Ebbw Fawr Learning Community – Cluster Curriculum Research

All Age Schools Forum – Research Questionnaire Submission

Participating School or Schools:

Ebbw Fawr Learning Community

Local authority and / or Consortia?

EAS and Blaenau Gwent

Participating Staff researchers:

Carys Llewellyn, Erica O’Connell, Meghan Maybank, Anna Morris, Jackie Aggett, Josh Clayton, Hannah Webley, Mike Vaughan


Developing a New Curriculum for Wales.

If “other” please state: 


Rationale for the choice of theme:

To work collaboratively on the new Curriculum for Wales and skills progression to ensure the best outcomes and equity for all 3-16 pupils. As a school only 10-20% of Year 7 is made up of pupils from of our primary phase. Therefore we recognise the need to develop a cluster approach within the primaries to impact pupils progression. As a cluster we wanted to work collaboratively on the new Curriculum for Wales to ensure the best outcomes and equity for all primary pupils in Ebbw Vale. We also wanted to retain our own unique school curriculum whilst developing a shared understanding of progression.

What was the research question?

  • How can the cluster implement the CfW and give pupils equal opportunities whilst ensuring schools maintain their own identified and tailored curriculum?
  • How can we ensure that all cluster schools teach skills progressively to prepare pupils for the secondary phase?

What research design was used?

  • Action Research. (Solving practical school problems).
  • Practitioner Research. (Research by school practitioners).

If “other” please state:


Research methods used.

  • Focus Groups.
  • Case Studies.

If “other” please state: 


How was the funding used to resource the design?

  • Staff cover.
  • Research materials including books.

If “other” please state: 


What were the research objectives?

To research different approaches to implementing CfW and agree a way forward for our cluster, to trial the approach and evaluate impact. As skills were a key focus for all schools, we decided to focus on developing shared progression frameworks for the cross cutting skills; literacy, numeracy and digital. We also wanted to ensure pupils have they skills they need to access the curriculum and all pupils are prepared for next phase of learning at EF. For each skill we identified a core group of five or six specialist staff (including sec phase staff). The staff worked together over a series of days to create a rainbow progression for each strand of each WMS for each the AOLE outlining skills from nursery to Year 6. Supplementary documents were also created, for examples, genre overview, progression of use of apps and calculations policy.

What were the research outcomes?

Clwster Cwricwlwm Enfys documents in place across the cluster. The Clwster Cwricwlwm Enfys documents were shared with staff at INSET sessions. Half termly staff meetings and further INSET sessions this year will focus on sharing good practice, collaborating on resources and planning and developing shared understanding of progression for each skill area.

How has the research process impacted the school?

The Clwster Cwricwlwm Enfys documents are in place and being used to plan progressively. Staff use the frameworks to plan next steps in learning, build on prior learning and set targets for pupils. Recent external feedback has identified that the frameworks effectively support staff to plan for the progressive teaching of skills.

What, if any, are the potential areas for follow-up research?

Extending the work across the range of AOLEs to create Clwster Cwricwlwm Enfys documents to support planning for progression in all areas.

How have any changes resulting from the research been implemented?

The Clwster Cwricwlwm Enfys documents are in place and being used to plan for progression for the cross curricular skills.

Can the school make recommendations to other schools based upon the research?

If the structure of the 3-16 means that the Y7 is comprised of a range of schools and has a low proportion of pupils from within the all age school, we recommend working collaboratively with cluster and creating documents which can align practice to ensure progression. Clwster Cwricwlwm Enfys documents are available to view.

Ethical research practice

The school confirms that the enquiry detailed above was carried out in accordance with the 2018 British Educational Research Association’s Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research. These guidelines include participant consent, transparency, the right to withdraw, incentives, avoidance of harm, privacy and data storage, and disclosure.

Report Author: 

Carys Llewellyn

Report Date: 




Carys Llewellyn, Erica O'Connell, Meghan Maybank, Anna Morris, Jackie Aggett, Josh Clayton, Hannah Webley, Mike Vaughan

Schools included in the research:

Ebbw Fawr Learning Community


Carys Llewellyn

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