A healthy dose of thinking outside the box.Tatler Schools Guide 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Bradfield ethos is about getting involved; it is a family community and you get out what you put in.Current pupil
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.
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.
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.
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.