With the changes to the timetable for 2016-2017, there is an increase in the number of teaching periods for all pupils. In Year 13, this means that there are more lessons for pupils studying the new linear A-levels and for the Lower School pupils, this means an opportunity to develop the skills they will need to succeed in the Senior School. We have devised and developed three brand new lessons for the Lower School pupils this year: Curriculum Enrichment, Digital Literacy and Project Based Learning.

The new Curriculum Enrichment lessons will provide stretch and challenge to all pupils in the Lower School and to 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 new Digital Literacy lessons will 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 Google online platform. Pupils will tackle a wide range of creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications again within real life practical scenarios solving problems they well find in their school career or workplace.

Finally, the new Project Based Learning lessons are intended to provide pupils with the opportunity to develop key academic skills through the creation of a presentation on a topic of interest. Pupils will 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 will also work in teams and explore what skills are needed to collaborate effectively.

Assistant Head, Academic Studies Mr Paul Jones says: “we are very excited by the curriculum opportunities presented by the changes to our timetable. As well as providing additional lessons for Year 13 pupils, the opportunities available to enhance our Lower School curriculum are enormous. Hopefully, this will mean that our pupils have all the skills they need in order to succeed at GCSE at beyond.”