‘My picture is not in Wales’: Pupils’ perceptions of cynefin (Belonging) in primary school curriculum development in Wales

Susan Chapman, Rosy Ellis, Gary Beauchamp*, Lisa Sheriff, David Stacey, Jane Waters-Davies, Adam Lewis, Catherine Jones, Merris Griffiths, Sammy Chapman, Rachel Wallis, Elizabeth Sheen, Thomas Crick, Helen Lewis, Graham French, Stephen Atherton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

In the new Curriculum for Wales (Cwricwlwm i Gymru) which is phasing in from September 2022, the concept of ‘cynefin’ (‘the place where we feel we belong’) is core to developing children’s understandings of place and identity. While cynefin has long been considered in a wider cultural and heritage context in Wales, it is not yet clearly understood in education, and is rarely explored from the pupil perspective. Drawing on data gathered from four primary schools in Wales (n = 67 children, aged 7–10), using the method of photo elicitation to scaffold talk, this article explores children’s understandings of what cynefin means to them. Themes of people, place, activity, and emotions/feelings emerged, which interconnected in multiple, non-linear, and unique ways, indicating the importance of nuance in primary-level curricula design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1214-1228
Number of pages15
JournalEducation 3-13
Volume51
Issue number8
Early online date26 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • belonging
  • Cynefin
  • identities
  • photo elicitation
  • primary school curriculum
  • pupil voice

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