One of the fundamental benefits of having a bespoke curriculum at Knighton House – the KED Curriculum (Knowledge Enlightenment Discovery) – is it allows us to work on a continual monitor, review, audit and implement cycle. Instead of a curriculum that is fixed and immovable due to exams being taken, the organic nature of the KED Curriculum provides us with the opportunity to keep amending, improving and adapting according to circumstances. In this case, a curriculum that will reflect teaching boys and girls.
As we move towards coeducation at Knighton, an essential element, therefore, of the preparation for welcoming boys into the classrooms is undertaking a curriculum review to ensure our delivery in the classroom reflects best coeducation practice. That said, much will remain unchanged because of the philosophy on which the KED is built.
When we first set out three years ago to introduce a new curriculum at Knighton having made the decision to move away from Common Entrance to improve the learning experiences of the pupils, the foundations were built on an understanding of how pupils learn, less about what they learn. We believe strongly that Common Entrance unduly restricted our teaching and the learning experiences of the pupils failing to inspire them at a critical time in their education. We set out to achieve a better balance between factual knowledge and the development of valuable transferrable skills which better reflect the world the pupils will be a part of in the future.
Learning dispositions such as curiosity, cooperation, independence and self-motivation are the beating heart of the KED Curriculum. From each of these learning dispositions pupils learn different skills such as social (accepting responsibility, respecting others & resolving conflict); communication (listening, speaking, writing, reading); thinking (analysis, evaluation & how we acquire knowledge); and finally, research (planning, observing, interpreting data & presenting findings). Each term this means we focus on a range of dispositions for a year group/s and a termly focus which is common to and used by most/all subjects. This term, for example, our focus is on the body – the third element of our yearly theme based around the Heart, Mind and Body.
A termly theme acts like an overarching umbrella on the curriculum under which the teaching and learning takes place. The termly theme provides connectivity between subjects challenging teachers to embed the theme into their lesson planning. The value for the pupils is in giving them the opportunity to think less about subjects in isolation – ie. this is a geography lesson therefore I need only think about geography – and more about how the theme and skills they are learning connect in their daily learning across all subjects.
For parents with boys who are thinking of a Knighton House education, the conversations have given us the opportunity to extol the benefits of our bespoke KED Curriculum which has at its heart the learning dispositions and skills. Having boys in the classroom will not change this focus, in fact it will strengthen and help it develop further as boys and girls learn together as partners and equals.
— Written by Mr Robin Gainher, Headmaster —