A human-centred curriculum is constructed around current and overall developmental needs of the student, focusing on developing central qualities necessary for the well-being and flowering of the whole person.
It will touch and transform the motivational, cognitive, social and affective aspects of the student’s nature, offering a challenging and compelling learning experience in which students are more likely to become self-motivated, resourceful and responsible learners.
The human-centred approach takes into account the particular nature, talents, strengths and weaknesses of the student as a focus of the learning process. Where possible, the curriculum will be co-constructed with the student in close consultation with a Learning Mentor and Subject Tutor.
The 7 HCE Curriculum Areas
Instead of being subject-based, which tends to separate knowledge into silos, a human-centred curriculum provides spaces for different kinds of development in seven curriculum areas:
Direction/Mentoring Time: This would usually take the form of one-to-one mentoring sessions, which provide a space for the student to be guided and challenged. Mentoring helps students to internalise educational standards, identify their talents, interests and preferred field of work in later life, review learning progress and develop self-awareness and responsibility. Ideally the same mentor would work with a student for the entire duration of their secondary education.
Emotional Exploration Time: This is a designated time when young people can explore their emotional landscape and discuss relationships issues in a safe, caring environment. It includes both peer-led sessions and sessions led by a facilitator. Group sessions are open-ended in focus and integrate a variety of activities, such as dialogue, contemplation, drama, arts, music and movement, and other creative approaches.
Cognitive Development Time: This is a time to enliven the intelligence; it is devoted to thinking, reasoning and self-conscious understanding of how one directs one’s attention and uses one’s cognitive abilities. It aims to cultivate the student’s capacity to listen and speak, and read and write, as well as more abstract thinking capabilities such as comprehension, systematic analysis, argumentation, deduction, criticism, questioning and making relevant connections.
Project Time: This is dedicated time for the student to develop their own project(s), which may include vocational and work experiences, community service, academic work in the form of an inquiry, or a combination of the above. The aim is for the student to have learning experiences that relate directly to the kinds of activity they are interested in and might want to pursue later in life.
Specialist Subject Time: This aims to meet each student’s need for knowledge, skills and qualities in more specialised areas. When a student has an increased self-awareness and a clearer direction in life, subject learning can be an opportunity to connect to subject contents and to improve relevant skills, attitudes and aptitudes in a more self-reflective way.
General Knowledge Time: This consists of brief and concentrated units on areas of general knowledge that are designed for students who are ready to learn and have sufficient background skills to understand and benefit from them.
Exploration Time: This provides opportunities for students to broaden their horizons. It might involve engaging in a full range of activities within the school, including sports/physical activities, arts, drama and music activities, clubs, academic groups, school meetings and so forth. It might also include experiences outside of the school, e.g. taster sessions in higher education settings, visits to work places, or services in the community.