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Changes to the timetable in 2016-2017 resulted in an increase in the number of teaching periods for all pupils. This saw more lessons for Year 13 pupils studying the linear A Levels and for the Lower School pupils, an opportunity to develop the skills they will need to succeed in the Senior School.

Three new lessons for the Lower School pupils were devised and developed: Curriculum Enrichment, Digital Literacy and Project Based Learning.

The Curriculum Enrichment lessons provide stretch and challenge to all pupils in the Lower School and reinforce the core subjects of Maths and English. Pupils are given the opportunity to consolidate their Maths and English using real life practical scenarios and are encouraged to think critically about everyday problems whilst applying their knowledge. Shiplake College has also subscribed to Pearson’s online resource SuccessMaker which enables pupils to work through a personalised online programme which tracks their progress. These lessons also provide the opportunity to explore the Shiplake Seven, study skills and revision techniques as appropriate.

The Digital Literacy lessons provide an opportunity to consolidate pupils’ key digital skills across all subjects. As curriculum ICT lessons are required to focus more on Computing, our pupils still need a chance to develop the key digital skills they need to take for granted in order to succeed in later years. This is increasingly important as the College moves towards greater email communication with pupils and more teaching and learning taking place within the online platform. Pupils tackle a wide range of creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications again within real life practical scenarios solving problems they will find in their school career or workplace.

The Project Based Learning lessons provide pupils with the opportunity to develop key academic skills through the creation of a presentation on a topic of interest. Pupils explore the key skills involved in refining their area of focus, effective research and effective presentation prior to sharing with peers, teachers and parents at specially-organised events. As well as creating individual presentations, the pupils also work in teams and explore what skills are needed to collaborate effectively.

Assistant Head, Academic Mr Paul Jones says: “the new timetable provided us with exciting new curriculum opportunities. As well as providing additional lessons for Year 13 pupils, the opportunities available to enhance our Lower School curriculum were enormous. This will mean that our pupils have all the skills they need in order to succeed at GCSE at beyond.”