The process behind re-envisioning the curriculum

Brockwood School Staff invited students to participate in the discussion and in the planning of the curriculum for the coming year. A greater understanding and enthusiasm arose from this inclusive procedure and lent itself to exciting prospects for September.

For the last year the curriculum group have been exploring how to develop the curriculum so that it meets the intentions of the school. We considered a number of different issues in this time, and came across a number of challenges. Once we had got to a point where we had a strong understanding of the components necessary for re-envisioning the curriculum, we spent time discussing this with all returning students. With the feedback from these meetings we developed ideas further, and then invited six students to spend two weeks with us once classes had finished in order to develop a workable proposal.

For a detailed description of the re-invisioned curriculum click here'

These meetings culminated in a small team of three students and one member of the curriculum group developing a proposal based on all the discussions and work that had led to this point. This was presented back to the whole group, and approved for presentation to the wider school. The video shows some short passages of this meeting.

The involvement of students was a very important part of the process, one which has hopefully led to learning opportunities for all involved. From this point, the curriculum group are developing more detailed proposals, and will reunite with the team of students in September to finalise our proposal.

The following is an account of the experience from one of the students:

When it was first announced that the curriculum group wanted some students to be involved in their meetings, many students felt as though they were only doing so in order to avoid the students feeling excluded from the decision-making process, and that the students wouldn't have any real impact. However, after the first few meetings, we were proved wrong. Many of the ideas we presented to the staff of the curriculum group were included into the final plan which we then presented to the school together.

The first meetings which we came to took the form of loose discussions about the curriculum, and several of us were concerned that the curriculum group (both staff and students) was not going to have something concrete ready by the end of the term. This led to a group of students meeting separately from the rest of the group and brainstorming ideas – mainly the Saturday-Sunday timetable (which was shown in the presentation). Later there were other meetings with the whole curriculum group, in which it was decided that a small number of us would put down on paper all of the ideas which had been talked about, and fit it into a weekly and yearly timetable.

At first, many of the students who joined the curriculum group were very cautious about what was going to happen, but after a couple of meetings, that fear seemed to vanish and we were able to work with the staff to re-envision the curriculum for the next academic year. It was great to have our voices heard and be a part of the process.

And here is a short video of part of the presentation given to the whole school