At New River College we are committed to delivering a curriculum that delivers on the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters, Change for Children agenda. We aim to ensure that all young people at New River College receive the necessary support to enable them to stay safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution, and achieve economic well-being. At NRC Secondary our Personal, Social, and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum is designed to underpin this aim by covering a broad range of topics at age appropriate levels. All classes across key stage 3 and 4 at our Lough Road site receive one lesson of PSHE per week, covering topics including; rights, responsibilities and the law, British values, faith and religion, and personal development and health.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
Central to not only the PSHE programme, but the entire curriculum at NRC Secondary, is a commitment to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of our pupils. We aim to do this through a rich and varied curriculum as well as by adopting a thorough approach to promoting SMSC development in all that we do.
- We have experienced much success in the annual Faith Forum (FF) calendar competition. Students complete art works that are entered and included in the FF calendar.
- Every year we are invited to and attend the Islington holocaust memorial day at Islington town hall where our pupils listen to guest speakers talking about the significance of remembering the events of the holocaust.
- In PSHE students have the opportunity to learn about themselves and all aspects of their health. Lessons are not delivered in a ‘you should not’ way and are more of an opportunity to identify risks and ways to stay safe and enjoy good health. There is an emphasis on students thinking about what they are good at, what they enjoy and how they feel about different aspects of their lives.
- At NRC we provide many avenues for students to express their imagination and creativity. Our curriculum includes PE, Art, Catering, Media Studies, English and Music. All creative subjects, most of which also offer enrichment activities on a Friday afternoon.
- Students have access to a mentor and CAMHS services where they can reflect on their life experiences and how their journey to this point and current choices can impact on their lives moving forward.
- At NRC we work closely with the safer schools officer who has delivered lessons around rights, responsibilities and the law. We have also had the police come in to do work around joint enterprise. In PSHE Students take part in lessons around British values, where they learn about and discuss democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- Around the school, staff are asked to use specific language when dealing with incidents of poor behaviour. This is based around students being given choices and being made aware of consequences for poor choices. Students also have the opportunity to earn points for good behaviour in lessons and are aware of the consequences of poor behaviour and actions.
- Students have the opportunity to join the student council (student voice), where there is the opportunity to raise and discuss important issues whilst respecting the opinions of others. One of the management committee has volunteered to help run it and use his skill set as a lawyer to improve the ability of students to debate important issues.
- The borough of Islington is a diverse community in ethnicity, religious beliefs and socio-economic status. As a result this is reflected in the cohort of students that are educated at NRC. Students are educated in form classes, but are also grouped according to choice of activity in the Friday enrichment sessions. Students are encouraged to work in pairs and groups and the need for teamwork and the various roles in teams are taught in PSHE.
- At NRC we use a restorative justice approach when resolving conflict between students and students and staff. Students have the opportunity to participate in the student council and also have previously organised a charity food drive where they collected and delivered food to a homeless shelter in north London.
- Students have completed a unit of work on British values where they are reminded of the skills, attitudes and actions that will enable them to be a positive member of British society.
- As a school we celebrate black history month and major sporting events such as the Olympics, the football and rugby world cups and charity events, such as comic/sports relief and red nose day. World sporting events provide a vehicle that the students want to engage with that can open their minds to information about countries and cultures from around the world that they would not normally be exposed to. In catering, food is prepared from around the world using ingredients and techniques used throughout history.
- Islington, being as diverse as it is, prepares students for a life filled with people of differing cultures and faiths to their own. The staff team at NRC is also from a broad cross section of society.
- During the latest general election, the parliamentary system and the process of laws being passed were explained using the parliamentary education tools.
- Students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular sporting activities where they can represent the school in small sided football matches and individual sports such as athletics and badminton. As part of the art curriculum students must attend an exhibition (usually at the Tate) where they choose their favourite styles and artists and complete research projects on their life and work.
- This year will see the introduction of a cross curricular faith project involving PSHE (where students will research various faiths), catering (where food from different religious festivals will be produced) and art (where students will prepare their entries for the Inter Faith Forum).