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Welsh Education Minister @Kirsty_Williams has today (Wednesday, December 16) provided further details of how the system put in place to replace examinations for general qualifications in 2021 will work.

In November, when confirming there would be no end of year exams for learners taking GCSEs, AS levels or A levels next year, the Minister said she would establish a Design and Delivery Advisory group that would support ‘wellbeing, fairness and progression’ for learners in 2021.

The group, chaired by Geraint Rees and made up of head teachers and college leaders nominated by regional consortia, ColegauCymru and local authorities, has now presented its proposals to the Minister after working closely with both Qualifications Wales and WJEC.

The group agreed that the system needed to be fair for all learners and flexible so that learners who have had more disruption than others are not unfairly affected.

The approach will ensure that teachers can design and plan teaching, learning around assessments in a flexible way to promote learners’ wellbeing and support their needs. 

The Minister has confirmed her intention is for general qualifications in Wales to be supported by a three pillar approach made up of:

  • non-examination assessments,
  • internal assessments
  • assessments that are externally set and marked.

The decision has been supported by the news that the Welsh Government is investing an additional £1.9m in education resources to support learners in years 12 and 13 in preparing for their A Level assessments.

The revision tools, available on the WJEC website, include ‘knowledge organisers’ to help with learning key facts and information, exam walk-throughs and revision guides.

The resources are in addition to £7m being provided for schools and colleges to deliver mentoring and revision support programmes for learners in exam years.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said:

“I would like to thank Geraint Rees and the group of head teachers and college leaders for working at pace to develop these recommendations and for putting equity for learners at the centre of thinking.

“What I am providing details of today is a transparent and rigorous approach to support learners as they progress to their next steps

“It ensures that universities can be confident of the abilities of students from Wales through their qualifications, and it also promotes teaching, learning and consistent assessment across Wales as we all struggle to recover in different ways from the impact coronavirus has had on education.

“I was clear that any solution must be mindful of our learners’ well-being.I am satisfied we have an approach that is fair for all learners whilst minimising disruption to learning and maintaining confidence and trust in the integrity of qualifications in Wales.”

“Alternative options would have required centres to design assessment materials, develop and test marking schemes, and then be responsible for appeals in relation to these. 

“This would take time away from teaching and learning and could also lead to inconsistency for learner experiences across Wales.

“I am also confident these plans minimise the impact on teacher workload - teachers and lecturers are already under a great deal of pressure and we do not want to add to this.”

This approach confirms that the internal assessments will not begin until after the spring half term, so schools can focus entirely on teaching until then.  WJEC will provide further guidance and information in January. 

The Minister also confirmed that the group has agreed to continue to work together in 2021 on more detailed issues, including support for teachers and lecturers, consider how differences in disrupted learning might be recognised drawing on exisitng special consideration process, the appeal process and the grade outcomes process and how to engage learners throughout the year.

The Minister continued:

“The Welsh Government will now work with our stakeholders to ensure as much information is shared as soon as possible. 

“It’s been a long term and I hope all learners, teachers, lecturers, school and college staff take a well-deserved break over the Christmas period.

“I have said many times that I am extremely proud of the way the education family has come together in Wales to face the challenges coronavirus has presented.

“We all need to be ready to come together once again next year to deliver for our learners who have already suffered so much.”

More details on the three pillar approach

  1. Non-examination assessments - These are currently managed within schools and colleges for many but not all subjects, and WJEC has already made adaptations to these. This will not change. 
  1. Internal assessments - There will be a broad window for internal assessment from February 22 to April 23. 

Teachers and lecturers will be able to decide when and how to deliver assessments within this window, to embed it within their teaching plans, support the needs and well-being of learners and provide flexibility in case of disruption.

To ensure consistency of assessment experience and to reduce any additional demand on teachers and lecturers – assessment material will be provided from WJEC that schools/ colleges will be able to choose from.

The marking of these assessments will be undertaken by the schools and colleges, supported by guidance from WJEC and shared with WJEC to inform grade outcomes.   

  1. Externally set and marked assessments - The extended window for externally set and marked assessment will start on May 17 and end on June 29. 

This will provide broad flexibility to enable teachers and lecturers to embed the assessments into teaching time, to be responsive to any disruption, and to support wellbeing. 

Teachers and lecturers will decide how and when to deliver these assessments within the classroom so they do not create the pressure and anxiety of exams. 

WJEC will provide information about the topics for the internal and external assessment to support teachers in preparing their learners for assessments

The flexible assessment windows are intended to allow for assessments to be embedded within teaching plans and to minimise disruption to learning so learners develop the skills and knowledge they need to confidently progress.

Y Gweinidog Addysg, Kirsty Williams, yn egluro ymhellach y system i ddisodli arholiadau cymwysterau cyffredinol yn 2021

Heddiw (dydd Mercher, Rhagfyr 16), rhannodd y Gweinidog Addysg, Kirsty Williams, fanylion pellach am y cyfeiriad polisi ynghylch sut y bydd y system i ddisodli arholiadau cymwysterau cyffredinol yn 2021 yn gweithio.

Ym mis Tachwedd, wrth gadarnhau na fyddai unrhyw arholiadau diwedd blwyddyn i ddysgwyr TGAU, Safon UG na Safon Uwch y flwyddyn nesaf, dywedodd y Gweinidog y byddai’n sefydlu Grŵp Cynghori Dylunio a Chyflawni i ddiogelu lles dysgwyr, sicrhau tegwch iddynt a’u cefnogi wrth symud ymlaen yn 2021.

Mae’r grŵp, a gadeirir gan Geraint Rees, ac sy’n cynnwys penaethiaid ac arweinwyr colegau a enwebwyd gan gonsortia rhanbarthol, Colegau Cymru ac awdurdodau lleol, wedi cyflwyno ei gynigion i’r Gweinidog bellach.

Roedd y grŵp yn cytuno bod angen i’r system fod yn deg i bob dysgwr, ac yn hyblyg fel na fydd dysgwyr yr amharwyd arnynt fwy nag eraill dan anfantais.

Bydd y dull gweithredu yn sicrhau y gall athrawon ddylunio a chynllunio gwaith addysgu gan ddysgu ynghylch asesiadau mewn ffordd hyblyg er mwyn hyrwyddo lles dysgwyr a’u cefnogi yn eu hanghenion. 

Mae’r Gweinidog wedi cadarnhau mai ei bwriad yw cefnogi cymwysterau cyffredinol yng Nghymru drwy dair elfen:

  • asesiadau nad ydynt yn arholiadau
  • asesiadau mewnol
  • asesiadau a gaiff eu llunio a’u marcio’n allanol.

Mae’r newyddion bod Llywodraeth Cymru am fuddsoddi £1.9m ychwanegol mewn adnoddau addysg i gefnogi dysgwyr ym mlynyddoedd 12 ac 13 i baratoi ar gyfer eu hasesiadau Safon Uwch yn ategu’r penderfyniad.

Mae’r cymhorthion adolygu, sydd ar gael ar wefan CBAC, yn cynnwys adnoddau ‘trefnu gwybodaeth’ i helpu i ddysgu ffeithiau allweddol a gwybodaeth, rhoi sylw i hen bapurau arholiad, a chanllawiau adolygu.

Rhoddir yr adnoddau hyn ar ben £7m sy’n cael ei ddarparu i ysgolion a cholegau i gyflwyno rhaglenni cymorth mentora ac adolygu i ddysgwyr blynyddoedd arholiadau.

Dywedodd y Gweinidog Addysg, Kirsty Williams: “Hoffwn ddiolch i Geraint Rees a’r grŵp o benaethiaid ac arweinwyr colegau am weithio’n gyflym i ddatblygu’r argymhellion hyn ac am roi’r lle canolog i sicrhau tegwch i ddysgwyr.

“Dull tryloyw a thrwyadl o gefnogi dysgwyr wrth iddynt symud ymlaen i’r cam nesaf yw’r hyn rwy’n ei rannu heddiw.

“Mae’n sicrhau y gall prifysgolion fod yn hyderus yng ngallu myfyrwyr o Gymru ar sail eu cymwysterau, ac mae hefyd yn hyrwyddo addysgu, dysgu ac asesu cyson ledled Cymru wrth inni i gyd ymdrechu mewn gwahanol ffyrdd i ddod dros yr effaith y mae’r coronafeirws wedi’i chael ar addysg.

“Roedd yn glir i mi bod yn rhaid i unrhyw opsiwn gadw lles ein dysgwyr mewn golwg. Rwy’n teimlo’n fodlon bod gennym ddull gweithredu sy’n deg i bob dysgwr, sy’n lleihau ar yr un pryd ar y tarfu ar ddysgu, ac sy’n cynnal hyder ac ymddiriedaeth yn integriti cymwysterau yng Nghymru.”

“Byddai opsiynau eraill wedi ei gwneud yn ofynnol i ganolfannau ddylunio deunyddiau asesu, datblygu a phrofi cynlluniau marcio, ac yna fod yn gyfrifol am apelau mewn perthynas â’r rhain. Byddai hyn yn erydu’r amser addysgu a dysgu, a gallai arwain at anghysondeb ym mhrofiadau dysgwyr rhwng un ardal ac un arall yng Nghymru.

“Rwy’n hyderus hefyd bod y cynlluniau hyn yn lleihau’r effaith ar lwyth gwaith athrawon – mae athrawon a darlithwyr eisoes o dan bwysau mawr, ac nid ydym am ychwanegu at hyn.”

Rwy’n cadarnhau na fydd yr asesiadau mewnol yn dechrau tan ar ôl hanner tymor y gwanwyn. Gall ysgolion ganolbwyntio’n llwyr ar addysgu tan hynny, felly. Bydd CBAC yn darparu canllawiau a gwybodaeth bellach ym mis Ionawr. 

Cadarnhaodd y Gweinidog hefyd bod y grŵp wedi cytuno i barhau i gydweithio yn 2021 ar faterion manylach, gan gynnwys cefnogaeth i athrawon a darlithwyr, gan ystyried sut y gellid cydnabod gwahaniaethau mewn dysgu aflonyddedig, gan dynnu ar brosesau ystyriaethau arbennig, y broses apelio a’r broses pennu graddau, a sut i gynnal diddordeb dysgwyr drwy gydol y flwyddyn.

Aeth y Gweinidog yn ei blaen: "Bydd Llywodraeth Cymru nawr yn gweithio gyda'n rhanddeiliaid i sicrhau bod cymaint o wybodaeth yn cael ei rhannu cyn gynted â phosibl. 

"Mae wedi bod yn dymor hir ac rwy'n gobeithio y bydd pob dysgwr, athro, darlithydd, aelod o staff ysgol a choleg yn cymryd seibiant haeddiannol dros gyfnod y Nadolig.

"Rwyf wedi dweud droeon fy mod yn hynod falch o'r ffordd y mae'r teulu addysg wedi dod at ei gilydd yng Nghymru i wynebu'r heriau sydd wedi dod yn sgil y coronafeirws.

"Mae angen i ni i gyd fod yn barod i ddod at ein gilydd unwaith eto y flwyddyn nesaf i weithredu dros ein dysgwyr sydd eisoes wedi dioddef cymaint."

Mwy o fanylion am y tair elfen

  1. Asesiadau nad ydynt yn arholiadau

Ar hyn o bryd mae'r rhain yn cael eu rheoli o fewn ysgolion a cholegau yn achos llawer o bynciau, ond nid pob pwnc, ac mae CBAC eisoes wedi gwneud addasiadau i'r rhain. Ni fydd hyn yn newid. 

  1. Asesiadau mewnol

Bydd ffenestr eang ar gyfer asesiadau mewnol rhwng 22 Chwefror a 23 Ebrill.

Bydd athrawon a darlithwyr yn gallu penderfynu pryd a sut i gynnal eu hasesiadau o fewn y ffenestr hon, i'w hymgorffori yn eu cynlluniau addysgu, cefnogi anghenion a lles dysgwyr a darparu hyblygrwydd rhag ofn y bydd tarfu.

Er mwyn sicrhau cysondeb profiad asesu a lleihau unrhyw alwadau ychwanegol ar athrawon a darlithwyr, darperir deunyddiau asesu gan CBAC y bydd ysgolion/colegau yn gallu dewis ohonynt.

Yr ysgolion a'r colegau fydd yn marcio'r asesiadau hyn, gan ddilyn canllawiau gan CBAC a rhannu’r canlyniadau â CBAC i lywio’r broses o bennu graddau.   

  1. Asesiadau a gaiff eu llunio a'u marcio'n allanol

Bydd y ffenestr estynedig ar gyfer asesiadau a gaiff eu llunio a'u marcio'n allanol yn dechrau ar 17 Mai ac yn dod i ben ar 29 Mehefin. 

Bydd hyn yn rhoi hyblygrwydd eang i alluogi athrawon a darlithwyr i ymgorffori'r asesiadau yn eu hamser addysgu, i ymateb i unrhyw darfu, ac i gefnogi lles dysgwyr. 

Bydd athrawon a darlithwyr yn penderfynu sut a phryd i gyflwyno'r asesiadau hyn yn yr ystafell ddosbarth fel nad ydynt yn creu pwysau a phryder arholiadau. 

Bydd CBAC yn darparu gwybodaeth am bynciau’r asesiadau mewnol ac allanol i gefnogi athrawon wrth baratoi eu dysgwyr ar gyfer asesiadau.

Bwriad y ffenestri asesu hyblyg yw caniatáu i asesiadau gael eu hymgorffori mewn cynlluniau addysgu a lleihau tarfu ar ddysgu fel bod dysgwyr yn datblygu'r sgiliau a'r wybodaeth sydd eu hangen arnynt i symud ymlaen yn hyderus.

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