Delivering Digital: Counting down to first teaching

An update on new Digital Technology qualifications by Dean Seabrook, Qualifications Manager, Qualifications Wales


Dean Seabrook, Qualifications Manager, Qualifications Wales

In November 2020 we told you about the work that we were doing to support the introduction of the new Digital Technology qualifications and published a timeline of the support being offered to teachers and centres. Since then, it has been a busy period with a number of exciting developments to tell you about.

It’s now less than six months until schools across Wales will start delivering the new GCSE Digital Technology qualification. This exciting new qualification builds on the findings of our sector review, Delivering Digital, and features up-to-date subject content and practical tasks that we think learners will find highly engaging. You can view the specification and supporting materials on WJEC’s subject page.

We have continued to work closely with Welsh Government, WJEC and Technocamps, to agree what support will be available to teachers and centres. We have also engaged with software companies to ensure that centres will be able to access the software they need to offer the new qualifications. 

To support teachers to deliver this new and exciting subject, Technocamps have designed a comprehensive programme of CPD for teachers. This extensive programme will begin this summer and will be free for teachers in Wales. You can find out more about this CPD programme on Technocamps’ website.

WJEC have held a successful series of ‘Preparing to Teach’ events, which over 200 teachers registered to attend, showing how much time centres are giving to their preparations. They have also published delivery guidance to provide further support as teachers prepare for first teaching.

Welsh Government has announced its ‘Adobe × Hwb’ programme, offering learners access to 22 programs in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite at a significantly reduced cost to schools. This includes programs that learners can utilise in the practical tasks for the new GCSE qualification. Adobe has also launched its free Summer Camp programme, beginning on 21 June 2021, offering support to teachers who are preparing to use a range of software from the suite with their classes.

YoYo Games, the developer of the GameMaker Studio 2 software, have showcased a wide range of resources that teachers and learners can use. They are also offering a discount on the licensing cost to schools and free evaluation licences until August 2021 to help teachers familiarise themselves with the software.

WJEC are currently developing the new GCE AS/A level Digital Technology qualification which should be available for first teaching in September 2022. We anticipate being able to approve this qualification in August this year to give centres at least 12 months to prepare to deliver the new qualification. We have recently published our approval criteria for this qualification, which set out the minimum requirements that must be met by an awarding body, and a document explaining how we developed these criteria.

We will continue to work with Welsh Government, Technocamps and WJEC as we approach the introduction of the new qualifications to ensure that centres are suitably prepared to offer them. If you have any questions about our work on the new Digital Technology qualifications, you can reach us at development@qualificationswales.org.

Published 11 June 2021