Overarching Curriculum Aims of Harris
Curriculum and Purpose: the core of our collaborative intent
The overarching aim of the Harris Federation is to end the cycle of poverty and disadvantage: to improve the life chances for all students, and concomitantly the local community within which they live. All we do, we do for social mobility. We begin with the principle that all children are equal and there is, therefore, equity of entitlement to knowledge for each of our students and their families.
Therefore, the central place of knowledge within the curriculum is explicit within our academies. The inventive design of our curriculum and the high quality implementation of that curriculum are integral to what Harris do.
The purpose of all our academies is revealed by the curriculum we provide and the quality of the teaching that delivers that curriculum. The very nature of our Federation makes us collaborative and this collaboration of subject specialists and researchers means our students benefit from the very highest quality in teaching and the most powerful knowledge.
Our curriculum, then, becomes a deliberate and explicit guarantor of equality as we work to close the limits to opportunity that exist in society. We ensure all our students have access to a broad and balanced body of knowledge regardless of demographics and starting points. To this end we have worked as a collaborative Multi Academy Trust. We harness the expertise from within our academies across primary and secondary phases to develop a challenging and rich curriculum model.
The high expectations we have of each academy, principal and each teacher drive forward this mission to open up opportunities for all young people in areas of deep disadvantage. The collaborative aims of our federation mean individual academies draw on their understanding of their individual contexts to create challenging and stimulating lessons and activities as part of their individual academy curriculum.
Each subject discipline has its own curriculum document which has been developed by the academic research communities we have built. The subject specialist consultants at Harris work in tandem with subject leaders in each academy for each phase. There are high expectations of subject knowledge from teachers so alongside these documents there is a commitment to providing regular high quality subject specific training for all teachers during the year.
All Harris teachers are encouraged to be living readers and researchers into their own subject discipline. Indeed, within the context at Harris Academy St John’s Wood, each subject discipline spent 12 months with children devising their own curriculum intent and vision statements.
“What is the purpose of your subject?” was the taproot strand of a democratic shaping of the curriculum by children and subject teachers and one that works to liberate powerful knowledge for all.