Professor Donaldson talks ‘Successful Futures’ at UWTSD’s ‘Aiming for Excellence’ education conference


ONE of the leading figures in Welsh education was invited to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to inspire the next generation of teachers.

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Education expert and author of the Welsh Government’s ‘Successful Futures’ report, Professor Graham Donaldson, has spoken at UWTSD’s annual ‘Aiming for Excellence’ education conference about his proposals for a new curriculum for Wales. 

In March 2014 Professor Donaldson was commissioned by the Welsh Government to consider and review the Curriculum and Assessment Arrangements in Wales.  The subsequent 'Successful Futures' report looks at the current curriculum in Wales and offers numerous radical proposals for change.   

During his headline address, Professor Donaldson explained in detail how the curriculum would be implemented and what the implications were for both future and existing teachers.  He was joined on stage by current and former students, who presented on their early time in school and journey through higher education.  Pupils from Ysgol Ynystawe also gave an inspiring presentation about their experiences in school.

The university's Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education is drawing heavily upon Professor Donaldson's work to support the development of its new teacher education programmes.   

Following the conference Professor Graham Donaldson said:

“Holding conferences like this one arranged by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is vital as we try and engage with those individuals who’ll be at the heart of what we’re trying to do and achieve in the next few years and beyond.

What was clear at today’s ‘Aiming for Excellence’ conference was the level of enthusiasm and determination amongst our trainee teachers to take our proposals forward and make them work for the children and young people of Wales.

I was also extremely pleased to see the pupils from Ysgol Ynystawe taking part and having the opportunity to contribute to such an important conference.  Including young people and children in events like this is crucial because they are the important ones and they have so much to contribute to the discussions.”    


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The ‘Aiming for Excellence’ conference is arranged annually by the University’s Faculty of Education and Communities and is aimed at bringing all BA Ed Primary, PGCE Primary and Secondary student teachers together in order to share good practice as they prepare for a career in teaching. 

Event organiser Mathew Jones, from Yr Athrofa, added:

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Donaldson for his contribution at today’s education conference.  This conference was an ideal opportunity for our students to share the stage with somebody like Professor Donaldson but also to demonstrate their achievements and to share good practice. 

Listening to Professor Donaldson speak about the ‘Successful Futures’ report was very exciting for our students and I know that this experience will be hugely beneficial to them as they look ahead and embark on a career in the teaching profession.

Once again it was an extremely successful conference with over 450 students attending the event with a further 300 viewing online.  The conference is now in its fifth year and is going from strength to strength.  I’m very much looking forward to next year’s event as we hope to build further on this year’s success.” 

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