Our final cohort of students on the traditional GCSE option scheme (current Y10s) will sit their exams in May/June 2016. From September 2015, Y9 and Y10 will be following a new Upper School curriculum, which has already started to be implemented with our current Y9s.
The new Upper School curriculum consists of four main elements as shown below:
World views and religious education course
- This develops and deepens the young people’s understanding of the Christian world view whilst enabling them to learn about a wide range of world views that they will come across in modern Britain, including atheism, humanism, materialism/ consumerism and the major faiths practised within the United Kingdom. The young people are encouraged to identify the values and ideas that are inherent in each way of looking at the world and to discern their relationship to a Christian understanding of the world.
- The need to respect people whose world view is different from their own is actively promoted as a Christian virtue and requirement: “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor” 1 Peter 2:17. We recognise that developing an understanding of other cultures and respect for all people is essential for the young people to be equipped to serve as global citizens. It is also important so that they are able to demonstrate the blessings of the kingdom of God to all people without discrimination or exclusion.
- The worldview and religious studies course is foundational, and the understanding the students gain through it feeds through into all the other elements of their Upper School education. Some of the learning is accredited through the GCSE Religious Studies, which from 2015 includes the study of two world faiths, as well as ethical issues.
English BaccalaureateAll students are given the opportunity to study seven GCSE subjects from the English Baccalaureate suite of educationally rigorous and recognised subjects that enable young people to progress on to further and higher education. These are:
- English Language
- English Literature
- Core Science
- Additional Science
Some students would benefit from doing one or two less GCSEs. Their programme could include more flexi-ed options or additional support in gaining the all-important English and Maths qualifications.
Global citizenship/Equipped to Serve vocational programme
This programme enables students to work out their faith and demonstrate God’s kingdom-life through local, national and global citizenship. They learn to apply their understanding of Christian principles, values and priorities in practical settings. The programme is vocational as it equips students to fulfil their calling to carry out the creation and cultural mandates not just in the future, but now.
To do this effectively they require a knowledge/research base that covers environmental geography, business studies, human geography and social studies. They also need to develop skills in presentation methods that will enable them to implement and communicate their plans, including making graphic products, performance, public speaking and the use of digital media. The course develops a range of transferrable skills, including entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills. Students learn to take pride in their workmanship, as their work directly impacts on others outside the classroom.
The students take part in 12 – 15 units of activity, relating to four broad areas of human activity. The units of activity average 20 hours although some are longer and some shorter. Two or more may run concurrently (eg Romania social action project and financial management unit).
- Social and environmental action
- Enterprise, finance and the world of work
- Politics and the media
- Core Science
- Life and leadership