We believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious Life curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which ignites curiosity and prepares them well for future learning or employment. Our Life curriculum will give students the opportunity to:
- Explore different cultures, beliefs and opinions to develop students understanding of the world and to help the to create their own views about relevant issues;
- Enhance students reading ability through the delivery of carefully chosen texts to support reciprocal reading;
- Enjoy a wide range of topic areas that include ethics, philosophy, economical wellbeing and issues relating to modern life;
- Develop cultural capital that will help remove barriers to achievement in school, future learning and the world of work;
- Experience learning that is ‘outside the academic’ throughout the year;
- Develop an understanding of Relationship and Sexual Education including healthy relationships and LGBTQ+ relationships;
- Produce ‘meaningful work’ of which they can be proud;
- Articulate and express their ideas, views and opinions about a wide range of topics clearly, confidently and respectfully;
- Develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence, so that they contribute positively to the life of the school, their local community and the wider environment.
Our “Life” programme is a five-year curriculum offer, tailored specifically to meet the needs of the school’s local context whilst at the same time equipping pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to play their full part in an ever changing world of the 21st century. Our programme includes the delivery of RE, RSE, PSHE, CEIAG and fundamental British Values, delivered through a combination of discrete timetabled lessons, our curriculum for life tutorial and assembly programme, plus a series of progressive “Step Up” days, as well as emphasising a number of cross curricular links across a wide range of subjects.
Life places social and personal development at the heart of its design, with group discussion, self-expression and the promotion of tolerance & respect towards the opinions of others assessed in each unit of work. Providing opportunities for pupils to develop confidence, resilience and knowledge to stay mentally and physically healthy are also included and developed in topics such as ‘Physical health and fitness’ and ‘Healthy relationships’.
At Key Stage 3, pupils explore an array of pertinent issues such as online and offline risks, including gangs, radicalisation and extremism through half-termly topics such as Me and My World, War, Conflict, Peace & Religion and Fitting in & Speaking out. The inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media is also reinforced through the ICT curriculum as well as being emphasised and revisited in our tutor time and assembly programme, promoting for example national ‘Safer Internet Day’ across the academy and key stages.
Religious Studies is also embedded throughout Key Stage 3, as pupils are able to explore the religions of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism through the lens of ‘What would a religious person do in this situation?’ in order to develop skills of reflection, respect and tolerance. Religious quotes are woven into schemes of learning such as Evil and Suffering and are interpreted alongside some religious practices and core beliefs.
With income deprivation and unemployment levels in the local area significantly above national averages, we are fully committed to ensuring that our Life curriculum provides sufficient time to achieve all eight of The Gatsby Benchmarks, working alongside organisations such as The Prince’s Trust and The National Citizenship Service. A mixture of tutor time activities and progressive step up days provide opportunities for work experience, employer contact and Enterprise Education to allow the following targets to be met:
Our RSE curriculum provision gives due regard to the DfE’s statutory guidance on sex and relationship education as well as focussing in more detail on issues most relevant to pupils in our local context. Specific needs, as they arise are responded to and incorporated into our planning, plus curriculum content is once again ‘stepped’ to ensure that key issues are revisited in later years and in greater depth. Where possible we also aim to bring in outside companies/agencies to deliver bespoke sessions to meet the specific needs of our pupils in Year 10 and Year 11.