Children As Curriculum Champions

Why do we need curriculum champions?

Every child needs a champion and some schools have pastoral Children’s Champions as part of their Inclusion Team.

But every subject we engage with also needs a champion too.

Without people to champion a particular subject then the curriculum can quickly go stale. The curriculum has to fizz and bubble and it needs plenty of soldiers to shake things up.

A curriculum champion is normally a named member of staff who has responsibility for a particular area and coordinates with intent. If you take on this role then you have to be pro-active, super-enthusiastic and dedicated to raising the profile of your subject so that it is always on the radar.

Some subjects do get a higher profile than others and that’s because they have someone who is driving the subject forward. It’s doubtful that every school has equity though when it comes to championing particular subjects.

Mental health is poorly served although some schools do have Emotional Wellbeing Champions led by children. Every school should be prioritising mental health and also making sure that there are Anti-Bullying Champions and in place. Some schools have Hate Crime Champions. Could you be a champion for the Communication Trust and spread the word about the importance of speech, language and communication?

Truth is, primary school teachers have to be curriculum champions for more than one subject which means making a song and dance about everything.

Some schools enlist the help of their children and let them share the responsibility. Schools that do this understand that promoting a subject is a corporate effort and not just the job of teachers.

When children take on the role of a subject champion then they also learn to lead and engage others. They learn some valuable life skills assuming and adopting the role of a champion means taking on a new identity with some new responsibilities.

They work together with teachers to create the froth every subject needs and this might include supporting their peers and promoting confidence, discussing action plans, sharing views and looking at the different topics covered, delivering assemblies and even visiting other schools. These are prized positions and they give children a sense of pride.

Some schools have a Champions system and reward children who put exceptional effort into their learning awarding them Bronze, Silver and Gold. This isn’t my understanding of what a subject champion is because this can create divisions between children.

I see all children as subject champions and all children need the opportunity to be one without any sort of grading system.

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