Life Skills at Ipswich School

Our innovative Life Skills programme provides students with the skills most important in life, ranging from cooking and financial planning, to study skills and wellbeing.

The programme is aimed at helping pupils get the most out of their school life as well as helping them develop as individuals. All Life Skills lessons up to Year 11 take place with Form or Tutor groups, our basic pastoral unit.


In Years 7 to 9 Life Skills is taught by the Form or House Tutor, strengthening the pastoral links between tutor and tutee. Tutors are supported by specialist speakers who come in to give talks on such subjects as e-safety.

In years 10 and 11 the lessons are taught by specialists who rotate around the form groups on a 4 or 5 week basis.

Here are some of the topics covered in our current Life Skills programme:

  • Years 7 and 8 - settling in, study skills, your values, bullying, disability, alcohol, smoking, friendships, the internet.
  • Year 9 - drugs, crime, citizenship personal health and well-being
  • Years 10 and 11 - citizenship, ICT, study skills, careers, physical and mental health issues, belief and interpersonal communication, personal finance.

During these courses we encourage pupils to go beyond acquiring particular knowledge or skills, so that they develop the moral, ethical and spiritual values that underlie their lives.

Our students receive workshops and extensive advice on revision and exam preparation from Elevate, an educational company. We follow this up with an internal programme of support.

Life Skills in the Sixth Form exists both inside and outside of the school environment, and is also part of the Enrichment Programme.

A highlight of the programme is when the entire year group spends time at a residential activity centre in South Wales towards the end of the summer term. Here the students  not only have the opportunity to enjoy many outdoor activities - surfing and ghyll scrambling being particular favourites - but also developing their UCAS applications. Throughout the week students are joined by many of their teachers to ensure excellent advice is also on hand for all aspects of the trip.

The combination of an entire year group away together, supported by a dynamic range of familiar staff members, allows for many unique experiences, will all students being pushed beyond the traditional limitations of a classroom environment.

Students are required to plan, organise and cook much of their own food and learn what it takes to 'survive' independently away from the family home.

The Sixth Form Life Skills programme also includes talks and presentations and, as with the Middle School, there is plenty of support and advice on study skills and exam preparation from educational experts, Elevate.

"They show a keen sense of fair play and debate moral dilemmas with maturity and good sense.  Pupils develop their own set of appropriate values, while respecting and appreciating those of others."  Independent Schools Inspectorate Report 2014

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