The Times Education Commission released its final report this week, calling for a radical overhaul to the education system. The 12 point plan makes a recommendation for a Baccalaureate style system, citing the success of the International Baccalaureate. A focus on technology and wellbeing is also prioritised by a panel of experts. Former Prime Ministers, Education Secretaries and educationalists have given their strong support to this pioneering blueprint.
Writing in The Times today, Head William Goldsmith comments:
Our obsession with assessment and a narrow curriculum, hardly developed since the Industrial Revolution, now sits alongside a crisis in the mental health of young people. I have seen the transformational impact of a baccalaureate philosophy; now is the time for courage and bravery to create a real-world approach to education.
St George’s School Windsor Castle has already embraced the International Baccalaureate as its philosophy behind learning and teaching, and the Primary Years Programme is our curriculum model for students in Kindergarten to Year 6. Then, following two years of the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate, our students have the developing skills to be real world ready. This dynamic approach to learning focuses on students asking the right questions, rather than simply answering them. It enables our young people to take ownership of their learning, to think deeply about issues facing the world around them, and, crucially, continue a love for learning.
Our year 8 students will be delivering TEDx style talks on Saturday morning in Windsor Castle, one of their final presentations before moving to senior school. They are speaking on a range of passions, including sexism in sport; gaming and the brain; diversity; culture; allergies; and many more topics. This is the culmination of an educational journey which prioritises wellbeing, interest and a readiness to learn. This is so much more powerful than a narrow curriculum designed only to pass a very narrow set of examinations.