The Welsh Baccalaureate (WBQ) is delivered at Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels in schools, colleges and training centres across Wales. The Welsh Baccalaureate Core at each level is studied alongside a range of appropriate academic and/or vocational optional qualifications. Candidates who meet the requirements of the Core and Options are awarded the full Diploma at the appropriate level. In addition, the Post 16 Level 1 Diploma and Post 16 Level 2 Diploma develop knowledge, understanding and skills with a particular focus on employability. These are currently only available as a pilot in some colleges or work based learning providers.
New Welsh Bac developments
The Review of Qualifications for 14-19 year olds in Wales report published in November 2012, proposed building on and strengthening the Welsh Baccalaureate to provide an overarching framework for qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds. WJEC has been working with the Welsh Government and stakeholders planning the new look Welsh Bac to be introduced from September 2015. This work is now completed.
The new Welsh Baccalaureate Specifications and Challenge Briefs are now available in a new section of the WJEC website.
If a learner is entered for the legacy Diploma this summer (2015) they will be awarded a Pass or a Fail and will not be graded as a grade C, but will still attract 120 UCAS points. This is a decision made following discussions between Welsh Government and UCAS.
New Graded Advanced WBQ
We would like to reiterate that irrespective of a learner’s grade in the new graded Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, they will secure 120 UCAS points. It appears that Universities are increasingly offering places on a grade basis. Centres inform us that typical offers do include the Welsh Bacc. Here are three offers made to one Welsh Bacc student recently for studying Law:
University of Birmingham - AAAA where the WBQ is accepted as one of the A grades
University of Bristol - AAA where the WBQ is accepted as one of the A grades
Cardiff University - AAB with an A in WBQ plus an A and a B from two A Level subjects
UCAS AND THE WELSH BAC FROM SEPTEMBER 2015
The Welsh Baccalaureate at the Advanced level is being substantially revised for learners beginning courses in September 2015. The first award of the revised Welsh Baccalaureate will be in August 2017. In attaining the Advanced Welsh Bacc, learners will be gaining a qualification that is the same size as an A level and graded in the same way (A*- E). On this basis and when full accreditation information is available, UCAS expect the revised Welsh Baccalaureate to be aligned in size to Band 4 (the same as the A level) and to allocate the same tariff points at each grade as those allocated for an A level.
RECENT MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS by Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills cover 'Measuring what matters: changes to Key Stage 4 school performance measures related to qualifications' (03/07/14) and 'Qualified for Life: delivering a national qualifications system for Wales in 2015' (11/07/14).
A CPD programme relating to the new developments has been arranged for April 2015 and these regionally based events are now open for booking.
QUALIFICATIONS WALES: More information about the latest developments can be found on the Qualification Wales website. This site contains in depth information on each of the qualifications including development work and the design principles.
QUALIFIED FOR LIFE: Information about the educational reforms in Wales generally, designed for stakeholders, including parents and learners can be found on the Qualified for Life website.
GRADING AT THE ADVANCED LEVEL: The new grading system will be relevant for candidates beginning their Advanced level WBQ courses in September 2013. The first grading will therefore be in 2015. General information: students/parents. Information for teachers: timetabling and delivery, new graded specification requirements, introductory presentation, guidance for students. More here.
WJEC-MUSEUM WALES ENTERPRISE COMPETITION: WJEC in partnership with Museum Wales are launching a Welsh Baccalaureate Enterprise Competition for schools delivering the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification in Key Stage 4. This year’s competition requires learners to “Design an innovative product that can be sold in a National Museum Wales shop that reflects ‘Economic and Technological’ developments in Wales.” Full details.
CARDIFF UNIVERSITY LAUNCH NEW CURRICULUM SUPPORT WEBSITE: The new Cardiff University curriculum support website was developed with teachers as part of the Cardiff University Schools Partnership Project. The aim of the site is to allow teachers and external organisations to find out about the range of school engagement activities that Cardiff University offers.
JOIN THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION ON 'THE WALES WE WANT': The campaign is supported by the Welsh Government and gives Welsh Bac learners an opportunity to contribute to the future shape of Wales. 'Tell us your vision for the future; what sort of Wales do you want to leave to the next generation - to your children and grandchildren?' To find out more visit the website.
USEFUL ORGANISATIONS: This section contains links to many organisatons with an interest in the Welsh Bac, with details of the opportunities, actvities and resources they provide.
NEWSLETTERS: Welsh Bac news, opportunties and resources.
CPD: Materials used at the Annual regional Welsh Baccalaureate conferences can be found in the relevant sections of this website. Feedback was provided on the Summer Award 2013. Materials on the graded Individual Investigation can be found in the guidance section.