‘Life’ at Wayland Academy encompasses the following topics;
Citizenship and British Values
Personal and social education (including staying safe)
Healthy living (physical, mental and sexual health)
Relationships and Family
Economics and managing finances
These topics are delivered in a spirally organised curriculum which aims to deliver all subjects in a holistic way throughout different themes, allowing students to have the knowledge, skills and strategies to be a healthy, happy citizen. These themes run throughout content delivered in KS3 and KS4, allowing students to develop their understanding, knowledge and skills progressively. Careers education is also delivered through Life lessons with one half term each year designated to careers.
The intent of the curriculum is to build a core foundation of knowledge and skills so students have an understanding of the world around them, how society is structured and functions, as well as equipping them with the necessary skill set in order to stay safe. The Life curriculum also encourages cohesive working practices, independent thinking, discussion and presentation skills. Ultimately, the Life curriculum is about equipping students to live in the wider world post 16 and attempt to shape our students into informed, well-rounded, tolerant individuals. The curriculum also aims to reflect local and national issues as they arise, as well as meeting the national framework and statutory requirements. As such, it is re-mapped each year to ensure it is best meeting the needs of the students.
The structure of the KS3 curriculum is mapped against the statutory RSE requirements, and revisits each of the themes/topics each year to ensure the embedding and recap of knowledge. For example, in year 7, drugs and alcohol education begins with a basic introduction to the types of drugs and the effect of taking drugs and drinking alcohol, then builds up in year 8 and 9 to look at the longer term effects, addiction and the law.
Another key factor in the curriculum design is to ensure students' knowledge ties in with current circumstances. For example, the 'HPV vaccine’ is delivered before students are vaccinated. Transition, study skills and mental health are taught at the beginning of year 7 and year 11. Careers and options are taught to year 9 in the run up to option choices being made.
The Life curriculum sits within the wider school curriculum, supported in other subject areas including, but not limited to; healthy lifestyle in Food Technology, First Aid in Science, online safety in Computer Science and geopolitics in Geography.
At KS4, some students have fewer life lessons due to the GCSE timetable. Additional Life curriculum days are delivered to students in year 10 and 11 by specialist staff to ensure these students still have access to the required knowledge and support.
Assessment is carried out in a number of ways including the use of baseline style assessments in the form of mind-maps and quizzes which are created at the start of a lesson/topic and revisited at the end. Assessment types will vary depending on content of the unit and appropriateness. Students do complete a progress check at the end of each lesson to note down new knowledge acquired.