Each component of the curriculum has been rigorously evaluated and found to have significant effects, or is evidence-informed and developed from the latest guidance and best practice. Our belief is that the combined weight of all these components, along with the regular time and space in school to develop knowledge and practise skills, will result in significant positive effects for students and schools. The curriculum has been developed in-line with adolescent development and the reality of life for students in and beyond school. The design has ensured that every element:
The curriculum is relevant and practical and helps students to understand themselves and others. The wide range of transferrable skills and strategies increase social, personal competence and thus improve the opportunities for social mobility and employability. Students will understand how to feel good and function well through established habits, useful for life. We have designed a book that sets out the curriculum journey, detailing each of the elements. Click here Healthy Minds Curriculum Journey to download a copy of the book.
During year 7 students develop the cognitive and behavioural skills required to make the most of opportunities and deal with setbacks. These foundational skills will be relevant now and transferable beyond school. Each year students will return to these skills in order to ‘boost’ their resilience as they develop. Next in year 7 students will apply the skills to navigating the media and social media, learning the benefits and drawbacks of posting on-line and making the best use of technology in a safe and beneficial way. Finally in year 7 they will learn to harness the potential of their mind and increase their attentional skills using mindfulness.
Year 8 – Moving Toward My Future
At the start of year 8 students consider who they are now and who they hope to be as adults. They learn to set realistic goals that matter to them and bring the future nearer, so that they can see that what they do now in school is directly connected to what they want for their future. In this context they then think about the influences around them and debate social norms and myths about nutrition, health, body images, tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. Towards the end of the year they explore how their bodies are changing and how to create and sustain healthy relationships.
Year 9 – Taking Control of the Decisions I Make
In year 9 students build their year 7 and 8 learning and apply their new skills to developing positive relationships and consider the risks associated with unhealthy relationships. They discuss the health and emotional implications of sexual relationships and debate the impact of alcohol use and misuse. The year 9 curriculum finishes by allowing students the time and space to reflect, discuss and apply the resilience skills and the knowledge they have gained thus far, the focus is on making good decisions as life becomes more complicated.
Year 10 – The Beginning of Adulthood
During year 10 students as they move toward adulthood they will learn about mental illness and how to recognise it in themselves and the people around them. They will consider the stigma that surrounds mental illness and will explore when and how to seek help if needed. They then move onto understanding their values and levels of maturity as their relationships develop. They will explore the responsibilities of being a parent. They will engage in a more mature debate about making informed choices about alcohol and substance use. The year 10 curriculum draws to a close by revisiting and applying the resilience skills. Students will explore how they are still relevant as they think about taking exams and moving beyond school. They will also consider how the skills developed during these lessons are transferable and useful in the future.
Parents Under Construction – The next training will be held on the 5th February 2018.
The Education Endowment Foundation (EFF) funded the project delivery.
Bounce Forward (previously How to Thrive) directed the overall project, designing the curriculum, supporting schools, supporting the data collection arrangements and leading and/or delivering all the necessary training elements.
We are delighted to have the support from leading experts from the field including;
The project offers extended thanks to Hertfordshire Public Health and their Director Jim McManus for a funding contribution of £25,000 toward the baseline of the character and health research.