The Curriculum – Accessible, Broad and Challenging
The development of independent, critical thinkers and deep learning lies at the heart of our curriculum design. Our belief is that every student is given access to, and has an entitlement to, the full learning experience at Hasland Hall. A person who cannot walk is not disabled by their condition but by the lack of lifts and ramps. In the same way, the curriculum and education can ‘disable’ some students if we do not recognise their diverse needs. It is, therefore, everyone’s responsibility at Hasland Hall to ensure that we make the curriculum accessible and remove any barriers that could be experienced by those with learning difficulties, disabilities or from different cultures and/or socio-economic groups.
Students have different pasts and different futures. Our curriculum should help them to find their futures, understand their past and present and build lives that have meaning and purpose in a future society we can barely predict. All students, regardless of capacity, aptitude and biography have a right to the broad and challenging curriculum and, therefore, we do not offer a different curriculum to different students. Instead, we ensure that the curriculum is accessible, includes creative and cultural elements and embodies the knowledge and skills required for all. Students should analyse problems, question the methods used, explain the learning process, organise information, sustain curiosity, welcome questioning and probing, delight in the capacity to make sense of texts, ideas, theories and emotions and develop high-level transferable skills. The curriculum actively contributes to the development of students’ sense of identity through an understanding of diversity and local and global dimensions of their lives. Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to explore bias, to challenge prejudice and to address the causes and consequences of discrimination.
Throughout the curriculum, we maintain a culture of challenge and high expectations for every student, while recognising the methods we use and the responses we give may vary according to the particular student.
Because our curriculum design is based on the principles outlined above, we value three years dedicated to a broad Key Stage 3 Curriculum. Life is more than work and work is rarely a life-time career in one specialist area. If we give students the idea that they need skills, knowledge and understanding just for work or for one type of work, we would be wrong. Students need even higher-level transferable skills to perform effectively in a 21st century democratic society. Our curriculum design is, therefore, not about vocational outcomes, technological advancement, work choices or a set body of knowledge. It is about deciding what it means to be human and what kind of future and society we want for the human race and, therefore, for the students in our care. The inclusion of Music, Art, Design, Language, RE/Ethics, Humanities, Computing and PE, together with Core Subjects remain an entitlement of all students at KS3.
In a world where roles and jobs change frequently and where new technologies, approaches and organisations require transferable, rather than specialist, skills, we will, therefore, continue to guide students to a broad and challenging education at KS4. We recognise that if students become disengaged and/or do not make progress, it is not because the curriculum we provide is not appropriate. Instead we understand that to prevent disengagement and underachievement we need to provide quality teaching that ensures the best and most effective learning experience for all students in all subjects.
Finally, we recognise at Hasland Hall, that the curriculum is not just the schemes of work and the course outlines as students learn from what surrounds them. The curriculum is, therefore, also the seating plans and the group work, the displays, the books everyone reads, the reception of parents in the office, how we eat together in the Dining Room, the teachers’ reactions, the facial expressions and the language used by everyone, the place of the school in the community, the school teams and the extra-curricular activities and the way every student and every adult is greeted on every occasion throughout the school day.
Due to current Government Advice regarding non-essential social contact the Community Choir will be suspended until further notice.
Despite this they have met virtually and produced a Lockdown Creation!