The Bradfield Diploma is an important and exciting programme that is pursued by all pupils in the Shell (Year 10) and Fifth Form (Year 11), rewarding them for their application to the school’s co-curricular programme.

Bradfield Diploma Guide

The focus of the Diploma is on pupil-led initiatives with pupils taking on the additional responsibilities of recording and reflecting on their achievements. The Diploma enables our pupils to develop many of the other personal attributes that the College feels are important in their development.

A gentle push towards wider engagement

The Diploma aims to increase the breadth and depth of co-curricular commitment in the junior years. When Sixth Formers reflect back on their Diploma journey they focus on the ways in which the Diploma inspired them to embrace new activities and interests.

That can be exposure to and eventual commitment to debating as part of the cultural component of the Diploma; or the decision to do a tennis-coaching course to satisfy the community requirements of the programme; or the spirit of innovation shown in taking on the responsibility of launching a new junior society.

The 10 components





Public speaking


Community service/charity


Current affairs

Outward bound activity

Out of the comfort zone

Pupils are encouraged to pursue activities with which they might not initially feel comfortable.

Public speaking can, for example, be intimidating for this age group but, beginning with a presentation to a small group of peers, an individual will increasingly develop the confidence to address a larger audience having honed his/her presentation and speaking skills.

A healthy dose of thinking outside the box.

Tatler Schools Guide 2018

Transferable skills

The Diploma is the seedbed for skills that will grow in importance in the post-GCSE years. In the Summer Term of the Shell year, each pupil completes an independent research project on a topic of their choice, thus improving their ability to select information, structure a report, reference accurately and evaluate the whole process.

This lays the foundations for the more substantial research tasks in the Sixth Form – the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) for the A Level pupils or the Extended Essay for those studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme which is therefore a key stage in the preparation for university research.

Pick up a book

Reading beyond the requirements of the GCSE courses is a key component of the Diploma. Pupils are expected to branch out into a range of genres – fiction, non-fiction and biography – which might include delving more deeply into possible areas of future academic specialisation.

This component is assessed by the pupil’s Tutor, who also performs the role of mentoring their tutees during the whole two years of the Diploma programme.

Academic at its core

Running like a thread through the two years of the Diploma is the academic component, focusing on the aspect of their Bradfield education that underpins everything else they achieve. This rewards the pupils for their overall level of academic effort and attitude to learning in all their GCSE courses.

Example of a completed Bradfield Diploma

ComponentExampleCredit Score
AcademicAverage QG: 4.329 credits
ResearchTo what extent is the human desire to be perfect natural? (37/50)4 credits
Cultural 1Acting in school play: The Danny Crowe Show5 credits
Cultural 2Singing lessons to Grade 5 (Merit)5 credits
Physical 1Huxham cross-country race5 credits
Physical 2Hockey at school level for two terms4 credits
Public speakingPresentation about the Bradfield Diploma to an audience of Shell parents5 credits
ResponsibilityEditor of the House current affairs newsletter4 credits
Community serviceHelping at the prep schools cross-country day5 credits
Reading: Fiction
Reading: Biography
Reading: Book 4
Reading: Book 5
Alex Rider: Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz The Warrior's Heart by Eric Greitens
The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki
The Shepherd by Ethan Cross
The Case-Book of Sherlock by Arthur Conan Doyle
5 credits
Current affairs2.5 credits
Outward bound2.5 credits
TOTAL56 credits

The end of the journey

Pupils accumulate a maximum of 60 credits for the completion of the ten components of the Diploma – Academic, Cultural, Physical, Research, Responsibility, Public Speaking, Community, Reading, Current Affairs and Outward Bound.

The Diploma, which has the support of national exam board Eduqas, culminates in elite awards of Gold, Silver and Bronze, as well as a Pass. In the end pupils are rewarded for their application to all that Bradfield has to offer, while maturing into better organised and more contributing all-rounders.

Alcestis 2019

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