The National Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification

he National Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is a compulsory qualification in our Key Stage 4 curriculum. It is compulsory throughout Wales, being a very highly regarded enhancement to the traditional pre-16 curriculum.

What Is The National Welsh Baccalaureate?

The National Welsh Baccalaureate – or the National Welsh Bacc – is a modern qualification, which recognises almost everything that young people do at Ysgol Bryn Elian. It does not replace current qualifications, such as GCSEs, but adds to these by providing breadth and balance through a programme of skills-based activities.

The National Welsh Bacc is divided into two parts:

The National Skills Challenge Certificate GCSE

A student who has a C or above in GCSE English and Maths, with 3 other additional GCSEs or equivalent, will then be awarded the National Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification.

Why Follow The National Welsh Bacc?

The National Welsh Bacc allows students to develop skills which are seen as increasingly important for young people by the government, employers and higher education.

These skills are:


Application of Number

Digital Literacy

Critical Thinking

Creativity and Innovation

Working with Others

Problem Solving

What Does The National Welsh Bacc Involve?

The National Welsh Bacc builds on the range of subjects and courses already available, so that students will be able to choose from existing GCSE subjects as they wish. The big difference is the Core Programme, which is designed to enable students to acquire passes in three Skills Challenges and an Individual Project. Students are guided through the Core by means of structured lessons, activities, outside speakers and projects.

How Does The Core Programme Work?

There are four components:

Community Challenge - 15%

Here a student carries out a 10 hour community project. They analyse the skills needed, complete a detailed action plan, including a health and safety audit, and complete the 30 hours. Students evidence their contributions using a blog, photographs, interviews etc. They then reflect on their performance.

Global Challenge - 15%

This involves a student developing their understanding of a key global issue. They form a Personal Standpoint, develop a raising awareness pack about the issue, and analyse their performance in the challenge through a written reflection.

Enterprise and Employability - 20%

The purpose of this Challenge is to develop learners’ skills, whilst providing opportunities for learners to develop enterprising skills and attributes and enhance employability. This Challenge encourages students to focus on what will come next for them, in terms of their education and employment.

Individual Project - 50%

The purpose of the Individual Project is to develop learners’ skills, through carrying out a research activity with an emphasis on future educational or career aspirations. This can be a written project, or learners can produce an artefact to support their findings.

What Will You Get Out Of The National Welsh Bacc?

Building on the range of subjects and courses already available, this qualification will provide students with new and exciting learning opportunities, allowing them to develop personal skills in a focused way, together with a range of positive experiences in the community and with employers.

Equal value is placed on academic and vocational qualifications and students will take part in practical activities that will develop a breadth of study and broader learning opportunities. In the National Skills Challenge, the emphasis will be on learning by doing.

The National Skills Challenge Certificate is awarded level 2 grades A*-C, and level 1 passes FoundationPass/FoundationPass+.