An ethical curriculum for tomorrow’s generation
In this webinar, Kerry Rochester and Emily Calvert (Rivers CofE Multi Academy Trust) discuss how the curriculum delivered in several schools across the MAT needed to be reviewed. As a result, a group of strategic leaders convened to form a curriculum working party. This began a journey that resulted in the creation of a curriculum that teaches children to feel empowered to make a difference for our planet and each other, as well as to ‘Love, Learn, and Live as a Global Citizen in an Ever-Changing World.’
This curriculum needed to inspire children to be game changers while also ensuring that lessons from the past are learned in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must prioritise global warming and the health of our planet! The next ten years will be crucial for our planet and the people who live on it. As a team, we questioned why we had not been able to teach this effectively in the past. If we had had a greater impact, perhaps the world would not be facing the recent traumas seen in the news and witnessed first-hand by so many people around the world.
The concepts of sustainability and global warming are not new. In fact, some of us recall teaching these concepts as part of the national curriculum for many years. However, we felt that we had ‘dabbled’ in it in the past without fully comprehending its significance. As a result, we decided to base our newly designed curriculum on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which the UN hopes to achieve by 2030. These objectives were not to be viewed as an afterthought, but as a driving force. We have spent the last year putting together a comprehensive and exciting framework. Through our key drivers of sustainability, equality, innovation, legacy, partnership, and knowledge, this framework focuses on embedding these 17 goals within the curriculum.
Each foundation subject remains discreet to ensure that our pupils receive a well-balanced, broad, sequential, and well-constructed curriculum. Along with disciplinary knowledge, each subject has its own substantive knowledge and concepts. All nine foundation subjects have been woven with each of our key drivers and the 17 goals. This has ensured that pupils will gain a better understanding of how we can all work together to help heal and protect our planet. We firmly believe that we are providing our pupils with the knowledge and power they require to change the world!
We must all hold ourselves accountable for the impact we have on our planet and environment.
As educators we have the responsibility to all our pupils, to ensure we start to change the way we behave in regard to how we treat the planet.
We would like to share our journey with you in order to inspire more schools and teachers to incorporate sustainability into their curriculum – not as an afterthought, but as a driving force!
We can make a difference if we work together.
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Kerry Rochester – Director of Education/Deputy CEO, The Rivers CofE Multi Academy Trust – Kerry has been in education for twenty-seven years. She is now the Director of Education/Deputy CEO for The Rivers C of E Multi Academy Trust. Kerry has significant teaching and leadership experience. Previously, as a headteacher and an executive headteacher, she has successfully moved three failing primaries out of special measures. She has substantial experience of inspecting primary schools and leads primary school inspections. Kerry is passionate about the need to ensure that all children receive a curriculum that will inspire, empower and give them the knowledge they need to want to make a difference. Recently, she has dedicated her time to work alongside a key team of educationalists in order to write a curriculum which is underpinned by the need to develop children’s understanding of the need to protect our planet and each other. This exciting and innovative curriculum will enable future generations to learn from our past mistakes and empower them to make the biggest difference to future generations.
Emily Calvert – Head of School/Curriculum Lead, The Rivers CofE Multi Academy Trust – Emily was part of the team that opened a brand new, purpose-built school for the Rivers Trust in 2019, an undertaking that forced her to consider how to begin and shape a curriculum for all. Passionate about sustainability, the environment and the part children can play in the future of our planet, she was thrilled to be asked to be one of the curriculum team developing the Rivers Framework. With a personal history of working creatively in theatre and design she is very excited to bring a sustainable original spin to the whole curriculum, especially DT.
Cat Scutt MBE, Director for Education and Research, Chartered College of Teaching – A former English teacher, Cat’s roles have since focused on supporting teacher development both online and through face-to-face activities, with a particular focus on development through collaboration and through engagement with research and evidence. Cat leads on the Chartered College of Teaching’s work around teacher development and certification, including the Chartered Teacher programme, and their research activities and publications, including their award-winning peer-reviewed journal, Impact. She received an MBE for services to education in 2021 and has been a member of several government advisory groups.
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