|Bethan Sayed AM||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Carwyn Jones AM|
|Dai Lloyd AM||Dirprwyo ar ran Delyth Jewell|
|Substitute for Delyth Jewell|
|David Melding AM|
|John Griffiths AM|
|Dr Elin Jones||Tyst|
|Eryl Owain||Cydgysylltydd, Ymgyrch Hanes Cymru|
|Co-ordinator, Welsh History Campaign|
|Gareth Jones||Ysgrifennydd, Cymdeithas Owain Glyndŵr|
|Secretary, Owain Glyndŵr Society|
|Gaynor Legall||Cadeirydd, Y Gyfnewidfa Treftadaeth a Diwylliant|
|Chair, The Heritage and Cultural Exchange|
|Ginger Wiegand||Arweinydd Polisi ac Ymchwil Cymru Gyfan, EYST Cymru|
|All-Wales Policy and Research Lead, EYST Wales|
|Ioan Rhys Jones||Swyddog Maes y Gogledd, UCAC|
|Field Officer for North Wales, UCAC|
|Mark Cleverley||Athro Hanes, NASUWT|
|History Teacher, NASUWT|
|Wyn Thomas||Cyn-bennaeth Adran Hanes, Cyn-bennaeth Ysgol Uwchradd ac Aelod o Fwrdd Dyfodol i’r Iaith|
|Former Head of a History Department, Former Headteacher of a Secondary School and Board Member of Dyfodol i’r Iaith|
|Martha Da Gama Howells||Clerc|
|Robert Donovan||Dirprwy Glerc|
|1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau||1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest|
|2. Addysgu hanes, diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru: sesiwn dystiolaeth gyda Dr Elin Jones||2. Teaching of Welsh history, culture and heritage: evidence session with Dr Elin Jones|
|3. Addysgu hanes, diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru: sesiwn dystiolaeth gydag ymarferwyr||3. Teaching of Welsh history, culture and heritage: evidence session with practitioners|
|4. Addysgu hanes, diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru: sesiwn dystiolaeth gyda grwpiau sydd â diddordeb yn hanes Cymru||4. Teaching of Welsh history, culture and heritage: evidence session with Welsh history interest groups|
|5. Addysgu hanes, diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru: sesiwn dystiolaeth gyda grwpiau hanes amrywiaeth||5. Teaching of Welsh history, culture and heritage: evidence session with diversity history groups|
|6. Papurau i’w nodi||6. Paper(s) to note|
|7. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod||7. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of this meeting|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.
The meeting began at 09:30.
Diolch a chroeso i Bwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Eitem 1 ar yr agenda yw cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. Hoffwn groesawu Carwyn Jones a John Griffiths i'r pwyllgor, a diolch i Jayne Bryant, Vikki Howells a Rhianon Passmore am eu cyfraniad i waith y pwyllgor dros y cyfnod roedden nhw'n eistedd ar y pwyllgor. Fe wnaethom ni gael ymddiheuriadau gan Mick Antoniw, sydd ym Mrwsel, ac wedyn Delyth Jewell hefyd. Ac mae Dou Lloyd—'Dou' Lloyd? Diddorol—yn bresennol—
Thank you and welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. Item 1 on the agenda is introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. I'd like to welcome Carwyn Jones and John Griffiths to the committee and to thank Jayne Bryant, Vikki Howells and Rhianon Passmore for their contribution to the committee's work over the period that they were members of the committee. We've received apologies from Mick Antoniw, who is in Brussels, and also Delyth Jewell. And Dou Lloyd—'Dou' Lloyd? That's interesting—is attending—
Dou Lloyd, ie.
Dou Lloyd, yes.
Oh gosh, how the morning is starting.
Datgan buddiannau—oes gan unrhyw un rhywbeth i'w ddatgan yma heddiw? Na.
Any declarations of interest to make? I see there are none.
Felly, dŷn ni'n gallu symud ymlaen yn syth at eitem 2—addysgu hanes, diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru, sesiwn dystiolaeth gyda Dr Elin Jones. Croeso i chi atom heddiw. Dŷn ni fel arfer, os nad ŷch chi'n ymwybodol, yn gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol. Felly, os yw hi'n iawn gyda chi, awn ni'n syth i mewn i gwestiynau. Diolch eto am ddod i mewn atom. Dŷn ni wedi siarad gyda chi yn Abertawe pan wnaethom ni gael sesiwn cysylltiol ynglŷn â hanes Cymru. Mae fy nghwestiwn cychwynnol i ynglŷn â'r cwricwlwm ar hyn o bryd. Ydych chi'n credu bod yna welliant wedi bod ers cyhoeddi adroddiad y grŵp gorchwyl a gorffen yn 2013? A sut ydych chi'n credu bod y gwelliannau hynny wedi effeithio ar ysgolion yng Nghymru?
So, we will move on immediately to item 2, which is the teaching of Welsh history, culture and heritage, an evidence session with Dr Elin Jones. Welcome once again today. As is our custom, if you are aware or not, we ask our questions on the basis of various themes. So, if you're happy, we'll dive straight into questions. And thank you once again for joining us. We spoke to you in Swansea when we had an engagement session in relation to Welsh history. And I'll begin by asking about the current curriculum. Do you believe that there has been an improvement since the task and finish group's report was published in 2013? And how do you believe that those improvements have affected schools in Wales?
Mae hynny'n gwestiwn diddorol, Bethan, ond dwi ddim yn gwybod beth yn union sydd gyda chi mewn golwg, oherwydd does dim cwricwlwm arall gyda ni ond yr un gafodd ei gyhoeddi'n wreiddiol yn 2008. Mae newidiadau wedi cael eu gwneud, o ran rhoi pwyslais mwy ar lythrennedd a rhifedd a llythrennedd digidol. Mae gyda ni nawr gwricwlwm drafft newydd, ond dwi ddim yn ymwybodol o unrhyw newidiadau o sylwedd o safbwynt dysgu hanes yn y saith mlynedd diwethaf yma.
That's an interesting question, Bethan, but I don't know exactly what you have in mind, because there has been no new curriculum published other than the one published in 2008. Some changes have been made, placing greater emphasis on numeracy, literacy and digital literacy. We now have a draft curriculum, but I'm not aware of any substantial changes from the point of view of the teaching of history over the past seven years.
Ocê. Wel, mae hynny'n ateb—mae hynny'n ddigon teg.
Okay. Well, that's fair enough.
Rwy'n gwybod bod yna bethau wedi digwydd, ond nid o ran ffurfioldeb y cwricwlwm a'r hyn sy'n digwydd mewn ysgolion.
I know that certain things have happened, but not in terms of the formality of the curriculum or what happens within schools.
Ocê. Jest o ran y presennol, a fyddai unrhyw newidiadau yn bosibl i'r cwricwlwm ar hyn o bryd, o feddwl bod y newidiadau i'r cwricwlwm yn mynd i ddigwydd yn 2022? Neu ydych chi'n credu bod angen? Efallai eich bod chi o'r farn nad oes angen.
Okay. So, just in terms of the present, would any changes be possible to the curriculum at is stands, given that there are going to be changes to the curriculum in 2022? Do you believe that there is a need for them? Perhaps you don't think there is a need.
Mae'n flin gyda fi, doeddwn i byth wedi meddwl am hyn. O safbwynt hanes, neu o safbwynt y cwricwlwm cyfan?
I do apologise, I'd never considered this point. Are you looking at history, or the curriculum as a whole?
Da iawn. Reit. Ocê. Wel, mae lot o ryddid gan athrawon i ddysgu beth maen nhw eisiau yn hanes ar hyn o bryd. Mae'r cwricwlwm presennol wedi'i seilio ar gwestiynau ac ar holi. So, mae'n gofyn pethau fel, 'Pa newidiadau fu ym mywyd pobl pob dydd yng Nghymru a Phrydain?' Mae hwn yn gwestiwn allweddol o bwysig ar gyfer cwricwlwm cyfnod allweddol 2, 7 i 11 oed.
Wedyn, mae'r un pwyslais ar ddysgu hanes yn y cwricwlwm presennol. Mae gofyn i athrawon, yn ôl y cwricwlwm presennol, hybu disgyblion i ddilyn eu trywydd ymchwil neu ymholi eu hunain. Ac mae rhyddid i athrawon benderfynu—gyda chydweithrediad disgyblion, gobeithio—i ba gyfeiriad maen nhw eisiau mynd fel disgyblion. Mae yna gyfle iddyn nhw wneud astudiaethau unigol. Y peth dwi'n dod yn ôl ato—a dwi’n gwneud y pwynt yma yn y dystiolaeth ysgrifenedig dwi wedi’i rhoi, dwi’n credu—yw does dim tystiolaeth gyda ni’n bendant o’r hyn sy’n digwydd mewn ysgolion ar hyn o bryd. Rŷn ni’n gwybod bod yna deimladau cryf, ond dŷn ni ddim yn gwybod beth sy’n digwydd oherwydd bod llawer o ryddid gan athrawon i ddilyn eu trywydd nhw eu hunain.
Dwi wedi dweud wrth roi tystiolaeth i chi o’r blaen, dwi’n credu, taw'r unig dystiolaeth sydd gyda fi yn bresennol, sy’n weddol wrthrychol, yw’r hyn rŷm ni’n ei weld o waith yr ysgolion sy’n cynnig ar gyfer gwobrau treftadaeth blynyddol menter ysgolion y dreftadaeth Gymreig. Ac rŷm ni yn gweld enghreifftiau o waith gwych yn y fan yna, ond canran bychan, bychan o ysgolion Cymru sy’n cynnig ar gyfer y wobr yna. So, dŷn ni ddim yn gwybod i sicrwydd beth sydd yn digwydd. Mae yna le gyda ni i gredu bod yna waith gwych yn digwydd—rŷn ni’n ei weld e. Mi all fod yna ysgolion sydd ddim yn dysgu dim hanes Cymru ar hyn o bryd, er ei fod yn ofynnol.
Yn y dystiolaeth ysgrifenedig, mi gyfeiriais i at brosiect o safoni asesiadau athrawon ar ddiwedd cyfnod allweddol 3 a wnaethpwyd rhwng 2007 a 2011. Yn y fan yna, roeddwn i’n safoni’r gwaith oedd wedi cael ei wneud i asesu’r asesiadau hyn. Mae’n flin da fi—mae’r pethau yma’n mynd yn gymhleth pan rydych chi’n mynd i ryw ddyfnder. Roedd tîm o athrawon gyda ni, roedd yn rhaid i bob ysgol yng Nghymru gyflwyno pum enghraifft o waith asesu ar gyfer cyfnod allweddol 3. Roeddwn i’n gweld y gwaith yna ac roedd yn amlwg oddi wrth rhai o’r enghreifftiau cafodd eu rhoi i ni fod rhai agweddau ar y cwricwlwm craidd ddim yn cael eu henghreifftio. Ac nid yn unig hanes Cymru ond pethau eraill megis ymwybyddiaeth gronolegol ac yn y blaen. Felly, roedd yn rhaid i ni ysgrifennu llythyr at yr ysgolion i ofyn iddyn nhw gofio bod eisiau iddyn nhw ddysgu’r cwricwlwm trwy'r trwch.
Ond fel rŷch chi’n ei wybod, dydy diffyg tystiolaeth ddim yn dystiolaeth bod yna ddiffyg. Dyna i gyd y gallaf ei ddweud yw dyna beth a welais i o ran tystiolaeth wrthrychol. Felly, mae’n anodd iawn i ateb y cwestiwn yna o ran yr hyn sy’n digwydd mewn ysgolion ar hyn o bryd yn rhagor na beth sy’n debyg o ddigwydd mewn ysgolion yn y dyfodol.
Right. Okay. Well, teachers have a great deal of freedom to teach what they want in history at the moment. The current curriculum is based on questions. So, they ask things like, 'What changes have there been in the everyday lives of people in Wales and Britain?' And that's a crucially important question for the curriculum for those who are 7 to 11 years of age in key stage 2.
Now, there's the same emphasis on teaching history in the current curriculum. Teachers, according to the current curriculum, are to encourage pupils to follow their own research and questioning. And teachers are free—with the collaboration of pupils, hopefully—to decide to what direction they would want to go. There is an opportunity for them to study individually. And what I come back to—and I make this point in the written evidence that I provided—is that we have no specific evidence of what actually happens in schools at the moment. We know that there are strong feelings, but we don't know exactly what's happening, because teachers do have that freedom to follow their own ideas.
I have said in earlier evidence to you that the only evidence that I have personally, which is relatively subjective, is what we see from the work of the schools applying for the annual heritage awards of the Welsh heritage schools initiative. And we see excellent examples there, but it's a very small percentage of Welsh schools that do apply for that award. So, we don't know exactly what is happening. I think there is excellent work happening—we see it. There may be some schools teaching no Welsh history at the moment, although it is required.
In the written evidence, I referred to a project of standardising teacher assessments at the end of key stage 3, and that was done between 2007 and 2011. I was working on those assessments in order to standardise them. I do apologise, these things do get very complex when you look at them in any depth. But we had a team of teachers and every school had to present five examples of assessment work for key stage 3. Now, we would review that work, and it became clear, given some of the examples provided to us, that certain aspects of the core curriculum weren't being referred to, not only Welsh history but chronological awareness. So, we had to write to those schools to ask them to bear in mind that they needed to teach the curriculum throughout.
But as you know, lack of evidence is not evidence of a deficit, and all I can say is, from the point of view of objective evidence, it's very difficult to answer questions on what's happening in schools at the moment any more than what's likely to happen in schools in the future.
Rŷn ni wedi ysgrifennu at y Gweinidog yn gofyn a fyddai hi’n hoffi siarad ag Estyn ynglŷn â gwneud adolygiad thematig. Fyddech chi’n cefnogi hynny? Achos os nad ydyn ni’n gwybod nawr beth sy’n digwydd gyda’r system addysg yn fwy prescriptive, gyda Donaldson mae e’n mynd hyd yn oed yn fwy hyblyg. Felly, fyddech chi’n cytuno byddai rhywbeth fel yna’n ddefnyddiol?
We have written to the Minister, asking whether she would like to speak to Estyn in terms of a thematic review on this. Would you support that suggestion? Because if we don't know now what is happening with a more prescriptive education system, with Donaldson it's becoming even more flexible. So, would you agree that something like that would be useful?
Byddwn i’n crefu arnoch chi a chrefu ar y Gweinidog hefyd i wneud hynny. Roedd Estyn yn cynnal arolygon pwnc penodol am flynyddoedd, ond rhoddwyd y gorau i hynny flynyddoedd yn ôl. Byddwn i’n bersonol yn croesawu hynny. Ond yn y dystiolaeth ysgrifenedig, roeddwn i’n sôn am beryglon y drafodaeth, sydd yn gallu bod yn emosiynol iawn, a diffyg tystiolaeth i ategu unrhyw honiad, a dyna beth sydd yn fy mecso i.
I would urge you and the Minister to do that. Estyn did undertake specific subject reviews over a period of many years, but that came to an end years go. I, personally, would welcome such an approach. And in the written evidence, I mentioned the risks of that debate, which can be highly emotional, and the lack of evidence to support any claims made, and that's what concerns me.
Grêt. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Symud ymlaen, felly, at hanes yn y cwricwlwm newydd. John Griffiths. Diolch.
Thank you very much. We'll move on, therefore, to history in the new curriculum. John Griffiths. Thank you.
Yes. Could I ask about—bore da, Elin—
Bore da, John.
—the place of history and specifically Welsh history and the Welsh perspective within that humanities area of learning and experience and the extent to which you think very local history is a good way of engaging pupils and how that can then be related to Welsh history, British history and, indeed, international history?
Diolch, John. You've put your finger on one of the weaknesses in the current situation, I think, because very many schools do some local history and they can do it very well. Very many schools do some aspects of Welsh history—in my view, varying. But what you don't see, I think—but as I say, there's no evidence—you don't see a joined-up approach.
However, I did see, this year, in one school, a special school dealing with children with complex and multiple needs—I saw some brilliant work on just this thing. They introduced the children when they were young—. When they entered school, they were introduced to the immediate environment of the school. Then, they were encouraged to use their senses to observe and to begin to make some conclusions. Then they looked at the slightly further environment of the school. It's a very lucky school in that it's got a police station across the road, it's next to a rugby club and a public park and a railway station is very near. They talked then about life in the village and in that community, and people from the various services came in to speak to the children, and they visited some of these sites.
They then looked at the shops in the local community and where the goods came from, who the people were who worked in the shop. And then they went to the railway station and they looked at the coal, the steam trains and the coal industry that had shaped the valley where they lived. And I thought that was an exemplary piece of work because it showed how children with complex and profound needs can be encouraged to feel confident with their own environment and know something, appropriate to age and abilities, about that environment and set it in its wider Welsh context. It was tremendous. It was an inspiring thing to see, and I do hope there are many schools in Wales that do just that. They ground the pupils in their immediate environment, make them feel confident and secure and to know who they are and where they're from, and then they expand their horizons.
So, what would be you view then, Elin, in terms of the new curriculum and how it can encourage—is it likely to lead to that sort of teaching of history in our schools? What would be the difference compared to life before the new curriculum?
I don't think there would be that much difference myself. I think good teaching is good teaching. I was looking at the work of the schools this year from the standpoint of the new curriculum, and this school, I thought, gave examples of how you could work in every aspect of humanities, because they were addressing every aspect of the humanities, most effectively in the work they were doing with the pupils.
Ocê. Diolch yn fawr iawn am hynny. Dai Lloyd.
Thank you very much for that. Dai Lloyd.
Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd. Diolch yn fawr iawn am eich tystiolaeth ymlaen llaw, a hefyd wrth gwrs am eich arweiniad yn y maes hyn dros rai blynyddoedd.
Thank you very much, Chair. Thank you for the evidence you provided beforehand and also all the leadership you've shown in this area for some years.
Fe wnawn ni ddim mynd lawr y trywydd yna nawr—gormod o ymwybyddiaeth gronolegol. [Chwerthin.]
We won't go down that route now—too much chronological awareness. [Laughter.]
Wrth gwrs, mae hyn, fel rŷch chi'n ei ddweud, yn bwnc llosg, a dŷn ni'n gallu cael trafodaethau gweddol danbaid yn y lle hwn o bryd i'w gilydd, a dŷn ni wastad yn cael rhyw fath o drafodaeth ynglŷn â faint o anogaeth ddylai fod—hynny yw, pennu pynciau penodol hanes Cymru i'w cymharu neu i'w cyferbynnu efo hanes Prydain, neu leoliad hanes Cymru o fewn hanes Prydain ac ymerodraethau ac ati. Nawr, wrth gwrs, yng nghyd-destun y cwricwlwm newydd, bob tro dŷn ni'n gofyn cwestiynau fel Aelodau Cynulliad—achos dŷn ni'n derbyn cynifer o e-byst ac ati, a llythyrau yn yr hen ddyddiau, wrth gwrs, cyn e-byst—ynglŷn ag a ddylen ni fod yn dysgu mwy o hanes Cymru i ddisgyblion Cymru—. Bob tro byddwn ni, yn naturiol, yn gofyn y cwestiwn yn fan hyn: 'Wel, mae'r cwricwlwm newydd, mae yna fwy o hyblygrwydd' ac ati. So, fyddech chi'n gweld cyfleon efo cwricwlwm newydd sydd yn cynnig cyfle i fod yn eang neu ydych chi'n gweld efallai bod yna her, ddywedwn ni, efo'r holl hyblygrwydd yma, i fod mor hyblyg fel bod yna nemor ddim o hanes Cymru yn cael ei addysgu? Beth dŷch chi'n ei feddwl?
This is a hot topic, as you will know, and we have had quite heated debates in this place from time to time and we do often have discussions about how much encouragement there should be—setting specific subjects or areas of Welsh history to compare and contrast with the history of Britain, or the place of Welsh history within British history and empires and so forth. Now, in the context of the new curriculum, whenever we ask questions as AMs—because we do receive so many e-mails and correspondence, even letters, perhaps, as was the case before e-mails—about whether there should be more Welsh history being taught to Welsh pupils—. But whenever we raise those questions, they say, 'Well, there's a new curriculum and greater flexibility'. So, do you see opportunities with this new curriculum, something that offers an opportunity to be broader, or do you see this offering a challenge and being so flexible that no Welsh history is being taught? What do you think?
Wel, fel rwy'n dweud, mae e'n anodd iawn gwybod. Rwy'n credu bod yna gyfle, fel y dywedais i yn fy nhystiolaeth, i wneud fel rŷch chi'n moyn, sydd yn rhoi rhyddid i athrawon i lunio eu cwricwlwm eu hunain. Mae yna bryder bod gormod o gyfyngu wedi bod yn y gorffennol, ac eto dyw e ddim wedi bod yn effeithiol, achos yn ôl yr hyn o dystiolaeth sydd gyda ni, dyw pawb ddim yn hapus gyda'r ffordd mae hanes yn cael ei addysgu. Dylwn i ddweud, wrth gwrs, dyw pawb byth yn hapus gyda phopeth maen nhw'n ei gael mewn ysgol. Mae'n rhaid i chi dderbyn bod yna elfen o ddim licio'r athro a hefyd anghofio beth maen nhw wedi'i wneud beth bynnag. [Chwerthin.] Sori i'ch siomi chi efo hyn ond dyna'r gwir amdani.
Well, as I say, it's very difficult to know. As I think I said in my evidence, there is an opportunity to do as you choose, which gives teachers the freedom to draw up their own curriculum. There is concern that there have been too many restrictions placed on teachers in the past and that hasn't been effective, because from the little evidence that we have, not everyone is content with the way that history is currently taught. I should say, of course, that not everyone's going to be happy in all our schools all the time. There will always be an element of not liking their teacher and forgetting what they've learnt in the first place. [Laughter.] I'm sorry to disappoint you on that point but that's the truth of the matter.
Neu'n hoffi'r athro ac yn mynd ymlaen i astudio hanes oherwydd hynny.
Or liking the teacher and going on to study history as a result of that.
Ie, wel, a oedd hynny'n rheswm digonol? Ond dyna fe, fe wnawn ni ddim mynd lawr y trywydd yna. Ond dyna beth yw'r gwir amdani, yntefe? Mae yna berthynas bersonol rhwng athro a disgybl ac mae hynny'n rhan o'r agwedd tuag at y pwnc. Mae atgofion pobl yn cael eu lliwio gan eu teimladau, emosiynau—. Mae yna gyfleon, yn sicr, o ran hyblygrwydd, ond mae yna lawer o gyfle yn yr hen gwricwlwm hefyd. Mae yna ryddid i athrawon ddewis beth maen nhw eisiau astudio yn eu dosbarth, gyda'u bod nhw'n gofalu nawr am ddimensiwn Gymreig a phersbectif rhyngwladol. Rwy'n meddwl ei fod e'n lot o goflaid i athrawon weithio eu ffordd trwy'r cwricwlwm newydd yma a gwneud synnwyr ohono fe a strwythuro cyrsiau fydd yn ateb holl ofynion Donaldson. Rwyf wir yn meddwl y bydd angen llawer o arweiniad. Oherwydd beth rwy'n gweld yn y dogfennau hyn yw sefyllfa debyg iawn i ble roeddem ni yn 1987 a 1988 pan roeddem ni'n llunio'r cwricwlwm cenedlaethol am y tro cyntaf. Roedd yna bentyrrau o ddogfennau trwchus i fynd trwyddyn nhw a thrio gwneud synnwyr ohonyn nhw a chysoni un set o ofynion gyda set arall o ofynion. Mae yna lond trol o waith fan hyn. Rwy'n meddwl bod yna gyfle—wrth gwrs fod yna gyfle. P'un ag yw athrawon yn teimlo'n ddigon hyderus, yn ddigon gwybodus i gymryd pob cyfle—a fydd pob cyfle maen nhw'n ei weld yn addas? Mae e mor benagored. Mae un prifathro wedi dweud wrthyf i,
Well, was that a sufficient reason for the decision? We won't go down that route now but that's the truth of the matter. There is a personal relationship between a pupil and a teacher and that's part of learning and teaching as well. People's feelings do depend, occasionally, on their emotions and so on and so forth. There are opportunities in terms of the flexibility provided, but there were also opportunities in the old curriculum. There is freedom for teachers to decide what they want their classrooms to study, as long as they look at a Welsh dimension and an international perspective. Now, I think that there's a challenge for teachers to work their way through this new curriculum to make sense of it and to structure courses appropriately so that it will meet all of the needs set out by Donaldson. I truly believe that they will need a great deal of guidance, because what I see in these documents is a situation similar to what we faced in 1987 and 1988 when we were drawing up the first national curriculum. There were hefty documents to get through and you had try and make sense of those documents and to make one set of requirements consistent with another. So, there's a great deal of work to be done here. I think there are opportunities—of course there are opportunities now. Whether teachers feel sufficiently confident and sufficiently knowledgeable to take all of those opportunities—will all the opportunities that they identify be appropriate? It is so open-ended. One headteacher has told me,
'I like this new curriculum; I can teach what I want.'
Ac rwyf wedi dweud,
And I've been saying,
‘Well, haven’t you been doing that for years?’
Ac mae e’n chwerthin a dweud,
And he chuckles and says,
‘Yes, but now I can justify it.’
So, rwy'n meddwl bod yna gyfleon, mae yna beryglon, ond y prif berygl, rwy'n meddwl, yw cymhlethdod yr holl beth a maint y gofynion sydd ar athrawon nawr.
So, I think there are opportunities, there are risks, but the main risk, in my mind, is the complexity of this whole issue and the scale of the requirements placed on teachers now.
Diolch, Gadeirydd. Fel un a astudiodd hanes lefel O a hefyd lefel A, rwy'n cofio pan wnes i lefel A—y Tuduriaid a’r Stiwartiaid—roedd yna gwestiwn gorfodol ar hanes Cymru bryd hynny. Os oeddech chi’n astudio lefel A, roedd rhaid astudio hanes Cymru. A fyddai’n rhywbeth i feddwl amdano petasai—ac efallai byddai hwn yn helpu ynglŷn â sicrhau bod hanes Cymru yn cael ei addysgu mewn ffordd sydd yn effeithiol—cwestiynau gorfodol ar y papurau TGAU a hefyd y papurau lefel A?
Thank you, Chair. As someone who studied O-level history and, indeed, A-level, I do remember when I did the A-level course—the Tudors and the Stuarts—there was a compulsory question on Welsh history at that point. So, if you studied for an A-level, you had to study Welsh history. Would it be something worth considering—and it might help in terms of ensuring that Welsh history is taught in a way that is effective—having questions that are compulsory on GCSE and also A-level papers?
Fel rwy'n deall pethau, mae gofynion hanes TGAU nawr wedi cael eu newid dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, fel bod yna elfen o hanes Cymru wedi cael ei gwau mewn i’r maes llafur, ac rwy'n croesawu hynny’n fawr iawn. Nid wyf yn credu bod cael cwestiwn gorfodol yn ateb y peth achos mae’n creu rhyw geto i hanes Cymru, a dyw e ddim yn helpu—i ddilyn y pwynt gwnaeth John—i ddod â hanes lleol, hanes Cymru a hanes ehangach gyda’i gilydd. Dyna’r broblem.
Ac wedyn, rwy'n croesawu’r penderfyniad i ailstrwythuro TGAU i roi mwy o bwyslais ar hanes Cymru, achos roedd e’n bosibl i athrawon uwchradd osgoi addysgu unrhyw hanes o Gymru ei hunan yn TGAU, cyd â'u bod nhw’n gwneud elfen o hanes Prydain. Ac roedd hanes Prydain yn golygu, yn y pen draw, hanes Lloegr. Bach iawn o hanes Iwerddon a’r Alban sy’n cael ei astudio yng Nghymru a Lloegr, bach iawn o hanes Cymru sy’n cael ei astudio yn yr Alban neu Iwerddon. Rŷn ni’n troi ein golwg ni wastad at Loegr o ran datblygiadau oherwydd dyna yw’r prif bŵer gwleidyddol yn y Deyrnas Unedig, ac wedi bod ers canrifoedd lawer.
Felly, rwy'n croesawu’r syniad o roi mwy o bwyslais ar hanes Cymru a dangos yn TGAU sut mae gwau hanes Cymru mewn i’r patrwm ehangach. Rwy'n croesawu hynny’n fawr iawn achos mae gofynion TGAU yn dylanwadu’n fawr ar athrawon yr ysgolion uwchradd. Ond o ran rhoi cwestiwn gorfodol, penodol, ar bapur arholiad TGAU neu lefel A, byddwn i yn cwestiynu effeithiolrwydd hynny yn y pen draw, achos mae’n gallu ynysu’r pwnc.
As I understand it, the requirements of history GCSE have been changed over the past few years, so that there is an element of Welsh history that has been brought in to the curriculum, and I welcome that very much. I don't think that a mandatory question would be a solution because it creates a ghetto for Welsh history, and it doesn't help—to follow up on John's point—in bringing local history, Welsh history and global history all together, and that's the problem.
And I welcome the decision to restructure GCSE and to place more emphasis on Welsh history, because it was possible for secondary schoolteachers to avoid teaching any Welsh history at GCSE, as long as there was an element of British history. And the history of Britain ultimately meant the history of England. Very little Irish or Scottish history is studied in England or Wales, and very little Welsh history is studied in Ireland or Scotland. We always turn our sights towards England in terms of developments because that is where the main political power lies within the UK, and that has been the case for very many centuries.
So, I welcome the idea of placing greater emphasis on Welsh history and demonstrating in GCSE how Welsh history fits into that bigger picture. I welcome that most warmly because the requirements of GCSE do have a great influence on teachers in secondary schools. But in terms of a mandatory, specific question on an examination paper at GCSE or A-level, I would question the effectiveness of that, ultimately, because it can isolate the topic.
So, byddech chi’n dweud, felly, y byddai'n well i wau hanes Cymru i mewn i hanes ehangach—rwy'n deall hynny, wrth gwrs—ond efallai cael sefyllfa lle byddai disgybl yn cael mwy o gredyd neu fwy o farciau fel rhan o’r asesu o achos eu bod nhw’n gallu dangos bod yna ddealltwriaeth gyda nhw o hanes Cymru a hefyd hanes Prydain, Ewrop a hefyd y byd.
So, are you saying, therefore, that it would be better to weave Welsh history ino broader history, then—and I understand that, of course—but perhaps have a situation where a pupil would be able to gain further credits or marks as part of the assessment, if they were able to show that they did have an understanding of Welsh history and also of British, European and global history?
Wel, byddai hwnna’n ddiddorol iawn; byddai’n gofyn cwestiynau. Roeddwn i’n arfer rheoleiddio lefel A a TGAU hanes am rai blynyddoedd, ac mae llunio cwestiynau sydd yn asesu rhywbeth fel yna’n deg a rhoi marciau uwch iddyn nhw—mae yna fodd i’w wneud e, a byddai’n her ddiddorol iawn, ond, eto, rwy'n gallu gweld—. Mae yna wastad cwyno bod TGAU yn formulaic iawn. Os ydych chi’n edrych ar gynlluniau marcio TGAU, maen nhw’n gallu dweud bod hyn a hyn o farciau am ddefnyddio un ffynhonnell wreiddiol, hyn a hyn o farciau am gymharu dwy ffynhonnell wreiddiol, hyn a hyn o farciau am gymharu tair ffynhonnell, un yn wreiddiol, ac felly ymlaen. Mae modd i’w wneud e ond mae’n gymhleth. Byddai'n her ddiddorol iawn i feddwl eich bod chi’n llunio rhywbeth fel yna.
Well, that would be most interesting; it would pose some questions. I used to moderate history A-level and GCSE for many years, and drawing up questions that assess something like that fairly and to provide higher marks for those who do demonstrate those skills—it can be done, and it would be a very interesting challenge. But, again, there are always complaints that GCSE is very formulaic. If you look at the GCSE marking schemes, they say there are so many marks for using one original source, so many marks for comparing two original sources, and so many marks for drawing on three sources, one original and so on. So, it can be done but it's extremely complex. It would be a very interesting challenge, trying to draw up something like that.
Wel, efallai, yn lle dweud y byddech chi'n cael marciau ychwanegol, byddai'r strwythur marcio—. Rŷch chi’n edrych am bethau lle mae disgwyl y gallwch chi ddangos gwybodaeth, ac wedi hynny, wrth gwrs, efallai byddai yna ryw fath o ffrwd tu mewn i’r strwythur marcio sydd yn rhoi marciau i ddisgyblion os ydych chi’n gallu dangos dealltwriaeth o hanes Cymru, hanes Prydain, hanes Ewrop yng nghyd-destun y pwnc, efallai. Rŷch chi’n cael marciau ychwanegol, ac mae'n dweud, 'Wel, mae yna farciau ar gael os gallwch chi ddangos eich dealltwriaeth yn y rhannau hyn o faes hanes cyffredinol.’
Well, perhaps, instead of saying you would have additional marks, the marking strcuture—. Within the marking structure, something could be done so you'd be looking for something where a pupil could be able to show their knowledge, and then it might be possible for there to be some sort of stream within the marking structure that allows you to give extra marks for pupils who can show their information of Welsh history, of British history, and all this in a broader context. So, you could have additional marks, and it would say, 'Well, there are marks available if you can show your understanding of this particular part of general history.'
Wel, dwi’n licio’r syniad yn fawr iawn. Rwy’n meddwl y buasai botensial aruthrol i hwnna, a bod yn onest. Roeddwn i wedi llunio—dwi ddim yn gwybod os ŷch chi wedi dod ar draws hyn—yr S-level yn hanes, lle'r oedd yn gofyn iddyn nhw gyrraedd yr S-level, special level, ar gyfer disgyblion galluog iawn. Ac roedd llunio’r cwestiynau yn fanna i’w herio nhw yn bennaf am ddehongliadau o hanes, a faint yr oedden nhw’n gallu trafod, faint yr oedden nhw’n gallu trafod yn ystyrlon. Roedd hwnna’n ddiddorol iawn.
Well, I like the idea very much. I do think there is huge potential there, to be honest. I don't know if you've come across this, but I drew up the S-level in history, the special level for the very able and talented pupils. And drawing up questions there was to challenge them mainly on their interpretation of history, and how much could they discuss, and how much they could discuss in a meaningful way. That was most interesting.
Rwy'n cofio'r S-level—ydy hanes yn gelf neu'n wyddoniaeth?
Jest un cwestiwn arall wrthyf i. Wrth inni ddatblygu hyblygrwydd yn y system ynglŷn ag addysgu hanes, rŷn ni gyd yn deall, wrth gwrs, fod yna wahanol fersiynau o hanes. Mae'n hollol deg, wrth gwrs, fod pobl yn ystyried hanes mewn ffyrdd gwahanol. Ym mha ffordd y gallwn ni sicrhau bod yr hyblygrwydd yno i sicrhau bod y fersiynau’n cael eu trafod yn y dosbarth heb orbwyslais ar un fersiwn neu’r llall? Rwy’n dweud hynny fel rhywun a gafodd ei lefel A ei addysgu gan rywun a oedd yn aelod o Blaid Cymru a rhywun arall a oedd yn aelod o’r Blaid Lafur, a byddech chi byth yn gwybod hynny; roedden nhw’n gallu addysgu hanes mewn ffordd a oedd yn rhoi gwahanol safbwyntiau o hanes. Ym mha ffordd ydych chi’n sicrhau hynny, felly—bod yr athro neu’r athrawes yn gallu arwain y disgybl, ond hefyd roi i'r disgybl y cyfle i feddwl dros ei hunan, yn enwedig yn TGAU a lefel A, a'u bod nhw’n gallu datblygu fersiwn o hanes eu hunain?
I do remember the S-level—is history art or a science?
I just have one further question to ask you. As we develop flexibility in the system of teaching history, we understand, of course, that there are various versions of history. That is completely fair, of course—you can consider history in various ways. In what way could we ensure that that flexibility is available to ensure that the versions are discussed in the classroom without there being too much emphasis on one version or another? I say that as someone who learnt my A-level from a member of Plaid Cymru and from someone who was a member of the Labour Party, and you'd never know that; they could teach history in a way that offered you various perspectives of history. So, in what way can we ensure that the teacher can lead the pupil but give them the opportunity to think for themselves, both at GCSE and A-level, and that they can develop their own version of history?
Wel, dyna beth yw un o gryfderau’r hen gwricwlwm, yn fy marn i, achos rhoddwyd lle canolog i ddehongliadau o hanes, ac o’r cychwyn cyntaf, roedd rhaid i blant sylweddoli bod modd cynrychioli neu ddehongli hanes mewn dulliau gwahanol. Wedyn, roeddech chi’n symud hwnna lan, fesul cam, nes eich bod chi’n gallu sylweddoli bod yna wahanol fersiynau o hanes, bod yna gryfderau a gwendidau iddyn nhw, a ffeindio’ch ffordd chi trwyddynt. Mae disgrifiadau'r lefel bresennol yn nodi fel ŷch chi’n symud ymlaen, cam wrth gam. A dyna’r rhan o’r cwricwlwm a oedd yn peri’r mwyaf o anhawster i athrawon.
Mae trafod dehongliadau hefyd yn rhan o’r cynllun asesu yn TGAU ac yn lefel A ar hyn o bryd, ac mae’n peri anawsterau, oherwydd mae’n anodd iawn asesu sut mae disgybl yn trafod gwahanol ddehongliadau heb wybod faint o hyfforddiant maen nhw wedi cael i wneud pethau’n weddol fecanyddol—eto, cymharu ffynonellau a chymharu dehongliadau. Ond os ŷch chi’n gofyn iddyn nhw ddatblygu eu dehongliadau eu hunain, yn annibynnol, rŷch chi’n eu symud nhw trwy’r broses o feddwl fel haneswyr, achos dyna beth yw un o hanfodion bod yn hanesydd—sylweddoli bod yna wahanol fersiynau o’r gorffennol, a bod rhai yn fwy dibynadwy na’i gilydd, a bod defnyddio tystiolaeth yn effeithiol ac yn glir yn rhan bwysig o ddatblygu unrhyw ddehongliad, unrhyw fersiwn o hanes. Achos, fel arall, os nad ŷch chi’n meithrin y sgiliau trafod tystiolaeth a thrafod gwahanol fersiynau o hanes, rŷch chi’n dysgu propaganda yn fwy na hanes, oherwydd dŷch chi ddim yn rhoi’r sgiliau i ddisgyblion ac i fyfyrwyr edrych yn wrthrychol ac asesu'r hyn maen nhw’n ei ddysgu am y gorffennol.
Well, that is one of the strengths of the old curriculum, in my view, because it gave a central role to the interpretation of history, and from the very start, pupils had to understand that they had to interpret history in different ways. And then, you would move that up, stage by stage, until you could understand that there were different versions of history, that there were strengths and weaknesses to all of them, and to find your way through that. And the descriptions of the current level do demonstrate how you take pupils through that process, stage by stage. And that's part of the curriculum that causes most difficulty to teachers.
Discussing interpretations of history is part of the assessment scheme at GCSE and A-level at the moment, and it does cause difficulties, because it's very difficult to assess how a pupil discusses various interpretations of history without knowing how much training that they've received in the mechanical way of comparing sources and comparing different interpretations of history. But if you ask them to develop their own interpretation independently, then you do move them through the process of starting to think like historians, because that is one of the fundamentals of being a historian—realising that there are sources from the past, and that some are more reliable than others, and that the effective use of evidence is an important part of developing any interpretation or any version of history. Because, otherwise, unless you nurture those skills in dealing with evidence and various versions of history, then you are essentially teaching propaganda more than history, because you're not providing pupils with the skills to look objectively and to assess what they're learning about the past.
Diolch yn fawr iawn. Symudwn ymlaen at addysgu. A David Melding sy'n gofyn y cwestiynau—diolch.
Thank you very much. We'll move on, therefore, to teaching. And David Melding will be asking the questions—thank you.
Like Carwyn, I was educated in the ancien régime before the 1988 reforms, even, and—
I will now admit that I have never taught the curriculum, I only devised it, because I was teaching and taught under the ancien régime.
At Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School, I did history up to A-level, I did geography up to A-level, and you had to take questions on Welsh history. An excellent history department and really well taught, and geography the same. So, we studied the Ice Age via the Neath valley, the River Neath and the incredible terminal moraine you have at Jersey Marine—all this was there, visible, and I suspect that's always been the heart of good teaching. But since that time—and the 1988 reform I suppose really took it even further, in being a very descriptive approach to a curriculum, content-driven—we now seem to be looking at an approach to teaching rather than saying: the curriculum needs to contain X, Y, Z; though it will contain certain aspects. Under those circumstances, is there a greater danger that the Welshness of our experience is lost? So, amongst teachers that have less confidence, for instance—they may have been brought up in another part of the United Kingdom—they'll tend to teach Welsh history as an example of the British history that occurred in Wales. Is this is a danger?
It's happening—. I think, but there's no sound evidence—I think that happens in some schools now. They will teach popular risings and they may teach Merthyr, they may teach Newport. It's unlikely they'll teach Merthyr and Newport together as examples of popular risings. They'll put it in the wider context of Chartism in Britain.
And they may not teach the place of the Welsh language in those rights, which is key in both and shaped some language policies—there's no doubt about that if you read the magistrates' views of the Chartists and their 'wicked use of Welsh' so that the forces of law and order, or some of them, couldn't understand them. The fact that they were monoglot Welsh speakers is kind of lost, isn't it?
So, are you confident that the approaches that will be taken in the new curriculum will give us—? I know, I think it's marvellous—many people must come into Wales and just have a new sense of intellectual curiosity as they grasp the richness of Welsh history, so the fact that you're born in Loughborough or something is neither here nor there, if you've got that confidence and the teaching materials and training is available to you. But is there a danger they're not and, even amongst some people, perhaps, who were born in Wales who have not been in a particularly strong school in terms of seeing the Welsh content as integral—? Are you confident in the new approach that, if these gaps currently exist, they will be filled?
Well, if the gaps currently exist—we don't know—the opportunity is there, but how that opportunity will be interpreted by teachers, I cannot predict. I worry, because I have seen examples of misinterpretation of, you know, mindful of Cwricwlwm Cymreig, 'If I write the date on the board in Welsh or put any Welsh on the walls of the classroom, I've done the Welsh perspective.' That is always a danger. Carwyn Jones was kind enough to refer to the way in which versions of history can be presented—and misrepresented sometimes. Carwyn, the new curriculum is, as I say, so detailed, so broad, gives so much freedom to teachers to develop their own teaching materials that it provides an opportunity to pay lip service to it if you want to do it. You've put your finger on it in saying about the resources, the materials, the training to encourage teachers to see the possibilities in their own area and to go beyond that area, of course. The potential is there, definitely, but we don't know really what is the basis on which we will be building for this new curriculum. We don't know what teachers are making of the current curriculum, in my view.
Well, that's very helpful; I think it gives us a lot to reflect on. Just coming back to content a minute, I'm fairly relaxed about an approach that is flexible, because you can get so descriptive that you can't make these wide connections. And I can see how—I mean, geography has a big impact on politics and history and economics. More integration there makes sense—
And religion. Those all come together in humanities. The opportunities are there.
But it doesn't entirely take us away from the need to look at content, in my view. I put it to you that there are certain events in our history that are so axial that they have to be studied, if you want to develop an understanding. The Reformation is an obvious one, which, even in my time, I must say, I didn't think was always taught as well as it should be. You can't understand history, political development, the concept of self, scientific discovery, Welsh language and the fact that it did survive because it became the public language in essence and of religion—
And Northern Ireland—with Brexit and all that, that's a live issue.
So, are there certain key turning points that really we can't allow discretion over?
I think the curriculum requires you to have discretion over it. The new curriculum requires discretion. The previous curriculum was prescriptive, and I don't have evidence that it was being taught as I had intended in some schools. I've got no evidence to prove it one way or another. Some evidence I have suggests it wasn't. Other evidence suggests great stuff is being done, but it's a prescriptive curriculum. I don't know how the new curriculum is likely to develop.
But your question really is to do with: are there key events? Are there turning points? I commissioned two books on turning points in Welsh history, about 10 years ago, and it proved extremely difficult to identify turning points because history is a process. I think what you can do, though, is to say that there are certain key periods in Welsh history when there are developments that are central to the formation of an individual identity in Wales, and interestingly, two of them are periods that are not covered in the current curriculum, or the former curriculum, and that is the time immediately after the fall of Rome in the fifth and sixth centuries, which we call, in shorthand, the Age of the Saints. We don't study it at all in schools.
Or it's taught early, if it is—young primary school pupils who are least equipped to deal with those deep time events.
Yes, and it's not really—that early period isn't there. You've got the Stone Age, the early ages of stone, bronze, iron, and the Iron Age is usually interpreted as the Celts, and you've got the Romans, and then you've got about six centuries and then you've got 1066. I would say that that age is a formative period, and also the eighteenth century, because that was the time of nonconformity developing in Wales as a powerful influence in the mainstream of Welsh society, and that is where you get the development of the language. But I've noted two periods, they both have to do with religion, and I think you've put your finger on the Reformation as well. These are all religious issues, and they reflect how well you could have religion and history and geography, remembering Professor Bowen and the Saints, Seaways and Settlements in the Celtic Lands, how the dedications of churches reflected travel in that early period. There would be a possibility of doing it, but the resources are very few, they're not appealing as they stand, and I think that there is a danger of having a tick-box mentality if you list certain events or individuals who must be taught. It's a question of interpretation again, I'm afraid.
David, jest cyn ichi ddod yn ôl, mae Carwyn Jones eisiau gofyn cwestiwn atodol, os yw hwnna'n iawn.
David, just before you come back, Carwyn Jones wants to ask a supplementary question, if that's all right.
Diolch yn fawr. I wasn't going to ask this question of you, I was going to ask it of other witnesses, but it's now become relevant off the back of what David has said. You haven't used the phrase 'must haves' in terms of what has to be part of a pupil's knowledge when they study history, but you referred there to seminal moments. Quite right, history is a process. David mentioned the Reformation, and that's what I did, but my wife's experience of being taught the Reformation in a Belfast Catholic grammar school was not quite the same as the way it was taught here, in terms of who was on the correct side of the argument, shall we say. But are there, then—you've just alluded to it yourself—leaving aside the question of how to interpret those events, are there particular events in Welsh history that you think—I'm not asking you to name them all—that you could point to that are essential as part of a pupil's knowledge if they're going to understand Welsh history properly?
Duwcs. Dyna ichi gwestiwn.
A hard question.
Mi fyddwn i'n dweud ei bod hi'n dibynnu ble ŷch chi yng Nghymru, achos dylech chi fod yn sefyll yn eich bro eich hunan—dyna lle mae'r cysyniad o gynefin yn mynd i fod yn allweddol i ddatblygiad y cwricwlwm newydd. Os ydych chi'n teimlo eich bod chi'n hyderus yn eich bro eich hunan, fel roedd y plant yn yr ysgol arbennig yna yn teimlo, eu bod nhw'n deall rhywbeth am ble oedden nhw yn yr ysgol yna, yna byddwch chi'n edrych mas ac yn gweld bod yna eglwys wedi ei chysegru i Dewi Sant, Teilo, neu bwy bynnag, ond byddwch chi efallai'n gweld bod yna gapel o'r ddeunawfed ganrif sydd yn berthnasol. Bydd y capel yna wedi cael ei ailadeiladu cwpwl o weithiau; mae hynny'n berthnasol. Felly, rwy'n teimlo byddwn i ddim yn licio dweud bod yn rhaid i bob disgybl wneud, er enghraifft—. Wel, efallai byddai'n rhaid inni edrych rhywfaint ar ddatblygiad y byd modern, ac mae'r Diwygiad Protestannaidd yn rhan o hynny, o safbwynt y Gymraeg, ond hefyd mae datblygiad yr economi yn dilyn Columbus a'r llif o aur ac arian yn dod i mewn i Ewrop a oedd yn effeithio ar economi Ewrop yn un o'r ffactorau a arweiniodd at y Diwygiad Protestannaidd.
So, rwy'n teimlo bod eisiau ichi edrych o le ŷch chi mewn ysgol ac edrych mas. Ac mae gan athrawon nawr y rhyddid i lunio cwricwlwm sydd yn ateb gofynion ac adnoddau eu hadrannau nhw eu hunain. Ond roeddech chi hefyd wedi cyfeirio at y ffaith, David, fod nifer o athrawon yn dod i Gymru i ddysgu hanes heb wybodaeth am Gymru. Mae nifer o athrawon sydd ddim yn gwybod llawer am yr ardal lle mae eu hysgol nhw oherwydd eu bod yn byw yn rhywle arall ac wedi cael eu magu rhywle arall. Felly, mae yna her yn fan hyn ac mae yna gyfle mawr yn fan hyn, ond byddwn i, fel ŷch chi'n gweld, yn camu nôl o'r syniad o ddweud bod yn rhaid i bob un wneud Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf. Bydd e'n fwy perthnasol i rai ardaloedd na'i gilydd. Yn yr ardal lle dwi'n byw, doedd Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf ddim wedi effeithio llawer, ond roedd Llywelyn Bren, tywysog yn yr ardal yna, wedi effeithio llawer ar hanes yr ardal.
I would say that it depends where you are in Wales, because you should be standing in your own area—that's where the concept of cynefin is going to be crucial to the development of the new curriculum. If you feel that you are confident in your own area, as those children in the special school felt, that they understood something about where they were in that school, then you will look outwards and you will see that there's a church that is consecrated to St David, St Teilo, or whoever, but you'll also see that there's a chapel from the eighteenth century that is relevant. Perhaps that chapel will have been rebuilt a few times, and that will be relevant. So, I wouldn't want to say that all pupils have to do something specific, for example—. Well, perhaps they would need to look at the development of the modern world, to some extent, and the Protestant Reformation is part of that, and in particular in relation to the Welsh language, but also the development of the economy following Columbus and the gold that came into Europe and how that had an impact on the European economy, and that was one of the factors that led to the Protestant Reformation.
So you have to be looking from where your school is located, and looking outwards. And now teachers have the freedom to devise a curriculum that meets those needs, and use the resources available in their own departments. But, you also referred, David, to the fact that a number of teachers come to Wales to teach history without knowledge about Wales. Many teachers know very little about the locality of their school, because they live somewhere else or because they were brought up somewhere else. And so there is a challenge here and there's a great opportunity here also. But, as you can see, I'm stepping back from stating that everyone has to study Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf. Now that'll be more relevant to some areas than others. In the area where I live, Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf did not have much of an impact, but Llywelyn Bren, a prince in that area, did have a big impact on the region's history.
Just finally, you mentioned the—well, Stone Age, you said, but the Neolithic revolution is probably the most significant thing that happened to humankind and, of course, it's prehistory in a sense, unrecorded. And it's a time when Britain wasn't, Wales wasn't. And if you want the sense that these concepts are always in the making, do you think that part of our human story is relatively poorly dealt with in education?
I don't have the evidence, David. I go back to this: I don't have any evidence. Again, I've seen some good teaching on that. When I was working in the National Museum and the Stone Age galleries were my classroom, yes, I saw some excellent teaching on that, but it will again depend on the interest of the pupils and the interest of the teachers, and the resources available. So I would agree with you, yes, the Neolithic revolution and the development of farming and everything that led from that—warfare starts then, and so on—is hugely important, but there is something to be said, perhaps, for teaching history backwards, for children to make sense of where they are and what is around them and how that was shaped. And the older they get, the more they will understand.
I completely agree. I've made this point myself. If you're going to be chronological, roughly, we ought to invert it, so the youngest children start with the most recent stuff.
And that's what was happening in the foundation phase. They were starting with the most recent stuff and giving them an understanding of their local area at the moment, and then looking out to the distance.
Ie, rwy'n deall hynny. Mae rhywun arall yn dod i mewn atoch chi.
I do understand that. There are other witnesses, aren't there?
Sori am hynny. Mae gan John Griffiths gwestiynau am atebolrwydd yn y system, jest i orffen.
Sorry about that. John Griffiths now has questions about accountability in the system, just to conclude.
Yes. Elin, we've touched on much already, including what confidence we might be able to have in terms of what's being taught, how it's being taught, and how that balances with the new freedoms of the new curriculum, and so on. What would you say about the need for accountability in the new curriculum and how that's best taken forward?
Well, given the strength of feeling there appears to be in Wales about this topic, teaching Welsh history, I think there has to be a great deal more accountability, because I'm extremely worried—I hope my written submission made that clear—I'm extremely worried about the potential for this to become a very divisive issue, with teachers perceived not to be doing what the public wants them to do, teachers feeling under pressure to deliver unrealistic expectations, to teach in a way that they don't want to teach. So, I am worried that this is a divisive issue. I do think there needs to be more accountability, because I don't think it's good that we, in this committee and I have who have been so involved with the curriculum over the years, don't really know what is being taught in schools in Wales.
Would you have any specific suggestions, Elin, in terms of how that necessary accountability might be achieved, compared with what Welsh Government have set out?
When we wrote the report on the Cwricwlwm Cymreig, we talked about having champions for Welsh history and people who could promote the idea, so that instead of prescribing, instead of forcing teachers to tick boxes again, you have people who will be able to give examples of good practice, will feel confident in doing that, will know where the resources are, and they'll also know how to interpret the material history that exist in all our communities of how that community developed and why. So, I would urge the idea of people who act as almost interpreters of history again within their own localities, so that they can advise teachers, help teachers, so that teachers will feel confident in responding to queries about what they're doing, and will feel that they are accountable not to them over there, but to somebody who they know and who comes into their school and is able to advise them and support them.
Okay. In terms of resources again, which we've touched on, Elin, and Wales-specific resources to support the teaching of history in this way, what would you say are the key points there? What needs to change in terms of the availability of those resources?
I thought you were going to finish now, John. I mean, you're opening up a whole new—[Laughter.] Okay. I commissioned resources to teach Welsh history and teach history in the schools of Wales for many years. They did not get used by very many schools. There are good resources out there. There are good resources on the web. They are not promoted commercially in the way resources that teach English history in schools in Wales have been promoted over the last five or six years, possibly longer. So, there needs to be investment, I'm afraid, in producing appropriate resources for the new curriculum, but they would be, I think, locally appropriate resources. That's why this idea of people who work in their locality to bring things together to help teachers to make the most of the history, the geography, the religious background, the business and the social aspects of the curriculum in their area. I think there's a need for a human face to these resources. They will know what resources are there—these people should know what resources are there—and how they are best used by that particular school.
I was fortunate in having a wonderful history adviser, as they called them in the old days, David Maddox, and David used to come into the school and he would always praise what I was doing, and always show me a better way of doing it, and refer me to, 'Have you read so and so? This is a good book, Elin.' So, I'm maybe looking back too much, but I think that we need a more human face, we need more links between the community and the school that teaches its children, and a closer relationship to help us through the potentials of the new curriculum.
Grêt. Byddem ni'n gallu trafod hyn trwy'r bore, mae'n siŵr, ond dyw'r amser ddim gyda ni. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod atom eto, ond os oes unrhyw beth ychwanegol hoffech chi rannu gyda ni o ran barn ynglŷn â'r cwricwlwm newydd yn benodol, yna plis cysylltwch â ni fel pwyllgor.
Great. We could discuss this throughout the morning, I'm sure, but we don't have the time, unfortunately. But thank you very much for joining us once again. If there's anything in addition that you would like to share with us in terms of your views about the new curriculum specifically, then please do contact us as a committee.
Rwy'n mynd i fod yn gweithio trwy'r cwricwlwm gyda rhai o'r cymdeithasau hanes rwy'n ymwneud â nhw, ac wedyn fe fydda i'n hapus iawn i adrodd nôl i chi ar ymateb y cymdeithasau hynny, achos rwy'n gweld bod gan y cymdeithasau hanes lleol llawer i'w gynnig, fel roedd John yn awgrymu, ynglŷn ag adnoddau.
I'm going to be working through the curriculum with some of the history societies and associations that I'm involved with, so I would be more than happy then to report back to you on the response of those organisations, because I do think that local history societies have a great deal to offer in terms of what John suggested in terms of resources.
Grêt. Byddem ni'n croesawu hynny achos, yn amlwg, mae gwybod hanes lleol yn bwysig iawn.
Great. We'd welcome that very much because, obviously, knowing your local history is very important.
Mae'n mynd i fod yn allweddol, rwy'n teimlo, a gweithio fe mewn gyda daearyddiaeth a gyda'r agweddau eraill ar y cwricwlwm newydd.
It is going to be crucial, I feel, and we need to work it in with geography and other aspects of the new curriculum too.
Diolch i chi i gyd.
Thank you all very much.
Dŷn ni'n mynd i symud yn syth ymlaen mewn i'r sesiwn nesaf, ac wedyn cael seibiant ar ôl y sesiwn yma. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn. Os gallwn ni aros i'r tystion newydd.
We'll move on immediately to the next session, and then we will have a break after the following session. So, we'll just wait for the new witnesses to come in.
Iawn. Dŷn ni'n symud yn syth ymlaen i'r sesiwn nesaf, eitem 3, a diolch i'n tystion sydd wedi dod mewn o'r undebau, sef Mark Cleverley, athro hanes, NASUWT, ac wedyn Ioan Rhys Jones, swyddog ym maes y gogledd UCAC. Diolch i chi am ddod mewn atom heddiw i drafod hanes yn y cwricwlwm. Fel dŷch chi'n gwybod, efallai, dŷn ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, felly byddwn ni'n mynd mewn yn syth i gwestiynau os yw hynny'n iawn gyda chi. A'r cwestiwn cyntaf sydd gen i yw: ydych chi'n credu bod pethau wedi newid ers i'r grŵp gorchwyl wneud ei waith yn 2013? Ydych chi'n meddwl bod yna newid ar lawr gwlad wedi bod yn sgil hynny?
All right. We move immediately on to the next session, which is item 3. And I'd thank our witnesses who have joined us from the unions—Mark Cleverley, a history teacher from NASUWT, and Ioan Rhys Jones, field officer for north Wales from UCAC. Thank you both for joining us this morning to discuss history in the curriculum. As you will perhaps know, we do ask questions on a thematic basis, so we'll proceed immediately to questions if that's all right with you. And the first question is from me: do you think that things have changed since the task and finish group undertook its work in 2013, and do you believe that there has been a change out on the chalkface as a result?
Dwi ddim yn meddwl bod yn fawr o newid wedi digwydd yn yr ysgolion uwchradd. Mae pawb yn mynd at yr hyn maen nhw'n gyfforddus efo fo, ac wedi arfer ei addysgu. Beth sydd wedi newid, wrth gwrs, ydy'r ymateb i'r peth newid sydd wedi bod yn y cymwysterau TGAU a lefel A, sydd yn golygu bod yn rhaid cyfarwyddo rhyw ychydig bach yn fwy ag agweddau o hanes Cymru. Ond, yn gyffredinol— diffyg tystiolaeth, i raddau, yn issue yn y fan yma, wrth reswm, ond, yn gyffredinol, o brofiad personol, mae'n anodd iawn i ni ddweud bod yna wedi bod newid mawr, wrth drafod efo pob math o athrawon ystafell ddosbarth.
I don't think there's been much change in secondary schools. Everyone tends to move towards what they're comfortable with and are used to teaching. What has changed, of course, is the response to the slight change that there has been in GCSE and A-level qualifications, which means that one has to become a little bit more familiar with certain aspects of Welsh history. But, generally speaking—a lack of evidence, to a certain extent, is an issue here, but, generally speaking, from personal experience, it's very difficult for me to say that there has been major change, and I do discuss this with many teachers in classrooms.
No, I don't think there's been a tremendous amount of change. I think some schools, particularly the new three to 16, and three to 19 schools, have started to look at their curriculum, and to try to align what they presently do, based on the resources they have, with their interpretation of Donaldson and how Donaldson will work once the consultation period has come to an end.
Teachers who have spoken to me, and then to NASUWT, have expressed concerns that, quite possibly, there could be a dilution of history as a single academic discipline, particularly as they are moving into a humanities-based curriculum, whereby they're trying to split curriculum time and availability of teachers and other resources in order to meet the needs of how they perceive the curriculum to be. Now, that worries me, and it worries NASUWT, because, obviously, it's going to have a long-term impact on the status of history and history teaching, particularly when you get into teaching post 14 at GCSE and advanced level. I've taught history for 30 years in various comprehensive schools, and I'm going to be biased, obviously, because we will push our subject and endeavour to make sure that what we are teaching is broad and balanced, with an emphasis, obviously, on Welsh and national history, and setting that in the context of European and international history.
But, yes, there has been change, to answer the question. Not a significant amount of change—I think schools are trying to hold on to what they currently do, based on their resources and so on, but they are very mindful that the status of history will change significantly, I think, in the short and long term.
Diolch. Mae fy nghwestiynau i yn ffocysu ar nawr, a bydd pobl yn dod at beth sydd yn mynd i ddilyn. Yn y cyd-destun hwnnw, dŷn ni wedi clywed gan Dr Elin Jones bod yna broblem o ran tystiolaeth. Fyddech chi'n credu y byddai cael adroddiad thematig gan Estyn ar beth sydd yn digwydd ar hyn o bryd yn helpu? Achos, os oes yna ddiffyg tystiolaeth nawr, beth sy'n mynd i ddigwydd wedyn o ran system sydd hyd yn oed yn fwy hyblyg? Fyddech chi'n cytuno y byddai rhywbeth fel yna yn helpu, neu, cyn i Donaldson ddod mewn, beth fyddech chi'n meddwl sydd angen ei newid, os o gwbl?
Thank you. Now my questions are going to focus on the present, and other Members will come on to what will ensue. But, in that context, we have heard from Dr Elin Jones that there is a problem in terms of evidence. Do you believe that having a thematic report from Estyn on what is currently happening would assist? Because, if there's a lack of evidence now, well, what will happen next, in terms of a system that is even more flexible? Would you agree that something such as that would assist us, or, before Donaldson comes in, what do you think needs to be changed, if anything?
Dwi'n meddwl buasai hi'n fuddiol i ni gael arolwg o'r fath. Yn amlwg, y peth olaf rydyn ni ei eisiau ydy rhoi pwysau gwaith ychwanegol ar athrawon—mae'n rhaid i ni bwysleisio hynny. Ond mae hi'n anodd iawn i ni feddwl am y dyfodol heb i ni fod yn ymwybodol o lle rydyn ni'n sefyll yn awr. Mae hefyd yn anodd iawn i gynllunio tuag at y dyfodol oni bai ein bod ni'n ymwybodol o sut y bydd Estyn yn arolygu'r cwricwlwm newydd yma. Felly, mae hynny yn bryder. Dwi'n gwybod eich bod chi wedi trafod eisoes am orfodi rhai digwyddiadau hanesyddol i'r cwricwlwm. Ond oherwydd bod—mae yna elfen o ddewis yn digwydd ar hyn o bryd, ac mae'n hawdd iawn, onid ydy, i unrhyw ysgol ddweud, 'O, rydyn ni'n gwneud hyn ar hanes Cymru. O, rydyn ni'n defnyddio'r enghraifft yma'. Mi fyddai arolwg thematig yn fuddiol, ond dwi ddim yn gweld faint o wybodaeth gawn ni o hynny chwaith. Mae angen i unrhyw gydnabyddiaeth o'r hyn sy'n digwydd fod yn rhywbeth sydd yn cael ei feddwl amdano yn y tymor hir, ac yn y cynllunio o flaen llaw—a chynllunio at gymwysterau, yn sicr. Felly, buaswn i'n croesawu unrhyw beth fuasai'n ein harfogi ni i ni gael deall beth ydy'r sefyllfa ar hyn o bryd, ond mae'n rhaid inni gynllunio er mwyn gweithredu, ac mae hynny'n bwysicach, o bosib.
I think it would be beneficial to have such a thematic review. Clearly, I don't want to place additional pressures on teachers—we need to emphasise that. But it is very difficult for us to look to the future without knowing where we currently stand. And it's very difficult to plan for the future unless we know how Estyn will inspect this new curriculum. So, that is a concern. I know that you've already discussed requiring certain historic events to be covered in the curriculum. But there is an element of choice at the moment, and it's very easy for any school to say, 'Well, we're doing this on Welsh history, and we're using this particular example'. But a thematic review would be beneficial. But I don't know how much information we'd glean from that, if truth be told, because any acknowledgement of what's happening now needs to be looked at in the long term and in forward planning—and planning towards qualifications, most certainly. So, I would welcome anything that would enable us to understand what the current picture looks like, but we must plan in order to implement the new curriculum, and that may be more important.
I agree. Obviously, as historians, we are very much evidence based, and I think it has been very difficult to determine what's being done now, what needs to be done in future, without having that professional survey, if you like. So, whether Estyn does it, or another body, I think it's imperative that we look at where we are at this present time in order to facilitate planning and forward thinking on this. I also agree with Ioan in terms of the pressures being placed on teachers. I know we've had the pioneer schools, whereby the expectation was that time and various other resources would be put in place to ensure that schools were being prepared on a sort of hub basis, to prepare for the new curriculum. And yet not a lot of co-ordination has been done there. And I think what we are seeing in various schools—particularly the new schools—is that there's an anticipatory approach, and clearly there's got to be a consolidation of what's being done in order to bring everybody together and work within a framework. So, yes, I think a survey of where we are at the moment and what's needed in terms of resources and the expected results is essential. It takes me back 30 years to when the national curriculum came in, and we had huge amounts of documentation, which was simply unworkable. And then schools were endeavouring to do their best in order to interpret what was in front of them. And I hope that we're not going to be put in a position where that burden is placed on the workforce, and on school management, in order to implement this curriculum.
Ocê. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Symud ymlaen at y cwricwlwm newydd, er ein bod ni wedi dechrau trafod hynny. John Griffiths.
Okay. Thank you very much. We'll move on to the new curriculum, although we've started discussing that already. John Griffiths.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. I wanted to ask about the place of history, and specifically Welsh history and the Welsh perspective, within that humanities area of learning and experience. Mark, you've already expressed concerns quite generally. What do you think should be the position?
Well, I've tried to prepare for this—I've obviously read the statutory documentation and so on, and I've tried to dovetail that into my own experience. There should be significant opportunities to enhance Welsh history and culture in schools from a Welsh perspective, obviously. But, in order for that to happen, there have to be certain guarantees. History as a specialist subject and discipline needs to be respected and its future guaranteed. I think—the issue for me is the specific place of history within the context of teaching humanities. When I started teaching, and, in fact, when I trained as a teacher, I was qualified as a history teacher and a teacher of integrated humanities. That was an experiment that lasted a couple of years in England, where I began teaching. And then, when I began teaching in the school in the Rhondda, it's something that lasted for a short while, then became unworkable. So, we need to make sure that history is valued as a specialised subject.
We also need to ensure that specialist teaching will be retained and to dispel the myth that we're all teachers of history, and that all humanities teachers can teach history equally well. That may well be the case, but they will need to be trained and resourced to do that. And we need to ensure that curriculums based around the areas of learning afford sufficient time and facility to deliver history on a cross-cutting basis, and there need to be strong interdisciplinary links between the humanities subjects. And, more importantly, we need to have suitable resources and continuous professional development. So, yes, there will be opportunities for Welsh history and culture to be taught from a Welsh perspective, but, again, that needs to be very, very carefully planned, and, again, I think it’s a case of valuing history as a subject and valuing the expertise of those who deliver it to get the best out of the children.
Ioan, ydych chi eisiau gwneud sylw?
Ioan, did you want to make a comment?
Wel, hynny ydy, mi fuaswn i'n cytuno 100 y cant fod yna bryder mawr ymysg athrawon hanes bod crefft yr hanesydd yn mynd i fynd i ddifancoll, felly—nad ydyn ni am fedru datblygu'r sgiliau sydd yn allweddol i unrhyw un sydd â diddordeb mewn hanes i ddeall y gorffennol ym mha bynnag modd. Mae yna bryder mawr nad ydyn ni'n gwybod beth ydy pendraw'r disgwyliadau cymwysterau. Mae hynny'n codi dro ar tro ym mhob sgwrs â phob athro, yn enwedig rhai uwchradd. Mae athrawon cynradd yn gyffredinol yn dawel hyderus—fel rydych yn ymwybodol, mae'n siŵr—y bydd popeth yn cael ei roi yn ei le a bod gofynion y ddogfen 96 tudalen yn cyd-fynd yn o lew â'r hyn y maen nhw'n ei wneud eisoes mewn ysgolion cynradd, ond mae 96 tudalen o bethau—96 tudalen dwys â disgwyliadau amlwg yn y gwahanol sgiliau. Mae yna berig mawr bod hanes yn mynd i gael ei golli'n gyffredinol, ond yn sicr mae'r cyfle yna a rydyn ni'n hapus iawn fel undeb bod y pwyslais ar y lleol, ar Gymru ac ar y byd ehangach a'r pwysigrwydd o gynefin. Mae ein haelodau ni'n hapus iawn o weld hynny'n ganolig i'r cwricwlwm newydd.
Well, I would agree 100 per cent that there is great concern among history teachers that the craft of the historian is going to be lost—that we're not going to be able to develop those skills that are crucial to anyone who is interested in history and understanding the past in whatever way. There is huge concern that we don't know what the end point is in terms of qualifications, and that arises in all conversations, particularly among secondary school teachers. Primary school teachers are quietly confident that everything will be put in place and that the requirements of that 96-page document correspond to what they’re already doing in primary schools, but 96 pages that set out clear expectations in the different skills expected to be taught—. There is a huge risk that history will become lost in that melee, but certainly the opportunity is there and we are content as a union that the emphasis should be on the local, the Welsh and the global, and the importance of cynefin is something that our members warmly welcome as being central in the curriculum.
I'm glad you came on, Rhys, to that sort of local, Welsh, British and international aspect. Is there anything more you'd like to say about how that should be taken forward in the new curriculum—you know, the opportunities that the new ways of working will bring?
In many ways, I don't think we should be concerned at all. The opportunity is going to be there at a local level and working out from the locality, from the cynefin, and forward. The vast majority of history teachers already do that effectively, and what they miss out on perhaps is that Welsh perspective, the place of Wales in the history of that individual—it often goes straight to the great political discussions of Britain and great political and religious discussions in Europe. What we need to do is bring it back and make it relevant from the perspective of the individual pupil and the individual teacher. Of course, that is something that might well need to come from not a retraining of teachers as such, because they are trained as history teachers, but they need to be given the opportunity to investigate and collate all the information that's needed in order to present a coherent history to the individual students.
But something I've emphasised in my written representation is that we need to look at qualifications. What most history teachers do in secondary schools is gear those pupils up to achieve the best possible results at GCSE. Now, I'm personally very much of the opinion that we need to change the GCSE wholesale. Yes, it will mean a lot of work, a lot of added pressures. However, I'm not sure if it's fit for purpose as it is at the moment, and definitely I don't think it's fit for purpose for the new curriculum. But also we have a GCSE, and A-level, at the moment where tokenism is a major issue. I have some information regarding how those specifications were put together, and it's a matter of, 'Oh well, let's see where can stick Welsh history in here. Where are the Welsh examples we can provide?'
We need to change our outlook, our viewpoint. So, we need to look at, for example, what happens in Scotland with the Highers where they have two exam papers; one is based on Scottish history and one is based on the wider world, with very important aspects of Scottish history as part of that exam paper. They also, of course, have an assignment, which means that we're looking at it from a different perspective. Now, I don't want to see a situation where we say, 'We have to look at that event'—a prescribed list is not the way forward—but we need to make sure that our students are ready and able to cope with the qualifications, which should be changed, and we need to make sure as well that the teachers are provided with ample opportunity to develop the resources to go along with that. And that is what our focus needs to be.
Now, I know this isn't what this curriculum is all about. It's about developing the importance of the local and developing local—. I don't mean local history or geography, but local answers to the curriculum. The major concern of specialist teachers, be they history teachers or, perhaps, geography teachers, is that we don't know what teachers are going to be held accountable for. At the moment, we've got a system where accountability is all based on GCSE results—and yes, we can look at value-added, but GCSE results, and if those GCSE results aren't where they should be, then there is a major issue with (a) that department and (b) that school. We need to make sure that teachers are aware what the path is and, at the end of that path, we need to make sure that Welsh history is examined correctly.
Okay. Diolch yn fawr. Is there anything you would add to that, Mark, or—?
I agree wholeheartedly with what my colleague says. But I would like to also make the point that Welsh history is firmly embedded in schools in Wales, and particularly in key stage 3 and certainly in key stages through the primary level. When we've planned curriculums and drawn up schemes of learning, there's been a significant emphasis on the teaching of Welsh history and making sure that topics are carefully chosen to enthuse children at particular stages of their education. So, for example, with year 9, towards the end of key stage 3, we are very mindful of recruitment and setting down the foundations in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills. So, we will select topics from a Welsh dimension in order to allow those children to access their local history and make national and international links. So, for example, you'd be looking at popular protests, the Merthyr rising, Chartism and so on. You'd be looking at the development of industrialisation and the consequences of that. And looking at it from a humanities perspective, I think that provides very, very strong opportunities for a cross-curricular approach to studying humanities, and history has a key role in that.
But I will reiterate the point made just now that it is essential that we don't lose our way, if you like, in terms of the skills and the concepts and the training up of our children, our students, in order to meet the needs of GCSE and A-level, to maintain that singular status, if you like, of history moving forward. My feeling is—and, again, I think this has leaked a little bit from the WJEC—that quite possibly with GCSE there's going to be a move towards humanities anyway, so perhaps the two will dovetail. But, that is a concern, and I think we seriously need to make sure that we don't lose our way with history as a subject, where the children in school can sometimes become bored with it and it loses value.
Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mae amser yn weddol brin. Os dŷn ni'n gallu cael atebion byrrach, byddai hynny'n grêt, plîs. Dai Lloyd.
Thank you very much. Time is quite short, so if we could have shorter answers, that would be wonderful. Dai Lloyd.
Diolch, Gadeirydd. Yn naturiol, mae hanes Cymru yn gallu bod yn bwnc llosg. Bob tro dŷn ni'n cael trafodaeth yn y Siambr yna, dŷn ni'n cael teimladau cryf, sydd wrth gwrs yn cael eu hadlewyrchu yn y diddordeb yn y pwnc yma. Dyna pam mae'r pwyllgor yma yn cynnal yr archwiliad yma, achos mae'r cyhoedd yn fanna eisiau i ni gynnal ymchwiliad achos mae yna ganfyddiad allan fanna nad ydym ni efallai yn dysgu hanes Cymru i'r fath raddau ag y dylem ni.
Wrth gwrs—un cwestiwn fydd hwn—mae yna fersiynau o hanes, yn naturiol, ac wrth gwrs mae yna ragfarnau o bob ochr. Fel y gwnaeth Carwyn awgrymu mewn cwestiwn blaenorol i'r tyst cynt, mae'n dibynnu ar ba ochr i hanes dŷch chi'n cwympo a phwy sy'n ysgrifennu'r hanes hynny, wrth gwrs, achos mae hanes, fel y cyfryw, yn tueddu i gael ei ysgrifennu gan y sawl sydd yn ennill, nid gan y sawl sydd yn colli. Felly, mae dehongli hanner mor bwysig.
Rwy'n cymryd y pwynt sylfaenol bod pwysigrwydd hanes yn ganolog, ond o fewn hynny, sut dŷch chi'n gwneud yn siŵr bod hanes Cymru—. Achos bob tro dwi'n mynd ymlaen yn fanna ynglŷn â dyddiadau penodol yn ein hanes—fel 909, 1136, 1282, 1400, ac ati—mae pobl wastad ar-lein yn dweud, 'Duw, Dai, I never knew that'. So, mae'n dibynnu pa hanes o Gymru sy'n cael ei ddysgu yn ein hysgolion ni, ac, o fewn cyd destun y cwricwlwm newydd a'r hyblygrwydd, ydych chi'n gweld unrhyw heriau yn fanna?
Thank you, Chair. Of course, Welsh history can be quite a contentious issue. Every time we have a debate in the Chamber, strongly held feelings are expressed, which are also reflected in the interest in this subject. That's why this committee is undertaking this inquiry. The public out there want us to look into this because there is a perception out there that we don't perhaps teach Welsh history to the extent that we should.
Of course—this will be one question—there are versions of history, and there are prejudices on all sides. As Carwyn suggested in previous questions to the previous witness, it depends on what side of history you fall and who writes that history, of course, because, on the whole, history tends to be written by the victors and not by the losers. So, interpretation is just as important.
I do take the fundamental point that you made about the importance of history being at the core of this, but, within that context, how do you ensure that Welsh history—. Because every time I raise specific dates in our history—such as 909, 1136, 1282, 1400, et cetera—people always comment online by saying, 'Gosh, Dai, I never knew that'. So, it all depends on what aspect of Welsh history is being taught in our schools, and, within the context of the new curriculum and the flexibility, do you see any challenges arising?
Ydy, mae dehongliadau yn broblem fawr. Y peth olaf dŷn ni eisiau ydy rhoi rhestr prescriptive yn dweud, 'Mae'n rhaid i chi astudio'r rhain.' Dwi yn ymwybodol, er enghraifft, y gwnaeth y DfE, pan oedden nhw'n newid lefel A gwleidyddiaeth, fynnu eu bod nhw'n sôn am bob math o ddigwyddiadau hanesyddol Prydeinig. Wrth edrych ar y fanyleb yng Nghymru, ro'n i'r wrthun iawn i orfod trafod Cabinet Churchill fel enghraifft o Gabinet, achos roedd hynna wedi digwydd 70 mlynedd yn ôl.
Mae pethau fel yna yn wirion, onid ydyn, ond y gwirionedd ydy y byddwn i'n disgwyl bod angen i bob athro esbonio ac addysgu'r plant fod yna rai digwyddiadau yn allweddol. Ond wrth gwrs, dŷch chi wedi trafod eisoes, rwy'n ymwybodol, bod 1282 o bosib ond yn benodol i dri chwarter Cymru. Mae'n bosib nad yw o'n bwysig yn yr ardal yma. Mae 1400 o bosib yn bwysicach yn gyffredinol. Ond, dwi'n meddwl ei fod o'n allweddol bwysig ein bod ni'n rhoi ymwybyddiaeth o'r gwahanol ddehongliadau o hanes, ac yn amlwg mae hynny'n amrywio o ysgol i ysgol. Yn anffodus—dwi'n falch fod y profiad yn y Cymoedd yn wahanol iawn i'r gogledd-ddwyrain—dwi'n ymwybodol iawn, wrth drafod efo cydweithwyr, o'r anwybyddu elfennau helaeth o hanes Cymru sy'n digwydd ar hyn o bryd, a dwi'n meddwl mai dyna beth fydd yn digwydd.
Wrth gwrs, mae'n bwysig pwysleisio hefyd fod yna wahaniaeth rhwng hanes Cymru a stori Cymru. Felly, mae hynny'n allweddol. Allwn ni ddim dysgu stori Cymru heb gyfeirio at ddyddiadau. Wrth gwrs, dŷch chi wedi derbyn tystiolaeth sy'n sôn bod myfyrwyr yn dysgu mwy drwy eu gwersi Cymraeg na'u gwersi hanes. Mae'n bosib bod hynny'n rhan o'r rheswm bod stori Cymru yn allweddol ar draws y cwricwlwm.
Yes, interpretation can be a huge problem, of course. The last thing we want to do is to provide a prescriptive list saying, 'These things must be studied.' I am aware that the DfE, when they changed the politics A-level, insisted that they cover all sorts of British historical events. Looking at the specification in Wales, I was loathe to having to discuss the Churchill Cabinet as an example of a Cabinet, because that happened 70 years ago.
Those kind of things are absurd, aren't they? The reality is that I would expect every teacher to explain and to teach children that there are certain key events. You've already discussed 1282, which would perhaps only be relevant in three quarters of Wales. It may not be as relevant in this area. The year 1400 may be more generally important. But, I do think it's crucially important that we do provide an awareness of these various interpretations of history, and clearly that will vary from school to school. Unfortunately—I'm pleased that the experience in the Valleys is very different to the experience in the north-east—I am very aware, from discussions with colleagues, that large elements of Welsh history are being ignored at the moment, and I fear that that will continue.
Of course, it's important there's a difference between Welsh history and the story of Wales. That is another key issue, I think. We can't teach the story of Wales without referring to specific dates. You have received evidence that says that students learn more through their Welsh lessons than their history lessons. That may be part of the reason why the story of Wales is important across the curriculum.
Yn glou, dŷch chi'n dweud 'anwybyddu'. Mae athrawon yn gweld eu bod nhw'n gallu, ac maen nhw'n dweud, 'Na, dwi jest ddim eisiau gwneud hynny'. Beth yw'ch dehongliad chi o 'anwybyddu'?
Very quickly, you said 'ignored' there. Teachers see this, and they take it, but they say, 'No, I don't want to do it'. What is your interpretation of 'ignoring'?
Dehongliad anecdotaidd, oherwydd y diffyg tystiolaeth yma—hynny ydy, 'O, ie, mi wnawn ni roi ambell enghraifft leol o Wrecsam—grêt—ond wedyn addysgu diwydiannu o bersbectif cwbl Brydeinig'. Enghreifftiau lleol yn aml, ond dim trafod o gwbl yr hyn wnaeth ddigwydd yn y de-ddwyrain a oedd yn gyrru'r holl injan ddiwydiannol. Mae'n haws iddyn nhw wneud hynny, oherwydd dyw'r enghreifftiau ddim yn y testunau sy'n cael eu printio yn Lloegr. Mae yna duedd ymysg pob athro, hanes yn enwedig, i fod eisiau tynnu'r adnoddau oddi ar y silff. Wrth gwrs, mae'n bosibl mai mater o amser a phwysau gwaith ydy hynny hefyd.
Well, it's anecdotal because of the lack of evidence, but it's, 'Well, we'll provide a few local examples from Wrexham—yes, fine, all well and good—but we'll teach industrialisation on an entirely British basis'. There'll be local examples, yes, but there'll be no discussion about what happened in the south-east, which drove the whole process of industrialisation. It's easier for them to do that, because the examples aren't in the textbooks that are printed in England. There is a tendency among all teachers, particularly history teachers, to take the resources from the shelf. Of course, that's an issue of time constraints and pressures of work too.
Iawn, diolch. Symudwn ni ymlaen i Carwyn Jones, felly.
Thank you. We'll move on to Carwyn Jones.
Diolch, Gadeirydd. Can I say, first of all, how disappointed I am to hear two historians who are yet to disagree? [Laughter.] But, based on what you've been saying, I have to say that, for me, one of the issues that we have to look at very carefully is the issue of flexibility. I think it is right that you need to trust teachers to be flexible, but there has to be guidance. People have to operate within a structure—that much is true.
There are different versions of history, and it's absolutely right that students should be exposed to different versions of history. There are some who would argue that Cromwell was a proto-democrat and fought against royal absolutism. There are others who would say that he was a military dictator. If you go to Ireland, you get a very different view of Cromwell. But it's important that those are taught.
How can we ensure that that happens? Flexibility is important—that's true. You've already said that there are no 'must-haves', in terms of what should be taught as part of any history curriculum, but how do we get the balance right between being too flexible on the one hand and being flexible enough to make sure that students get a good grounding in all history, not just Welsh history, and that we achieve a level of consistency across Wales?
That is the big question, obviously, and that's why you're asking it, I'm sure. I think it's going to be very, very difficult. Guidelines need to be given, and that will go against the spirit of the new curriculum. That is a must. Unfortunately, whether we need an inspection regime or not is another question, but, if we do have one, it means that inspectors should be asked to ensure that all aspects of history are taught.
Because of the depth and breadth of the humanities document, we have got a big issue in that respect. I would personally like to see the requirement of qualifications being made clear from an early stage in order to allow teachers to prepare. They are governed, time and time again, by the requirement of qualifications. Now, whether that should be the case or not—and let's hope there's going to be a big change—that is something that concerns teachers greatly.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether there is an easy mechanism to put in place to ensure that Welsh history is taught in the correct manner—not in the correct manner, but effectively. It has to be a national project, as it were—it has to be something that is done on a national level and that time is invested, and that we make sure that we come to it from the perspective of a national acceptance that this is what's going to happen. Yes, it's going to cause more work for historians. Changing the nature of the curriculum is one thing; changing what is expected of them to teach adds to that workload. But it has to come from a perspective of a civic duty and civic pride. Sorry, I don't think that there is an easy answer to that.
Well, I think there's got to be an element of prescription. On the other hand, if we turn the tables back to the classroom and to the specialists, and we reinforce the need to have specialist teachers, even within a humanities setting, you'll find there that the more experienced specialist teachers are going to know what to teach and what the emphasis should be on. So, yes, there has to be an element of prescription. But we also need to be very mindful that, as important as Welsh history is—and that's the point of this meeting—we mustn't narrow the teaching of history to solely Welsh examples as well, because we must also link Welsh history to the national context and to the international context.
I can come in to dispute that, if you'd like. Obviously, I don't think that teaching Welsh history curtails the aspects of other things. Welsh history is reflected in the world around us, and world history is reflected in Wales. It's just a matter of—. We also see 'national' different, as I'm sure you are quite aware.
Yes. There we are. That's not for today.
Gaf i ofyn—? Gofynnaf i'r cwestiyn yma yn Gymraeg.
Can I ask—? I'll ask this question in Welsh.
I'll ask this question in Welsh, Mark, okay?
Un o'r pethau a wnaethom ni ei drafod yn gynharach gydag un tyst oedd hyn: a ddylem ni fynd yn ôl i sefyllfa lle'r oedd yna gwestiwn gorfodol ar y papur—roedd un yn lefel A, er enghraifft—er mwyn sicrhau bod hanes Cymru yn cael ei ddysgu mewn ysgolion? A'r ateb oedd—a dwi'n credu roedd e'n ateb teg i'w ddweud—mae yna risg y byddai hanes Cymru'n cael ei ynysu, mewn ffordd. Ac, wrth gwrs, pwynt Mark yw bod hanes yn gwau gyda'i gilydd. Does dim modd astudio hanes Cymru heb edrych ar y cyd-destun sy'n Brydeinig, Ewropeaidd ac, wrth gwrs, yn fyd-eang, a dwi'n deall hynny.
Un o'r pwyntiau wnaeth Mark yn enwedig ei bwysleisio oedd bod yn rhaid sicrhau bod sgiliau'r hanesydd ddim yn cael eu colli tu mewn i ddysgu dyniaethau. Wrth gwrs, mae yna ddadl i ddweud, pan mae disgyblion yn arbenigo mewn rhywbeth, y dylai hynny fod yn rhywbeth maen nhw’n ei wneud pan maen nhw'n mynd yn henach. Er enghraifft, ym Mhrifysgol Cymru pan oeddwn i ym Mhrifysgol Cymru, oes oedd rhywun yn astudio hanes, roedden nhw'n gorfod gwneud dau bwnc arall hefyd yn y flwyddyn gyntaf. Felly, doedden nhw ddim yn canolbwyntio ar hanes yn gyfan gwbl nes yr ail flwyddyn. So, oes yna fodd, felly, i sgwario'r cylch yna, i ddweud, 'Ocê, rŷm ni'n moyn sicrhau bod y dyniaethau’n cael eu dysgu ar sylfaen eang ar y dechrau yn yr ysgol, ac wedyn yn arbenigo pan mae plant yn mynd bach yn henach'? Wedyn, wrth gwrs, mae'n bwysig cael pobl sydd â sgiliau hanfodol o ran hanes a Saesneg a phob pwnc. So, ydy hynny'n rhywbeth—yn rhyw fath o ffrwd allai gael ei ddatblygu yn y pen draw?
One of the things that we did discuss earlier with the previous witness was this point: should we return to a situation where there was a compulsory question—on the A-level paper, for example—to ensure that Welsh history is taught in schools? And the response—and this was a fair response—was to say that there's a risk that Welsh history would be isolated, in a way. And Mark made the point that history interweaves and interacts. You can't consider Welsh history without looking at the British, European and international context, and I do understand that point.
But one of the points that Mark particularly emphasised was that it's necessary to ensure that the skills of the historian are not lost within the teaching of humanities. Now, there is an argument that, when pupils specialise in something, that should be something that they should do as they grow older. For example, in the University of Wales when I was a student there, if one studied history, you had to do two other subjects in the first year. So, you weren't focusing on history entirely until you reached the second year. So, is there a way, therefore, to square that circle, as it were, to say, 'Well, we do want to ensure that the humanities are taught on a broad basis at the beginning of school, and then you can specialise as children get a little older'? And then, of course, it is important to have people who have the required skills in terms of history and, indeed, all other subjects. So, is that some sort of stream that could be ultimately developed?
Dwi'n cytuno 100 y cant, a'r gwirionedd ydy dydym ni ddim cweit yn siŵr beth mae Cymwysterau Cymru yn golygu ei wneud o ran arbenigo. Does gen i ddim problem o gwbl, yn bersonol, ein bod ni'n edrych ar hanes ym mlwyddyn 7 ac 8 ar lefel dyniaethau. Maen nhw yn gwau. Ac rydym ni wedi sôn am astudiaethau bro eisoes, mewn ffordd, mewn sawl ysgol yng Nghymru, ond mae yna ambell un sy'n parhau i ddysgu astudiaethau bro, a hynny'n hynod, hynod effeithiol. Mae yna fodd datblygu'r elfen yna, ond mae'n allweddol bwysig bod gennym ni arbenigwyr—mewn hanes, daearyddiaeth, astudiaethau crefyddol—sydd am ganiatáu datblygu'r sgiliau yna.
Mae'n bryder mawr i ni yn ogystal bod yr ysgolion tair oed i 18 oed yma, a tair i 16, yn rhuthro i apwyntio arweinwyr maes dysgu â phrofiad dyniaethau. Ac mae yna un coleg hyfforddi athrawon ar hyn o bryd yn golygu cael gwared â phob elfen o hanes a daearyddiaeth a chael un arbenigwr astudiaethau crefyddol, er mwyn darparu addysg gychwynnol athrawon i blant 3 i 18. Felly, buasai hynny'n drychinebus. Ond mae'n ddigon hawdd, fel dwi'n ei gweld hi, bod modd trosglwyddo o'r agweddau hanes bro, Cymru, datblygiad diwydiannu hefo pob math o elfennau sy'n dod i mewn, ac wedyn symud ymlaen i bwysleisio’r sgiliau hanesyddol allweddol yna tuag at y 14 oed yna. Ond mae angen inni fod yn gwbl glir beth ydy'r cymhwyster, a bod yna orfodaeth i sicrhau bod yna athrawon hanes ym mhob ysgol.
I agree 100 per cent, and the reality is that we're not quite sure what Qualifications Wales intend to do in terms of specialisation. I have no problem whatsoever, personally, that we look at history in years 7 and 8 from a humanities perspective. Because they do interweave. And we've mentioned the study of localities across Wales, and that is done exceptionally effectively. It is possible to develop those elements, but it's crucially important that we do have specialists—in history, religious studies, geography—that will allow the development of those skills.
It is a great concern to us that these three-to-16 schools, or three-to-18 schools, are rushing to appoint leaders in the humanities area of learning experience. There is one teacher training college at the moment that intends to scrap all elements of geography and history and have one religious education expert, in order to provide initial teacher training, and they'll be teaching children from three through to 18. That would be disastrous. But it is quite easy, as I see it, to transfer over from those aspects of one's locality, industrial development, and all sorts of other aspects coming into this, and then to move to emphasise those key historic skills towards maybe 14 years of age. But we do need to be entirely clear what the qualification is, and that there is a requirement to ensure that you have history teachers in all schools.
Mark, you mentioned pioneer schools and I was going to ask you whether there's any good practice that both of you, actually, have noticed from the pioneer schools. And can I just add a little bit to that? We've mentioned local studies and local history; it's very difficult to examine local history, because of course it's different across Wales. You can make it a project-based way of assessing students. But how have those pioneer schools managed to adapt or develop the teaching of history as pioneer schools, and particularly, perhaps, the emphasis on what they've done in terms of local history?
Succinctly. Okay, I will. I'm sure there has been some excellent practice. I won't name schools—it's not the correct forum for that—but I've got a couple of schools in mind in the Swansea area that have got very well developed curriculums, and they are managing the humanities element very well. And history appears to be pretty much embedded in that—without contradicting myself. But, again, the concerns expressed there would be: will that humanities approach prepare the students sufficiently for what happens at GCSE and A-level? And in terms of the curriculum, I couldn't answer that question because I haven't actually seen the curriculum designs and so on, but based on what's presently happening in schools across Wales, there is a significant emphasis on local history—again, with experienced and committed historians. And the WJEC and Welsh Government have encouraged a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of history anyway. Certainly, I've taught a tremendous amount of local history for a number of years, and I see that as a right of passage, for myself and the children.
Mae gennym ni enghreifftiau, yn amlwg. Mae gennym ni sefyllfa—. Gallaf i enwi un prosiect sy'n digwydd ar hyn o bryd. Mae yna ysgol yn y de-ddwyrain yma gydag aelod UCAC yn bennaeth adran yn cydweithio efo ysgol yn y gogledd-orllewin. Ac mae yna ddisgwyl i'r disgyblion ddatblygu adnoddau ar eu hanes lleol nhw ac wedyn cyflwyno agweddau o'r hanes glofaol i'r rhai yn yr ardal llechi, a'r ardal llechi yn cyflwyno i'r de-ddwyrain hefyd. Ac mae hynny yn fodd o gwmpasu'r lleol a'r cenedlaethol mewn ffordd hynod, hynod effeithiol.
Dwi'n cytuno hefyd â'r hyn rydych chi'n ei ddweud o ran yr agwedd leol, y syniadau lleol. Ond beth sydd gennym ni, wrth gwrs, yw toreth o adnoddau gan CBAC eisoes. O ran gwaith cwrs hanes, mae yna adnoddau ar streic y Penrhyn, Beca, Merthyr, Tryweryn, ac mae yna fodd inni ddatblygu aseiniadau o fewn cymwysterau sy'n cyd-fynd â'r ddogfennaeth barod yna sydd gennym ni eisoes. Wrth gwrs—
Well, we do have examples, obviously. We have a situation—. I can name one project that's going on presently. There's one school here in south-east Wales, where an UCAC member is the head of the department, and it's collaborating with a school in north-west Wales. The pupils are expected to develop resources on their own local history and then to present aspects of the coal mining history to children from the slate region, and the children from the slate region will make a similar presentation to the children of south-east Wales. And then that is a means of bringing together the local and the national in a very effective manner.
I also agree with what you're saying in terms of the local aspect and local studies. But what we do have are plenty of resources that are available from the WJEC. For history course work, there are resources on the Penrhyn strike, the Rebecca Riots, Merthyr, Tryweryn, and then we can develop, within qualifications, work that ties in with that documentation that we already have. Of course—
Ocê. Sori, rydym ni'n colli amser. Felly, er mor ddiddorol yw hyn, dŷn ni'n mynd i orffen y cwestiynau nawr gyda David Melding, os yw hynny'n iawn, yn y munudau sydd gennym ni ar ôl.
Okay. Thank you. We are losing time. Although this is interesting, I think we're going to have to conclude our questions with David Melding, now, if that's all right, in the few minutes we have left.
I think British historiography shifted in the 1970s to see the geographical space that perhaps we'll call Great Britain and Ireland as the history of four nations and then the development of Britain as well. My own view is that we should see Britain as a nation, as well as the four nations, because I think there are—
—in the creation of political bonds that are coherent, you inevitably generate a national feeling. But that was a big shift. And you see it in the great classics of history that have been written—and politics, indeed. But I wonder, are we, in our schools, teaching Welsh history as Welsh history, or is it often taught as examples of British history that occurred in Wales? And, in terms of our teachers being equipped to, I think, see the world more historically coherent in terms of this shift to the four nations as well as Britain, how do we prepare teachers for that, especially, perhaps, those who are moving in and may not even have studied Welsh history? If you're from the south-east of England, you could have done a Master's degree and perhaps never actually studied in any depth a period of Welsh history. So how do we deal with this? Or are we dealing with it?
Well, again, I take on board what you're saying, but from my own experience—. During my career, there's been a significant emphasis on teaching Welsh history from a Welsh perspective, and at A-level, at GCSE and key stage 3, I've been happy, really, with what's being delivered and the levels of knowledge and understanding. But I will emphasise again that we can't isolate Welsh history from the national context and the international context. Because what I've been very mindful of over the years—and hopefully, this will aid planning in terms of the new curriculum—is that, as a nation, we mustn't look inwards, we mustn't keep looking at the past. Because Wales has gone through a tremendous amount of change. I'm from Tonyrefail and I'm very mindful of my family and what my family have gone through and the adverse conditions they lived in as coal miners in the past. But we've got to teach hope as well, and I think any informed curriculum planning has got to focus on the past and the Welsh identity, but that the children realise that that's given us a tremendous foundation on which to build, moving forward. And perhaps that's where humanities will come into it, because it allows us to broaden our perspective and to look at links with other nations and, again, look at that international context.
Rightly or wrongly, we're stepping into a situation where those who will have been taught to teach in England will not be able to do so in Wales, and there has to be a realisation and an understanding that that is the case. Our curriculum has been quite different to England in many ways for a number of years. These changes now mean that we are going to make the pot smaller, unless there is going to be an investment in training those who come into the country as teachers of the Welsh curriculum. And I'm not talking about aspects of history here, because in many ways, all historians will be quite happy to jump into various aspects of history and discuss the various interpretations. But we are coming to a crunch period in education in Wales, in as much as if you want to teach in Wales, you will have to be trained in Wales, and perhaps the partnership that goes across the border as far as teacher training is concerned is going to come unstuck in that respect as well. So, that is our major issue. Some will be happy with that, some will be unhappy with that, obviously.
Yes. There's a whole range of questions I'd like to ask, but I think that, probably, was the essential one I wanted to reflect on, which is just how we place Welsh history. I understand what you say in terms of where it is in the British isles. Because it amazes me; I went to the National Museum of Scotland five or six years ago and asked, 'Where are your exhibits and material on the kingdom of Strathclyde?' to which I had a completely blank look. And there's a real issue, isn't there, about the understanding of Welsh history and culture in the other countries of the United Kingdom. And, to some extent, we also have a fairly poor understanding of Scottish history and English history as an entity as well, and then we tend to look at all that as part of the British story, to some extent anyway, and that may be what we need to challenge.
But that's something for the universities to look at as well, in terms of how, in any way Britain may be going—and it's in a period of profound change—these things need to be looked at. You can't understand devolution unless you have a concept of the four nations. You could look at devolution as decentralisation similar to a process that would've occurred in Australia or Canada—or Canada apart from Quebec—and see it's just a rational reordering of how you do government, less centrally and you allow provincial governments to develop. It's actually inadequate to look at what's happened to devolution, and the reason it's been so unpredictable and strong a force is that we devolve to national units and they already had a great entity. So, I think the way people cope and understand and then vote and choose possible futures has got to be determined by a very deep historical understanding, and I think that we face a lot of challenges there. I've not asked a question; I've made a statement. [Laughter.]
Yes, I was noting that. Did you have anything quickly you wanted to say to that? We are running very short on time.
Literally quickly—I'm not going to ask for an answer, okay—I wonder if you could write to us, because I think an important point has been raised there on the transferability of skills in terms of teaching in Wales. My assumption was, well, if you are a historian, you can adapt to where you are teaching history. If you're a medic, people will say, well, medicine is the same all over the world, but, in reality, if Dai was going to practice in Uganda, he'd find malaria was the biggest problem that he was facing, which he wouldn't have in Cockett, so—.
Well, not to the same extent, perhaps. If there was adaptation in there—I wonder if we could have something in writing on that, just to—. We haven't got time to do it now.
On the transferability of skills of teachers, as opposed to historians.
Ie, unrhyw beth ychwanegol sydd gyda chi i'w rannu gyda ni dŷn ni ddim wedi cael amser oherwydd tyndra—plîs ysgrifennwch atom ni os oes mwy o wybodaeth gyda chi dŷn ni ddim wedi gallu ei thrafod yma heddiw, yn enwedig os ydych chi'n mynd i roi rhywbeth i mewn i'r Llywodraeth ynglŷn â'r newidiadau yn y cwricwlwm yn ychwanegol i'r hyn dŷch chi wedi ei ddweud heddiw. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod mewn atom, a diolch am eich cyfraniad.
Yes, if there's anything additional that you'd like to share with us that we haven't had time to cover because of the tightness of the time—please do write to us if there is additional information that we haven't been able to discuss here today, particularly if you will be submitting something to the Government about the curriculum changes in addition to what you've stated today. But I'd like to thank you very much for coming in and giving us your contribution this morning.
Diolch yn fawr.
Dŷn ni'n mynd i gymryd seibiant o bum munud nawr hyd nes bod y tystion newydd yn dod mewn. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
We'll have a break of some five minutes now until the next witnesses come in. Thank you very much.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 11:01 ac 11:07.
The meeting adjourned between 11:01 and 11:07.
Diolch a chroeso yn ôl. Dŷn ni'n cael sesiwn nawr, felly, ar eitem 4—addysgu hanes, diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru, a sesiwn gyda Gareth Jones, ysgrifennydd Cymdeithas Owain Glyndŵr; Eryl Owain, cyd-gysylltydd Ymgyrch Hanes Cymru; a Wyn Thomas, sef cyn bennaeth adran hanes, cyn bennaeth ysgol uwchradd, ac aelod o fwrdd Dyfodol i'r Iaith. Diolch i chi oll am ddod mewn atom heddiw. Mae amser yn dynn arnom, yn anffodus, felly plîs os yw'r atebion yn gallu bod yn weddol fyr, byddem ni'n gwerthfawrogi hynny.
Dŷn ni'n mynd i mewn i gwestiynau yn syth ar themâu gwahanol, gan gychwyn gyda fi. Beth ydych chi'n credu sydd wedi newid, os o gwbl, gan waith y grŵp gorchwyl 2013 ar hanes Cymru? Ydych chi'n credu bod unrhyw beth wedi newid, neu ydych chi'n credu bod yr hyn sydd yn y cwricwlwm ar hyn o bryd yn bodoli fel mae e wastad wedi bodoli? Oes barn gyda chi ar hynny?
Thank you and welcome back. We now have a session, which is item 4, on teaching of Welsh history, culture and heritage. And this is with Gareth Jones, the secretary of the Owain Glyndŵr Society; Eryl Owain, co-ordinator of the Welsh History Campaign; and Wyn Thomas, a former head of a history department, a former headteacher of a secondary school, and a board member of Dyfodol i'r Iaith. I'd like to thank you all for joining us this morning. Now, time is quite tight this morning, so if I could ask for the answers to be fairly succinct, that would be appreciated.
We will dive straight into questions on various themes, beginning with me. So, what do you think has changed, if anything, following the work of the 2013 task and finish group on Welsh history? Do you think that anything has changed, or do you believe that what is in the curriculum presently is just as it has always been? Do you have a view on this?
Wel, un cwestiwn sy'n cael ei ofyn yn aml ynglŷn â dysgu hanes Cymru ydy nad oes yna dystiolaeth ar faint o hanes Cymru sy'n cael ei ddysgu—tystiolaeth glir a chadarn. Mae yna lawer o dystiolaeth anecdotal ynglŷn â bod y sefyllfa'n fratiog. Ond yr un darn o dystiolaeth sydd gennym ni, sydd wedi cael ei ymchwilio, ydy'r ymchwiliad a wnaed gan dasglu Dr Elin Jones, yn ôl yn 2013, a'r adroddiad 'Y Cwricwlwm Cymreig, hanes a stori Cymru.' Ac dŷch chi i gyd yn cofio, dwi'n siŵr, mai un o gasgliadau yr adroddiad hwnnw oedd bod llawer o ddysgwyr ysgolion Cymru yn dysgu mwy am hanes Lloegr nag am hanes eu bro a'u gwlad eu hunain.
Fy marn bersonol i—a does gen i ddim tystiolaeth gadarn y gallaf gyfeirio ato i gadarnhau hyn, i fod yn onest efo chi—ydy nad oes yna newid sylweddol wedi digwydd ers yr adroddiad hwnnw, yn ystod y chwe blynedd diwethaf yma. Wrth gwrs, mae'r arolygon—ac mi gawn symud ymlaen i hynny yn nes ymlaen yn y cyfarfod, dwi'n siŵr—yn sgil y cwricwlwm arfaethedig newydd—mae'r argoelion, ddylwn i ei ddweud, yn rhai cadarnhaol. Ond bydd yna lot mwy i ddweud am hynny, dwi'n siŵr, yn y man.
Well, one question that's often asked about the teaching of Welsh history is that there is no evidence of how much Welsh history is taught—no robust and clear evidence. There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that the situation is patchy. But the one piece of evidence we have is the work done by Dr Elin Jones's taskforce back in 2013, and the report produced there. Now, I'm sure you will all recall that one of the conclusions of that report was that many learners in Welsh schools learn more about English history than about the history of their own localities and their own nation.
Now, my personal view—and I have no robust evidence that I can refer to to confirm this—is that there has been no substantial change since the publication of that report, over the past six years. Of course, the prospects—and we'll move on to that, I'm sure—in light of the new curriculum, the prospects are very positive, but there will be a great deal more to say about that in due time, I'm sure.
Ie, sticio at y cwricwlwm fel y mae e ar hyn o bryd, os dŷch chi'n gallu, o ran yr ateb yma. Gareth neu Wyn, oes gyda chi sylw?
Yes, let's stick to the curriculum as it currently stands, if you could, for this answer. Gareth or Wyn, would you like to come in? Do you have any comments?
Byddwn i'n cefnogi beth mae Eryl wedi'i ddweud. O beth rydym ni'n ei glywed, mae yna ymarfer da mewn rhai ysgolion, ond ddim mewn ysgolion eraill. Ac, yn y ddogfen, rŷm ni'n cyfeirio at raglen Huw Edwards, er enghraifft, a dau ddisgybl blwyddyn 12, 13—o ysgol uwchradd yn sir Gaerfyrddin, mae arnaf i ofn—yn dweud eu bod nhw'n dysgu mwy o hanes yn y gwersi Cymraeg nag oedden nhw yn y gwersi hanes. Nawr, mae hynna'n siomedig iawn. Ac rwy'n gobeithio ein bod ni wedi dyfynnu'r cyn Brif Weinidog yn gywir, yn y ddadl yn y Senedd y llynedd, ond bydden i'n cytuno'n llwyr—os yw'r dyfyniad yn gywir—nad yw hanes y Canol Oesoedd, neu Oes y Tywysogion, yn cael ei ddysgu yn fanwl ym mhob ysgol. Roedd rhai o'r Aelodau Cynulliad yr wythnos diwethaf—mewn trafodaeth arbennig o dda, os caf i ei ddweud—yn gwneud y pwynt bod yna fylchau yn ein hanes ni. A dyna, rwy'n credu, yw un o'r pethau mae'n rhaid inni dreial ei newid yn y cwricwlwm newydd. Ac mae'r ymateb a gawsoch chi fel pwyllgor yn awgrymu eto bod pobl yn anniddig am faint o hanes sy'n cael ei ddysgu, a sut mae e'n cael ei ddysgu. Felly, yr her, rwy'n credu, yw sicrhau bod pob plentyn yn ysgolion Cymru yn dysgu ein hanes ni yn weddol gyflawn.
I would support what Eryl has said. From what we hear, there is good practice in some schools, but not in others. And, in our document, we do refer to the Huw Edwards programme, and two year 12, 13 pupils—from a school in Carmarthenshire, unfortunately—saying that they learnt more of their history in Welsh lessons than they did in history lessons. Now, that was very disappointing. And I do hope that we've correctly quoted the former First Minister, in a debate in the Senedd last year—and I'm not sure whether the quote is entirely correct, but I entirely agree—that the history of the Middle Ages, or the Age of the Princes, is not being taught in detail in all schools. Some of the Assembly Members last week—in a particularly good debate, if I may say so—made the point that there are gaps in our history. And I think that that is one of the things that we must seek to change in the new curriculum. And the response that you had as a committee would suggest that people are not satisfied about how much history is being taught and how it's being taught. So, the challenge, I believe, is to ensure that all children in Welsh schools learn our history to quite a full extent.
I've been around the country, and I've been to various events, and been accosted afterwards by people whose primary school teachers, in particular—but also secondary school teachers—insist that they cover it in depth, and I can believe that quite happily. However, there are other teachers who I have spoken to—this is all anecdotal, as mentioned before—and they say that they do very little at present. And this is, hopefully, where the new curriculum is going to come in, and it's going to, hopefully, enforce this on school teachers, so that they are able to deliver it. Dr Elin Jones, in her report, said that there hadn't really been any assessment of how much was being done for 20 years, and even then it wasn't done as well as it could have been done. And, consequently, I think that Estyn will play a big part in this, and their assessment of how it is being covered within the curriculum, especially if they're tasked specifically with doing that.
Wel, dyna beth oedd y cwestiwn roeddwn i'n mynd i ddod ymlaen ato. Dŷn ni wedi gofyn i'r Gweinidog wneud adroddiad thematig o hanes, ar hyn o bryd, mewn ysgolion. Fyddech chi'n cytuno y byddai hynny'n rhywbeth i'w wneud, neu ydych chi'n credu bod yna rywbeth arall y gellid ei wneud er mwyn casglu'r dystiolaeth, fel nad oes yna drafodaeth anecdotaidd yn digwydd, ond bod yna drafodaeth ar sail tystiolaeth?
Well, that was the question I was going to come on to. We have asked the Minister for a thematic review of history that is being taught currently in schools to be undertaken. Now, would you agree that that would be something that would be good to do, or do you believe that there's something else that we could do in order to collect the information, so that we don't have this discussion based on anecdotes, but rather it's a discussion based on evidence?
Yr her i chi, rwy'n credu, o ran hynny, yw faint o amser sydd gyda chi. Fel dwi'n ei ddeall, mae'r cwricwlwm yn cael ei benderfynu erbyn Ionawr y flwyddyn nesaf. Roeddwn i'n gwrando ar y drafodaeth o'r blaen—neu ei diwedd hi, beth bynnag. Byddai'n rhaid i fi ddweud fy mod hi'n amheus, neu'n ofnus, o'r syniad yma o beidio rhagnodi—non-prescriptive. Rwy'n credu bod yn rhaid rhagnodi rhai pethau yn ein hanes ni sy'n rhy bwysig i blant beidio â gadael astudio hanes hebddyn nhw. A byddwn i'n cyfeirio at rywbeth fel deddfau Hywel Dda ac ysgolion Griffith Jones, er enghraifft. A'r ffordd y byddwn i'n awgrymu ein bod ni'n ei wneud e yw eich bod chi—os y gallwch chi berswadio'r Gweinidog—yn dysgu hanes yn gronolegol, rhoi rhyddid i ysgolion cynradd wneud hanes lleol, ar hyd llinell amser, ond hefyd eu bod nhw'n canolbwyntio ar y cyfnodau cynnar yn ein hanes ni, ac yna eich bod chi'n symud ymlaen. A byddai hynny, mewn gwirionedd, yn ei gwneud hi'n haws i gael yr adnoddau sy'n hanfodol o ran beth byddan nhw'n cael eu dysgu. Os ŷch chi'n dysgu'r cyfnodau cynnar yn yr ysgol gynradd, mae'r adnoddau hynny yn mynd i fod yn gymharol haws, ac yna rŷch chi'n symud ymlaen i adnoddau mwy cymhleth. Ond os ŷch chi'n ei adael e i bob ysgol benderfynu fel mae'n nhw moyn, wel, mae pethau pwysig iawn yn ein hanes ni yn mynd i gael eu hesgeuluso.
The challenge for you in that regard is how much time you have. As I understand it, the new curriculum will be finalised by January of next year. Now, I listened to the end of the earlier discussion, and I would have to say that I am doubtful of this idea of being non-prescriptive. I do think that we must be prescriptive about certain elements of our history that are too important for children not to study during their historical studies. And I would refer to the laws of Hywel Dda and the schools of Griffith Jones, for example. And the way that I would suggest that we would do that—if you can persuade the Minister—is to teach history chronologically, to give primary schools the freedom to study local history, along a chronological timeline, but that they also focus on those early periods, and then that you move forward. And that would mean, in reality, that it would be easier to get the necessary resources in place, in terms of what will be taught. And, if you teach those early periods in the primary sector, then those resources will be more easy to deliver, and then you can move on to the more complex resources. But, if you leave it for every school to decide for themselves what they teach, then some very important elements of our history will be neglected.
Down ni at hynny. Beth rwy'n trio ei ofyn yw: ar hyn o bryd, ydych chi'n credu y dylai yna fod—? Rwy wedi clywed eich barn chi, beth amdanoch chi, o ran yr hyn sy'n digwydd nawr?
We'll get on to that in a moment. But, for now, do you believe—? I have heard your view, but what about the other witnesses, about what happens now?
Y ddelwedd sydd gen i yn fy meddwl ydy bod yna garreg fawr yn rowlio lawr y rhiw, a rydych chi'n trio rhedeg fel pwyllgor ochr yn ochr â'r garreg honno. Hynny ydy, bydd y cwricwlwm newydd ar gael i ysgolion o Ionawr 2020, a byddan nhw'n gorfod ei ddysgu o 2022. Felly, mi fyddai'n werthfawr, yn sicr, i gael mwy o wybodaeth am faint o sylw sy'n cael ei roi i hanes Cymru, yn un peth o ran dynodi arfer da a rhannu'r arfer da yna—byddai hynny'n gyfraniad gwerthfawr iawn, dwi'n meddwl.
The image I have in my mind is that there is a large boulder rolling down the hill, and you're trying to run alongside that boulder. The new curriculum will be available to schools from January 2020, and they'll have to start teaching it in 2022. So, it would be valuable, certainly, to have more information about how much attention is given to Welsh history, in terms of identifying good practice and sharing good practice—that would be a very valuable contribution, I think.
Ocê. Does dim angen ichi ateb pob cwestiwn, gyda llaw—dim ond os ydych chi'n teimlo'n gryf am rywbeth. Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen at John Griffiths, ynglŷn â'r cwricwlwm newydd.
Okay. You don't need to answer every question, by the way—just if you feel strongly about something. We move on to John Griffiths now, on the new curriculum.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. In terms of the new curriculum and the humanities area of learning and experience, what would you say in terms of the place of history, and specifically Welsh history and a Welsh perspective, within that?
Sori, Gareth—wyt ti eisiau cychwyn?
Sorry, Gareth—did you want to start?
I'll answer it if you wish.
Well, you start.
Unfortunately, having read two of the documents twice, there isn't a huge amount. It's up to the teachers to put in their views of Welsh history, I think. But probably, with the views of other people, the pioneer schools, I assume, have supplied their partner schools with information about what should be going in there, but at present I haven't got a clue what it's going to be. There have been no exemplar materials made available for us to have a look at, I'm afraid. So, I don't know what it's going to be.
Gaf i gychwyn efo stori fach sydyn? Ac fe fydd hi'n stori sydyn.
May I start with a quick story? And it will be quick.
Dwi'n cofio, yn fy ail flwyddyn yn y coleg, gyda sicrwydd hollwybodus myfyriwr 19 oed, ysgrifennu erthygl i bapur y myfyrwyr yn dweud, 'Dwi'n anghytuno yn llwyr â'r modd y mae hanes Cymru yn cael ei dysgu yn y brifysgol hon', a'r pwynt oedd gennyf oedd bod yna adran hanes Cymru ac adran hanes, fel bod nhw'n ddau bwnc ar wahân. Un peth dwi'n ei weld yn gadarnhaol iawn yn y cwricwlwm newydd ydy ei fod e'n gwricwlwm Cymru. O ran ei strwythur, yn sicr ddigon mae'n gwricwlwm unigryw i Gymru, a'r ffordd mae'r pynciau yn cael eu cyfuno rŵan yn y meysydd profiad a dysgu—dŷn ni'n symud i'r cyfeiriad lle mae hanes yn ei hanfod yn cael ei ddysgu o bersbectif y wlad. Nid y persbectif, mae'n ddrwg gennyf—gyda'r wlad lle dŷn ni'n byw yn ganolog i'r hanes yna. Gobeithio yn y dyfodol—y dyfodol agos iawn—fydd yna ddim angen inni sôn am hanes Cymru fel petai'n rhyw endid ar wahân, ond bydd hanes Cymru yn rhan integredig o hanes. Wrth gwrs, dyw'r hanes yna wedyn ddim yn gyfyngedig i astudio Cymru; dŷn ni'n mynd i astudio dylanwadau'r o fewn y wladwriaeth Brydeinig ac astudio dylanwadau o fewn Ewrop a'r byd cyfan. Ond dyna'r pwynt dechreuol buaswn i'n ei wneud: integreiddio hanes Cymru yn llwyr i mewn i'r cwricwlwm.
I recall, during my second year in college, will all the confidence of a 19-year-old student, writing an article for the student newspaper saying that I disagreed entirely with the way that history was taught in the university, and my point was that there was a Welsh history department and then a history department, as though they were two separate subjects. Now, one thing that I do see as a very positive aspect of this new curriculum is that it is a curriculum for Wales. In terms of its structure, it is most definitely unique to Wales, and the way that these subjects are combined in the AOLEs, I think we're moving in a direction where history in its essence is being taught from the perspective of the nation—or, rather, not the perspective, but with the nation where we live being central to that history. Now, I hope in the very near future there will be no need for us to talk about Welsh history as if it was a separate entity, but rather to be an integrated part of history, and of course that history will not be limited to studying Wales, but we will be studying the influences within the British state, and influences within Europe and the whole world, in fact. But that's the point that I would begin with—that we should be integrating Welsh history entirely into the curriculum.
I'll speak in English. I find some of the 'what matters' and some of the four purposes rather vague and open to interpretation. I'm concerned about two of the 'what matters', which start with 'society is complex and diverse'. I think it's starting from the wrong end of the stick as far as history is concerned, because societies were simpler and less diverse, and I think you should start at the beginning. History is being squeezed anyway, because you throw in business studies—I would have preferred the title 'economics', which comes into history anyway; economic events affect history—and social studies. History is about social studies. So, I don't know why those two have been thrust in as well as history, geography and RE. I agree totally with what Eryl has said, that you can see Welsh history in the Welsh context, in the British context, as Mr Melding has raised, and in the world context. So, if you want to look in John Davies's book, that's why I've brought it. It's available in English as well, and it's local, it's Welsh, it's the effects of the rest of the United Kingdom and beyond. It's all there if you want to read it, and the history of the Welsh language I'm concerned with is in this little book by Cennard Davies, and most of the history was in Welsh.
I think the curriculum is well intentioned, but I think we need to get down to specifics, and that's where I think it'll be difficult.
Wel, roedd Hanes Cymru yn feibl inni yn yr ysgol. Felly, dylem ni ei gael wrth ein bwrdd gwely pan dŷn ni'n mynd i gysgu bob nos. Rŷm ni'n symud ymlaen nawr at Dai Lloyd.
Well, that book was our bible in school, so I do believe we should have them at the bedside when we go to bed each night. We'll move on now to Dai Lloyd.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Wrth gwrs, mae rhai ohonom ni yn hen iawn, a phan oeddwn i yn yr ysgol, yn y bôn, ches i ddim o hanes Cymru o gwbl, ond dwi'n cymryd bod pethau wedi newid yn ysgol uwchradd Llanbedr Pont Steffan erbyn rŵan. Wrth gwrs, mae yna fersiynau o hanes, onid oes? Fel dŷn ni wedi crybwyll eisoes, mae'n dibynnu o le dŷch chi'n dod a'ch rhagfarnau personol, a sut dŷch chi yn bersonol yn dehongli beth yw hanes Cymru, ynteu hanes gwerinol Cymry brodorol, ynteu hanes Prydain yng Nghymru, fel mae David Melding eisoes wedi cloriannu.
Nawr, wrth gwrs, efo'r cwricwlwm newydd, mae yna fwy o hyblygrwydd i fod rŵan, a buasai rhai pobl yn dweud y bydd yn gwanhau dylanwadau hanes pur, felly, achos ei fod yn rhan o bob math o astudiaethau eraill. Ond, o fewn hynny, a ydych chi'n gallu gweld heriau neu ydych chi'n gallu gweld cyfleon i gyfoethogi profiad addysgiadol y disgybl yn yr ysgol yn nhermau hanes Cymru, ynteu a oes yna berygl? Bob tro dwi'n traethu ynglŷn â fy fersiwn i o hanes Cymru, dwi'n cael cryn dipyn o adborth ar-lein fel taswn i'n traethu am rywbeth cyfan gwbl wahanol nad ydyn nhw erioed wedi cyfarfod ag e o'r blaen. Gall David a minnau anghytuno ynglŷn â phwysigrwydd gwahanol ddyddiadau yn ein hanes, ond mae lot ohono fe'n deillio o'r ffaith nad yw nifer o'n pobl yn gwybod, fel buaswn i'n dweud, fy fersiwn i o hanes Cymru, o gymharu—. A ydych chi'n gweld heriau efo'r cwricwlwm newydd?
Thank you very much, Chair. Now, many of us are quite old, and back when we were in school, I didn't learn any Welsh history at all, but course I take it that things have changed in Lampeter secondary school by now. Of course, there are versions of history, aren't there? We discussed earlier that it depends where you come from and what your personal prejudices may be, and how you personally interpret what the history of Wales is, whether that is the history of the indigenous people of Wales, or the history of Britain in Wales, as David Melding has already mentioned.
Now, with a new curriculum, there is meant to be greater flexibility now, and some people would say that there's a dilution there of the influences of pure history because, of course, there will be all kinds of other studies involved. But, in that context, do you see challenges, or can you see opportunities arising to enrich the educational experience of pupils in terms of the history of Wales? Or do you think there's a risk? Every time I do talk about my version of Welsh history, I receive quite a bit of online feedback as though I was talking about something that was entirely alien that they had never encountered before. David and I may disagree about the importance of various dates in our history, but a lot of this emanates from the fact that many of our people don't know of what I would describe as my version of Welsh history, as compared with—. So, do you see challenges lying ahead with the new curriculum?
Wel, yn bendifaddau, oes. Mae yna gyfleoedd. Mae'n bwysig dweud hynna—yn sicr ddigon mae yna gyfleoedd—ond mae yna heriau hefyd. A siarad am y cwricwlwm yn gyffredinol, rŵan, mae wedi cymryd dros dair blynedd, dwi'n meddwl, i gyrraedd y pwynt lle ydym ni rŵan, o ran y Gweinidog Addysg yn cyhoeddi cynigion drafft, ac y bydd y rheini'n cael eu cymeradwyo, mae'n debyg, ym mis Ionawr. Bydd yna gyfnod byr, felly, i athrawon addasu i' rheini. Felly, rydych chi wedi clywed hynny, efallai, gan gynrychiolwyr yr undebau athrawon yn gynharach heddiw, ond mae yna heriau o'r math yna.
Yr heriau eraill hefyd ydy y bydd hi'n dasg anodd iawn, dwi'n meddwl, i sicrhau cydbwysedd rhwng y gwahanol elfennau o'r dyniaethau—bod yna gydbwysedd rhwng y gwahanol bynciau, fel maen nhw ar hyn o bryd—a hefyd, efallai, yng nghyd-destun hanes Cymru, cydbwysedd rhwng profiadau gwahanol ardaloedd. Roeddwn i'n gwrando ar nifer ohonoch chi sydd yma y bore yma yn cyfrannu at y ddadl yn y Siambr yr wythnos diwethaf, ac roedd nifer yn tynnu ar eu profiadau personol nhw o'u hardaloedd nhw eu hunain, sy'n rhywbeth gwych, ond dŷn ni eisiau cyflwyno trosolwg o Gymru gyfan hefyd. Ac mae hynny'n mynd i fod yn her. Mae'n fater o gydbwysedd eto: dim gormod o bwyslais ar hanes lleol, er mor wych a phwysig ydy hynny, ac roedd hi'n bwysig eithriadol imi pan oeddwn i'n athro hanes, ond bod yna olwg ar Gymru gyfan hefyd, Mae hynny'n un her, felly.
Without a doubt, yes. There are opportunities. It's important to say that—there are certainly opportunities—but there are also challenges. In discussing the curriculum more generally now, it's taken over three years, I think, to get to this point, in terms of the Minister for Education publishing draft proposals, which it seems will be approved in January. So, there will be a short period for teachers to adapt those. You may have heard that from the representatives of the teaching unions earlier, so there are challenges of that kind.
The other challenges are that it's going to be a very difficult task to secure the right balance between the various elements of the humanities—that there is that right balance between the different subjects, as they are at the moment—and also, in the context of Welsh history, a balance between the experiences of various different areas. I listened to many of you here this morning contributing to the debate in the Chamber last week, and many drew on their personal experiences and the experiences of their own areas, which is wonderful, of course, but we want to also give an overview of the whole of Wales, too. And that's going to be challenging. It's a matter of balance, again: not too much emphasis on local history, despite how excellent and important that is. It was exceptionally important for me when I was a history teacher, but there should be an overview of the whole of Wales, too. That's one challenge.
Ie. Rwy'n cytuno ag Eryl. Os ydych chi'n galw am weledigaeth y genedl, mae yna rai pethau, byddwn i'n meddwl, sy'n gyffredin. I drial ateb y cwestiwn am Gymru a thu hwnt, gydag ysgolion Griffith Jones, fe ddechreuon nhw yn Llanddowror, sir Gaerfyrddin, iawn, ac mae'r ysgolion cylchynol yma'n lledu. Maen nhw'n lledu trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, gyda llaw, drwy Gymru gyfan, heb sôn am dde Penfro. Mae menyw bwysig iawn, Madam Bevan, yn sicrhau'r arian iddo fe. O ble? O Gaerfaddon ac o Lundain. Felly, rydych chi allan o Gymru'n syth fanna. Mae'r Tsarina, Catherine Fawr, o Rwsia yn cymryd diddordeb ac mae'n danfon rhywun draw yma i weld beth sy'n digwydd. Felly, rŷch chi mewn i hanes Rwsia, os ydych chi eisiau mynd. Ac, yn yr 1950au, fel mae John yn dangos, mae UNESCO yn ystyried defnyddio'r dull yma o ysgolion cylchynol i ddysgu mewn gwledydd tlawd.
Felly, mae modd mynd allan o Gymru a gweld hyn. Dwi ddim yn gweld hynny'n broblem fawr, ond dylai pob plentyn, yn fy marn i, yng Nghymru wybod am ysgolion Griffith Jones. Fe gawson nhw effaith rhyfeddol arnom ni. Cafodd rhyw 200,000 o blant eu dysgu. Poblogaeth Cymru yn y cyfrifiad cyntaf yn 1801 oedd jest dros 0.5 miliwn. Bron 40 y cant o bobl Cymru yn llythrennog. Ac, o achos hynny, maen nhw'n darllen y cylchgronau anghydffurfiol ac maen nhw'n mynd yn erbyn y tirfeddianwyr ac yn erbyn y meistri diwydiannol. Mae'r ysgolion yna'n greiddiol. Dylai pob plentyn, nid jest plant Llanddowror a sir Gaerfyrddin, wybod am Griffith Jones. Ac mae yna bethau eraill hefyd.
Mae yna her, felly, fel yr oeddech chi'n ei ddweud. Rwy'n credu bod rhai athrawon, efallai, sydd angen mwy o sicrwydd am hanes Cymru a chael eu dysgu. Mae eisiau'r adnoddau arnyn nhw hefyd ar gyfer y gwaith yma. Ond yr her, rwy'n credu, i chi, os gallwch chi ei wneud e, plis, yw perswadio'r Gweinidog fod yna bethau sydd wedi digwydd y dylai pob plentyn yng Nghymru wybod pan fyddan nhw'n gorffen astudio hanes—ei fod e'n gwricwlwm cenedlaethol. Un enghraifft dwi wedi ei rhoi ichi heddiw; mae yna ddigon o rai eraill.
Yes. I agree with Eryl, there. If you talk about the vision of the nation, I would think that there are some common aspects. So, to try to answer the question on Wales and beyond, you had the Griffith Jones schools, which started in Llanddowror in Carmarthenshire, but then they expanded, and they did expand through the medium of Welsh, by the way, throughout Wales, not to mention south Pembrokeshire. A very important woman, Madam Bevan, ensured the funding for it. Where from? From Bath and London. So, you're outside Wales immediately in that aspect. And then you had the Tsarina, Catherine the Great, from Russia, showing an interest and she sent someone over to see what had happened. So, then you're moving on to the history of Russia, if you would like to go there. And then, in the 1950s, as John demonstrates here, UNESCO looked at the history of these ysgolion cylchynol, these particular schools, and considered using this method of schooling in poor nations.
So, there is a way of going beyond Wales, and I don't see that that's a great problem, but all children in Wales should know about the Griffith Jones schools. They had an amazing effect in Wales. Some 200,000 children were taught and, as the population of Wales in the census of 1801 was just over 0.5 million. Almost 40 per cent of the Welsh population was literate. Therefore, we had all these people who could now read. They could read all the different nonconformist materials available, and they stood against the landowners, the industrial masters. These schools were a central part of this history. All children throughout Wales, not just the children of Llanddowror and Carmarthenshire, should know about Griffith Jones. And there are other things, too.
So, the challenge, perhaps, would be that there are some teachers who need greater certainty and a stronger feel for the history of Wales and the ability to teach it. They also need the resources for this work. But the challenge for you, I believe, if you could please do this, is to persuade the Minister that there are some things that have happened that all children in Wales should know about when they finish the study of history—that it is a national curriculum. I've given you just one example today, but there are plenty of others.
I can only say I'm biased, but the story of Glyndŵr and the rest of the ages of the princes I find particularly interesting, and the website that the society has has had a lot of hits, but there is the Facebook page as well, and this is where we can get other people involved. I've had a lot of feedback from schoolteachers saying—whatever the post is that's gone on there, they're making their comments about it, and they're saying, 'That's interesting; we could use that'. So, new media—obviously, social media may not be the best form for it—can be used in order to promote these stories.
For example, I sent out a general post about Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus a few months ago. It reached nearly 15,000 people. But, just after that, I also put a post on about the penal laws of 1401 that were inflicted on Wales, and it reached nearly 28,000 people. By analysing the Facebook page, you could see that it wasn't just Welsh and it wasn't just British; this is reaching the whole—. It was something like 50 different countries that were reached by that post. So, people have got an interest in it—they've got a thirst for this knowledge. As I said, Owain Glyndŵr specifically, as a historian, I'm interested in, but the whole of the Age of the Princes and before that the Age of the Saints—all of these are stories that should really be told.
What gets me is the number of people who say, 'Why is it only now that we're hearing about this?' I put a post on a couple of days ago about the siege in Brecon by Glyndŵr in 1403 and it reached something like 6,000 people virtually within a day. So, it's a growing thing, and people, I think, are coming around to showing their interest in this part of our history.
Ocê. Diolch, Dai. Symudwn ymlaen at Carwyn Jones. Diolch.
Okay. Thank you, Dai. Moving on to Carwyn Jones.
Ie, mae'n ddiddorol dros ben. Un o'r pethau roeddwn i'n moyn jest ei ystyried yn fwy manwl yw'r syniad hwn y dylai plant Cymru a phobl Cymru wybod rhai ffeithiau—y must-haves, os gallaf i eu disgrifio nhw fel yna. Mae rhai ffeithiau sydd mor sylfaenol—rŷch chi, Wyn, wedi sôn am Griffith Jones Llanddowror, er engraifft, ac rwy'n gwybod bod Cymdeithas Owain Glyndŵr wedi dweud yr un peth. Dwi ddim yn edrych am ryw fath o restr hir o beth yw'r pethau hynny—beth yw'r ffeithiau hynny—ond pa enghreifftiau fyddech chi'n eu rhoi o bethau y dylai cael eu dysgu ym mhob ysgol yng Nghymru? Rŷm ni wedi clywed tystiolaeth gan bobl eraill sydd yn dweud, 'Wel, na, does dim modd gwneud hynny achos mae siẁd gymaint o ffeithiau, neu byddai pobl yn dadlau beth yw'r ffeithiau sydd yn berthnasol'. I chi, Wyn, efallai—chi oedd yn sôn amdano fe bore yma—beth yw'r must-haves hyn? Beth yw'r pethau sylfaenol ŷch chi'n credu y dylent gael eu dysgu fel rhan o gwricwlwm hanes Cymru?
Yes, it's very interesting. One of the things that I just wanted to consider in greater detail was this idea that the children and people of Wales should know some facts—the must-haves, if I can describe them in that way. There are some facts that are so fundamental, and you, Wyn, have talked about Griffith Jones from Llanddowror, for example, and I know that the Owain Glyndŵr Society has said something similar. I'm not looking for a long list of what those things are—what those facts should be—but what examples would you give of the types of things that should be taught in all schools in Wales? We've heard evidence from others who say, 'Well, no, it's not possible to do this because there are so many facts, and people would argue about what those facts might be that are relevant'. For you, Wyn—you did raise it this morning—what are these must-haves? What are the fundamentals that you believe should be taught as part of a Welsh history curriculum?
Wel, mi fyddwn i'n falch pe tase nhw wedi dechrau yn y fan yna a dweud wrth yr haneswyr yn yr ysgolion arloesi, 'Rhowch restr i ni o'r pethau hanfodol yn hanes', ac i'r daearyddwyr, 'Rhowch chi restr', ac wedyn tynnu'r rhain at ei gilydd. Yn y diwedd, mae yna arholiad yn mynd i fod, onid oes? Ac ar lefel y rhieni, a'r plant yn dod adref, 'Beth wyt ti wedi'i ddysgu yn yr ysgol heddiw?' 'Rwyf wedi dysgu ein bod ni fod yn ddinasyddion da'. Maen nhw eisiau gwybod beth rŷch chi wedi'i ddysgu.
Reit, beth sy'n hanfodol? Soniodd Gareth am Oes y Saint. Mi fyddwn i'n dweud—rwy'n mynd yn ôl at John Davies nawr—y ddau sant wnaeth fwyaf o effaith oedd Dewi a Teilo. Ar eu holau nhw yr enwyd y nifer fwyaf o eglwysi yng Nghymru, felly byddwn i'n dweud y dylai pob plentyn yng Nghymru wybod faint rŷm ni'n ei wybod—dim llawer—am Dewi a Teilo. Wedyn, byddech chi'n rhydd i sôn am unrhyw sant arall yn eich ardal—gwnewch hynny'n lleol os ydych chi eisiau.
Byddwn i'n dweud bod yn rhaid iddyn nhw ddysgu am Hywel Dda. Rŷch chi yn fan hyn heddiw wedi dod o bob rhan o Gymru i wneud deddfau ar gyfer Cymru. Beth wnaeth Hywel Dda, nid yng Nghaerdydd ond yn Hendy-gwyn ar Daf, oedd tynnu pobl o bob rhan o Gymru, eistedd nhw i lawr a gwneud deddfau ar gyfer Cymru. Y rheini oedd y deddfau am 300 mlynedd, gyda rhai'n parhau ar ôl marwolaeth Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf. Roedd y deddfau yna yn disgrifio cymdeithas Cymru. Roedden nhw'n disgrifio rôl gwragedd, a oedd yn cael mwy o barch nag yr oedden nhw mewn nifer o ddeddfau eraill. Roedden nhw'n disgrifio'r gosb a oedd yn golygu gwneud iawn am rywbeth, ble, o dan ddeddfau Alfred, roedd cosb—gallwch chi eu cymharu â deddfau mewn gwlad arall, os ydych chi eisiau. Mi fyddwn i'n rhyfeddu os ydy plant Cymru heddiw yn gwybod am Hywel Dda, ond rwy'n credu y dylai pawb wybod bod cynulliad wedi bod, nid yng Nghaerdydd 20 mlynedd yn ôl yn dechrau, ond bod cynulliad wedi bod yn Hendy-gwyn ar Daf.
Wrth gwrs, i gymryd y pwynt y mae Mr Melding wedi'i wneud, mae'n rhaid ichi sôn am bethau fel y Ddeddf Uno a'r effaith gafodd honno ar Gymru. Fe fyddwn i hefyd yn sôn am Griffith Jones, ac wedyn rydych chi'n dod at drobwynt wedyn yn y ddeunawfed ganrif gyda'r chwyldro diwydiannol. Mae'r gymdeithas yn newid ac mae'r pwyslais yn newid. Mae gyda chi holl ormes y meistri diwydiannol ar y gweithwyr, a'r pethau fuoch chi'n eu trafod wythnos diwethaf. Mi gymrwn ni'r Siartwyr, i fi gael bod yn gyflym. Ydym ni'n dweud mewn gwirionedd mai dim ond plant Casnewydd, Blaenau Gwent a Llanidloes sydd i ddysgu am y Siartwyr? Dyna'r perygl o adael y peth yn hollol benagored. Mae yna restr hir, ond fe fyddwn i'n dweud bod rheina gyda'r uchaf.
Well, I would've been pleased if they'd started there and told the pioneer schools, 'Give us a list of those fundamentals, and, geographers, you do the same', and then bringing them together. At the end of the day, there's going to be an exam. Parents are going to ask their children, 'Well, what did you learn in school today?' 'Well, I learnt that we're supposed to be good citizens'. They want to know what you've learnt.
You asked now what the fundamentals are. Gareth mentioned the Age of the Saints—and I go back to John Davies again—the two saints that had the greatest impact were Dewi, or David, and Teilo. Most churches in Wales were consecrated in their names, so all children should be taught what we know about David and Teilo, which isn't a great deal, and then you're free to talk about any local saint and focus on the local, if you so choose.
I would say that they need to learn about Hywel Dda. You, today, have come from all parts of Wales to make legislation for Wales. What did Hywel Dda do, not in Cardiff but in Whitland? He drew people together from all parts of Wales to sit down and make laws for Wales. These were the Welsh laws for 300 years, and some of them lasted until after the death of Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf—Llywelyn the Last. Those laws described Welsh society. They described the role of women and provided a greater degree of respect than was afforded to women within other legislation. They set out the penal code, which involved righting a wrong, whereas under Alfred's law there was punishment—you can compare them with other nations' legislation if you so choose. I would be shocked if the children of Wales know about Hywel Dda today, but I think that everyone should be taught that there had been an assembly, not in Cardiff established 20 years ago, but an assembly in Whitland all those years ago.
To take Mr Melding's point, you have to talk about the Acts of Union and the impact they had on Wales. I would also mention Griffith Jones, and then you come to a turning point in the eighteenth century with the industrial revolution, where society is transformed and the emphasis changes. You have all the oppression of the industrial masters, and those things that you discussed last week. Let's look at the Chartists. Are we saying that it's only children in Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Llanidloes that should learn about the Chartists? That's the risk of leaving it entirely open-ended. There is a long list, but I would say that those are at the top of that list.
Oes gan unrhyw un arall rywbeth gwahanol i'w ddweud o ran esiamplau?
Does anyone have anything different to add to that?
Mae'n gwestiwn mawr, on'd ydy, ac mae'n gwestiwn sydd angen trafodaeth arno fo. Mae'n bechod bod y drafodaeth ddim wedi digwydd dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf yma wrth ddatblygu'r cwricwlwm newydd. Yn bersonol, mae fy niddordeb i'n fwy mewn hanes mwy diweddar, ond dwi'n derbyn yn llwyr beth mae Wyn yn ei ddweud. Dwi'n meddwl ei bod hi'n stori gynhyrfus eithriadol, y syniad bod y Cymry wedi dechrau ffurfio ar ôl ymadawiad y Rhufeiniaid a'r cysylltiadau efo'r Alban, ac yn y blaen. Mae yna stori gyffrous iawn, iawn yn fanna, ac ymlaen trwy'r canrifoedd.
Mae ymwybyddiaeth o gronoleg, wrth gwrs, yn hollbwysig i hanes. Yn bersonol—does yna ddim barn swyddogol, fel petai, gan Ymgyrch Hanes Cymru ar hyn—ond yn bersonol, mae'n bwysig cael ymwybyddiaeth o gronoleg, ond fuaswn i ddim o reidrwydd yn dweud y dylid dysgu pob dim yn gronolegol. Fyddwn i ddim yn hoffi gweld plant ysgolion cynradd efallai dim ond yn astudio y cyfnodau cynnar, ac efallai plant yn nes ymlaen yn eu taith addysgol dim ond yn astudio cyfnodau mwy diweddar, achos efallai bod o'n bwysig ailymweld â rhai pethau.
Ie, mi fyddai'n dasg ddiddorol iawn i gyfrannu tuag ati hi, ac mi fyddai'n cysylltu hefyd, os caf i ddweud yn sydyn iawn, efo angen mawr arall, sef yr angen am ddatblygu adnoddau. Petasai'n bosibl dynodi y cyfnodau, y digwyddiadau a'r datblygiadau pwysig, a bod yna ganolbwyntio wedyn ar ddarparu adnoddau ar y rheini, mi fyddai'n gymorth mawr, dwi'n meddwl, i ysgolion gyflwyno'r cwricwlwm newydd yn llwyddiannus.
All I would say, because it is a big question, and it's a question that needs to be debated, and that debate has not happened over the past few years in developing the new curriculum. Personally, my interest is in more recent history, but I entirely accept what Wyn says. I think we've got a very exciting story about how Wales started forming after the leaving of the Romans and the connection with Scotland, and so forth. That's a very exciting story there, and then you go on through the centuries.
The awareness of chronology is, of course, essential for history. Personally—there's no official position by our campaign on this—but personally, I believe that it is important to have an awareness of chronology, but I wouldn't necessarily say that everything has to be taught chronologically. I wouldn't like to see only primary school children learning the early periods, and then children who are older only studying the more recent chronology, because I think it's important to revisit some aspects.
So, I think it would be a very interesting task to contribute towards such a list, and it would link, if I may make this quick point, with another great need, and that is to develop resources. If it were possible to say what events, what specific dates needed to be covered, then you could focus on providing resources for that, and that would greatly assist schools to deliver the new curriculum successfully.
I have to follow on from what Wyn said, in that Glyndŵr, actually, had a Senedd that pulled people from all the commotes of Wales as well. So, he followed on from what Hywel Dda did. But obviously, focusing on Owain Glyndŵr only isn't enough, and that's why for the past three years we've been trying to get in touch with schools to see how we could help in order to develop materials, and help them with planning courses, et cetera. But I must admit, there's been very little feedback. I think that out of the 20 original humanities pioneer schools, we had feedback from four, maybe five of them. And out of those, though, we did put together a PowerPoint that picked 20 of the most prominent people from the Age of the Princes, and did a PowerPoint on that with snippets of information, just as a guideline, a chronological map or a timeline on our website as well, but linked into their family trees, so that they can see the links between the different people from the time, and show how they were related.
There's 20 people, there's a story for each of them, but there's a myriad of other things that we could be discussing at the same time, which—. You know, it's how much time people are going to be able to spend on this, plus for people like us—societies like mine, and there are lots around the country—who can provide resources, can provide help and assistance, but are just being ignored at the moment.
Un o'r pethau, wrth gwrs, rŷm ni wedi'u hystyried y bore yma hefyd yw ym mha ffordd rydym ni'n creu'r cydbwysedd rhwng hyblygrwydd ar un llaw a hefyd rhagnodi efallai ar y llaw arall. Wrth gwrs, mae yna sawl fersiwn o hanes. Mae llyfr John Bwlchllan yn fanna, Hanes Cymru, a dwi wedi ei ddarllen e, ond dwi'n anghytuno efo llawer o beth sydd ynddo fe. Ond nid dyna beth yw'r pwynt. Fersiwn yw e, a dylai pobl ei gael i ddarllen ac i ystyried eu fersiwn nhw eu hunain, a byddai gan haneswyr eraill safbwynt hollol wahanol. Ond y pwynt yw, wrth gwrs, fod yna gymysgedd o fersiynau mae disgyblon yn eu gweld. Does dim ateb rhwydd i hwn. Sut mae'r cydbwysedd yn cael ei greu rhwng cael digon hyblygrwydd er mwyn bod athrawon yn gallu dysgu yn y ffordd maen nhw eisiau, ac ar y llaw arall sicrhau bod yna gysondeb ynglŷn â beth sy'n cael ei ddysgu yn yr ysgolion?
One of the things that we have considered this morning also is in what way we strike a balance between flexibility on the one hand and also being prescriptive on the other. There are many versions of history. John Bwlchllan's book there, The History of Wales, I've read it, but I disagree with much of it, and that's the point. It's a version, and it's a book that people should read and then consider their own version, and other historians might have an entirely different view. But, of course, the point is that there is a variety in terms of the versions that pupils get to see. There's no easy answer to this. So, I'd like to know how this balance is found between having sufficient flexibility in order to enable teachers to teach in the way that they would like, and on the other hand to ensure that there is consistency as to what is being taught in schools.
Dwi'n meddwl mai un elfen—rydym ni wedi cyffwrdd arni eisoes, dwi'n meddwl—ydy bod yna graidd, fel petai, yn cael ei ddynodi a'i adnabod, ac wedyn bod yna graidd cyffredin efallai. Ac os ydy'r adnoddau yn cael eu datblygu ar gyfer y craidd yna, mi fydd efallai ddiddordeb; mi fydd yr ysgolion yn dilyn yr adnoddau efallai hefyd. Bydd hynny'n fodd o sicrhau bod y craidd fel petai yn cael ei drosglwyddo a'i gyflwyno yn effeithiol, ond bod yna ddigon o hyblygrwydd wedyn i ganiatáu datblygu diddordebau penodol y disgyblion, os ydyn nhw'n adnabod ac yn arwain yr hanes, yn arwain y dysgu, a'u bod nhw'n dynodi'r pethau mae ganddyn nhw ddiddordeb mewn ymchwilio mwy iddynt, yr athro yn gwneud yr un modd, ac felly'n berthnasol i'r ardal leol. Felly, rhyw fath o gydbwysedd rhwng y craidd, ond digon o hyblygrwydd i ganiatáu amrywiadau, ychwanegiadau, ac yn blaen, at y craidd hwnnw.
I think one element—and we've already touched on it, I think—is that there should be a core element identified, and that there should be that common core. And if resources are provided for that, then perhaps there would be interest; perhaps schools will also follow the resources, as it were. That would be one way of ensuring that the core elements are presented effectively, but that there is sufficient flexibility then to allow the development of specific interests of pupils, if they identify certain things, and lead on the history, and lead the teaching to a certain extent, and that they identify things that they are interested in researching, and of course the teacher could do likewise, and also look at what's relevant to the local area. So, it's a balance between those core elements, but also providing flexibility to provide variations, additions, and so on, to that core.
A allaf i agor e mas tipyn bach cyn bod neb arall yn sôn am hwn? Oes eisiau, felly, cael rhyw fath o arweiniad canolog er mwyn sicrhau bod y cysondeb yna yn cael ei greu?
Can I just jump in there before anyone else goes further? Do we therefore need some sort of guidance emanating from the centre to ensure that there is consistency in the curriculum?
Gallem ni ddim gofyn am ateb cliriach na hwnna.
Well, we can't ask for a clearer answer than that.
Roeddwn i'n mynd i adael i Wyn ymhelaethu.
I was going to allow Wyn to speak.
Ar bwynt Eryl gynnau, fel roeddwn i’n dweud gynnau, rwy'n credu y gallech chi roi'r hyblygrwydd yna drwy roi'r llinell amser yma, lleol, Cymru, yr Alban, Iwerddon, Lloegr, Ewrop a'r byd. Ac yn ysgol gynradd, dysgwch ein hanes lleol. Os caf i ddweud, Mr Griffiths, mae llong yng Nghasnewydd sydd yn hŷn na'r Mary Rose. Iawn, soniwch am hynny, yn yr ysgol gynradd. Soniwch am John Frost yn yr ysgol gynradd. Ond os nad ydych chi'n rhoi rhyw ganllawiau cronolegol, mae'n mynd i fynd yn rhemp, on'd yw hi? Byddwch chi'n dysgu trwy'r trwch.
Cydbwysedd. Soniais i gynnau am y seintiau. Felly, y chwyldro diwydiannol. Byddwn i'n dweud ei bod hi'n bwysig iawn bod pobl de Cymru yn gwybod bod yna faes glo pwysig yn Ninbych a Fflint hefyd. Byddwn i'n meddwl ei bod hi'n bwysig bod pobl de Cymru yn sylweddoli bod un o'r streiciau ffyrnicaf fuodd yn hanes Prydain wedi digwydd yn chwarel y Penrhyn. Os oedd y meistri glo yn gas, roedd pobl y chwareli yn ddifrifol. A'r pwynt rŷm ni'n treial ei wneud yw mai'r Gymraeg sydd wedi bod trwy'r hanes, ac yn y streic yna ar ddechrau'r ganrif ddiwethaf, nid blacklegs oedd; 'Nid oes bradwr yn y tŷ hwn' oedd yn mynd lan. Ac fe ddylai pobl de Cymru wybod am hynny, ac fe ddylai pobl de Cymru wybod am hanes David Lloyd George a aeth o Lanystumdwy i'r Senedd, i gael ei dywys allan o brotest yn Birmingham—pump troedfedd a hanner oedd e—mewn gwisg plismon achos ei fod e wedi siarad yn erbyn rhyfel y Boer, yn 1900, i fynd yn Ganghellor y Trysorlys, i roi un o'r cyllidebau pwysicaf erioed yn ein hanes ni, yn rhoi pensiynau i bobl, yn herio Tŷ'r Arglwyddi, yn rhoi goruchafiaeth i Dŷ'r Cyffredin. Ac yn 1919, pwy oedd yn cynrychioli'r ymerodraeth fwyaf yn y byd? David Lloyd George. Dyna chi chi wedi mynd o Lanystumdwy i Versailles.
Referring to Eryl's earlier point, as I said earlier, I think you can provide that flexibility by providing this timeline of local, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, England, Europe and the world. And in primary school, learn about local history. If I can say, Mr Griffiths, there's the ship in Newport that is older than the Mary Rose. Well, yes, cover that in primary school. Cover John Frost in your primary schools. But unless you provide some chronological guidance, then it's going to be all over the shop, isn't it? You'll be teaching throughout.
On the issue of balance, I mentioned the Age of the Saints earlier. So, the industrial revolution. I think it is very important that the people of south Wales understand that there were also important coalfields in Denbighshire and Flintshire. I think it's important that people in south Wales should know that one of the most fierce strikes in the history of Britain happened in the Penrhyn quarry. If the coalowners were evil, then it was even worse in the quarrying areas. And the point we're trying to make is that the Welsh language has been there throughout our history, and during that strike at the beginning of the last century, it wasn't a matter of blacklegs; it was a sign saying, 'Nid oes bradwr yn y tŷ hwn'—there are no traitors in this house. And the people of south Wales should know about that. And surely the people of south Wales should know about the history of David Lloyd George, who went from Llanystumdwy to Parliament. He was lead out of a protest in Birmingham—he was only five and a half feet tall—dressed as a policeman because he was speaking against the Boar war in 1900, to become Chancellor of the Exchequer, to deliver one of the most important budgets in our history, providing pensions to people, challenging the House of Lords, and giving primacy to the Commons. And in 1919, who was representing the greatest empire in the world? Well, it was David Lloyd George. So, he's gone from Llanystumdwy to Versailles.
A'r ochr negyddol hefyd, yndê? Fe sortiodd e'r hen Wyddelod yna allan, ond do?
And the negatives aspects. He sorted those troublesome Irish out, didn't he?
Sori, mae'n rhaid i ni symud ymlaen. Mae jest diffyg amser gyda ni heddiw.
Sorry, but we do have to move on. Time is running against us.
Byddwn i'n gobeithio y byddai'r Gweinidog presennol yn deall pwysigrwydd David Lloyd George.
But I would hope that the current Minister would understand the importance of David Lloyd George.
Ie, gobeithio. Symud ymlaen at David Melding nawr.
Well, one would hope so. But we will move on to David Melding now.
Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd. I was director of policy for the Conservative Party for 11 years, which is a long, long time, and for every researcher I employed, top of the reading list was John Davies's history, which I think is quite masterful, because it places Welsh history in its correct context. It's not an epiphenomenon of British history although it's deeply interrelated. His dealing of the Glyndŵr rebellion as a British phenomenon as well as a Welsh one, I think, is a profound reminder that the effects go both ways sometimes. But, is there some weakness, do you think, at the minute in the general teaching of Welsh history, where it is conducted, that it does tend to present it as British history that occurred in Wales, and there's not that sense of it as an indigenous phenomenon, or do you not see that?
Cymysglyd dwi'n meddwl.
It's mixed, I think.
'It's patchy, I think', I would presume is the answer to that.
Sori, dwi'n siarad Saesneg.
Sorry, I'm speaking in English.
Patchy. I'll just finish off my point in English. That's the point I would make. That's probably the truth. And it was a consequence of the national curriculum we had—we still have in place, really. It was a curriculum developed for the whole of England and Wales, and the Cwricwlwm Cymreig came as an addition to it. So, it was natural then for schools to plan and to think in terms of, 'This is the main core of history; add a little bit onto it to give it the Welsh flavour', and hopefully we are moving away from that approach, because it's inherent in the structure of the new curriculum that Welsh history is integrated at the core and is central to what will be studied in schools in Wales.
Also resources—if resources are readily available from the Welsh dimension, showing the Welsh dimension, then they will be used more, but in the past a lot of the resources were, I wouldn't say Anglo-centric, but they were British-viewing rather than specifically Welsh-viewed. I think the biggest thing that's needed is some exemplar materials to show what is it people need to deliver the new curriculum properly.
I think Gareth is right and Eryl. It varies; it's patchy, and that is something I hope you could rectify in the next few months—that there is a consistency in the teaching so that children, when they finish studying history, know a core of our history now. As Carwyn Jones said earlier, there is a strong debate on how much you can include in the time frame, but I think we need to decide what they should know when they stop studying history. And there is an issue there with some teachers. I think they're not confident in that, and the resources that have been available have been coming from England—they're more attractive. This is an issue for you as well.
But I take very much the points that you made last week—as I said, I think it was an impressive debate last week—that there are links outside Wales: that Strathclyde is from Ystrad Clud and Cumbria is virtually the same word as 'Cymru', and in there you've got Penrith; Malvern is Moelfryn. Essentially, that is the Welsh language spread outside Wales, and these links are not well known to people outside Wales, and we are not aware of Scottish and, heaven help us, Irish history. If we understood Irish history a bit better, then perhaps David Lloyd George would have avoided the trap he fell into in 1922. But I think these are things that we need to rectify, but certainly, at the end of studying history, I would hope that there's a core knowledge of the key events in our history, but that's a challenge to do with teachers, in-service training and with resources.
I must say that I'm inclined to your view that there are key concepts or key events and periods that you need at least some familiarity with. We're moving to a curriculum that is based on concept rather than content. I can see that there are advantages to that and probably the best practice that will flourish will be really impressive, but the common practice may not be quite as integrated. And I just wonder if you think there's a particular danger there that, as we move to this freer style, some teachers who don't have the confidence to deal with the full richness of Welsh history, both in its location immediately to them, but also as you've emphasised, with Wales as an entity as well. We've even heard one witness say that it'll be a problem for those trained outside Wales to come in and make good if they've not already had this in their higher education, for instance. Do you see these as challenges that we might face in the new curriculum about the confidence and ability to integrate the Welsh history in this united humanities approach?
Dwi'n sicr—sori, gwnaf i ddweud yn y Gymraeg rŵan, rŵan fy mod i wedi cofio beth ydy fy iaith i. Yn sicr mae yna sialensau. Dyna pam mae angen strwythur clir efo cefnogaeth gadarn, arweiniad ac yn y blaen i gynorthwyo ysgolion i fedru wynebu'r sefyllfaoedd yma. Dwi'n meddwl pe byddai hanesydd sydd wedi cael ei hyfforddi tu allan i Gymru yn symud i mewn i sefyllfa lle mae yna strwythur cadarn o ddysgu hanes Cymru, fel rhan o hanes, yn symud i mewn i sefyllfa fel yna, gyda'r cynlluniau gwaith yn eu lle a gydag adnoddau ar gael, mi fyddai hanesydd, wedi derbyn hyfforddiant fel hanesydd ar lefel prifysgol ac yn y blaen, yn gallu dysgu'r ffeithiau sydd eu hangen, os liciwch chi, i fedru cyflwyno hanes Cymru yn effeithiol. Ond mae'n rhaid cael y strwythur cefnogaeth yn ei le yn y lle cyntaf.
Un pwynt, os caf i jest gyfeirio ato fo—mae'r Gweinidog Addysg wedi dweud bydd yna ganllawiau statudol yn cael eu cyhoeddi. Dwi ddim yn siŵr iawn beth fydd natur a rôl a chynnwys y rhain, felly, ond mae yna gyfle yn fanna yn sicr, onid oes, i'r Gweinidog Addysg roi y math yna o arweiniad rydyn ni wedi bod yn ei grybwyll y prynhawn yma. Gobeithio mai dyna fydd rôl y canllawiau statudol hynny.
I'm certain—sorry, I'll turn to Welsh now, now that I've remembered what my language is. Certainly, there are challenges involved. That's why we need a clear structure with strong support, leadership and guidance to assist schools to face these situations. I think that if a historian who had been trained outside of Wales moved into a situation where there was a strong structure of teaching Welsh history as part of history, moving into that kind of situation, with work plans in place and with resources available, a historian, who would have had received training as a historian at university level and so forth, would be able to teach the facts that are needed to present Welsh history effectively. But you need that structure of support in place at the beginning.
One point, if I may just refer to this—the education Minister has said that there will be statutory guidance that will be published. I'm not entirely sure what the nature and the role and the content of this guidance will be, but there is an opportunity there, I would say, for the Minister for Education to give that type of leadership that we have been referring to today. I hope that that will be the role of that statutory guidance.
Mae'n rhaid i fi symud ymlaen—dwi'n ymddiheuro—yn glou i gwestiwn gan John Griffiths—efallai i ganolbwyntio ar y cymwysterau; dwi'n credu ein bod ni wedi trafod yr adnoddau nawr.
We do have to move on, I do apologise. We'll move on to questions from John Griffiths, focusing on qualifications. I think we have discussed resources.
Yes, okay. It's a matter of accountability, really, isn't it, as we make this move from content to concept, as David Melding described. How can we have confidence that we will get consistency in terms of the quality of education on these matters? Is there anything in particular you'd like to see in terms of necessary accountability?
Un broblem, dwi'n meddwl, ydy bod y strwythurau cefnogi sydd wedi bod ar gael drwy'r awdurdodau lleol i bob pwrpas ddim yn bod bellach, ac mae hyd yn oed yr asiantaethau cynghori dan bwysau ariannol nawr hefyd. Mae GwE yng ngogledd Cymru, er enghraifft, ar hyn o bryd heb ymgynghorydd dyniaethau. Felly, ble mae ysgolion gogledd Cymru yn mynd i edrych tuag ato fo os ydyn nhw'n teimlo'r angen am gefnogaeth a chyngor? Mae eisiau edrych ar hynny. Yr unig ffordd i gael y cysondeb yma ydy bod yna bolisïau, bod yna strwythurau cenedlaethol mewn lle, a bod yna arolygu neu adolygu cenedlaethol, trwy Estyn neu beth bynnag—bod yna gadw llygad wedyn ar beth yn union sy'n digwydd mewn ysgolion unigol ac ar lawr y dosbarth.
One problem, I think, is that the support structures that have been available through local authorities to all intents and purposes no longer exist. Even the advisory agencies are under great pressure. The regional consortium, GwE, in north Wales, for example, doesn't have a humanities consultant at present. So, where do the schools of north Wales turn to if they feel that there is a need for support and advice? So, we do need to look at that issue. The only way that we can achieve this consistency is for there to be policies and structures that are in place nationally, and that there is inspection or national review, whether that be through Estyn or whatever—that someone has oversight on what precisely is happening in individual schools and out there in the classrooms.
I'll say it in English, if you like. I really think that there are challenges with this idea of concepts, because they're open to interpretation, and it depends then how various schools interpret those. If you take the secondary sector, you might have a head of history or someone leading the history curriculum taking the lead role and the emphasis might be on history; you might have a geographer in another school. This is the problem that I have with the present guidelines, that they are open to this interpretation and there's not going to be a consistency throughout Wales, and, if you're calling it a vision for Wales, surely there should be some knowledge that is common to all pupils when they stop studying history. I think there's a huge, huge challenge ahead of schools in putting the meat on the bone. The structure sounds fine, but, when you try to pin it down to what parents should be asking when they come home from school, what examiners want to examine, what colleges and universities will want to know, I'm doubtful. I hope I'm wrong, because children's education is being considered here. I hope I'm wrong, but I am fearful of this idea of concept without pinning down the content.
I know we've got very little time, Chair. Very briefly, the timeliness of the new qualifications—any key points you'd like to make on that?
Ah, right. Well, the sooner we get the exemplar materials the better, because then people will know what the qualifications are going to roughly look like. Because without some exemplar materials—. I must admit I've been looking keenly and waiting for some examples of what's expected. But nothing yet, I'm afraid.
No. Just quickly, that's another driver, if you like, to the curriculum. I wouldn't wish in any way for teachers to follow rigorously set requirements of a syllabus for qualifications, like a racehorse with the what-do-you-call-them on the side of their—
But that is the driver. If formal qualifications expect a certain standard and level and so on, then teaching will, at least partially, be driven towards that aim. So, that's another driver that would possibly achieve the consistency that I'm sure we're all after.
Yn anffodus, dŷn ni wedi rhedeg mas o amser. Mae'r amser mor brin gyda ni ar hyn, ond os oes mwy o wybodaeth gyda chi dŷch chi ddim wedi'i dweud wrthym heddiw, croeso i chi ysgrifennu atom ni gyda'r wybodaeth honno. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn i chi.
Unfortunately, time has beaten us. Time is so scarce for us today on this issue, but, if you do have additional information on something that you haven't raised here today, do feel free to write to us with that information. But thank you very much for discussing this with us.
Diolch yn fawr i chi am yr amser.
Thank you very much for your time.
A diolch i chi i gyd am rhoi sylw i'r mater pwysig yma.
And thank you for all the attention that you've given to this important issue.
Wel, y cyhoedd sydd wedi penderfynu.
Well, it was the public that decided.
A'r drafodaeth yr wythnos diwethaf yn y Senedd. Roedd hwnna'n dda iawn. Diolch.
And for the debate in the Chamber last week. That was very good. Thank you.
Mae e wedi helpu ni wrth siapio'r hyn dŷn ni'n gwneud nawr.
Dŷn ni'n mynd i symud yn syth ymlaen at y tystion nesaf, fel ein bod ni'n gallu clywed gan y tystion olaf.
It has assisted in shaping what we're doing today.
We will move immediately on to the next evidence session, so that we can hear from those witnesses, our final witnesses.
Diolch, a chroeso i eitem 5 ar ein agenda yma heddiw. Jest i esbonio, gwnaethon ni ofyn i Race Council Cymru ddod, ond, yn anffodus, dŷn nhw ddim yn gallu dod oherwydd salwch. Roeddwn i jest eisiau nodi hynny ar gyfer y record. Ond diolch i Ginger Wiegand, Tîm Cymorth Lleiafrifoedd Ethnig ac Ieuenctid Cymru, a hefyd, i Gaynor Legall, y Gyfnewidfa Treftadaeth a Diwylliant, am ddod mewn atom heddiw. Oherwydd diffyg amser, byddwn ni'n ceisio rhuthro drwy'r cwestiynau—os dŷn ni'n gallu gael atebion bras hefyd. Byddwn ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, a'r cwestiwn cyntaf sydd gen i ynglŷn â'r cwricwlwm fel mae'n sefyll yw: ydych chi'n credu bod pethau wedi newid ers grŵp gorchwyl 2013 ar hanes Cymru, neu ydych chi ddim wedi gweld unrhyw fath o newidiadau o gwbl yn eich tyb chi?
Thank you, and welcome to item 5 on our agenda. Just to explain, we did ask Race Council Cymru to join us, but, unfortunately, they weren't able to come because of ill health. I just wanted to put that on the record. But thank you very much to Ginger Wiegand, Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales, and also Gaynor Legall, the Heritage and Cultural Exchange. Thank you both for for joining us today. Because of a lack of time, we will rush through the questions—if we could have succinct answers, that would be useful. We will be asking questions based on various themes, and my first question is on the curriculum as it currently stands: do you think that things have changed since the 2013 task and finish group published its report on the history of Wales, or have you seen no change whatsoever?
Are you asking me, or both of us?
Both of us—both of you. When I'm asking, I'm asking both of you. You don't always have to answer each question.
Okay. I don't see any change.
I don't see any change either. And in terms of—. EYST Wales did engagement with pupils, with 32 pupils, in four different locations last year, and, especially in terms of representation of racial diversity in the curriculum, and people seeing their own identities and a range of identities represented, there is no change, and pupils feel that they're underrepresented in the curriculum and that this affects their self-esteem and the way that other pupils view them.
Felly, ar hyn o bryd—yn y cwricwlwm ar hyn o bryd—beth ydych chi'n credu sydd angen newid nawr, o feddwl bod y cwricwlwm newydd yn mynd i ddod mewn yn 2022? Er enghraifft, fyddai adroddiad thematig gan Estyn ar y sefyllfa nawr yn helpu chi er mwyn cael tystiolaeth, fel dŷch chi newid ei ddweud, dyw e ddim yn ddigonol? Beth fyddai'n helpu i newid y system nawr?
So, presently—in the curriculum as it stands—what do you believe needs to be changed about it, given that the new curriculum is going to come in in 2022? For example, would a thematic review by Estyn on the current position assist you in order to garner evidence that, as you say, it's not sufficient? Can you tell us what would help to change the system now?
Okay. I think that one of the main issues in order to effect change could begin here. So, for instance, we've come to talk about a topic that is about black and minority ethnic people and pupils, and we're short of time, so we're asked to be succinct. We are constantly either in an annex, an add-on, or 'shake a little bit on the top of what we're doing'. There needs to be a fundamental change, and that fundamental change must come from the Welsh Government, in the way that it looks at the curriculum, in the way that it looks to develop its citizens of Wales, and recognises that the citizens of Wales are not all white skinned, that we have a history that was about contribution to Wales and that history has to be reflected throughout the curriculum. So, there are some specific changes, but I think unless we—you—grasp that nettle and take that change and give it some importance, you will just be tinkering and very little will change.
I would just say that I agree wholeheartedly—I agree wholeheartedly with the statement that Gaynor just presented to you, and I know that you want to be succinct, but—
But that's everybody by the way, because time is tight, so it doesn't apply exclusively to you, just for you to know.
Okay, that's fine. This is a quote that I often use just to illustrate that point. It's actually from Riz Ahmed, who is a British actor, who is quite often asked, 'What do you think about diversity in Hollywood? What about diversity in the roles that you get?' This is what he has to say. He talks about representation, not diversity:
'I don’t like to talk about diversity...it sounds like an added extra. It sounds like the fries, not the burger...like something on the side—you got your main thing...and [then you] sprinkle on a little bit of diversity.... That’s not what it’s about for me. It’s about representation. Representation is absolutely fundamental in terms of what we expect from our culture, and from our politics. We all want to feel represented. We all want to feel seen and heard and valued, so I prefer to talk about representation.'
I think that's just underlining the setting of the scene for that and where that fundamental shift needs to take place. But I just point out to you today that, if we look at pupils in Wales today, 11 per cent of pupils in Wales today have ethnic minority heritage. If we look at Cardiff, 33 per cent of those pupils have ethnic minority heritage—that's a third; a third of our students in Cardiff. Going to Newport, we're looking at nearly 25 per cent and, in Swansea, nearly 15 per cent.
So, I think that, if we talk about culture as being something that's emerging, that intersects and is constantly changing and negotiating, this new curriculum must reflect dynamic Welsh cultures, cultures in plural, a multi-racial society, and it has to be transformative and progressive. But it's not going to happen by accident. I think there's a hard truth that we have to face. The current and previous curriculums of Wales and other UK nations have been Eurocentric. We all exist in a colonial history; there are racial hierarchies associated with those histories and they affect the way that all of us think in very different fashions, and I think that needs to be unpicked and challenged with counter-narratives.
But I think—sorry, I'll finish very quickly now—getting to the question of what needs to happen—.
Now in the current system, what needs to happen in the current system—I think, first of all, you need to look at who are your teachers, why are not more ethnic minority people going into the teaching profession, what can, what needs to, be done to recruit and progress BAME teachers, but also what needs to be done to ensure that current teachers are culturally competent—that they can deal with that history that we have just mentioned and create a curriculum that will be transformative.
In terms of the new curriculum and the area of learning of the humanities and the base of history and Welsh history within that, what would you say that should be?
Well, first of all, I would say that not all people are going to agree on what Welsh history is and what Welsh history means, and I think there needs to be a common agreement about what that is. It needs to be inclusive and it needs to include all of the histories that Gaynor mentioned in her answer to the previous question. I do think that there's going to be a tension between teaching what people often call the canon: the saints versus the—right, so, medieval history versus what's happening contemporarily. But I think even look at Wales in terms of colonial history. So, Wales has a history of being colonised by England, which I'm sure a lot of people think should be included in the new curriculum. Wales also has a history of participating and benefiting from the British empire and the British colonisation of many parts of the world, and that needs to be looked at—and in participating in slavery and the slave trade as well, and that needs to be looked at in a really honest fashion. In fact, the United Nations convention on the elimination of racial discrimination—the UK is a signatory to that. So, every five to six years the UK undergoes an assessment as to whether it's—. Because you have a duty to actually eliminate racial discrimination as a UK nation that has signed this treaty. In the most recent recommendations from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, there's a specific recommendation to look at the way, throughout all UK nations, how colonial history is represented, and to represent it in a more factual and true light—not whitewashing it.
In fact, what I would say is that—I don't want to lose the pupil voice here, but I just want to say that a lot of the pupils that we spoke with were quite critical of the current way in which they see non-white British ethnicities represented in the curriculum. They didn't refer to whitewashing but they were able to talk about that. They were able to say—in answering the question 'What did they teach you about black history?', one girl said, 'They taught us that black people were slaves.' This is not where black history begins, nor where it ends. But that is what they were taught. When we asked about—. Muslim girls were saying that it's the luck of the draw whether they actually get taught their religion in a school or not, because it depends very much on which school they went to, what their teachers actually know. They were quite critical of the superficial knowledge of teachers, in terms of teaching what we have been calling 'diverse histories'. Yes, so I think we need to show that history, not only contemporaneously by redefining what Welsh culture is, but making sure that everybody's on board and doesn't see it as a white definition, but also looking at that colonial interpretation.
I was just going to say that Wales has been a forerunner in lots of areas of development, and going back to the—. Wales was the first country to develop the rights of the child and to embed it in the way that the Welsh Government operates. I think the curriculum is an action that falls out of that. If we want to develop our young people into full citizens of Wales, the choice that's being discussed here about the rights of particular schools to develop a curriculum that is locally based and informs children about their locale, as opposed to something that is prescriptive, and says, 'You have to cover this'—I think there are certain elements that have to be prescriptive, and some of the prescriptive elements have to be about—.
I've been listening to the debate whilst I was waiting in the room. I'm not going to rehearse all this about where history starts and whether the saints are important or not, because, like Carwyn said, it depends who's written the history. But our history—black history and that—. When I'm talking about Welsh history I tend not to use the words 'black history', because it's our history, it's Welsh history. When we talk about 'our history' we have to include all of us in it. So, I think there are elements that transpose the curriculum, that go into what education is really about. It's not just about young people passing exams, it's about growing them, it's about making them aware of their environment and their responsibilities. As such, I think there are elements within it that have to be prescriptive.
Okay. Would you say that there's a sort of minimum level of knowledge that's required on diversity in Wales, historically, and now, right across Wales? And then, locally, in those areas, such as Newport, Cardiff and Swansea, where there are many more diverse communities than elsewhere in Wales, that, locally, then, you would expect more concentration on those issues?
The organisation I'm the chair of is called Cultural Exchange, because it's about that. I want the kids who live in the docks—where I grew up—to know about north Wales, to know about Bangor and Carmarthen and Harlech, as much as I want the people in Harlech and Carmarthen and that to know about the docks and about the coal industry and about the shipping, because it's about Wales. This is our country, and we need to know the total of how we got here, and, more importantly, how we're going to move forward. And we can only move forward together. So, information is power. So, the more we can tell—. It doesn’t matter for me. There are specifics, and I think that’s where you get into the area of whether schools can develop specifics about their locale, and then you can say, 'Well, there’s a large Yemeni community, there’s a large Somali community—we can develop more things.' But, generally, right across Wales, we all need to know about each other.
Yn adeiladu ar hynny, â dweud y gwir, achos, wrth gwrs, rŷn ni'n symud ymlaen nawr i feddwl am y cwricwlwm newydd sydd yn dod gerbron, ac, wrth gwrs, dŷn ni'n symud i ffwrdd o'r syniad yma bod yn rhaid addysgu pynciau perthnasol, hanesyddol, yn fwy i sôn am syniadau, ac felly, mae yna lot o hyblygrwydd. Felly, o osod y cyd-destun fel yna, ydych chi’n gweld hynny fel her, neu oes yna, efallai, gyfyngu neu golli cyfle i gael hanes pawb yng Nghymru yn y cwricwlwm?
Building upon those points, because, of course, we're moving on now to think about the new curriculum that's to be introduced, and, of course, we're moving away from this idea that we must teach particular historical events and thinking more about concepts and ideas, so there's a great deal of flexibility. So, in that context, do you see that as a challenge, or is there perhaps a missed opportunity in teaching the history of everyone in Wales in the new curriculum?
Do you want to answer that or do you want me to start?
You go first, please.
Okay. When I looked at the draft, I thought we were missing some opportunities, because, although I think you thought I was talking about the past, I’m actually talking about the future. So, this issue of concept is what Ginger said—it’s about being represented. So, we need to represent the various communities and populations of Wales in our curriculum. And if we don’t include that as something that’s mandatory, then we will have missed an opportunity going forward.
Can you repeat the question one more time?
Yn nhermau hyblygrwydd y cwricwlwm newydd—meddwl am y dyfodol nawr—mae'r cwricwlwm yn mynd i fod yn fwy hyblyg; mae e lawr i athrawon unigol. Ydych chi'n gweld her, sialens neu obaith, achos bydd e ddim yn pennu atodiadau penodol, felly?
I was thinking about the flexibility of the new curriculum. Looking to the future, the curriculum is going to provide more flexibility—it'll be down to individual teachers to decide much of what's taught. Do you see challenges or hope in that, because it won't be too prescriptive, therefore?
Okay. I see both challenges and hope in that. I would just say, once again, I agree with everything that Gaynor said, and maybe talk about one of the challenges that I would see, which is about making sure that teachers, especially when we're talking about representation—ensuring that representation of all of the people who live in Wales get into that curriculum. I think it's very important that, not only as was stated earlier—that we make sure that the population of teachers who are teaching reflect that diversity in that population—but that teachers are really trained and equipped and feel confident in presenting that. Because I think there's a lot of evidence that teachers, sometimes, don't feel equipped to present histories that they're not very familiar with. So, I think that we need to make sure that both initial teacher training—. There is some evidence that there's very little attention given to ethnic or racial diversity, currently, in initial teacher training, So, there is an opportunity to use this new curriculum to ensure that that is addressed, along with continuing professional development—looking at that continuing professional development. And I do think that there is going to be an initiative to train teachers to deal with the new curriculum, and I think you need to really take this issue seriously, and look at it at the centre when you're teaching teachers to rise to this challenge.