At Goresbrook we are unashamedly geeky about learning. We love mastering new skills, reading new information and talking about the things we discover. We pride ourselves on a highly academic curriculum that challenges students to be the best they can be. We have carefully looked at what a young person would need to know and be able to do if they were to be successful at University and beyond. We have then carefully mapped this from Reception in the primary phase all the way through to Year 13 in our 6th Form phase. This ensures that our young people receive a seamless learning journey from the age of 5 all the way to 18 years old. Students at Goresbrook understand that learning is often hard; they appreciate learning for its own sake, rather than for explicit reward. They learn for a purpose and have an idea of what they want to be and where they want to go. Our students know that learning isn’t about memorising answers, but understanding how those answers are found and why they are right. Our vision is to ensure that students have “the real option to succeed at a top university” and “the skills to excel in a career of their choice.” We recognise how a powerful curriculum can open up the world to our students.
Our curriculum enables all students to develop a strong set of values and know how these apply to their lives and to their study. They should learn to build positive relationships with each other, and with adults, are able to show empathy and should communicate in a way such that they can disagree with others without falling out or arguing. They have the ability to question what they hear and form a logical argument. They have an opinion and can articulate their point effectively but are tolerant of the views of others. We are very specific about how are students should speak. We explicitly teach them to communicate in a respectful and professional manner, using the correct words and sentences. They speak to each other in every lesson and form opinions and arguments that they can speak about with confidence. They debate every week and are taught how to build a logicial argument.
Learning does not happen unless you have to think carefully and intensely about something. In every lesson students are given interesting and challenging problems to solve. They practice solving these problems until the become masters of them. We meticulously plan how we are going to create these opportunities and use each student's past performance to work out how best to challenge them. We have a saying, "At the end of the day, your brain should hurt!"
New and Old
All lessons at Goresbrook are planned with two things in mind. Firstly, are we teaching students something that they don't yet know or cannot yet do? Secondly, are we helping fix the mistakes they have made before? This is the essence of a great curriculum. We plan all new knowledge and skills carefully throughout the 13 year journey students take with us, but we also carefully plan how we are going to revisit old knowledge so that it is not forgotten. It is easy to forget what you learnt a month ago, and we make sure that this does not happen.