The Downend Curriculum: Aims and Principles
Our curriculum aims to develop students, in line with our values, who are articulate, confident young people, because:
- They are provided with the opportunities, knowledge and skills to nurture intellectual, emotional, social, creative and physical development.
- They learn about a broad range of cultures, both past and present; understand the world around them; express themselves through performance and creation and develop healthy lifestyle habits.
- Have access to powerful knowledge and skills so that they can both interpret and improve their world.
- Develop their skills in literacy, numeracy, oracy and their social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding.
In order to achieve this, our curriculum has at its core a number of principles:
- The curriculum belongs to everybody. We need to share it and have a collective view of it.
- Our school should be viewed as a place that enables young people to develop thoughtful perspectives on the world as well as achieve the qualifications they need for the next steps of their education, training or employment.
- It is the job of the teacher to help students develop a sophisticated palate, so that they can understand the world around them and broaden their experience to new worlds that they are not yet familiar with.
- There are inherent conflicts and controversies in any curriculum choices. We should recognise these rather than avoid them so that our young people can add their educated opinion to the ongoing debate.
- Our young people have an entitlement to an ambitious core knowledge base and understanding, which is rooted in our common vision and values.
- Subject expertise is vital and should be developed.