‘Wisdom is not a product of schooling, but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it’.
-Albert Einstein –
Our learning for life curriculum aims to help students be happy and safe in their lives, it allows students to reflect on the big issues of our age and to consider the difficult questions that they raise. The curriculum meets the demands of the government’s PSHE, citizenship and RSE guidance, whilst also considering the needs of our specific context. Within the curriculum, we consider politics, social issues, and topics that impact on the lives of our students, in doing so we aim to open their eyes to life beyond the hills of the High Peak.
Students in years 7-9 have weekly lessons. In year 7, we support our new students with lessons about high school expectations. Empathy is also a big focus at this early stage of their learning. We reflect on the academic side of school with an introduction to careers and aim to guide students through changes that will happen as they approach their teens with sessions on puberty, periods and sexuality. We spend a day learning about British Values, and we help them to stay safe online with lessons on extremism.
In year 8, we broach the issues of drugs, drinking, smoking, and vaping, as well as discussing healthy friendships and early relationship issues. Our local PCSOs come in to talk to students about anti-social behaviour and knife crime, and we explain the dangers of gangs and county lines. We also foster a strength of character with lessons on assertiveness, resilience, and personal safety.
Year 9 addresses some more challenging issues, with content that includes pornography, image sharing, racism, data harvesting and wellbeing. A theatre group visits and performs an age-appropriate play about grooming and exploitation - we believe that educating students about dangers helps them to recognise warning signs in their own lives and the lives of their friends and, ultimately, supports them to stay safe.
In years 10 and 11, students are taught about big issues, as we aim to broaden their understanding of the world: euthanasia, capital punishment, cancer, online gambling, conspiracy theories, radicalisation, consent and leaving home.
In addition to the weekly lessons in years 7 to 9, we reach students through assemblies, tutor time activities and drop-down days. We use this time to deliver content that is relevant, responsive, and appropriate to our classes. We want to equip our students to ask life’s big questions, to engage with our diverse and complex world with empathy, and to help bring about change for the better. We believe in the power of young people to make a difference and our learning for life curriculum aims to empower them to achieve this with confidence.
You can find our year 7 to 9 curriculum here.
Our year 10 and 11 curriculum is currently being updated and will be available soon.