The KED Curriculum at Knighton House
Curriculum changes in schools come about for many reasons, our change has come about to better address the needs of our pupils in a rapidly changing society now asking very different things of its learners; furthermore, it is now commonplace for our girls to be pre-tested by senior schools as early as Year 6 and to be offered guaranteed places based on online test results. How to justify a two year Common Entrance programme of study for our Year 7 and Year 8 pupils when it seems that the work has already been done? Why not plan a curriculum which embraces knowledge and skills beyond the test? But what would that actually look like? How would this manifest itself in the classroom? What would your daughters be learning? What might this move mean for the subjects they take, such as English, Geography or Science?
Reassuringly, this move away from Common Entrance does not mean we are abandoning a syllabus; we will continue to use the best elements of both Common Entrance and the National Curriculum. Love of language, reading and book talk will remain at the heart of our teaching in the English department and sound knowledge of skills (grammar, punctuation and spelling) to underpin that. Geography will continue to teach global location, data analysis and map work and field studies will continue to be an essential, practical tool. Circuits, forces, chemical reactions and reproduction won’t suddenly slip off the Science curriculum either. What your daughters will be doing are more practicals, more investigations and securing the core concepts in Science; they will look in greater complexity at contemporary issues which impact on their world, such as migration, immigration, employment and GM food in Geography and in English, they will develop a knowledge of where writers sit on the continuum of literature by studying them in depth, looking at how they are linked by theme or style and how they have been influenced by those who have preceded them. We will continue to prepare pupils for academic and other scholarships with the same thoroughness as before, according to the specific requirements of their chosen senior school.
Moving away from the somewhat rigid Common Entrance curriculum and testing regime will allow us to create a balance between curriculum content and the skills girls need to go about learning well i.e. how to collaborate, how to be resilient, how to be optimistic and how to be self-motivated.
In September 2018, Knighton House School will be into the first year of its bespoke curriculum for pupils in the Prep school. Our ‘KED Curriculum’ (the k of Knowledge, the e of Enlightenment and the d of Discovery) moves us gradually away from ISEB Common Entrance, meaning in 2019 our Year 8 girls will sit only English, Maths, Science and a Language, via the traditional Common Entrance examination route, and by 2020 we will be assessing Year 8, in all subjects, in-house. The move has the interest and blessing of our local feeder schools.
These short films will give you the flavour of our curriculum.
Each term at Knighton is themed around a particular learning disposition.
In 2017/18, our three themes have been Resilience; Curiosity; and Optimism.
Autumn term 2017 – Resilience: Being resilient means learning how to cope with and rise to the challenges, problems and set-backs we face in school life in a positive way.
Spring term 2018 – Curiosity: Do you want to know everything? Do you ask endless questions? Do you always want to find out? Research shows that curiosity prepares our brains for learning. We found out how and why.
Summer term 2018 – Optimism: Optimism is a mental attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavour, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favourable, and desirable. Applying this to our learning and all aspects of school life has many benefits; we will explore how this term.
The first day of each term is devoted to the termly theme with a Learning Disposition Day.
Learning Disposition Days
Learning Dispositions are very important at Knighton House; asking girls to think not about what they learn but how they go about the learning process, developing important skills for their future. ‘Being right’ is never the focus of our disposition days, but having a go, showing good thinking, taking courage with their learning and involving themselves, is paramount.
What are the learning dispositions?
Independence | Self-motivation | Resilience | Concentration | Communication | Creativity | Optimism | Persistence | Risk Taking | Self- Control | Co-operation/Collaboration | Curiosity