When designing a curriculum relevant to meet the needs of our children at The Howard School, we started by working in consultation with parents/carers, pupils, staff and governors using the school’s vision as a key driver.
Using the national curriculum and our school vision and values, subject leaders have developed the ‘Howard Knowledge Essentials,’ criteria which we aspire for all our children to achieve during their time at Ackworth Howard. We strive for all children to leave our school equipped with the essential knowledge they need to succeed at secondary school and in future life. For each subject and year group a set of non-negotiables have been established to enable learners to sustain strong progress as they move through our school and beyond.
The school’s defined essential knowledge, which is deeper and broader than the National Curriculum expectation, is taught coherently across all subjects. Reading is key to the curriculum offer and underpins the fabric of the curriculum with high quality and challenging texts utilised across all subjects.
The curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of our pupils specifically incorporating: purposeful and rich links to local heritage and community, research-based pedagogy and in-depth knowledge of the school’s setting.
Our aim is to provide a holistic curriculum that seeks to engage all aspects of the learner, including mind, body and spirit. Its philosophy is based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning and purpose in life through connections to their local community, to the natural world and to Christian values. All essential qualities in enabling people to flourish – both adults and children!
At the heart of the curriculum are a core set of threads, all of which ensure the development of socially aware citizens who engage with the wider world and the issues within it: Diversity, Values and Perceptions, Social Justice, Health and Wellbeing, Resilience and Aspirations. Character development punctuates this curriculum.
Our curriculum is designed to put character education and PSHE at the very centre of what we do. The 6 threads are all characteristics of human beings who make moral informed choices and aspire to make a difference in the world. Interwoven with our PSHE scheme they provide opportunities for our pupils to broaden their understanding, through thought-provoking and philosophical questions, around local and global topical issues, helping them understand the world and evaluate choices people make. These 6 threads also feed into our whole school reading spine and effective Religious Education lessons.
We believe in nurturing our pupils through their personal development journey to achieve readiness to become global citizens, equipped with the tools for life long living and learning.
Each half term we focus on a core Christian value. This goes hand in hand with our Global Citizenship thread, which is further complemented by our PSHE unit. We have carefully planned our curriculum to exploit these links and allow our children to encounter as many meaningful examples as possible, facilitating them to develop the skills and ability to use this information to inform their life choices.
Our core values of Friendship, Forgiveness, Compassion and Trust reflect the aspirations we have for each child, to inspire a high level of spiritual and moral reflection and to challenge our learners to take responsibility for their own actions. Christian values are inherent to all we do in school and the children are encouraged to live them through a range of vehicles.
This all culminates in children who know more, remember more and can do more, ready to experience ‘life in all its fullness’ bringing us full circle around our central vision.