Aims and Principles
At Benenden we aim to provide a curriculum to develop inquisitive, independent thinkers with a love of learning. We understand that the curriculum, both within taught lessons and beyond them, should create an environment where questioning, academic risk-taking, divergent thinking and the freedom to learn from mistakes are all encouraged. We intend that our curriculum should imbue in our students these qualities: responsibility, independence and a sense that learning can excite and invigorate throughout life.
The curriculum should be seen in its widest sense as the entire planned learning experience. This includes formal lessons as well as events, routines, and learning that take place outside the classroom. The Curriculum Policy should be seen within the overall aims and ethos of the School, which are at the core of its objectives.
Our curriculum is designed to allow each student to:
- achieve the best possible academic qualifications and standards for her, whatever her ability;
- ensure high levels of engagement, enjoyment and personal development.
Within the framework of a broad and balanced education for each student, we intend for our curriculum to allow a high level of personalisation so that each girl can play to her strengths and develop specialisms, develop existing and new interests and achieve her personal best in all that she does.
Our curriculum provides a broad and balanced education which allows students to become:
- Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve their academic potential;
- Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives;
- Responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to society.
a) We aim for our curriculum to develop successful learners who:
- are inducted into the essential knowledge, skills and discourse of subject disciplines and are able to develop specialisms appropriate to aptitude;
- can appreciate human achievement in the fields of languages, mathematics, science, technology, humanities, physical and aesthetic pursuits and creative and expressive arts, and to experience a sense of personal achievement in these fields during their time at school;
- are able to link areas of knowledge in a spirit of enquiry;
- are able to pursue courses appropriate for their stage of learning and particular abilities in order to achieve their personal best, in lessons which differentiate for student need;
- are able to learn independently and with others;
- can acquire the study skills and self-knowledge necessary to realise their learning potential, and are motivated to achieve the best they can, now and in the future;
- are creative, resourceful and able to solve problems.
b) We aim for our curriculum to develop confident individuals who:
- show courage and compassion in their dealings with others;
- can respond positively and with resilience to the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life;
- can develop for themselves an active and healthy lifestyle;
- can evaluate risk, take managed risks and stay safe
- can relate well to others;
- have secure values and principles to distinguish right from wrong;
- are articulate, confident players on a global stage;
- are increasingly independent, able to show initiative and organise themselves;
- are willing to try new things, are ambitious and able to make the most of opportunities;
- are open to the excitement and inspiration offered by the natural world and human achievements.
c) We aim for our curriculum to develop responsible citizens who:
- can participate as effective, respectful citizens within a global society;
- acquire an understanding of the social, economic and political issues of the world and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations;
- can challenge injustice, are committed to human rights, and can strive to live peaceably with others;
- understand the complex human interaction with, and dependence upon, the local and global environment, and develop a caring and responsible attitude towards the environment;
- can change things for the better, taking into account the needs of future generations in the choices they make.
The School operates a 32 hour weekly timetable, with six hours of lessons a day and two hours on a Saturday morning.