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The Future Ready Curriculum: St. Christopher’s School Bahrain

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The Future Ready Curriculum (FRC) is a holistic framework to equip students with modern knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to serve as “Role Models of the World.” Through subject-based and experiential learning opportunities (such as enrichment, theme days, assemblies, etc.), students will receive clear and specific opportunities to develop competencies in the domains of Academic, Meta-cognition, Service, Enterprise, Digital and Wellbeing.

As part of the School’s Mission “Education for a Shared Humanity,” this learning journey includes activities to engage student-centered learning within the context of the school and global community. This includes: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), internationalism, interculturalism, positive psychology (PERMA), spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development (SMSC), among others.

The FRC is also supported by a bespoke planning system that stores and organizes the whole-school schemes of learning, as well as mapping each FRC competency opportunities across each subject and all age-phases. This not only demonstrates subject-based learning sequencing and progression, but it also provides all stakeholders with easy access to view learning activities, learning objectives, high-quality resources, assessment methods, and FRC competency coverage.

How was it planned?

Through a collaborative exercise, our teaching staff identified the FRC domains as essential skills, knowledge, and understanding that students require to be successful in today’s world. Such skills are not always taught as part of a subject-based curriculum, but they are equally important as qualifications for students to be successful in life. Among them are leadership, teamwork, public speaking, charity and service, metacognition, and how to be physically and mentally healthy. As we wanted this to be a whole-school approach from nursery to post-16, so we developed a series of competency statements through volunteer working groups. The competencies are objectives that can never be completed, only improved upon, and therefore are continuous for life-long learning.

Did you face any challenges in implementation?

Introducing and managing change always necessitates careful planning, communication, and handling, and this is especially true in Covid times. Making time to meet online while dealing with the new situation that covid teaching brought was difficult. However, the colleagues involved were immensely passionate about the FRC and the opportunities it will provide our students, and despite the challenges of not being able to meet in person, we collaborated online to craft and formulate the competencies. With the help of a local Bahraini web-design company, we were also able to create a publicly accessible minisite and a bespoke planning system to help us plan and measure our success in planning our schemes of learning and additional learning experiences. 

A significant challenge has clearly been managing a disruptive and unpredictable year while attempting to return to normalcy while the many Covid restrictions remained in place. Some elements, such as group work and public speaking, community service, and wellbeing, have been hampered as a result; however, through the use of digital platforms, we have been able to innovate and overcome this. This is a true testament to the FRC, as ‘Digital’ is a key component. Furthermore, with the Covid situation taking its toll on mental and physical wellbeing, the inclusion of ‘Wellbeing’ has never been more necessary.

A brief assessment of your results

We launched the FRC in September 2021 and have since created hundreds of learning experiences ranging from Nursery to Year 9. This will expand into Key Stages 4 and 5 in 2022-23. (Years 10-13). Departments and Year Groups have adapted their Schemes of Learning to reference the FRC competencies and to provide new and exciting real-world context for learning. Students have also started to engage through the use of Digital Portfolios to capture their progress within each domain and each competency statement.

Furthermore, thematic days, such as Enterprise Day, have been implemented to provide the opportunity for students to design, market, and pitch a product to their peers and teachers. This, along with many other immersive learning experiences, helps to prepare students for the future. By the end of the academic year, parents will be able to use theFRC platform to support their children’s learning in school, and help develop the FRC competencies that their childrenengage with outside of the classroom.

In hindsight, what were the most valuable lessons learned? Could things have been done differently?’

Launching a new curriculum is a huge undertaking that requires a significant amount of time to prepare stakeholders for the change. We were unable to devote as much time to training and curriculum development as we would have liked due to the situation brought about by Covid. This may have made the initial launch a little more strenuous than anticipated. Furthermore, if departments/year groups had had the time and opportunity to pilot the planning system before implementation, initial technical teething issues might have been avoided.


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