Thursday, 13 September 2012


I was in Sheffield again yesterday meeting with colleagues from the four schools, Sheffield College, the Cutlers' Company, B&E South Yorkshire and Sheffield City Council to look at how we can continue to co-create a new curriculum based on a competency model focused around five key aspects highlighted in the DEMOS report, 'The Forgotten Half'.

The five aspects highlighted by DEMOS are:
  • 'soft skills': character, resilience and grit; 
  • 'basic skills': literacy, numeracy and learning to learn; 
  • academic and technical excellence; 
  • creativity, innovation and enterprise; 
  • experience of the world of work. 

This approach lies at the heart of the Cutlers' Curriculum and we must be brave enough to expose the myth that environment and deprivation rather than character are a better explanation of why people behave and act as they do. Too many people with vested interests have persuaded us that our energy, efforts and resources should be directed at correcting social problems and addressing poor performance rather than developing strategies and approaches focused on academic and technical excellence, developing higher level skills and abilities, shaping character, resilience and grit and nurturing innovation and creativity. This fixed mindset approach sees young people from poorer communities as needing discipline, command and control rather than opportunities, expectation and esteem. We need to create a learning landscape where we see potential in every child and provide opportunities and help all our young people achieve their goals and release their talent and magic! If ou want to find out more about the work we are doing in Sheffield please let me know.

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