We want our learners to change the world!
At St Stephens Juniors, we believe that enabling our learners to change the world around them is the most important thing that we can do. To help us do this, we have designed our curriculum around the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals (officially known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs). These goals have the power to create a better world by 2030; by ending poverty, fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change. Guided by these goals, it is now up to all of us, governments, businesses, civil society and the general public, to work together to build a better future for everyone.
At our school, we learn about global and local issues and teach our curriculum through them. At the end of our enquiries, we use our knowledge of the curriculum - and of the Global Goals - to design and create real and practical solutions to the world's problem.
'Learning to change the world'
At St Stephen's we are passionate about enquiry-led learning and have therefore developed an enquiry-led curriculum with an emphasis on mastery of the subjects. This means that our children follow a line-of-enquiry in order to answer a specific question. For example; 'How can one person make a difference?' ‘How does engineering in the past affect our future?’ or ‘To what extent to animals have rights?’. Enquiries may have a specific subject focus - such as Science or History - but provide rich cross-curricular opportunities within each one.
All enquiries start with an ‘Engage’ experience to capture the children’s interest within the subject area, and each end with an ‘Ambition’ activity. The children are immersed in the required skills and knowledge during the ‘Exploration’ phase and move into applying their new skills and knowledge throughout the ‘Innovation’ phase. When they reach the final ‘Ambition’ stage, they will have already been equipped with the ‘know of’ and the ‘know how’ to complete this final piece of work, independently from the teacher. Because the ‘Ambition’ intent is shared with the children at the beginning of an enquiry, their learning is always purposeful and with clear direction. Our enquiry 'Ambitions' have been carefully chosen to ensure breadth across the school (in terms of outcome, purpose and audience) and so that they are particularly relevant to the children at St Stephen's.
What are the States of Being?
At St. Stephen’s, we do not refer to lessons as subjects, we refer to the ‘state of being’ that the learner adopts during that time. This aligns with our enquiry-led approach whereby subjects are deconstructed (not taught in blocks or units of time) and then layered/woven back together to reach the final ambition. Our children understand that they can 'be' several different states at once. For example, when writing a non-chronological report about the Ancient Egyptians, learners need to adopt the skills as a reader, a historian and a writer in order to produce a successful piece of work. This way of thinking also helps our children see themselves in roles which they can transfer to further education and further. For example, children might spend an afternoon being a scientist and looking at living creatures, just as Sir David Attenborough carries out his work as a scientist/naturalist/botanist doing the same things. Our children know that they can also be a change-maker, just like their inspirational role models!
For 2021/22, we are moving towards sharing our wider curriculum work in e-books. Here is an example:
Whole School Enquiries
Throughout the year, we plan days or weeks where the children can focus on a subject or area of enquiry in more detail. This allows them to develop specific skills, gain a more in-depth knowledge and take part in new experiences.