value.


The development of these skills allows learners to work across disciplines, providing them with opportunities for both synthesis and analysis. There is particular potential for innovation in making and using connections between different disciplines and Areas.


When developing these skills, learners:

  • develop an appreciation of sustainable development and the challenges facing humanity
  • develop awareness of emerging technological advances are supported and challenged so that they are prepared to confidently meet the demands of working in uncertain situations, as changing local, national and global contexts result in new challenges and opportunities for success
  • are afforded the space to generate creative ideas and to critically evaluate alternatives – in an ever-changing world, flexibility and the ability to develop more ideas will enable learners to consider a wider range of alternative solutions when things change
  • build their resilience and develop strategies which will help them manage their well-being – they should be encountering experiences where they can respond positively in the face of challenge, uncertainty or failure
  • learn to work effectively with others, valuing the different contributions they and others make – they should also begin to recognise the limitations of their own work and those of others as they build an understanding of how different people play different roles within a team.

Pedagogical principles

Central to our curriculum are 12 Pedagogical Principles that will enable us to achieve the ambitions by WG for all our learners to be successful in their learning.  They underpin our teaching. Daily, our staff will identify pupils’ greatest needs, match these with the most appropriate pedagogical approach and assess the impact of the teaching approach through pupil progress.


The 12 pedagogical principles are

  • create authentic contexts for learning
  • encourage learners to take responsibility for their own learning
  • support social development & positive relationships
  • encourage collaboration
  • sustain pupil effort to reach high but achievable targets
  • employ a broad repertoire of teaching approaches
  • promote problem solving, creative & Critical thinking
  • build on previous knowledge & experience to engage interest
  • focus on the Four purposes
  • use assessment for learning to accelerate progress
  • make connections within & across AoLEs (areas of learning and experiences)
  • reinforce Cross Curricular responsibilities – Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Competence.


Our curriculum will not imply the emphasis on any particular teaching approach - the decision about teaching and learning are context and purpose specific and will be undertaken by the class teacher.


Our approach to designing authentic Contexts for Learning is based on four distinct stages; Engage – Develop – Innovate – Express.  We use Cwricwlwm Maestro, an online curriculum management portal to provide clear direction for teaching and learning.


Engage – this is a short stage in which children take part in an exciting experience to stimulate their curiosity, ask questions and talk about their prior learning.


Develop – this is a longer stage where children delve more deeply into the them, explore and acquire new skills and knowledge, revisit previously acquired skills and knowledge, make links between subjects, explore, make, read and write for a variety of purposes across the curriculum.


Innovate - is a crucial opportunity for children to return to previous skills and knowledge and apply them in new contexts. The Innovate stage poses a thematic problem, challenge, provocation or scenario that requires children to think creatively whilst applying, reflecting and revisiting what they have learnt in previous stages, in a real-life or imaginary context.


Express - gives children a structured opportunity to reflect on their learning, test their knowledge and celebrate their achievements.


Learner involvement

The input of learners has been an important consideration throughout our curriculum design process.  We have considered learners’ input and provided increasing opportunities for learners to help direct their learning as they progress. Learners’ views about their experiences and about what, how and where they learn are taken seriously and we try hard to ensure there is a balance between learner and professional decision making when planning.


Through our Pupil Voice activities, we have informed our learners about the process we are taking to design the curriculum.  We have explained to our learners how they have influenced decisions, with feedback given about what decisions have been taken and why.


Activities used to involve our learners directly in the designing of our curriculum include:


  • Enabling learners to make choices about what and how they learn.
  • Collecting qualitative feedback after learning experiences, which informs ongoing curriculum design.
  • Considering learners’ perspectives daily in the classroom through participatory pedagogy.
  • Involving learners in setting priorities for the curriculum and for learning content.
  • Ensuring that resources are identified to support participation.
  • Ensuring that consultation, analysis of learners’ views and feedback are included as steps in the curriculum design and evaluation process.
  • Ensuring that feedback on the outcomes of learner voice contributions are given to learners and staff and that this is factored into the timescales for curriculum design. Ensuring that learners are informed about the school’s process of curriculum design in an accessible language and format and that they know what opportunities there are to get involved.


Cross-curricular skills

The mandatory cross-curricular skills of literacy, numeracy and digital competence are essential to all learning and the ability to unlock knowledge. They enable learners to access the breadth of a school’s curriculum and the wealth of opportunities it offers, equipping them with the lifelong skills to realise the four purposes. These are skills that can be transferred to the world of work, enabling learners to adapt and thrive in the modern world. Learners need to be adaptable, capable of learning new skills throughout life and equipped to cope with new life scenarios.


Our curriculum enables learners to develop competence and capability in these skills and, where there are opportunities, to extend and apply them across all AoLEs (areas of learning and experiences).


Learners are given opportunities across our curriculum to:

  • develop listening, reading, speaking and writing skills
  • use numbers and solve problems in real-life situations
  • be confident users of a range of technologies to help them function and communicate effectively and make sense of the world.

These skills are embedded across the curriculum.


Principles of Progression

Five principles of progression underpin progression across all Areas. The principles are as follows:


Increasing breadth and depth of knowledge

Learners need to acquire both breadth and depth of knowledge. As learners progress, they develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of concepts that underpin different statements of what matters. They see the relationships between these and use them to further shape and make sense of knowledge and make links across the whole curriculum. This consolidates their understanding of concepts.


Deepening understanding of the ideas and disciplines within the Areas

Holistic approaches are particularly important to learning in early steps as learners engage with the world around them. Learners should become increasingly aware of ways in which ideas and approaches can be coherently grouped and organised. As they progress they need to experience and understand disciplinary learning in each of the Areas and see these in the context of the statements of what matters and the four purposes.


Refinement and growing sophistication in the use and application of skills

Learners need to develop a range of skills including: physical, communication, cognitive and Area specific skills. In the early stages of learning, this range of skills includes focus on developing gross and fine motor; communicative and social skills. They also develop intellectual skills in applying what they have learned. As learners progress, they demonstrate more refined application of existing skills, and will experience opportunities to develop new, more specific and more sophisticated skills.

Over time, learners become able to effectively organise a growing number of increasingly sophisticated ideas, to apply understanding in various contexts and to communicate their thoughts effectively, using a range of methods, resources or equipment appropriate to their purpose and audience.


Making connections and transferring learning into new contexts

Learners should make connections with increasing independence; across learning within an Area, between Areas, and with their experiences outside of school. Over time these connections will be increasingly sophisticated, explained and justified by learners. They should be able to apply their learning in more unfamiliar and challenging contexts.


Increasing effectiveness

As learners progress, they should become increasingly effective. This includes increasingly successful approaches to self-evaluation, identification of their next steps in learning and more effective means of self-regulation. They become increasingly able to seek appropriate support and to identify sources of that support. They ask more sophisticated questions and find and evaluate answers from a range of sources. They become increasingly effective at learning in a social and work-related context.

The 27 What Matters Statements at a glance:


Expressive Arts WM1

Exploring the expressive arts is essential to developing artistic skills and knowledge and it enables learners to become curious and creative individuals.

Expressive Arts WM2

Responding and reflecting, both as artist and audience, is a fundamental part of learning in the expressive arts.


Expressive Arts WM3

Creating combines skills and knowledge, drawing on the senses, inspiration and imagination.


Humanities WM1

Enquiry, exploration and investigation inspire curiosity about the world, its past, present and future.


Humanities WM2

Events and human experiences are complex, and are perceived, interpreted and represented in different ways.

Humanities WM3

Our natural world is diverse and dynamic, influenced by processes and human actions.


Humanities WM4

Human societies are complex and diverse, and shaped by human actions and beliefs.


Humanities WM5

Informed, self-aware citizens engage with the challenges and opportunities that face humanity, and are able to take considered and ethical action.

Health and Well-being WM1

Developing physical health and well-being has lifelong benefits. 

Health and Well-being WM2

How we process and respond to our experiences affects our mental health and emotional well-being.

Health and Well-being WM3

Our decision-making impacts on the quality of our lives and the lives of others.

Health and Well-being WM4

How we engage with social influences shapes who we are and affects our health and well-being. 

Health and Well-being WM5

Healthy relationships are fundamental to our well-being.  

Languages, Literacy and Communication WM1

Languages connect us.

Languages, Literacy and Communication WM2

Understanding languages is key to understanding the world around us. 

Languages, Literacy and Communication WM3

Expressing ourselves through languages is key to communication.

Languages, Literacy and Communication WM4

Literature fires imagination and inspires creativity.

Mathematics and Numeracy WM1

The number system is used to represent and compare relationships between numbers and quantities.

Mathematics and Numeracy WM2

Algebra uses symbol systems to express the structure of mathematical relationships.

Mathematics and Numeracy WM3

Geometry focuses on relationships involving shape, space and position, and measurement focuses on quantifying phenomena in the physical world.

Mathematics and Numeracy WM4

Statistics represent data, probability models chance, and both support informed inferences and decisions.

Science and Technology WM1

Being curious and searching for answers is essential to understanding and predicting phenomena.

Science and Technology WM2

Design thinking and engineering offer technical and creative ways to meet society’s needs and wants.

Science and Technology WM3

The world around us is full of living things which depend on each other for survival.

Science and Technology WM4

Matter and the way it behaves defines our universe and shapes our lives.

Science and Technology WM5

Forces and energy provide a foundation for understanding our universe. 

Science and Technology WM6

Computation is the foundation for our digital world.


Contexts for Learning overview

Parents/Carers Guide to the new Curriculum for Wales