Charlotte Norwood is Assistant Headteacher at Golborne High School. WE interviewed Charlotte to find out about how the school has redesigned its curriculum to offer a whole education.
Golborne has redesigned its curriculum to take account of their community, local needs and student destination data.
Amongst a range of changes, they now encourage all students to take a vocational qualification at KS4, to expose them to a different types of learning in different contexts.
How does Golborne High School interpret a whole education?
- They adopted Whole Education’s core principles of being values-led and evidence-informed.
- A whole education “is about firmly being in the camp of doing the right thing for the child”. This means resisting pressures to narrow their curriculum or focus on exams above all else.
What curriculum approaches is Golborne using to design a curriculum influenced by local needs?
- The school took a nuanced view of destinations data: How many students are going on to vocational study and A-Level study? Are lots of students dropping out of college? Do they change courses after they arrive?
- Golborne then tried to fill the gaps in their curriculum. This could be knowledge that students seemed to be missing, or developing some of the skills that would help them thrive in their next steps.
- The school uses Acorn, a marketing database (the information companies use to target their sales – they also previously experimented with Mosaic, an alternative marketing database!)
- From this they could get detailed insights into the profiles of residents in the postcodes the school draws its intake from.
- They found out that the spending habits of adults in some of their local areas meant they struggled to save money – so the school plans to design a financial literacy course into their curriculum.
What was the aim behind Golborne’s ‘vocational for all’ approach?
- The school felt that encouraging all KS4 students to take a vocational qualification would be a good idea – it would give students experience of learning in a range of different styles and contexts.
- Alongside this, they embraced the Ebacc – with 65% of students on an Ebacc curriculum. This is done with the intention of developing cultural capital and help them to achieve their personal ambitions.
You can visit Golborne and hear from their team as part of our Stand Out Schools Initiative on October 10th. Visits are included in schools’ WE membership. Register your delegates at the link.