What is life?
The LIFE curriculum is anything that happens at Stokesley school outside of normal curriculum lessons. The purpose of the LIFE curriculum is to help to prepare students for the world outside school, both whilst they’re in our care and after they leave. Its purpose is to give students opportunities to both talk about and experience big topics that they’ll come across in their day-to-day lives. We want them to feel ready to face the world and to feel excited for the challenges and opportunities that it holds. At its core, the LIFE curriculum has weekly lessons based around the statutory framework for RSE (Relationships and Sex Education), and then around the outside of these lessons are all of the other branches of the curriculum: assemblies, clubs, competitions, activities, LIFE talk lessons, enrichment trips, enrichment visits, student leadership and so much more!
To see our LIFE curriculum lessons, scroll through the curriculum maps below.
What do life lessons look life?
Students have a LIFE lesson every week. It lasts for 20 minutes and it’s facilitated by their form tutor. In these lessons students and their tutor group will explore a range of big questions about the world around them and will have opportunities to both ask and answer questions in a safe and supportive learning environment. There are no exercise books for LIFE lessons, but that doesn’t mean students don’t have to do any work! They’re about thinking, they’re about listening, they’re about talking and they’re about learning how to communicate with the people around you. Our LIFE lessons are designed to help students to develop their speaking and listening skills, both skills which employers consider imperative when looking to recruit and skills which we know help students to succeed in all areas of their lives. To help students to develop their speaking and listening even further, we have LIFE talk lessons in year 7…
All students in years 7-10 work towards their LIFE passport, a document which contains challenges for
students to work towards which help with their personal development. Students are expected to complete 8 of
these 10 challenges over the course of the year, or to demonstrate that they have taken part in different
activities which help them with their personal development. The LIFE passports are kept in student planners,
and students can fill these in at any time.
To see the LIFE passport, click here.
What's life talk?
Our year 7 students attend LIFE Talk lessons once a fortnight. In these lessons, students are explicitly taught
about communication skills which will support them not only in their LIFE lessons, but also in their other
lessons and throughout their lives. Lessons are taught by English teachers and focus on supporting students -
through speaking and listening activities - to develop their speaking skills through paired, small group and
whole class activities.
To see an overview of the LIFE Talk curriculum, click here.
What are life assemblies?
Three times per half term, students will attend LIFE assemblies on top of their normal assemblies. Like LIFE lessons, these assemblies are discussion based and ask students to take an active part in discussing and thinking about the topic. In the first few LIFE assemblies in year 7, students will think about each of our core school values: ready, respectful and ambitious, and will have the opportunity to talk about how you can embody those values as students in our school. As these assemblies progress throughout the school year groups, assemblies tackle more complex topics and help students to see how they’re part of a school community working towards a common goal.
What's the life bulletin?
The LIFE bulletin is our opportunity to cram all of the extra stuff that we would love to have time for into the school day into one document. Shared with students on a Monday morning via email, accessible via the student dashboard, and available on the website for parents and carers (click here), the LIFE bulletin gives students up to date information about what’s going on in school, what’s going on in the news, competitions that are running and clubs that are taking place. There’s also weekly notices from our safeguarding team, our ethos team, the OLC (our library), the careers team and students’ Heads of Year. We’re really proud of our LIFE bulletin, as it helps us to react to what’s going on in the world and communicate this with students in a way that’s disestible to them.
What clubs are on offer?
It’s our belief that school is so much more than the 5 lessons that students attend each day. Our school is a community, and it’s a community in which there’s a place for everyone, no matter who you are. We have over 45 clubs that run on a weekly basis in school, far too many to list here! To give you a taster, though, there’s dungeons and dragons, knitting, netball, bullet journalling, football, vocal group, creative writing, chess, dance and so much more! Head over to the extra-curricular page to see more!
A better question would be ‘What isn’t enrichment?. This bit of the LIFE curriculum encompasses all of the trips and visits that students take part in. Whether that’s going bowling, skiing, to the theatre or climbing after school one day, attending a theatre production in school or learning how to do CPR with the ambulance service, this part of the curriculum is sure to stay with you students for the rest of their lives. Click here to scoot on over to our enrichment page where you can see more about what enrichment opportunities are on offer in our school.
How can I get involved in student voice?
One of the things that gives us the most pride at Stokesley school is our active student voice. A large number of our students are involved in this group, where they are given the opportunity to have their voice heard and to be a part of suggesting and making change in the school. Students in all year groups are part of the student leadership body, and the Head Boy and Head Girl play a large role in leading these sessions. It’s a great way for students to develop their communication and leadership skills, and to also meet other like-minded students. Click here to head on over to our website page dedicated to student leadership.
The LIFE team works very closely with the safeguarding team at Stokesley school to ensure that students are aware of the support that they can access, but also to ensure that the curriculum responds to current needs and issues that are facing the students in our area. To find out more about Safeguarding at Stokesley school, including a video for parents about what we do, click here.
Click here to see the curriculum overview, where you’ll be able to see every LIFE lesson taught in years 7-11.
Click here to see the introductory letter sent to parents in September 2020.
Click here to see the update letter sent to parents in September 2021.
Click here to see the statutory guidance for RSE
If you have any questions about the LIFE curriculum, or if you want to make any suggestions about clubs or competitions that you think we should run, we would love to hear from you! Simply email Mrs Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.