AIMS AND ETHOS
The ‘Character and Culture Department’ at Southam College provides students with a diverse programme of learning which covers both PSHE (Personal, social, health and economic) and Citizenship topics. The Character and Culture curriculum aims to help students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. In addition, we are passionate to help students develop the skills and knowledge necessary for healthy, safe, fulfilling and responsible lives both now and later on in life. We feel it is important for students to have the awareness and understanding on current, topical issues that may arise as they are growing up in a rapidly changing world but also how to develop empathy and appreciation for each other as they become active members of a society. Additionally, we feel it is important for students to learn to recognise their strengths and weaknesses in a variety of fields and to develop self-esteem and confidence needed to face the personal challenges they may come across in life.
THE CHARACTER AND CULTURE CURRICULUM
What is particularly special about Character and Culture at Southam College is that we have explicit, designated learning time within the timetable for our subject. All students are taught the Character and Culture curriculum through dedicated lessons, building upon knowledge and skills over time through a spiral programme both within KS3 and KS4.
Years 7, 8 and 9 have two hours of lessons per fortnight.
Years 10 and 11 have a one hour lesson per fortnight.
In lessons, students cover all aspects of PSHE and Citizenship in line with the 2014 National Curriculum but also more recently, the new government Department for Education statutory Health Education guidelines for 2020. We also regard Sex and Relationship Education (RSE) as an important part of our Character and Culture curriculum ensuring we refer to the new 2020 Department for Education guidance when delivering these lessons. Please refer to the Character and Culture SRE document and the whole school SRE policy for further guidance on this.
Students study the following topic areas:
- Healthy relationships, lifestyles and social wellbeing
- Work Skills-Preparation for working life
- Employability Skills- Work experience
Students in year 10 work towards a Character Education Award for Employability Skills where they have the opportunity to go on a Work Experience placement in the Summer holiday. Students prepare a CV, take part in a Mock interview with real life Employers and learn how to write an application form and cover letter. We are proud to work alongside the Careers department, Mr Hughes, to be able to deliver an exciting program to help develop student skills so vital for the real world.
- Living in the Wider World- Current affairs and hot topics
ASSESSMENT AND HOME LEARNING
Although students do not have an external examination, we feel that assessment and home learning is just as necessary in Character and Culture as in all other subject areas. Students undertake a diverse range of assessment techniques across all topic areas. Students have regular opportunities to reflect on and identify to what extent learning outcomes have been achieved, and to know how to make further progress; in particular through the use of regular end of topic assessments across all year groups and the use of Independent Home Learning Projects that students take responsibility with.
We also benefit from outside agencies coming into school to support and develop learning. We have Road Safety professionals from Warwickshire County Council running sessions through the ‘Driver Ambitions’ programme. We closely work alongside the Careers Department within school and have a range of Employers who support the Employability Skills programme of study. We are fortunate enough to have close contact with the local Police Community Support Officers who also offer workshops to our students. Look out for our Newsletters and Student Success Stories to read all about the wonderful opportunities students are getting involved with.
Parents/Carers who have any questions about the Character and Culture curriculum are more than welcome to contact the Head of Department for Character and Culture, Mrs Campbell-Birch.
Meet the specialist Character and Culture Team
Mrs Campbell- Birch
Mrs S James
Further Character and Culture information:
Although this is the Department of Character and Culture covering specific curriculum content, developing the whole student does not stop here! As a collective, we take whole school responsibility for developing students.
‘Character and Culture’ is also complimented and extended further through the Pastoral system with fortnightly Character and Culture Tutor time activities, every day 10 across all year groups. Furthermore, Character and Culture is embedded within Whole school enrichment initiatives, activities and the Careers department, another key strand to Character and Culture.