Raunds and East Northamptonshire is a community that has traditionally been embedded in footwear and farming. Over several generations, opportunities within these industries have declined as they have become increasingly mechanised or diversified and this has led to a change in the local employment structure. In turn, this for some, can result in a feeling of lack of opportunity and can manifest itself in low aspirations for young people and their parents.
The reality is that there are many new and emerging industries in Northamptonshire and our immediate surrounding area. Logistics, engineering (especially linked to the motor sport industries), retail and bespoke/craft food and drink production are all either well established or up and coming; thriving in the locality and ripe to provide formal and informal opportunities for ‘work’ both within and beyond school. When this is combined with outstanding transport links and several world-class universities within an hour of our school, there are huge opportunities to exploit in order to provide significant choice and raise aspirations for all.
Our core curriculum at Manor School ensures that developing an understanding of personal pathways and an entrepreneurial spirit is at the heart of what we do. As students develop they become aware of the links between education, work and the role of lifelong learning, and understand that people's skills are built up over time because of learning and experience.
Students will be required to be adaptable, agile and flexible in their skills and learning as they are unlikely to train for a job for life. Therefore, the work curriculum outlines four attributes students will develop to successfully transition through school, education and onto the world of work:
Developing self-awareness - Students increase their awareness of their strengths and interests and how they relate to others. They see themselves positively, demonstrating a hopeful picture of themselves in the future.
Exploring opportunities - Students explore adult roles in their communities and the range of occupations that contribute to the products and services people use in their daily lives and demonstrate optimism that they will do the same in the future.
Deciding and acting - Students develop transferable skills in research, goal setting, evaluating options and reaching decisions.
Transitions - Students become aware of the style and nature of transitions to KS4, KS5 and beyond and students are prepared for this transition.
In our context, 95%+ of our school community is White British. Therefore, it is essential that we proactively recognise, celebrate and encourage diversity. This, in turn, will enable the young people of Manor School to contribute as knowledgeable global citizens; proud of their locality and understanding of others.
We have a good track record of recognition through the Global Learning Programme and achieving the International Schools Award (2017-20); however, it is essential that global citizenship and celebrating diversity is a central strand within our core curriculum due to the context outlined above.
Indeed the importance of this is recognized by the UN with ‘Fostering Global Citizenship’, as priority 3 of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First initiative. The GEFI defines global citizenship thus:
“The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. These interconnected global challenges call for far-reaching changes in how we think and act for the dignity of fellow human beings.”
“It is not enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write and count…..Education must be transformative and bring shared values to life. It must cultivate an active care for the world and for those with whom we share it. Education must also be relevant in answering the big questions of the day…..Technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone cannot achieve sustainable development. It requires transforming the way people think and act.
Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies. It must give people the understanding, skills and values they need to cooperate in resolving the interconnected challenges of the 21st century.”
At Manor we want our students to be pro-active, positive members of their local, regional and global communities to enable them to have the capacity to make a difference.
Through the curriculum, experiences and opportunities that we provide for our young people, we will ensure that individual differences are recognised and celebrated by all. When our students leave Manor School they will have developed the REACH characteristics (Resilience, Empathy, Aspiration, Curiosity, Humanity) that we value so that they:
- contribute positively to society as well-rounded global citizens
- have had significant opportunities and experiences to develop their cultural capital
- are critical thinkers, able to consider big questions from alternative viewpoints in order to identify viable solutions
For the purposes of our curriculum we will define wellness as: an active process of becoming aware of and making positive choices towards a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth which is linked to the World Health Organisation definition of health.
Physical wellbeing is crucial to enabling our students to be active, contributing citizens both during and beyond their schooling. Our Sports College legacy has provided us with a positive vehicle within and beyond the local community to establish our identity. This is very important to us and we will continue to build this aspect of our work.
Mental wellbeing and health provision are also an explicit, positive and proactive focus of our work as part of our Wellness curriculum.
Through their Wise Up Campaign, Young Minds state “Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying.”
With 80% of young people saying that schooling and exam pressure has significantly impacted on their mental health, we as an organisation have a responsibility to find the appropriate balance between academic attainment and focusing on promoting the wellbeing of students.
Our curriculum teaches the importance of a healthy active lifestyle as well as providing significant opportunities to participate and develop excellence in physical activity both within and beyond the curriculum.
We use the Wise Up to Wellbeing in schools as a framework for our work in order to ensure we are providing the best possible proactive and positive provision to protect the mental health of our young people.
Through the introduction and use of mindfulness and other courses throughout the school we seek to provide students with a range of strategies to identify and reduce potential negative impacts on their mental health before they arise. This, combined with a focus on our REACH characteristics will help provide the mental strength to cope with the demands of our ever-changing world.
As part of your child’s education at Manor School, we promote personal wellbeing and development through a comprehensive wellness programme. ‘Wellness.’ is underpinned by our school ethos and values. The ‘Wellness.’ strand of our curriculum is to provide students the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live safe, healthy, productive lives and meet their full potential.
During the summer term in their wellness lessons, students will focus on the relationships and sex education (RSE) aspect of this programme, which is a statutory requirement. RSE lessons in Year 9 will be in line with the government guidelines which can be found here. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions that help prepare them for relationships of all kinds in the modern world.
As a school community, we are committed to working in partnership with parents. If you have any concerns, would like further information or would like to withdraw your child from RSE lessons, please contact