Page 17 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Middle School Diploma introduced
Sevenoaks School, Kent, has launched a Middle School Diploma for students aged 13-16, in years 9, 10 and 11. The school decided that the GCSE curriculum fails to offer the breadth of education and skill sets desired by employers and universities and was inadequate for preparing pupils for sixth form.
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Created to sit alongside its own academic curriculum, the aim
of the Diploma is to provide students with core skills that are not developed by pure academic study; the Diploma fosters key attributes such as creativity, problem solving abilities, critical thinking skills and teamwork.
The Diploma acts as a record
of learning experiences gained throughout the Middle School and encourages the development of a broad skill set to create well-rounded individuals; these activities are categorised into eight areas for accreditation:
• Making and performing – to encourage creativity through pursuits such as Theatre Production
• Service – cultivating philanthropy and social responsibility via voluntary service and charity activity
• Physical and Outdoor education – recognising dedication to sporting activity including
the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
• Academic engagement – achieved through commitment to study and personal re ective comments on assignments and progress
• Core courses – awarded
for student participation and excellence in ‘Critical Perspectives’ and ‘Ten ideas that changed the world’ to cultivate global awareness
• Entrepreneurship – the development of business skills through participation in workshops, attending guest speaker events and entering schemes such as the school’s Business Plan competition
• A research project – exploring an area of personal interest and developing independent study and research skills
• Tutor recommendation – acknowledging any other activities where a student’s tutor has identi ed outstanding contribution such as leadership of group activity.
Students are also encouraged to re ect throughout the Diploma and use this process to become aware of individual strengths, areas to develop and set goals and create targets in order to progress.
The Diploma will work in conjunction with the other quali cations offered by the school: IGCSEs, GCSEs and the Sevenoaks School Certi cates (SSC). The SSC is the school’s own equivalent quali cations for GCSE-level study; it is marked externally and the quali cation is recognised by UCAS. Originally introduced for English Literature in 2010 to offer a broader and more stimulating education than the GCSE curriculum, the school has since introduced the SSC
in  ve other subjects including Art, Drama, Music, Technology (Robotics) and Technology (Visual Communications).
Tim Jones, Deputy Head at Sevenoaks School, said: “The Middle School Diploma is a statement of our belief that education can be ambitious, broad, inclusive and exciting. The Diploma sits alongside our Sevenoaks School Certi cates, and focuses on the development of skills and attributes that our students will need for success in the future.’’
Independent Schools Magazine 17 Doc: 1-00102390.003 LAW A+ AW
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