At Northwich Campus we seek to prepare life-ready learners and as a consequence we ensure that our pupils are prepared for experiences in the wider world. We seek to achieve this through our curriculum and extra-curricular offers, and through our focus on the OneSchool Values which provide a solid foundation for our positive, respectful and enterprising young people.
PSHE is a crucial part of our curriculum offer and is currently in the process of being overhauled at a national level, with Northwich Campus at the forefront of these changes. PSHE is delivered once a week to our learners from Y7-11 on a Tuesday morning after assembly – this allows for discussion and reflection on the assembly topic as appropriate, which is followed by lessons based around the PSHE Association’s three core themes of Living in the Wider World, Relationships and Healthy Lifestyles. At KS2 there is also time allocated each week which also follow the same guidelines. For more information and detail on the school’s PSHE offer, please see the school’s PSHE Overview document.
As part of our PSHE offer, students in KS3 additionally complete a unit on British Values; this work is backed up by our delivery of GCSE Citizenship in KS4. Fundamental British Values are at the heart of our school and we aim to ensure that our learners appreciate and experience these values consistently and clearly. Extra-curricular activities such as mock elections and referendums strengthen this, alongside a focus on democracy and equality of voice demonstrated through our School Council.
Our work on British Values and PSHE is additionally strengthened by our Theme of the Week program. This is set using a national calendar of key events and celebrations, such as Black History Month, Chinese New Year, Earth Day, National eSafety Week and Fairtrade Fortnight. We ensure that the topics chosen are meaningful, interesting, and linked to the world around us. We deliberately include information outside the useful experience of our learners (such as researching Red Hand Day for Child Soldiers) to actively broaden their world view. Some events are organized on a national level, such as an eSafety competition for our primary students; others are organized locally, such as our celebrations for World Book Day and Fairtrade Fortnight. Each day of the week, our form tutor time (and assembly on Tuesdays) is focused around this Theme, giving us ample time to orientate, navigate and explore the topic. Assemblies are led by a variety of staff and students, giving a greater range of voices and ideas about issues. Although our Theme of the Week program is decided at the start of the year, we are able to adapt and adjust it based on local, national and global requirements; for example, when there has been a major natural disaster or a terror attack we provide our children with the time and space to discuss and process these events. They often decide to raise money for and/or have a minute’s silence following on from this.
Additionally, we run regular Super Learning Days in which students work collaboratively towards a shared goal, often linked to world cultures or other faiths. Recent examples include our very successful World Music Days, including a challenge to learn a song in Maori; additionally, our Passport to the World Days which give our students a chance to “visit” countries around the world, experiencing different facets of their cultures, including Hindu wedding outfits, Arabic calligraphy, Buddhist meditation and foods from religious festivals.
We do not deliver Religious Education as a discrete subject at Northwich Campus. Our assemblies and whole-school activities do not have a specifically religious character, despite the religious nature of the school. Instead, we seek to enable our pupils to understand other faiths through other subjects and through extra-curricular activities. Examples of this include understanding and introducing key facts about the major world faiths through PSHE lessons at KS2 and KS3, researching religious diversity in the UK in Geography, and understanding how religion impacts texts in English, such as The Merchant of Venice. We additionally ensure that our Theme of the Week program as described above reflects and responds to important religious festivals and activities as appropriate.
The impact of our wide-reaching and extensive program to develop life-ready learners has been that our students are able to articulate information and ideas about other faiths and cultures. They demonstrate the core OneSchool Values of Respect, Care and Compassion, Responsibility, Integrity and Commitment as part of their education and beyond. Students are confident to explore and investigate the world around them, and as such are also keen to engage with outside groups and charities, including the Disaster Emergency Committee on a global scale, as well as our local hospice and food bank. Students engage actively and positively with these groups, often led by student voice, demonstrating the positive impact of our PSHE and Extra Curricular education.