July 16, 2019

Opening Minds

Opening Minds is a competence based curriculum framework which gives the teachers the flexibility to make connections between subjects and prepares students more effectively for the world beyond school. Opening Minds produces self confident, independent learners.

We started offering Opening Minds to Year 7 students four years ago.

Our main aim was to ease the transition from Year 6 to 7. This can be a very difficult time for students who find the scale of secondary school hard to cope with.

Opening Minds allows students to be taught by one main teacher for the majority of their timetable in one room. The students work in one main book for each project and the work is cross curricular.

The subjects involved in the Opening Minds curriculum are English, IT, re, Geography, History, Dance, Drama and Art.

They have 22 periods of Opening Minds over the two week timetable.

They study six different projects called Drivers. They are ‘Learning to Learn’, ‘Identity’, ‘Medieval Realms’, ‘Staying Alive’, ‘Time Out’ and ‘Going Global’.

Students have time to look into a subject in greater depth than before and are part of the learning process. They are encouraged to use life skills to aid their learning and use their personal talents to produce a range of outcomes. The work is marked using these skills and allows weaker students to excel and more able students to push themselves further.

We have seen increased enjoyment of lessons from both students and teachers. Attendance has improved as well as behaviour as students are mor engaged than before. Finally students have improved their ability to transfer skills across the curriculum and beyond the school gates.