Pupils look for a fairer world

CHANTRY High students mounted their own trade fair as part of a revolutionary new teaching system at the school.The conventional way of teaching the national curriculum has been ditched and a new approach adopted designed to educate pupils for life as well as passing exams.

CHANTRY High students mounted their own trade fair as part of a revolutionary new teaching system at the school.

The conventional way of teaching the national curriculum has been ditched and a new approach adopted designed to educate pupils for life as well as passing exams.

Only Year 7 students are being taught under the Royal Society for Arts, Management and Commerce (RSA) scheme.

But it could be extended if evaluation of the project, which is still in its early stages, shows success.

And the man leading the work at Chantry is already singing its praises. The idea is to link lessons from different subjects together under one theme to encourage continuity between classes.

Scott Holder said: "Children are a lot more energised with our curriculum and are doing a lot more creative work.

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"Students don't just go from lesson to lesson, it's all about making connections between areas. It's working very well.

"Children are allowed to be more creative and I think they are finding it easier to see the point of learning.

"It's very demanding on time. Teachers have to re-write lesson plans around the new system and the national curriculum, which is a legal requirement.

"But I think it's much more satisfying because the teachers are allowed to be more creative as well as the students.

"The national curriculum is not as bad as it was, but it's still restrictive at times. This system makes lessons more enjoyable, thought provoking and stimulating."

The RSA programme requires students to gain what it calls "competences" in three key areas - relating to people, managing situations and managing information.

Proponents say weaving these elements into a normal school timetable makes it much easier for students to enter the world of work.

And the trade fair, mounted with the help of business experts from the Co-op, was a case in point.

Mr Holder said: "It was an excellent opportunity for our students to be involved in a prestige project, working with business and learning important skills for the future."

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