The Langton Curriculum
The aim of the Langton Curriculum is to expose students to the best that has ever been thought, spoken, written or recorded and to provide a full programme of cultural literacy for all. Wherever possible, we wish our students to participate in genuine open-ended research, by which we mean discovering things that no-one has ever discovered before. We wish to develop resilience in our young men and women as well as intellectual courage and to enable them all to be the ethically minded leaders of their generation, through becoming the best possible versions of themselves they can be; becoming the adults their peers will gravitate towards and respect.
We seek to achieve this through:
- Teaching GCSE/A Level syllabuses whilst giving subject specialists autonomy and licence to teach beyond the curriculum and recognising that exam results are a necessary but insufficient measure of the progress of individual students or schools;
- Providing opportunities in each key stage for genuine open-ended research;
- Providing a carefully tailored and expertly delivered History of Ideas programme;
- Delivering high quality teaching at all times which is inspiring, thought provoking and challenging;
- Challenging the ideas and beliefs of our young people through robust interrogation and thoughtful argument;
- Providing the widest possible range of extra-curricular opportunities at all levels of the school;
- Cherishing and nurturing the creative arts, both within and outside the formal curriculum;
- Creating a caring community which understands the needs of the group as much as the desires of the individual.
The Langton Curriculum begins with attitudes which we seek to foster in our students; fulfilment, belonging and a sense of wonder.
Fulfilment involves achievement but this is not simply achievement in examinations and tests. It may refer to the sense of fulfilment gained through participation in any one of the huge range of opportunities made available to our students. Fulfilment does not necessarily require praise, or even recognition, but where these do occur we do not reward mediocrity.
Meaningful achievement in the school helps a student to develop a sense of identity, both as an individual and within the context of the Langton Ethos and, in turn, this sense of belonging gives rise to greater levels of commitment, achievement and success.
Sense of wonder
At the Langton we encourage our students to ask big questions that address the complexities of the universe, the world and the human condition. Our vision is for students to be struck by sensations of humility, awe and wonder at the scale of the universe, the complexity of life and the significance of human thought, encouraging in them reflection and profound contemplation, that they may consider and appreciate the value of life and how it can be meaningfully lived.
It is argued that altruism is not an attribute which can be taught and this is certainly the case of ‘pure’ altruism. However, our aim is to encourage regard for others as a fundamental principle of action. This principle is a developmental one which begins with self-awareness in a child and which grows through stages of empathy, concern for peers, and action which benefits the community and those in other parts of the world.
Showing imagination and innovation as well as routine skill. Where students perform or produce work which is different from the norm or our expectations we must judge the outcome by its effectiveness, not its novelty.
Integrity refers to uprightness and honesty, as well as action which is based on principles. Integrity in academic and personal matters involves being able to provide a coherent, articulate account of one’s actions, decision and performance.
Reflection involves thinking about what has been achieved, but it also involves identifying which actions, decisions and aspects of performance can be improved upon.
Resourcefulness involves finding and using resources and evidence efficiently, effectively and successfully.
Determination and resilience are essential characteristics of the successful adult and in nurturing the development of our students we should help them to have the strength to overcome anxiety, defeat and disappointment.
Collaboration and Independence:
Independence and collaboration are not exclusive to one another and we seek to develop both these attributes in our students. The ability to think and work without support, to take on roles and responsibilities, to learn in isolation and to sustain success alone are as important as the ability to work jointly and co-operatively towards a common goal.
Respect is concerned with demonstrating consideration for others and the environment. Respect is not unconditional; whilst we should encourage our students to think and act in ways which allow for the opinions, thoughts and feelings of others, we should encourage our students to challenge those opinions with which they do not agree and which lack integrity. Our students need to understand that sometimes they should challenge the opinions of others robustly.