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 Year 12 and 13 in four lessons per fortnight. All students (apart from those taking Further Maths) will undertake modules in Understanding Mental Health and Giving briefings and making presentations. Through these studies, students complete a Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and awarded by the City and Guilds of London Institute. Such qualifications are rarely completed by students still at school and are highly valued by employers, thus giving our students a competitive edge.
Other aspects of the programme include advice and training on cooking, nutrition and budgeting for life after school, digital responsibilities (internet safety and managing a positive online profile), health & fitness for life, travel opportunities and cultural awareness, lessons for life (financial literacy, law and civic responsibility). Entire year groups attend periodic conferences covering a wide range of subjects which are designed to be provocative 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 and 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, but The Edge has been designed to ensure most EPQ students can still complete their ILM qualification as well.
Students wishing to study Further Maths, will join the rest of the year group for all aspects which are delivered to the whole year group. This includes Careers and advice on developing effective study skills. Further Maths students do not take part in any other aspects of the carousel and therefore cannot complete the ILM qualification.
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. And they learn how to surf.
The Edge is completed by the Easter break in Year 13, allowing students in the weeks leading up to the final exams to take advantage of the exam preparation advice provided by academic departments.
The Edge started in September 2019, with all Year 12 students taking part in it and is already proving a great success.