Social Sciences (PSHE & Citizenship)
Citizenship and Personal, Social Health Education play an important part in students' experiences at Finham Park. The aim is for students to not only learn about issues which affect both themselves and the wider world, but to become informed, confident, skilled, active, healthy and socially aware young people.
The subject is taught in discreet lessons in Years 8 (Citizenship), 10 and 11 (PSHE). At present Yr8s also have Citizenship taught through their carousel lessons. Importantly, Citizenship is also delivered in two others ways - within other subjects such as Drama, Humanities and RE, and also as part of the students' wider experience of school life. The student leader programme, participation in College events, charity fundraising, speaking up in College 'Barazas' and representing the school in fixtures and external events also are all part of the Citizenship experience.
So what kind of topics are taught?
Topics which appear as a recurring theme include:
- Managing risk; attitudes and behaviours, Sex and Relationships Education, Drugs Awareness
- positive attitudes; image, anti-prejudice and anti-bullying, rights and responsibilities
- Work readiness; ambition, choices and Career planning
- The wider world; the global village, poverty, immigration
- Money, and economic awareness
- Social Issues; crime and punishment, the influence of the Media, animal rights
Lessons are encouraged to be as inventive and active as possible, making use of current affairs, film and video, and visiting speakers.
What about Careers?
Students are encouraged from an early date to think about how their attitudes, options choices, skills and interests will affect their future pathways. This culminates in Year 10 when students complete their Work Experience placements, in and around the city.
All students are assisted in receiving the right information for future destinations by Connexions (Careers Service) who are based at Finham Park, and all students will receive guidance in KS4 and 5 on when and how to apply to the various options (Sixth Form, College, Apprenticeships, University) which are available.
Key Stage 3 Assessment
During Year 8 students will be assessed through three project tasks completed in each term of the school year. Students are allowed to choose from each topic area a project of their choice, and have freedom to present this as they choose - ICT, artwork and creative ways of presenting are encouraged.
Each project will be assessed using National Curriculum levels as a guide, and feedback will be given.
Key Stage 4 Qualifications
ASDAN Wider Key Skills
From 2009, all students will be completing work which leads to an ASDAN Wider Key Skills qualification at Level 2. This qualification is of the same standard as GCSEs and Btecs and means that students will complete four portfolios of evidence. The qualification is equivalent to 1 and a half GCSEs at a B grade and so is very useful for all students as it concentrates on evidencing those working and learning skills needed in employment.
Portfolio One - Working with others - group presentation on Drugs Education
Portfolio Two - Improving Learning and Performance - Work Experience Diary
Portfolio Three - Working with others - group presentation on Sex and Relationships Education
Portfolio Four - Improving Learning and Performance - How to be a responsible driver
Completion of the portfolios will take place in lesson time and for the vast majority of students there will be no requirement to complete these at home.
In 2010 and potentially 2011 there will also be a GCSE Citizenship course running in KS4. Often this course runs if students' options choices do not balance with their core entitlement in ICT, RE or PE and an additional course is needed.
The GCSE is a short course, meaning it is half the content of other GCSEs, but of the same standard. The exam is worth 40% of the final grade and is based on responses to topic areas such as Crime, Human Rights, Politics and the Environment. The other 60% is composed from students completing an active Citizenship project within the school or wider community.
Key Stage 5
As PSHE and Citizenship are part of the Social Sciences Faculty, all students experience the range of topics and way of thinking which can then be used in the Sixth Form. Psychology, Sociology and Law are natural extensions to many of the themes students learn about in KS3 and 4 and all these subjects are offered at AS / A2 level. Psychology is also an option for those students studying the IB.
In addition, all students in KS5 have academic mentoring and assembly sessions which maintain their involvement with PSHE and Citizenship issues. These have involved visits from the Fire Service, local MPs, Health Professionals and work on Career planning and the responsibilities and challenges of adult life.