There is a real need for education to help develop the skills needed today by the world of work, and this has perhaps been the main driving force behind this new curriculum.
There are a number of curriculum issue we have struggled with over the years:
An important driver has been the issue of the Year 7 curriculum. In comparison to primary education, which has generally improved greatly over the past 10 years thanks to the focus on English, Maths and a trans-discipline creative curriculum, secondary education is still struggling. Year 7 should be an exciting year, with a new school, often better school facilities and new friends. In reality, most students go backwards or do not progress as much as they should.
Secondary schools spend a great deal of time with primary schools and their pupils and parents to ensure a smooth transition between primary and secondary. So what goes wrong? Why do so many students fail to make sufficient progress in Years 7 and 8, feel alienated with no sense of belonging, and learn in classes where many students are passively disengaged?
This is what Aspirations Academies Trust is trying to improve through ‘No Limits’ – implementing the defining features of primary schools into Year 7. Working with young children all day, every day, delivering specific literacy and maths teaching, along with the creative curriculum, which is generally working on trans-discipline project based learning, creates a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum and a real sense of belonging. Primary teachers talk about the ‘whole child’ and ‘whole curriculum’ as they see it as their responsibility to give as much attention to children’s personal and social development as to their academic progress.