Our aim is to build and deliver a General Education programme that is stimulating and properly comprehensive.
General Education includes the delivery of Citizenship and PSHE content and works closely with UCAS and careers preparation, charities and outreach initiatives.
Our General Education programme draws together and coordinates the school’s provisions and programmes other than mainstream academic courses, sporting activities and specialist music, art and drama.
During the course of the academic year there are five Citizenship mornings where boys are taken off timetable in exchange for guest speakers, workshops and outings. These mornings incorporate and extend the PSHE Associations recommended programmes and those within the National Curriculum:
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education)
- Careers and work related learning
- Financial capability
- Drugs – alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs
- Sex and relationships
- Safety – water, transport, sport
- Social, emotional and behavioural skills
- Democracy and justice – preparation and decision making
- Rights and responsibilities
- Identity and diversity – school, local, national, global scale
Whilst PSHE and Citizenship remain a crucial element of what is taught, extension is also included from year to year via initiatives such as Key Skills and Revision Workshops, an extra-curricular activities fair for all Fourth Form boys, cooking sessions and code-breaking workshops from Bletchley Park, to name but a few, for Sixth Formers.
Learning By Doing
There is a focus on ‘learning by doing’ and as such, the General Education department also runs several whole-school initiatives aimed at raising awareness of local and global issues, where pupil participation is key.
A successful annual Movember campaign involves Upper Sixth boys teaching younger boys about male health issues, as well as fundraising for related charities. In the past two years, they have helped to raise over £22,000 in this campaign. In the spring term, we focus on the issue of homelessness and boys participate in an annual ‘Sleepout’ run by the YMCA, as well as listen to visiting speakers on the subject. In the summer, we draw attention to the issue of extreme poverty and join the ‘Live below the line’ campaign, where boys and staff live on £1 a day for their food for a whole week.
Upper Sixth Lecture Programme
The Upper Sixth Lecture programme has been a notable feature of school life for many years, and it encompasses an impressive array of speakers and topics. Several speakers have proved largely successful and have become regular visitors to the school discussing a wide variety of topics and ideas. Further to this programme, all boys in the school attend the Head Master’s Ashdown Lectures periodically where eminent speakers are invited into the school, the first of which was inaugurated by Lord Ashdown (OB).
Lower Sixth (AS) Skills and Independent Project Programme
The Lower Sixth (AS) Skills and Independent Project programme provides further extension and engagement opportunities, as does the IB CAS programme. The school offers AQA’s EPQ as an optional extra qualification designed to broaden pupils’ academic interests and enhance their ability to research and express themselves.
Theory of Knowledge
A course entitled Theory of Knowledge (ToK ) forms part of the Remove Form timetable. The course introduces students to certain fundamental ideas and information in the three areas as well as aesthetics and ethics. It also seeks to engage our boys in issues of current affairs and encourages them to think, and learn how to think.
In the Fourth Form and throughout the school boys are encouraged to choose from our impressive array of clubs and societies. The Duke of Edinburgh Award and Combined Cadet Force are both very active within the school community alongside over sixty clubs and societies.
Gifted and Talented
Specific provision for Gifted and Talented pupils is provided most ostensibly via two societies; the Archer Martin Society (Fourth, Remove and Fifth Forms) and the Mitre Club (Sixth Form). However, there are a myriad of other academic and extension societies which meet regularly and which are open to all boys.