Character Curriculum

Personal Development

At Barnhill we recognise the importance of Personal development, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Intra-curricula opportunities

Pupils are supported in class to explore how the disciplinary learning that they undertake will develop their behaviour and attitudes. In all lessons a respect for other peoples views is encouraged and an awareness of each subjects unique contribution to the whole self is promoted. This is reflected in the “Why Study” section of each curriculum area on the website.

Every subject goes beyond the national curriculum at Barnhill. Subjects use the 3 year KS3 opportunity to link units of study to topical case studies and give historical context where needed.

Curricula have been carefully constructed to engage our pupils with issues close to home and beyond their horizon

A selection of examples:

  • Drama: Macbeth is taught in Drama in year 7 as  an exciting, tragic, gruesome, scary piece of story telling that has themes that are still very relevant in todays society.  Students are challenged to write poetry and perform a monologue.
  • English New topics introduced at KS3 in order to explicitly teach character: Year 8 read the play Noughts and Crosses by a BAME writer Malorie Blackman and examine racial conflict and how it subverts societal structure, complicated family dynamics and radicalisation. Linked to recent Black Lives Matter Movement. Feedback is very positive around this unit.
  • History: Identified that not enough of the curriculum focused on empirical history despite the large numbers BAME students at Barnhill. They now include Year 8 topics on the impact of the British Empire and have introduced a new GCSE topic: ‘Migration In Britain’ which covers migration to Britain from 1000 - present day and examines a) why migrants came to Britain b) their experience c) their impact.
  • Geography: Case studies are carefully selected to give pupils a sense of “their place in the world”. For example in Year 7 students consider if tourism should continue in Kenya using Belize, the Lake District and Kenya as examples.
  • PE: Alternative sports and orienteering are introduced in KS4 to give pupils an exposure to activities not available in the local area and to build teamworking and resilience skills
  • MFL: The cultures of the countries are explored as well as the culture of former colonies e.g. the French culture of kissing vs hand-shaking. The French revolution is discusses as part of year 10 and there is a global sustainability topic in year 11 where ethical shopping and volunteering are discussed.

Enrichment opportunities

We offer an ever explanding array of clubs, trips, speakers, challenges and deep learning days where pupils are given the chance to broaden their horizons and apply their in-class learning to real work situations. Please see here for a selection of what we offer.

Careers (DED)

PSHRE, Citizenship and British Values (LHA)

Students are supported through the Pastoral team to play a vital role in contributing to the school and local community. This is done through a wide range of methods which are designed to build and develop character for all students:

  • Students have an active voice e.g. Biannual student surveys, HOY half termly focus group, HOY student voice
  • Students have an opportunity to volunteer in a wide range of leadership roles e.g. student runner, student volunteer, lead school tours, support clubs
  • Students have an opportunity to represent the school as part of the ethos committee, student council, prefect and subject champions
  • Students have chances to mentor other students

Students have a weekly schedule during AM registration that equates to two and a half hours of personal development targeted activities. These activities are created and led to ensure Barnhill students become informed and well rounded citizens when they leave Barnhill.

  • PSHRE x2 sessions a week
  • Careers links in PSHRE/Assemblies/Deep Learning day
  • Citizenship focus on PSHRE and Assemblies every other half term
  • Reading for pleasure every week
  • News and views items every week
  • Deep Learning Day Summer term rewards trip
  • Assemblies linked to SMSC, Citizenship, British Values, PSHRE, Careers, Local and National key events and days of worship and with the Barnhill ethos at the centre.

The PSHRE curriculum covers all statutory guidance and goes above and beyond to develop well rounded citizens that positively contribute to school and society.

  • Theme 1: Celebrating diversity and equality
  • Theme 2: Staying safe online/offline
  • Theme 3: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Theme 4: Health and well being
  • Theme 5: Life beyond school
  • Theme 6: SRE and relationships

Students are celebrated and sanctioned in accordance with the Barnhill Behaviour Policy. These guidelines and protocol are in place to ensure that learning is not disrupted by poor behaviour or conduct and that Barnhill students demonstrate a good or better attitude to learning and behaviour to give them the best opportunity of succeeding in exceeding their potential.

Every member of the Pastoral team from the HOY down to the Tutor goes above and beyond to instil the Barnhill Ethos in everything they do and in all the opportunities we create relating to community, respect, aspiration and wisdom.