As Manx society changes, so too the curriculum that schools offer our young people needs to change. The knowledge, skills and attitudes that pupils will need, in the twenty-first century, are not the same as they were in the past and so the school experience needs to evolve to reflect this. The Department of Education and Children has reviewed its Curriculum for Learning and Achievement and further
developed it so that schools continue to be supported in providing a world-class education for children and young people on the Isle of Man. The curriculum is not prescriptive; rather it attempts to provide broad parameters in which schools can develop flexible, exciting and memorable learning experiences which support the development of a broad range of academic, social and personal skills. The main components of the Essentials for Learning (E4L) document are available to view, on this wiki.
Central to the design of the new curriculum are the 6Rs. These are dispositions which pupils need to develop in order to learn better. Key features of schools which develop the 6Rs are;
- an explicit commitment, at all levels of the organisation, to the development of personal capabilities, alongside academic achievement
- a clear articulation of what learning means for all stakeholders
- an agreed definition of intelligence not as a fixed entity, but as capable of expansion
- provision which routinely supports the development of the 6Rs
- regular opportunities for pupils to exercise control over their own learning
- a common “vocabulary” used to discuss learning, prevalent throughout the setting
- opportunities for reflection and the evaluation of personal qualities, built into routines
Schools on the Isle of Man enjoy the freedom to develop curricula which are relevant to the needs and interests of their pupils. This is part of the reason we see such a strong emphasis on local communities within Manx schools and continue to celebrate the strong traditions and culture of the Island. The Department has clearly outlined the principles
which underpin the curriculum in successful schools, however, and will support schools in applying these principles.
Essentials for Learning defines curricular provision very broadly. It lists a school's environment, events, traditions, lessons, enrichment activities, behaviours, routines and ethos as part of the provision. It also contains sections for specific subjects or areas of learning and also for the cross-curricular dimensions of school's provision (Citizenship, Healthy Futures, Learning to Learn, Global Dimension, ICT,
Manx Culture and History and Careers).
An information leaflet for parents and carers has been created and can be downloaded, using the link below.
Some of the questions
that have arisen during the development of Essentials for Learning have been answered, via this link.