Digital Competence Framework Update

The Digital Competence Framework (DCF) is the first element of the new curriculum for Wales to be made available. Digital competence is the set of skills, knowledge and attitudes that enable the confident, creative and critical use of technologies and systems. It is essential for learners if they are to be informed, capable and have the potential to be successful in today’s society.

Digital competence should not be confused with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or Computer Science. Digital competence is one of three cross-curricular responsibilities, alongside literacy and numeracy. It focuses on developing digital skills which can be applied to a wide range of subjects and scenarios that are transferrable to the world of work. However, it is not intended that digital competence should be artificially imposed into all subject areas. The DCF therefore includes examples of classroom task ideas that can be used to develop skills in naturally occurring, meaningful ways. These will continue to be developed by the Pioneer Schools’ Network and be made available through both Hwb and the Interactive Tool on the Learning Wales Website. Further guidance, downloads and FAQs are also available on Learning Wales.

The Central South Consortium Cronfa system contains a community that is available to all teachers to join. Information to support the adoption of the DCF will be made available and all teachers can access the area with their Hwb user details and collaborate across all community members. You can join the community here.

Programmes and events to support leadership and the development of the DCF across the curriculum are being developed by DCF Curriculum Hub Schools and are available to book through the Cronfa Events system.

Inspection

As is currently the case, Estyn will inspect standards and the quality of ICT provision. However, rather than only reporting on standards judged to be particularly strong or weak, from September 2016 inspectors will always report on standards in ICT in quality indicator 1.1.

Where schools are creative and imaginative in taking forward initiatives for the benefit of learners, including drawing on the DCF to develop their practice, inspectors will approach such innovation and flexibility in a positive way.

Recommendations

It is important for schools to begin work to adopt the DCF with the aim of embedding across the curriculum by 2018.

Initially, a combination of leadership activities and teaching & learning development will be required. The following is a suggested outline for getting started during the Autumn Term, 2016:

 
  • Leadership Team and key staff interpreting DCF expectations
  • Appointment of DCF lead within the school
  • Audit/map current curriculum contexts to the DCF
  • Identify areas for curriculum development
  • Audit of staff capabilities to identify support requirements
  • Audit of resource needs
  • Plan for ongoing spending to support identified resources
  • Begin to integrate DCF across the curriculum
 

These activities should form part of ongoing school improvement planning. For further guidance, please contact: richard.george@cscjes.org.uk.

Richard George
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Richard George

Strategic Adviser for Using Technology at Central South Consortium
Richard George
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