Our Curriculum Vision and Principles
The curriculum is at the heart of a school’s purpose and our curriculum reflects our core values, Dedication, Determination, Destiny. At Harris Academy St John’s Wood we recognise that improving educational outcomes is the biggest way we can positively impact our students’ futures. We take the term ‘educational’ in its most broad sense: this means more than just a set of results. It includes a child’s intellectual development, social and emotional development, citizenship and responsibility, happiness and success. We hope that this vision is ‘lived’ in the way teachers develop the curriculum and the way students experience it. We want a curriculum that is effectively designed and implemented, that is true to subjects’ core content and concepts, develops a love of lifelong learning, and creates beautiful work, expertise, fascination and wonder.
Our curriculum is purpose enacted. It seeks to find harmony between the four broad philosophies of what is education for: personal empowerment; cultural transmission; preparation for citizenship; and preparation for work.
Our seven whole school principles of curriculum are:
- Balanced – Promotes intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional, and physical development.
- Rigorous – Seeks to develop intra-disciplinary habits of mind; powerful ways of thinking that are developed through sustained engagement with the discipline.
- Coherent – Makes explicit connections and links between the different subjects and experiences.
- Vertically Integrated – Focuses on progression by carefully sequencing knowledge; provides clarity about what ‘getting better’ at the subject means.
- Appropriate – Matches the level of challenge to a pupil’s current level of maturity and knowledge.
- Focused – Seeks to keep the curriculum manageable by teaching the most important knowledge; identifies the big ideas or key concepts within a subject.
- Relevant – Seeks to connect the valued outcomes of a curriculum to the pupils being taught it; provides opportunities for pupils to make informed choices.
Our staff body has spent a great deal of time carefully considering what principles underpin our curriculum and why. In doing so we have engaged with the thinking of many other educators, and found Principled Curriculum Design by Dylan Wiliam highly informative (you can download this document below).