Dear Parents & Guardians,
Since his appointment earlier this year, new Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has focused on the importance of instilling children with ‘soft skills’ from a young age.
In a speech to delegates at the Education World Forum in London, the former Minister of State for Employment, highlighted the frequency of which he would hear pleas from businesses surrounding the importance of workplace or employability skills. These skills, which may encompass collaboration, communication and problem-solving, for example, are often referred to as ‘soft’ skills.
Adopting a brave stand, Mr Hinds recognised that qualifications and exams were important but ‘not the whole picture when it comes to what you learn and achieve’.
At Long Close School, our LCS Evolves vision is built on the belief that a future proof 21st Century education is not just about exam results and have developed an ethos which ensures the children in our care succeed well beyond leaving us at the age of 16.
Alongside safeguarding firm foundations and rigour, our passion for character development and emerging STEAM driven curriculum, married with weight given to encouraging positive approaches to learning, all serve to instill a natural readiness to embrace challenge.
From September 2018, Long Close School will move full STEAM ahead on our plans for our innovative 21st Century education by providing a transdisciplinary platform for the delivery of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Music focused curriculum as we prepare students for life beyond GCSE’s. The importance of a STEAM focused curriculum has been widely discussed amongst leaders in education more recently and a link to the importance of this focus can be found below.
Senior Students will have the opportunity to join the school in Year 6, Year 7 and Year 8 working throughout these years on the ISEB Common Entrance Syllabus as they work towards achieving the LCS Diploma, developing both rigorous academics, developing character through our Co- Curricular programme and nurturing a global perspective through our inspiring world of our Cognita family of schools.
Our three year GCSE programme begins from Year 9 with students undertaking the following GCSE subjects; English, English Literature and Mathematics and Combined Sciences. To extend the more able, students may be given the opportunity to tackle the challenge of Triple Award Science. Enhancing these core subjects, students now have the opportunity to choose from the following options; Computer Science, Music, Design Technology, Art, Spanish, RS, Geography and History. These are complimented through the 3 C’s: Connections, Creativity and Collaboration, influencing and broadening a new generation through a diverse and global platform; an inspiring world of education.
We are also delighted to introduce Forest School as part of our EYFS and Junior School Curriculum leading to Bushcraft And the Duke of Edinburgh Program in the Senior School. Children throughout the Junior school will take part in regular Forest School sessions. The possibilities in such sessions are endless, yet the benefits remain the same; children develop self-confidence, learn to work as part of a team, to solve problems and adapt their ideas and to approach challenges in a logical fashion.
As a school which greatly values Character Development in our students, we seek to encourage children to think of learning as a series of challenges and development opportunities; a mind-set which we believe will have great impact on their ability to succeed. The growth mindset theory asserts that, with practice and determination, despite natural aptitudes or inclinations, we can all succeed. Not surprisingly, children with a growth mindset are more likely to tackle a challenge or try something new. In practice, this means that our children are urged to view mistakes as an important part of the learning process, not as failure.
Mr Hinds ended his seminar by emphasizing ‘that you believe that you can achieve, that you can stick with the task at hand and that you understand the length there is between the effort you make now and the reward that may come in future and the resilience to bounce back from the knocks that inevitably life brings’, are key indicators of success.
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