Information for parents re: ilearn curriculum                                                                     November 2021

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

At we are coming to the end of our first term of teaching we thought it a good time to remind parents/ guardians about ilearn lessons that your son/daughter has on their timetable once a fortnight. As you will see we cover a range of issues, some of which are sensitive/ controversial/ upsetting. If you have any concerns or issues with the lessons we follow, if something might be a little ‘to close for comfort’ for students then please contact us at the school and students can be set alternative work for that lesson. (e.g. Yr. 11 Cancer lesson).

Ilearn is a mixture of subjects: Citizenship, PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education), Careers and Work related Learning, Fair trade and Enterprise. At A/S level we also have Government and Politics.

The purpose of ilearn: We want young people to leave our school with an understanding of the political, legal and economic functions of adult society, and with the social and moral awareness to thrive in it. iLearn is about enabling people to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for their own lives and their communities. It is not about trying to fit everyone into the same mould, or about creating ‘model’ or ‘good’ citizens. We want our school not simply to teach ilearn but to demonstrate it through the way we all conduct ourselves.

Why teach ilearn? There are elements of ilearn education in many subjects as well as in our school’s wider commitments and ethos. But ilearn is more than that, we need students who are:

  • aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens;
  • understand risk and manage decisions
  • maintain healthy lifestyles
  • enjoy and achieve
  • informed about the social and political world;
  • concerned about the welfare of others;
  • articulate in their opinions and arguments;
  • prepared to enter the world of work
  • able to be enterprising and entrepreneurial
  • capable of having an influence on the world;
  • active in their communities;
  • responsible in how they act as citizens.

These capacities do not develop unaided, they have to be learnt. While a certain amount of knowledge and understanding may be picked up through ordinary experience in the home or at school, it can never in itself be sufficient to equip students for the sort of active role required of them in today’s complex and diverse society.

Why don’t we get a qualification in ilearn?

Quite simply there isn’t one! All the learning acquired in ilearn equips students in their lessons and gives them transferrable skills for use outside of school:

  • It helps them to develop self-confidence and successfully deal with significant life changes and challenges;
  • It gives them a voice: in the life of their schools, in their communities and in society at large;
  • It prepares them for their adult and working life.
  • It helps to produce motivated and responsible learners, who relate positively to each other, to staff and to the surrounding community.
  • Knowledge and understanding: About topics such as: laws and rules, the democratic process, the media, human rights, diversity, money and the economy, sustainable development and the world as a global community; and about concepts such as democracy, justice, equality, freedom, authority and the rule of law;
  • Skills and aptitudes: Critical thinking, analysing information, expressing opinions, taking part in discussions and debates, negotiating, conflict resolution and participating in community action;
  • Values and dispositions: Respect for justice, democracy and the rule of law, openness, tolerance, courage to defend a point of view and willingness to: listen to, work with and stand up for others.

As well as one lesson per fortnight, throughout the year we offer a range of opportunities for students to get involved with.

Enterprise: Christmas bazaar, Rice Challenge for Malawi, Finance talks

Fair trade: Fair trade fortnight, Bake Off, Primary visits, Open Mic, Christmas market

Careers and Work related learning: Careers week with employers, Careers ilead day and Work experience, Options advice, Careers Interviews, Careers collaborative, Swindon and Wilts Enterprise Company

PSHE: Links with NHS, Health promotion project work with the Terrence Higgins Trust, Drugs talk from the Police, Nationwide

Citizenship: UN day, Visiting speakers e.g. Lord Geddes, James Gray MP, Trip to the House of Lords and House of Commons

The ilearn curriculum is varied and engaging it both stretches and challenges students whilst also being differentiated enough that all students can access the curriculum. All lessons are well planned with up-to-date resources. A summary of the lessons are listed below:

Please see the ilearn topic overview document

For more information about anything ilearn related you can:

Visit the school website for information on events and our curriculum, or write/ email or phone one of the ilearn team

ATTACHMENTS

ILEARN TOPICS OVERVIEW
Relationships Sex and Health Policy