A new Welsh baccalaureate qualification introduced in September 2015 places greater emphasis on applied and purposeful learning and assessment.

A review of qualifications for 14- to 19-year-olds in Wales, conducted in 2012, concluded that secondary level qualifications should support a broad and balanced general education up to the age of 16, and coherent programmes of learning at ages 16 to 19, which provide both vocational and academic progression routes.

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The revised baccalaureate comprises a skills challenge certificate, and national academic and vocational qualifications. The aim is to develop and demonstrate proficiency in essential and employability skills, including communication, numeracy, ICT, planning and organisation, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, and personal effectiveness. Real life context is added through three skills challenges and an individual project.

Businesses and charities are invited to develop skills challenges, and the Welsh Fire and Rescue Services, in partnership with the Welsh Joint Examinations Council and the College Merthyr Tydfil, have created the Welsh baccalaureate challenges project.

The challenges are:

  • helping to reduce deliberate fires;
  • helping to keep your community safe;
  • helping to reduce accidental fires in the home;
  • road safety.

The challenges will see young people develop projects and spread the fire services’ community safety messages to fellow students and other groups that they have been unable to reach so far.

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