Fourth and Fifth Forms

T

he GCSE years at St Edward’s will be transformed from 2020 with the introduction of two innovative new courses designed by the School in conjunction with leading educationalists.

“Pupils will still take a wide range of GCSEs but the new courses will provide something extra that other schools will envy.”

BARNABY LENON, Chairman of the Independent Schools Council

 
Matthew Albrighton, Deputy Head Academic, explains, ‘GCSEs in their current form provide good foundational knowledge for Sixth Form. They can, however, limit the ambition of pupils, constrain their curiosity, and underplay the transferable skills young people will need in their Sixth Form and university studies, and in the workplace beyond.’

Hear more in our latest podcast: A Fresh Approach to GCSEs

The new courses, Pathways and Perspectives, will complement a core programme of eight GCSEs, chosen by pupils in the usual way. A key feature of the new courses is that they will promote and reward more than just the capacity to retain information. To do well in Pathways and Perspectives, pupils will be required to develop a much greater range of aptitudes, including research skills, creative thinking, self-awareness, collaboration and communication.

“The acquisition of core knowledge is important. But dry rote learning for exams is not the way forward … young people need the opportunity to develop the knowledge and the skills they need for future employment through a broad and relevant curriculum that links explicitly to the real world.”

Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee

 
Courses will be offered in broader, interdisciplinary subject areas with an eye to future careers: Applied Sciences, Creative Arts, Design, Geographical Perspectives, Philosophical Foundations, Historical Perspectives, the Classical World, and Sports and Human Sciences.

Leading educationalists have contributed to the development of the courses, which will be formally accredited by the University of Buckingham and recognised by UCAS. Course content will be enriched by partnerships with a wide range of organisations, including the Oceanography Department at the University of Southampton and the Medical School at the University of Buckingham.

Pathways and Perspectives will be graded 9-1, with results published alongside GCSEs.

“Leading the way in educational initiatives is instinctive for this dynamic Oxford school.”

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