Learning and Life Skills Department: Statement of Intent
As a Catholic school, Christ the King note the importance of educating the whole child by fully supporting all in achieving their potential. Therefore, the intent of the Learning and Life Skills Department, which encompasses Citizenship, PSHE and Functional Skills, is to provide a curriculum programme that will contribute towards benefitting the whole of the student with regard to their health, wellbeing and academic success.
The Learning and Life Skills Department predominately consists of five members of staff who are highly motivated and committed to their role. The highest standards are expected of all learners who are encouraged to contribute effectively to the wider society by promoting respect, honesty and integrity in all aspects of their lives. We celebrate the uniqueness and commonalities of our school community, and we strive to equip and promote our students to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society throughout their lives.
Citizenship and Personal Social Health Education (PSHE).
The values and ethos of our school are central to our teaching of both Citizenship and Personal Social Health Education (PSHE). These subjects’ enable young people to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to play a full and active part in society as productive and engaged citizens. It is a subject we regard as integral and invaluable as it equips our students with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live healthy, safe, productive, fulfilled, capable and responsible lives. PSHE education enables our students to reflect on and clarify their own values and attitudes, and explore the complex and sometimes conflicting range of values and attitudes they encounter now and will do in the future. These valuable life skills include using a range of research strategies, interrogating evidence, making persuasive arguments in reasoned debate, evaluating viewpoints and taking informed action based on substantiated conclusions.
Beyond the statutory requirements, Christ the King are proud to provide appropriately delivered Citizenship and PSHE through the broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum on offer. These subjects are integrated into all aspects of school life including in classroom teaching, Tutor Group time, Collective Worship and Extended Learning Days. Throughout, the school year, Year 9 receive one lesson of Citizenship and PSHE a week, whilst the other year groups receive: themed workshops, visiting speakers and other learning opportunities that develop the academic skills, intellectual habits, qualities of character and leadership traits necessary to succeed at all levels in society and become successful citizens in tomorrow’s world.
Citizenship also allows students to consider how we live together in our communities and about how we ‘get on’ locally, nationally and globally. It is about ensuring that everyone has the knowledge and skills to understand, engage with and challenge the main pillars of our democratic society – politics, the economy and the law. Our aim through Citizenship is to develop well-informed, educated citizens with the confidence and appetite to take part in society; to question injustice and to drive change. An example of this at Christ the King is through our dedicated focus on charitable work which promotes a real understanding and empathy for people in real world situations, led by our committed and democratically elected Student Council. In addition, the school prayer includes a mantra for community cohesion with the line “As many hands build a house so many hearts make a school”. In essence, we believe that the best way to guarantee a brighter future for all is to create a society in which we all understand our rights and responsibilities and in which everyone is equipped, and ready, to play an active part.
Other topics delivered at both Key Stages include: laws and rules; the democratic process; the role of the media; human rights; diversity; the economy and personal finance management, and sustainable development in the world as a global community. The concepts of democracy, justice, equality, freedom, authority, the rule of law, healthy lifestyle choices, respect and instilling of positive mannerisms are integral in these aspects and are modelled by the school and its staff at all times. The core values include respect for justice, openness, tolerance versus acceptance, courage to defend a point of view and a willingness to listen to, work with and stand up for others, and the different ways citizens can act together to solve problems in society.
The increased demands of learning in a secondary school make it difficult for some students to reach their full potential. Therefore, the Learning and Life Skills Department provide challenging and creative intervention for the students that will enhance their literacy, numeracy and essential skills for life. Without this additional support, students may struggle to access the curriculum and cope with the quantity and quality of reading and writing and increasing demands as they approach examinations. A key characteristic of the Functional Skills lessons is that students are able to use and apply their knowledge of English and Mathematics to tackle problems that arise in their life and work.