Ethos, Values and Curriculum Intent
Our students succeed because of our belief in the vital role we play in helping them achieve.
Using innovation, creativity and a personalised balanced curriculum that inspires and challenges, we support them to discover their potential and realise their dreams.
Everyone has a sense of pride and purpose and we work together in preparing students for life beyond Falconer .
The school’s vision is modelled in our curriculum, where we believe in advantage over disadvantage. As a Special School for Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) we believe that our students deserve a curriculum that does not narrow their life chances but enables them to make positive choices and have greater opportunities beyond Falconer.
Through a broad and balanced curriculum focusing on the Individual Needs of students, providing enriching learning experiences both creative, technological and academic, and using reading as a key tool for understanding themselves and the world they live in.
Our cohort is such that interwoven within every area of our curriculum is the understanding that anxiety and behaviour impact significantly on our students learning. Our curriculum is intended to motivate, promote and teach resilience, independence and self-regulation.
As a Special School we follow the National Curriculum but have the opportunity and expertise to offer alternatives as and when appropriate.
For students with SEMH, challenging behaviour primarily comes from a place of conscious or unconscious anxiety or fear; developing strategies to regulate emotions such as fear and anxiety is the key step in supporting our students to progress.
Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents' brains work differently than adults when they make decisions or solve problems. Their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex.
These brain differences don't mean that young people can't make good decisions or tell the difference between right and wrong. However, an awareness of these differences can help us manage the behaviour of adolescents.
We do not believe that punishments are an effective method for achieving behavioural change. We believe that the concept of punishment focuses the students mind on the punishment or the person giving the punishment rather than their actions. The student is left feeling angry about the punishment rather than thinking about the impact of their behaviour on others.
Unconditional positive regard (UPR)refers to accepting and supporting another exactly as they are, without evaluating or judging them.
At the heart of the concept is the belief that every person has the personal resources within to help themselves if offered the environment of acceptance to foster their own recognition of this.
High expectation does not mean we expect perfection. It means we expect students to make mistakes but to develop the capacity to learn from these mistakes and improve over time.
We must have higher expectations – we must believe that we can change things with support and nurturing – otherwise we make quite unfair judgements about these vulnerable students.
At Falconer a student’s behavioural progress is considered a crucial element to any sustained academic progress and positive future outcomes.
Achieving the Extraordinary Together…
At Falconer, everything we do is based on building positive attachments (mutually respectful relationship) with our students. Developing a positive relationship with students helps them to develop a positive relationship with themselves, school and learning.
We aim to provide a curriculum which:
- is consistent with local and National requirements and is personalised to meet individual needs
- is broad, balanced and develops knowledge and understanding regardless of ability, gender, ethnic origin or social background
- is challenging and inspiring, enabling students to reach the highest possible level of academic success and personal growth
- helps students to be happy and secure in their learning environment
- strengthens students‘ capacity to learn by developing positive attitudes towards challenges, allowing students to think creatively, independently and rationally
- promotes self-confidence, perseverance and self-discipline, and the skills of performance, critical thinking and collaboration
- promotes our subject specialisms of sports and mathematics across all subjects
- allows students to see their school as part of a community, sharing the values of good neighbourliness and understanding that difference is a source of enrichment
- Provides a rich ‘cultural capital’
- promotes strong moral values and preparation for adult life and the world of work
- provides students with a sense of success through their achievements
- encourages high aspirations and a sense of awe and wonder for the achievement of others
- provides significant cross-curricular and extra-curricular activities, which are open to all students
We use a number of online apps and websites to supplement our learning at Falconer School.