What our Character and Academics curriculum offers is cultural capital; a concept at the heart of the Hirsch inspired, National Curriculum.
Learning and practising the sequence of knowledge woven through our curriculum is essential not only because the development of higher order communication and thinking skills depends upon it, but because it provides a range of shared intellectual reference points for children coming from a variety of backgrounds. In this way it contributes to the integration of the members of our diverse community into wider British society. It is no exaggeration to say that, without this cultural capital, the children in our community risk being marginalised from mainstream society.
Importantly, our curriculum, while providing a strong core offer through its adherence to the National Curriculum, is adaptive to the school’s context and reflexive to the changing group dynamic and individual circumstance that constitutes that context; that is, teachers can tailor their teaching to respond to the breadth of cultures represented in our school and their class.
Our intention in this is twofold: to ensure every child has a corpus of shared knowledge and values that will enable them to achieve their potential in British society; and, to give every child the opportunity to expand their knowledge about their fellow pupils and the countries, traditions and cultures from which they come. By teaching a clearly defined sequence of knowledge and skills, and character virtue we will build understanding, develop a spirit of inquiry and tolerance, and help forge a set of values that will underpin all pupils’ flourishing. These include those values commonly defined as British Values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance and respect.
In this way we can help create common identity and understanding between our pupils, which is essential to their success and that of the highly diverse community to which they belong.