Through the Character Curriculum, our students learn who they are as individuals, work towards their aspirations and develop their own voice. Finding that voice means that they can find their place in the world and make a positive difference.
We are very ambitious for our students. We nurture personal qualities in our young people, such as kindness, creativity and a sense of self-worth. As well as high quality teaching in every subject, our students also learn effective study habits: problem solving and reasoning skills, memory techniques and revision strategies, good sleep hygiene and the importance of routines.
The Character programme runs throughout the entire school experience including: subject lessons, tutor group sessions, assemblies, the Wellbeing Programme, the Achievement Programme, careers education, the House System, the Enrichment Programme, the Leadership Programme, the School Council and our Big Learning Lessons – creative, active, memorable year group lessons, which are underpinned by our values and ethos.
The school offers many leadership opportunities, nurturing confidence, independence and character and enabling interaction with a wide range of people. Students are encouraged to go out into the world and begin to advocate change through for example, gardening in the local community, fundraising for local charities and competing in national STEM competitions.
No one is too small to make a difference – Greta Thunberg
We want to give young people a voice to enable them to change the world. We help our students develop the confidence to find their voice through oracy education, to understand the world around them through a high-quality curriculum and to become advocates for causes that are important to them.
We encourage all of our students to think critically, speak their minds and to have the strength to stand up for themselves. In the classroom, we want our students to feel confident and know that that their voice and opinions will be heard. We provide many opportunities for our students to be heard and recognised, whether it be our primary pupils’ appearance on BBC television, discussing sustainably produced fresh produce; our secondary students presenting their entry in the final of a national STEM competition at the Palace of Westminster or our Health & Social care students building friendships with residents at our local care home.
Voice lessons are taught within our Hearts and Minds curriculum in Years 7 and 8. In these lessons, students develop the skills, confidence and self-belief to speak in public and share their thoughts and ideas with others. They learn to talk by practising sentence openers, taking on talk roles and learning how to listen. By the end of Year 7, all students have the opportunity to perform an Ignite Speech on a topic of their choice.
Students take part in collaborative learning that enables them to use their oracy skills during sessions at our Harkness table. In these sessions, 12 students are seated around the table for discussion, debate and problem solving. The oval design of the Harkness Table allows everyone seated to see the eyes of everyone else at the table, meaning all students are positioned equally and encouraged to participate.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice – Michelle Obama