The Values and Aims of the New Forest Small School Curriculum
Values of the School Curriculum
- At the New Forest Small School we believe education is about developing the ‘whole child’, by encouraging each individual’s intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, moral and physical growth, and thus general wellbeing.
- The school understands the importance of providing a balanced and wide-ranging curriculum for all pupils. As well as the core subjects (English, Maths & Science), all pupils study, throughout the school year, History, Geography, R.E., Spanish, P.H.S.E, Art & D&T, Music and Drama at least up until Year 10.
- We believe education is also a route to equality of opportunity and inclusion for all, a healthy and just democracy, a fair and productive economy based on sustainable development. Our curriculum is specifically designed to reflect the values and attributes that contribute to these ends. These include valuing and respecting ourselves, our families and other relationships, the wider groups to which we belong, the diversity in our society and the environment in which we live.
- The school actively promotes the universal and ‘British’ values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and tolerance of different belief systems. These fundamental, humanistic ideals are developed across all subjects and form the basis of many class discussions. They also inform the way we teach subjects such as History, English, PHSE, Psychology and Geography. For example in History we study the evolution of these values, including the challenges and dangers that these values have faced in the past and in the present both from within and without.
Aims of the School Curriculum
- The curriculum offers pupils a thorough, fun and stimulating journey, which aims to inspire in children a joy of learning and lead them towards self-discovery. We believe lessons should be engaging, stimulating and challenging to encourage the best possible progress and highest attainment for each pupil. To achieve this it is essential to work with the child’s natural skills and learning methods by carefully observing and responding to the unique nature of each individual child.
- We work with each child’s strengths, interests and experiences in order to develop their self-confidence, their ability for self-exploration and their effectiveness at collaborative exploration.
- Our fundamental aim is to help each child to think independently, to be able to read between the lines, to question, to enquire, to see the bigger picture and to make connections with their own lives and the wider world. The aim of the curriculum here is not only to develop rational, inquisitive minds but equally minds that are equipped with an emotional intelligence. Subsequently lessons often involve in depth discussions between the whole class and teacher – provoking thought, self-discovery and a genuine understanding.
- The curriculum aims to provide a modern and holistic education within a humanist, moral framework. This requires a curriculum that is flexible and responds to the times we live in.
- The curriculum is carefully designed to help build strong foundations in the Kindergarten years – good social skills, good practical skills, good concentration, self-confidence and the desire to learn and discover. The curriculum offers high academic standards in the Primary & Secondary Classes within a relaxed but stimulating environment. Although thorough and challenging, the curriculum is there to provide quality rather than just quantity.
- We understand the importance of developing connective and contextual knowledge. Consequently all subjects and topic areas of the curriculum are treated as inter-connected, as well as being connected to everyday life. The curriculum also provides an education ‘in context’; helping the child to also understand the context and history of each topic area.
- By providing rich and varied contexts for pupils to acquire, develop and apply a broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills, our curriculum enables pupils to think creatively and critically, to solve problems and to make a difference for the better. Similarly the school curriculum aims to develop pupils’ integrity and autonomy and help them to be responsible and caring citizens capable of contributing to the development of a just society
- The school curriculum is also designed to develop the pupil’s sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the social, cultural, moral and spiritual heritages of Britain’s multicultural society and of the local, national, European and global dimensions of their lives. This helps pupils to negotiate the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour as well as understanding the many different cultural, historical and social nuances which make up those boundaries.
- Each child is encouraged to appreciate human aspirations and achievements in aesthetic, scientific, technological and social fields, whilst prompting a personal response to a wide range of experiences and ideas.
- The curriculum provides each child with the opportunity to become creative, innovative, enterprising and capable of leadership, thus equipping each child with the skills and confidence, which will underpin both their success in, and enjoyment of, life.
- The curriculum also develops their physical skills and encourages them to recognise the importance of pursuing a healthy lifestyle and keeping themselves and others safe.
- The curriculum promotes equal opportunities and enables pupils to challenge discrimination and stereotyping and aims to develop each child’s ability to relate to, and empathise with, others.
- The curriculum is designed to effectively enable pupils to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change and adversity.
- Education must enable us to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges of our rapidly changing world. This means preparing children for life in the 21st century. Therefore we aim to prepare pupils for the next steps in their education, training, employment and life and equip them to make informed choices at school and throughout their lives.
- We believe that the essential perquisite for effectively achieving these aims is to deliver our curriculum within a small scale, child centred educational environment, which is best suited to ensuring that every child has a genuine opportunity to fulfil their full intellectual, social, moral, creative, spiritual and physical potential.