NGfL Cymru, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and managed by WJEC (an organisation which provides education and assessment services in Wales and England), has been supporting schools in Wales in the commissioning, development, support and dissemination of web-based teaching and learning resources for the last seven years. In the new three-year contract, awarded in June 2007, the remit was extended to support vocational and further education (FE).
This extension is a positive step forward in the provision of a central repository of educational resources in Wales. It also provides an exciting new challenge for the NGfL Cymru team to engage and work with the FE sector.
Currently, through liaison with existing groups and discussion with colleagues within colleges, we are undertaking a needs analysis to understand requirements and determine the areas of greatest resource needs. In particular we are working closely with college ILT champions to seek their views, identify what developments are going on within their establishments, and see what resources might already be available for sharing.
To date these have been positive discussions and a number of institutions have already agreed to share some of their existing resources. The ethos of sharing good classroom practice has been and continues to be at the heart of what we do and working directly with practitioners will allow us to ensure that this continues.
The materials that are currently available on NGfL Cymru have been developed from a number of different sources. These include individual teachers, networks of teachers, collaboration between institutions, and new resources that have been commissioned to fill an identified gap. They have been specifically developed to support the needs of the Curriculum in Wales (Y Cwricwlwm Cymreig) and the bilingual provision of resources.
Experience in the schools has shown that there is a significant amount of resource development already going on, and within NGfL Cymru we have been proactive over the years in trying to facilitate the sharing of these resources.
One of the exciting ways of developing resources is working directly with individual practitioners in Wales and through our Innovative Resources Fund (IRF) we are able to offer some remuneration to support the development process. Often, IRF projects are based on materials that may already exist but require additional work to make them suitable for sharing on the web. Support for these projects is offered via our team of field development officers (FDOs, who are practitioners) and the in-house development team. More information on the IRF can be found on the NGfL Cymru website
Other work that is currently being undertaken is a review of the existing resources and a re-mapping of these resources against the subjects and levels used in FE, making it easier for them to be accessed.
As with any project of this kind we are keen to get as much new material onto the site as quickly as we can; with that in mind we would encourage you to contact us to discuss existing material you would be willing to share, ideas you may have that you would be interested in developing through the IRF and any gaps in current provision that you think we could help fill within your curriculum areas.
Currently we have seven FDOs located around Wales who would be able to meet with you to discuss your ideas and provide further information on the role of NGfL Cymru. In particular, Karen Ford has the remit to support vocational and FE developments and she can be contacted via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
or on 029 20265177.
We hope you find NGfL Cymru a useful resource and very much look forward to engaging with you in the near future.
NGfL Cymru can be found at www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk
. Sian Williams