Concerns pupils 'deprived' of Welsh history teaching

Castle Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Dr Elin Jones said teachers were influenced by what they were taught in school

Pupils are being "deprived" by not being taught about history from a Welsh perspective, an academic who wrote a major report for the Welsh government has said.

Dr Elin Jones wants a much greater emphasis on Welsh history and said there is "very little evidence" of it being taught well in schools.

Between 10 to 15% of the history GCSE course has content about Wales.

The WJEC exam board said things should improve with new courses in 2016.

Dr Jones said nothing has changed in the two years since she wrote a report about how the history of Wales is taught in schools.

Gareth Pierce, the chief executive of the WJEC - Wales' largest exam board - said: "I think that's certainly been the case in terms of the current specifications for GCSE history.

"But we're now reforming those specifications and we're now moving towards a situation where there will be three taught units and in two of those three, a Welsh perspective will be fundamental."

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But Dr Jones told BBC Wales pupils were being "deprived" of being taught about their own country from a Welsh perspective.

"Too many teachers think of Welsh history as an add on, in my view, rather than being the big basis from which you should look outwards," she said.

Image caption Children being taught history outside in Cardigan

"I did a soft consultation by going to public libraries and talking to the public when I was preparing my report and very many people said to me that their education had robbed them of the opportunity to learn about their own country. And that's a sad thing to learn."

Earlier this year, a report was published outlining far-reaching changes to the entire curriculum for three to 16 year olds in Wales.

It was written by the former chief inspector of schools in Scotland, Prof Graham Donaldson.

According to Dr Jones, the report failed to place enough emphasis on Welsh history and "appears to limit consideration of the Welsh dimension to language and culture only".

Image copyright BBC/WJEC

A Welsh government spokesman said: "Prof Donaldson was absolutely clear that a Welsh dimension should be included in each area of learning and experience.

"This is in line with Dr Elin Jones' Cwriculum Cymreig report which recommends that a Welsh dimension should be integrated into every subject, where that is relevant and meaningful.

"We will now set about creating a curriculum for Wales, which will be designed in Wales, by Wales."

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