Because "we all come together to learn", there is a strong universal element to our curriculum: we give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
"A weekly "Learning for Life" form period is one valuable strand in a comprehensive programme that broadens students' horizons and equips them to appreciate other faiths and cultures as well as to manage personal choices about education and careers". Ofsted 2015
"The school's own faith status is used well as a starting point for preparation for life in modern, democratic Britain." Ofsted 2015
"The emphasis on volunteering for charitable purposes – systematically organised by the school – builds an appreciation of different people's needs and encourages active citizenship". Ofsted 2015
The Christian Ethos of the school permeates all lessons and is embedded through the skills the students learn to develop within the Learning for Life programme. This programme is taught for one hour each week by the form tutor and includes skills such as, Personal Learning and Thinking Skills, Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning and the Christian Values which were picked by the student council.
The themes of the syllabus are tailor-made for our students who are asked to decide aspects of the topic they wish to discuss further. Themes for each year group include society, citizenship, revision skills and physical and mental health. Within Learning for Life students develop their debating skills, their awareness of issues such as managing finance, drug awareness, cooking, anti-bullying and first aid. We also run a buddy scheme, where Year 7 boys are mentored by 6th form students to help them settle into school.
Our school is committed to building strong links with the wider community, and to work in partnership with that community. We welcome a range of guest speakers into our school as part of the careers programme for Years 10 and 11; students can attend seminars on jobs that are of interest, for example, medical, pharmacy, law, teaching and catering.
Students are involved in the voluntary scheme from Year 10 upwards. Visits to nursing homes and shelters for the homeless, placements at nursery schools and assisting at community events are just some examples of the voluntary activities. The students can then gain hours towards a national award in volunteering.
At St Margaret's we provide a planned programme of Careers Education and Guidance, Work Related Learning and Enterprise Education. This is developed in the Learning for Life lessons, subject lessons, presentations and events. Work in partnership with External Agencies provides independent, accurate careers guidance and relevant work-related experiences.
The Enterprise Education Programme aims to develop innovation, creativity, risk management and a can-do attitude. Enterprise challenges are designed to help develop problem solving skills and the ability to work in a team. We hold Enterprise Days which provide some excellent opportunities for our students to exercise and develop their enterprise skills.
For Year 9 education was spilt into two half day sessions with the Brook Advisory. They delivered small talks with groups of 12 students at a time. They discussed with them the dangers of sun beds, STIs, contraception, male hygiene.
For Year 10 sex education sessions when given within L4L for two weeks per form. One session was delivered by a qualified youth worker and sex education teacher who discussed with them what and how to use different types of conceptions. They also discussed the methods surrounding them. The second session was delivered by newly qualified GPs who discussed with them how to check themselves and male hygiene. Students were given time to ask questions and feedback from the discussions were they found them extremely helpful. They especially found the sessions helpful as they felt more at ease going to the GP surgery after meeting and taking to someone in the profession.