Overview and rationale

The Windlesham Diploma is a bespoke two-year course (an abridged version for the 1s will be in place for 2020-21) followed by all pupils in years 7 and 8. It is unique to Windlesham and designed to equip our pupils with the skills and attributes required to flourish at their senior schools and life beyond. It is studied alongside the standard ISEB 13+ curriculum and Common Entrance examinations but aims to enhance those studies by encouraging pupils to adopt the Windlesham Values throughout their learning to become accomplished, confident and resilient young people with well-developed communication and critical thinking skills.

Each pupil will keep a weekly journal of their studies and reflect on their development through self-evaluation. Form teachers and House Parents will, of course, oversee each individual pupil’s progress.

Pupils’ progress and achievement will be recognised through a system of continuous assessment and at the end of the two years, each pupil will be awarded the Windlesham Diploma at either pass, merit or distinction to recognise their personal development and achievement.

Content and Modules

The Windlesham Diploma will cover four areas of study:

  • Leadership and Team Spirit
  • Personal Development and Life Skills (incl. entrepreneurship)
  • Community Responsibility
  • Outdoor Education

Assessment

The assessment process will be through pupil self-evaluation using formative and continuous assessment to encourage pupils to reflect on their progress, both in areas of achievement and success and also in those which need further development and practice.

  1. Pupils will write a weekly reflective journal after each Diploma session to discuss the principles and activities covered and evaluate their personal thoughts, progress and achievement. This will encourage a deeper level of understanding and allow pupils to set their own targets and achieve greater levels of independence in their learning and personal development.
  2. Each module of six weeks will lead to a practical assessment task (usually group based) which will be marked against clear assessment criteria. These marks will all be added to the final total.
  3. At the end of each year, pupils will present, in groups, to their parents about all elements of the Diploma. The key aspects to be assessed will be pupils’ confidence, effective communication skills, leadership and team work skills and the ability to answer relevant questions.

The award of the diploma will be conditional upon successful completion of all course elements and modules including all areas of assessment.

Modules and Syllabus Content

1. Leadership and Teamwork

Each module will be taught through the exploration of the theory of leadership and practical application, collaboration and team work. Pupils will explore themselves as leaders as well as the essential elements of effective team spirit.

  • Spot the Leader
  • Who is a Leader?
  • Know your Leaders
  • Team Spirit
  • Communicate Effectively
  • Silent Signals
  • Values and Views
  • Influence-Inspire-Impact
  • What will you do?
  • Route to Resolve

Skills and knowledge

  • Working as team leaders and team members
  • Effective communication skills
  • How to think critically and creatively
  • Attitudes/values of caring and inspirational leaders
  • Metacognitive and self-reflection skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Understanding personal strengths and areas for development
  • Resilience and confidence

2. Personal Development and Life Skills

This element of the Diploma will cover a number of areas of academic and co-curricular enrichment including entrepreneurship, the attributes of an effective learner, pupils’ individual social development and essential life skills. The modules will primarily be taught practically and collaboratively.

  • Life skills – a course module covering resilience, resourcefulness, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, motivation and effective communication and listening
  • Entrepreneurship – a practical based group task to form a company with relevant roles, manufacture a product and, produce and sell with all profits going to the school charity. This module links closely to leadership and team spirit.
  • First Aid – a practical course covering the essential elements of basic first aid – principles and techniques.
  • Personal enrichment: a series of workshops covering areas such as desire management, effective communication, relaxation techniques and stress management, concentration and growth mindset.
  • Shop-Cook-Eat Challenge: From menu planning, to cost management, shopping, cooking and eating – a fun challenge to devise and cook a healthy and nutritious two-course meal for 4 people for £5.
  • Future School Preparation – interview and revision techniques, critical thinking, maximising exam performance and public speaking.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Positive thinking
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Stress management
  • Team spirit
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Time management
  • Learning strategies
  • Debating
  • Exam techniques
  • Critical thinking
  • Practical life skills

3. Community Responsibility

It is essential that our pupils understand their place in society and that they grow and develop the skills necessary through their school years to take up a valuable and worthwhile role in their future lives. This area of study will cover the following modules:

  • Charitable endeavours – supporting and fund raising for the school’s local, national and international charities.
  • The environment – addressing environmental issues at school through The EcoSchools Programme as well as gaining an understanding of environmental issues locally and globally through taught courses and links with local organisations such as the RSPB.
  • School events – play a leading role in planning, organising and running a variety of new school events.
  • Local Community – links with local primary schools, the children’s ward at Worthing hospital and local villages

Skills and Knowledge

  • Independence
  • Initiative
  • Self-motivation
  • Environmental understanding
  • Collaborative working and team spirit
  • Empathy and tolerance
  • Philanthropy

4. Outdoor Education

Physical development and challenges together exposure to the great outdoors foster a sense of achievement, self-worth and encourage risk-taking, involvement and a healthy life-style. This module will take full advantage of the school’s extensive grounds, comprehensive facilities and location with the South Downs national park and proximity to the coast. Activities will include:

  • Bushcraft
  • Personal survival
  • Mapwork and navigation
  • Expedition training and camping
  • Climbing
  • Watersports

Skills and Knowledge

  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Risk taking
  • Team-building
  • Navigation
  • Fitness and physical development

Summary

The rapidly changing nature of the workplace in the 21st Century leaves no doubt about the importance of the need to teach and foster certain skills to thrive as our children will be employed in roles that do not yet exist. The Windlesham Diploma will work alongside the long established and rich academic and co-curricular opportunities at Windlesham to ensure pupils receive an academically rigorous curriculum together with valuable skill development. This will give children the room and opportunity to see new things, learn different ways of thinking and approaching a problem, take risks, be involved and discover new interests and passions.