Rhubarb 2020

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

The 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. 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. Deputy Head Academic, Matthew Albrighton explains the reasons for introducing these new courses and the benefits of such a progressive education. PATHWAYS AND PERSPECTIVES

‘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 ‘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.’


G CSEs 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. From September 2020 pupils in Year 10 at St Edward’s will be following a new curriculum and will prepare for fewer GCSEs than the previous generation – eight compared to 11. In the space created, pupils will choose to follow two or three alternative courses from a varied range devised by St Edward’s teachers, in collaboration with Buckingham University. These enjoyable, challenging and relevant courses are geared towards stimulating passions, as well as preparing our pupils more appropriately for the world of work in which they will find themselves. Assessment approaches will be demanding and adaptive to individual needs – more akin to a performance management process in the “real world”. Instead of pupils being able to game the system and often avoid deficits in learning, we will deliberately explore, alongside the pupils, the specific areas that need improvement. We want St Edward’s pupils to be more courageous and flexible in their thinking and be able

to go beyond the boxed and often limited world of GCSEs. Pupils will move into Sixth Form with improved communication, collaboration and research skills. Importantly, they will be equipped with a framework for engaging more honestly with the relative strengths of their own character. Most of the learning will be recorded, monitored and assessed online, structured within the Microsoft Teams Environment. As far as we are aware, no other school has a curriculum so well attuned to the demands of modern living and learning. The courses are varied and offer pathways for the range of pupil interests. For example, there is an Applied Science route for those thinking about engineering or medicine; the global perspectives course will challenge pupils to understand living with political instability and design sustainable built environments; the technology route will align pupils with mentors in business, to go through the process of bringing a product to market. This programme will lift the opportunities far beyond that on offer at similar institutions. Teddies has always been a different sort of school; we are at the vanguard of an engaging and progressive education for the 21st century. As the courses evolve, we will be looking to engage


‘Leading the way in educational initiatives is instinctive for this dynamic Oxford school.’ TATLER SCHOOLS GUIDE

OSE connections to help us further refine the offering and build connections to the world of work. If you feel that you would like to be involved in any way please do

not hesitate to get in touch via OSE@stedwardsoxford.org .


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