General Studies is the principle route for supporting Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development through the classroom curriculum.
The Y groups (KS3) follow a full PSHE programme in General Studies, including Sex & Relationships, Drugs Education, Citizenship and Global Awareness which ties in with National Curriculum learning objectives.
The lessons are based around discovering the facts and on discussions drawing on the students’ knowledge and what they have learned. They listen to each other, accept others’ points of view and are encouraged to offer their own thoughts. The students’ confidence grows visibly over the terms as no one’s ideas are belittled and everyone is listened to. They have the opportunity to learn coping and problem-solving strategies from the experiences and ideas of their peers.
The students learn through written work, art work, DVD, discussion and role play. They are keen to come to lessons and enjoy the “life stuff” they learn and are able to talk through.
The O groups (KS4) General Studies curriculum is very much student-led. The students and teacher decide together what to focus should be each term. As well as revisiting elements of the KS3 curriculum, for example drugs education, there is a strong interest in exploring ‘life after Sands’. Based on the students’ interests people from different professions are invited in to discuss their working lives.