Life is a continuous curriculum offer, tailored specifically to meet the needs of the school’s local context whilst at the same time equipping pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to play their full part in an ever changing world of the 21st century. Our Life programme includes the delivery of Relationship and Sex Education, Citizenship, PSHE, CEIAG, Well-being, Religious Education, Finance Education and fundamental British Values, delivered to every year band for an hour every week. Our assembly programme and Form tutors play a vital role in supporting personal development and deliver weekly SMSC messages and activities during form time.
Life sessions place group discussion, self-expression and the promotion of tolerance and respect towards the opinions of others at the heart of delivery. Providing opportunities for pupils to develop confidence, resilience and knowledge to stay mentally and physically healthy are also included and developed in topics such as ‘Physical health and fitness’ and ‘Healthy relationships’.
At Key Stage 3, pupils explore an array of pertinent issues such as online and offline risks, including gangs, radicalisation and extremism. The inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media is also reinforced through the ICT curriculum as well as being emphasised and revisited in our tutor time and assembly programme, promoting for example national ‘Safer Internet Day’ across the academy and Key Stages. We are lucky to have a dedicated Safer School Police Officer who supports the delivery of key messages and themes through both assemblies and PSHCE.
Our RSE curriculum provision gives due regard to the DfE’s statutory guidance on sex and relationship education as well as focussing in more detail on issues most relevant to pupils in our local context. Specific needs, as they arise are responded to and incorporated into our planning, plus curriculum content is once again ‘stepped’ to ensure that key issues are revisited in later years and in greater depth. Where possible we also aim to bring in outside companies/agencies to deliver bespoke sessions to meet the specific needs of our pupils. Pupils cover key topics such as sexuality, teenage pregnancy, consent, STIs & contraception, healthy relationships and domestic abuse.
Religious Education is also embedded throughout Key Stage 3, as pupils are able to explore the religions of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Pupils develop skills of reflection, respect and tolerance. Schemes of learning are planned in accordance with our new locally agreed syllabus, Believing and Belonging: The Local Agreed Syllabus for RE in Calderdale, Kirklees and Leeds, 2019.
One key aim of Religious Education is about beliefs and values. We try to develop pupils’ understanding of world faiths and other beliefs, exploring their commonality and diversity. It is important to ensure that there is both depth of study (some areas investigated in detail) and breadth (an overall general understanding of the faiths and related philosophical and ethical questions).
Secondly, RE it is about ‘belonging’. We aim to nurture pupils’ awareness of the treasury of diversity as well as sensitivity to the questions and challenges that different views and cultures can present. Ultimately, we all share a common humanity and we share this patch of the Earth.
Human beings are strengthened and empowered by learning from each other. So, through experience and culture, it is possible to explore the opportunities, challenges and purpose of our individual lives and communities. Engaging and stimulating RE helps to nurture informed and resilient responses to misunderstanding, stereotyping and division. It offers a place in the curriculum where difficult or ‘risky’ questions can be tackled within a safe but challenging context.
The Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of our pupils has always been at the heart of the education offered in Delta Academies. The Academy’s approach to SMSC is embedded in the Delta ethos of mutual respect, partnership working and collaboration; an approach that we believe is fundamental to a full and positive participation in life in modern Britain.
Examples of how fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are actively promoted across the Academy and include:
- Weekly year group assemblies led by academy leaders or guest speakers
- Pupil Voice activities
- Pupil Council and Leeds Youth Council.
- Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) lessons and Focus Days e.g. First Aid training and Start a Heart Day
- Religious Education and PSHCE topics such as ‘Life in Modern Britain’
- Healthy schools’ initiatives
- Cross curricular initiatives
- After school clubs and enrichment activities
- Charity work
- Sporting events
- Links with the wider community including ‘Plastic Free Friday’
- Commitment and achievement of Our Core Values
- Educational trips and visits and other opportunities for learning outside the classroom.
All pupils are encouraged to work to achieving ‘our 10 core values’;
- Cultural Awareness
We believe that these core values help to develop our young people to become responsible citizens who take an active part in their community. It underpins Academy life and encourages pupils;
- To be the best possible people we can be!
- To engage with their community in a positive way
- To think of others and not just themselves
- To prepare them for life in the real world
- To foster a sense of responsibility
- To have interests beyond academic development
- To become proactive citizens who actively make a difference