Principles of Curriculum
"Education that does not mould character is absolutely worthless” - Mahatma Ghandi
Our vision for the curriculum is to enable students to flourish in all areas of their lives. We support their development into well-rounded, empathetic beings who are able to contribute and shape society and the wider world, whilst respecting and supporting those who live in it.
Kings Langley School Mission Statement
The importance of breadth
We believe that the most effective way of getting students ready for a rapidly changing world is to give students a broad education, covering a wide range of disciplines and subjects. The comprehensive knowledge and skills developed by students through exposure to a wide-ranging curriculum will give them the flexibility to adapt successfully in our fast-paced world. This emphasis on breadth at Kings Langley School can be seen in the importance given to the extensive range of subjects studied at KS3 right up until the end of Year 9.
Key Stage 3 Subjects studied at Kings Langley School
Art, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design & Technology, Drama, English, Food Technology, French, Geography, History, Maths, Music, P.E, Physics, PSHE, RE and Spanish.
The importance of knowledge
We are convinced of the primary importance of knowledge as a prerequisite to the development of skills. Students cannot think like a scientist, for example, until they have gained some mastery of the knowledge that informs the scientist’s thinking. Skills are built on a bedrock of knowledge, rather than the other way round. We place a high value, therefore, on the importance of instruction by the teacher: the teacher, as the expert in the classroom, plays a crucial role in passing on knowledge to our students. Testing of knowledge is similarly an important part of what we do at Kings Langley School as we believe in its long-lasting value. We want, for example, a student to remember for the rest of their lives the work that they study in History, or the texts that they study for English, or their knowledge and understanding of musical notation that they acquire in Music lessons. In addition to frequent testing, we help students retain knowledge for the long-term by spacing out and interleaving the teaching of topics.
The importance of subjects
Much research has shown the domain dependence of knowledge: knowledge acquired in one field is not easily transferable to another subject domain. We want our students to have a broad and deep education, where they are able to make links between different subject areas, but we believe that this is done more successfully through studying a wide range of subjects in depth, rather than from constructing a curriculum that is built on cross-curricular themes and where the importance of each subject is diminished. Each subject is part of the curriculum because it offers something different from other subjects and cross-curricular work is at its best when the unique context of each subject is given due prominence.
The importance of choice
“Our overarching mission is to ensure the happiness of every individual in our school community by providing opportunities for growth and excellence through the education of the whole person"
Kings Langley School Mission Statement
Without sacrificing breadth, we try to give the students as many opportunities as possible to choose a curriculum that fits their individual talents. In year 7, students are allocated either French or Spanish. In the Sixth Form, most students also opt to take an Extended Project Qualification. Every year we reconstruct the timetable from the ground up so that we can maximise the number of students getting their first-choice options.
The importance of the whole curriculum
“Without a curriculum, a building full of teachers, leaders and pupils is not a school.”
Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector
Whilst allowing students to choose some subjects at different stages of their education at Kings Langley School, the curriculum as a whole is compulsory and, where there is no element of choice prescribed by the school, then all students will study all topics and all subjects. A lot of thought and care has gone into our curriculum and it should be seen as a coherent whole rather than a collection of isolated topics. The only exception to this is that parents have the legal right to withdraw their child from RE or from some parts of sex and relationship education, but, for everything else, no such right exists and, when a parent sends their child to Kings Langley School, they are agreeing that their child will study the full curriculum as set out by the school.
The importance of character development
We believe that the development of students’ character is fundamental to their ability to flourish in all areas of life, which leads to fulfilling and happy lives. We promote our core character traits of stick-ability, self-regulation and empathy, as research suggests that these values have the greatest influence on people’s lives. There is an expectation that staff, governors and parents will display, encourage and develop these, in parallel with students, as part of their conversations, actions and experiences.
If you require any further information regarding our curriculum programme please contact our subject leaders via their individual email addresses.