The teaching of Welsh history including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history, identity and culture
In October 2021, we published our thematic on the teaching of Welsh history including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history, identity and culture. Our report draws on findings from inspections undertaken before March 2020, virtual meetings and a small number of on-site visits to primary and secondary schools. We also consulted with parents, representatives from higher education institutions, academics and regional consortia staff.
Our recommendations include:
- Ensure that pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of their local area and Wales while considering different perspectives and making connections to the history and culture of the wider world
- Ensure that pupils develop an understanding of antiracism and diversity and how they can become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
- Ensure that pupils develop an understaning of how Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals and communities contribute to the history and culture of Wales and the wider world
Local authorities (LA) and regional consortia (RC) should provide suitable professional learning for teachers:
R6. To develop their knowledge of local and Welsh history and share good practice
R7. To develop their knowledge and understanding of teaching diversity, antiracism and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history and culture within Wales and the wider world
The Welsh Government should:
R10. Work with local authorities and regional consortia to ensure that the national professional learning offer places high priority on the development of training and resources to support these areas
What did our thematic survey say?
When given the opportunity pupils enjoy learning about local and Welsh history, identity and culture and making links to the history of the wider world. They also enjoy studying the contribution of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and individuals.
In a majority of schools, pupils have little knowledge of the historical events that shaped their local area and can name few significant Welsh people from history.
In most schools, pupils have a limited knowledge and understanding of the histories of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic peoples and communities.
A majority of primary schools plan appropriate opportunities for pupils to learn about their local area and Wales. In a minority of schools, local and Welsh history is viewed as a ‘bolt-on element’ of the curriculum.
In many secondary schools, lessons include only cursory references to local and Welsh history
A minority of schools include Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic histories in their curriculum. Very few schools teach pupils about the contributions of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals and communities to the history of Wales.
How much Welsh and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history studied by pupils at GCSE and A Level is dependent on the subjects chosen by pupils and the topics chosen from the range offered by the examination board.
Most leaders in school identify that the Curriculum for Wales provides a significant opportunity to enhance and improve the teaching of local and Welsh history. Many recognise the importance of diversity and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history and culture. However, this is not always reflected in their curriculum and professional learning offer for staff.
In most schools, subject leaders’ knowledge, understanding and passion for local, Welsh and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history influences what is offered in the history curriculum.
Of those teachers who undertook their initial teachers education in Wales only a few report that they received training on Welsh history. Very few report they received training on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history and culture. Current ITE partnerships are developing their provision in these areas.
In most schools, teachers have limited access to professional learning on local, Welsh and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history and culture. Local authorities and regional consortia offer little specialist professional learning on these specific areas.
Most schools refer to a lack of suitable resources for the teaching of local, Welsh and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic history.