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Schools and colleges

We’re proud of the relationship we have with schools and colleges across Wales. We work with governors, teaching and support staff, and pupils and learners to create new courses and materials which can help professional development and improve student skills.

Here are some of the things we do:

Staff in schools and colleges

Training teachers

We’re helping develop the next generation of teachers with our new flexible Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This includes a salaried route for school staff, eg teaching assistants, or a non-salaried route for people looking for a career change. There’s also a way for schools to get involved in the programme to support our student teachers.

Our Teachers Learning to Teach languages (TELT) programme has been set up to help primary school staff teach French, German Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, whilst learning the languages at the same time. This supports the requirement to teach languages at a primary school level as part of Wales’ new curriculum.

Free learning and microcredentials

Our free-learning site OpenLearn is packed full of free courses and information for teaching staff including:

We give direct training to partner colleges on things like our Everyday Skills English and Maths resources and using our OpenStem labs, and we’ve recently teamed up with the Welsh Government and Cardiff council to produce more free resources on the Hwb website. Our Cardiff Commitment Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Pilot was a collaboration to support staff in their approach to blended teaching and learning pedagogy. This was throughout the coronavirus pandemic as well as in preparation for the new Curriculum For Wales. Hear from the partners and teachers involved:

There are microcredentials on the OU’s Futurelearn page which can help staff improve the online teaching skills and embed mental health into the curriculum.

Supporting pupils and students

There’s a world of free learning on our OpenLearn site which can help students with further learning and research for coursework. OpenLearn Wales is full of content developed by the OU in Wales, including a new course to raise awareness of Welsh citizenship – Understanding devolution in Wales.

Recently, we partnered with Cardiff and the Vale College to support 68 of its students into higher education. We put this booklet for students which explains some more.

University Ready logo

We’ve worked with other universities in Wales to create University Ready – a new collection of resources to help people who are about to take the next step to university.

Finally, we run OU Ambassador and OpenLearn Champions programmes for organisations across Wales. Many of the people involved with these courses have a key role in student and pupil support including Heads of Sixth Form, Seren Coordinators, Welsh Baccalaureate leads, and Pastoral Support Tutors.

Our OpenLearn Champions programme is funded by our three Reaching Wider partners in Wales, who we work with to support adults to return to higher learning.

Wales’ new curriculum

The new curriculum for Wales will become mandatory for primary schools in Wales from September 2022 and will be rolled out to secondary schools in 2023.

This table summarises the work we do with schools and how it can support the Six Areas of Learning and Experience.