The Edge is designed to equip Ipswich School Sixth Form students with a series of skills, which will set them apart in today’s rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world. This unique programme has been developed in response to issues identified by universities, employers and parents to address aspects of personal development which are not naturally developed in the academic or co-curricular spheres.
The programme is delivered across Years 12 and 13 in four lessons per fortnight. All students (apart from those taking Further Maths) will undertake modules that will help prepare pupils for life after school. Students will become a Mental Health First Aider, complete a cooking programme including training on cooking, nutrition and budgeting, digital responsibilities (internet safety and managing a positive online profile), presentation and public speaking skills, health and fitness for life, travel opportunities, cultural awareness, lessons for life (financial literacy, law and civic responsibility) and complex problem solving. Students attend periodic conferences covering a wide range of subjects which are designed to be thought-provoking or to help with crucial life issues.
Conferences are also organised to match the university application cycle. This includes an annual Higher Education evening for parents and students, along with dedicated UCAS preparation sessions, allowing students to submit well researched and high quality applications to university or a range of degree apprenticeship and school leaver apprenticeship schemes.
Within the programme, those wishing to complete an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) begin this at the end of Year 12, allowing the independent research element to be completed over the summer break and the taught and mentored elements to be delivered at the beginning of Year 13. These will take place in the time other elements of the carousel are being delivered.
Students wishing to study Further Maths are not able to attend all the sessions, but join all aspects which are delivered to the whole year group, including careers, RSE and advice on developing effective study skills.
A highlight of the Edge programme is when the entire year group spends a week at a residential activity centre in Devon towards the end of the summer term in Year 12. Here the students have the opportunity to enjoy many of the outdoor activities that this environment has to offer, whilst also developing important skills, including personal safety, stress management, interview skills, car maintenance and much more. Students plan, organise and cook much of their own food and learn what it takes to ‘survive’ independently away from the family home. They also learn how to surf!
The Edge is completed by the Easter break in Year 13, allowing students to take advantage of the exam preparation advice provided by academic departments in the weeks leading up to the final exams.