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The Gateway School & Technology College
'working for maximum success for each individual'

Global

Global is the umbrella term given to three subjects found within Humanities:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Religion & Ethics.

These are primarily taught to KS3 students, however, there remains scope for KS4 to maintain basic instruction within these fields.

 

The curriculum is structured around and guided by threshold concepts (something that is fundamentally transformative; it may be considered ‘akin to a portal, opening a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something).

In total there are ten threshold concepts underpinning the Global curriculum which not only provides a vehicle for knowledge and skill acquisition but also serves as a model for progression. This is a crucial part of whole school policy with threshold concept ‘maps’ being an integral element of all subjects being taught at the Gateway.

Threshold Concept 1

Above is the first of ten threshold concepts. We start with reading because it is the primary skill used in order to convey information to students. Active reading is a technique used to extract important information from text, aid working-memory (easing extraneous cognitive load) and orient attention to words or passages that are of most importance.

 

Each of the ten threshold concepts are divided into a sequential set of steps which essentially get harder as students’ progress through the concept. There are a total of five steps with the sixth being called ‘beyond,’ this ensures that pupils are expected to achieve their maximum potential (there is in effect no ceiling to the number of steps that can be created). The main purpose of the steps is to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition in the areas most vital to Global.

 

Attached to each threshold concept is a secondary element which is used to shape ‘live feedback’ (feedback/dialogue between teacher-student that is immediate and relevant, which crucially generates greater effort on behalf of the student). The labels/letters denote language used among students and teachers to convey depth of understanding and independence in terms of the way in which concepts and therefore steps have been attempted. It is a common language being developed to warrant a general, school wide understanding of what progression, in terms of outcomes in class, looks like.

 

All students have a threshold concept map. These accompanies them throughout their journey, ensuring that a depth to my subject-specific progression model is in place. It maintains a focus on progression through the content to be learned (curriculum = progression model). The subject lead can monitor, in real time, the expectations of what students need to know at each stage of their journey. It is clear, accurate and responsive.

Example:

The intention of the Global curriculum is to provide students with a breath of topics, while maintaining a high degree of depth. This is achieved by spacing and interleaving threshold concepts throughout their time here, whilst providing a coverage of key topics which we feel are important factors in developing students’ cultural capital. Although not explicitly shown in the tables above, topics and content are reviewed/revisited multiple times throughout a student’s journey. For example Black Death, plague, Ebola and Spanish flu are all interlinked and recalled spanning from Year 7 to Year 9.

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