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Supporting new Welsh Bacc

3 July 2015

Group of students with teacher holding notebook

Cardiff University is helping teachers to deliver the skills required for the new strengthened Welsh Baccalaureate.

More than 80 teachers are taking part in a series of workshops featuring research and data analysis skills at the University on July 6.

The conference, hosted by the School of Social Sciences, comes ahead of the launch of the Welsh Government's revamped Welsh Baccalaureate in September.

The qualification is being redesigned to make it more rigorous so that 14 to 19-year-olds develop the right skills for college, university, employment and life.

The University has developed the event in partnership with Welsh Government, Welsh exams board WJEC and teachers as part of the Research Councils UK School-University Partnerships Initiative.

Rhys Jones, lecturer in quantitative methods in the School of Social Sciences, who is managing the conference,said: "As a world-leading research institute, Cardiff University is well placed to deliver such an event for teachers and FE lecturers across Wales.

"The event's aim is to share best practice from across the University, whereby academics from a range of disciplines will discuss and demonstrate the importance of research and data analysis skills we aim to foster in our students across all levels."

Welsh Baccalaureate teachers and coordinators from schools and FE colleges across Wales have signed up to attend, along with representatives from Welsh Government and WJEC.

The one-day conference will support teachers in the delivery of the research skills required by students for the new graded 'individual project' section of the Welsh Bacc.

Minister for Education and Skills Huw Lewis said: "This conference provides a valuable opportunity for practitioners to work closely with HE professionals on the delivery of the research element of the new Baccalaureate. 

"Events such as these can only strengthen the links between HE and the teaching profession and ensure we prepare our young people with crucial long term life skills, particularly those which can be so beneficial in Higher Education." 

The event has attracted involvement from senior academics across the University, who will be delivering sessions on topics relating to critical thinking, social analytics, the use of biological data sets and research skills.

Sue Diment, the University's Schools Partnership Project Officer, said the project team had been overwhelmed by the help offered by staff from across the University who want to support the teaching of research skills in secondary schools and colleges.

Teachers will also have the opportunity to find out about other University developments that will support the Welsh Baccalaureate, and take part in a WJEC-led workshop.

Sian Coathup, Welsh Baccalaureate regional support officer for the WJEC, said: "Skills development is now at the heart of the qualification.  The conference will provide teachers with the opportunity to develop the research skills required in the delivery of the new qualification, as well as providing a valuable insight into their further use in a HE context."