The Excellence Curriculum
The Excellence Curriculum includes all of the content from Humanities subjects, and some from English and Mathematics. A prime focus of the curriculum is to guide students in learning, practising and developing the key skills necessary to become confident and resilient learners. We have designed our own unique curriculum to provide the students in Year 7 with high quality research based projects which progress at a pace relevant to the interests and learning needs of the students. At the heart of each assignment will be the foundations of philosophy and enquiry. The curriculum is designed to ensure that our students are ready for the demands of secondary education, by igniting a passion for learning from the moment they join us.
Engaging learning experiences
Our Excellence Curriculum teachers are committed to creating exciting and engaging learning experiences. Through six high quality themes, students develop their subject knowledge and skills, making relevant and meaningful links between the facts and experiences they encounter. We ensure high levels of academic achievement by presenting projects, questions or problems, which take place over many lessons and weeks, inviting students to explore and develop their knowledge and aptitude in depth.
The Excellence Curriculum teachers work closely as a team to plan projects and lessons and to reflect on their practice, developing excellent pedagogy to support the individualised learning of our students. We use a range of teaching methods and activities, with emphasis on reflection and critique, to achieve high quality outcomes.
The following are the titles of the themes that the Year 7 students at Riddlesdown Collegiate get the chance to experience.
Who do you think you are?
Whose earth is it anyway?
Movers and Shakers
Our projects are planned so that many will have a real outcome that can be applied to the real world. Students create work for authentic audiences and exhibit their successes and discoveries, learning that they have a voice and have an influential place in the world.
Ensuring every student achieves
Along with learning skills and content from the Humanities subjects, a key component of the Excellence Curriculum is supporting and guiding the students in developing specific skills for thinking, learning and enquiring, both as an individual and as part of a group.
The Excellence Curriculum Skills comprise of five strands:
1. Reflective Learner
2. Independent Enquirer
3, Team Player
4. Resilient Learner
5. Creative Thinker
For each strand, students will learn and develop a number of specific skills and competences and progress though six levels of skills development as the year progresses. This element of the curriculum is completely personalised, allowing the students, with close guidance from their teacher, to apply the thinking, learning and enquiry skills that are appropriate to them, to their Excellence Curriculum themes and projects.
For example, as a reflective learner students aim to learn to:
‘Manage setbacks and overcome challenges, using the experience to suggest and implement ways to move on’.
Knowing our students
One of the huge benefits of this curriculum is the extended contact that the Year 7 students have with one teacher. This teacher will see the student for up to 18 periods per fortnight, and will have a detailed knowledge of the student’s progress and learning development, particularly for key literacy and numeracy skills. This will allow for regular meaningful and personalised feedback with any need for intervention quickly identified. As well as the form tutor, the Excellence Curriculum teacher becomes a familiar person for contact and support for the students.