In 2014, Focus issued a new primary curriculum based on on the brand-new National Curriculum framework. It was the culmination of a collaborative process which consulted with many professional colleagues and practitioners throughout the Focus organisation. This was a major step for Focus which was very well received in our schools and has proved itself over the last two years. It is and will remain a live programme, to ensure it continually provides for and leads to the best possible learning outcomes for our primary students.
Students begin to integrate the skills of SDL into their learning in Year 3. As they progress through the primary years, they take increasing responsibility for their learning in preparation for Year 7, where their learning is primarily self-directed.
Classes are generally small and of mixed ability, therefore the transition from teacher-directed to Self-Directed Learning fits well with our schools structurally and with our goal for developing self-directed learners with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values for lifelong learning.
The Focus secondary curriculum ensures a seamless transition from the primary to the secondary key stages. Whilst courses are largely traditional exam-based courses, they are studied through a series of assignments, facilitating self-directed learning, which is giving opportunity for students to broaden and deepen their learning in styles and environments that they understand and enjoy.
The curriculum comprises a core range of academic subjects to which are added additional subjects including a range of practical and business-related courses. Focus has written a series of vocational courses which have now been given City & Guilds Accreditation and we also encourage students to take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in a subject of their choice.
This self-directed approach to learning is allowing students to take themselves to new levels, giving them the confidence to broaden their horizons and to reach out to realms beyond them.
The Focus Learning Network has opened up specific courses such as Law to more students, giving scope for students to study by the online ‘flipped learning’ approach which in itself is an important experience in the Self-Directed Learning process.