Middle School Program
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.”
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.’
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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.
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“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.”
The courses on offer are broad in outlook, allowing pupils the freedom to pursue their interests in each subject area without the restrictions of a prescriptive syllabus. Many of them include interdisciplinary links with an eye to future careers, such as Applied Sciences, Design and Entrepreneurship, Music and Music Technology, the Ancient World, Global Societies and Environments, and Big Ideas in Ethics, Philosophy and Theology.
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.”