News from Kings Bournemouth
Progress reports and parental communication
3rd June 2019
As part of the support provided at Kings Bournemouth, students' development is continually monitored, and formal student reports are provided twice a term. These provide students and parents with a regular update on the work that has been covered, targets set, progress achieved, areas for further development and, where appropriate, updates on UCAS applications.
Kings' academic community extends beyond the classroom and the relationship between students and the academic and welfare teams. In addition to the regular reports, parents and guardians are invited to engage with the college throughout the year. This may include individual meetings to provide further information, support or guidance.
Parental feedback is always welcomed, as it is important for us to understand their perspective on how the school is supporting students and how students are progressing, and to hear the value that they feel we are adding for our students. We have recently been given the following feedback:
"I cannot speak more highly of my son's experience on his academic studies at Kings Bournemouth. The transformation of his academic prospects over the last year has been remarkable. The teaching and wider support he has received from both the academic and administrative staff have both been excellent.
More than anything he has enjoyed his time in Bournemouth and can look forward to commencing his undergraduate studies at a top university later this year."
— Mr B.
"I checked out many schools when looking for the best option for my sons but found that only Kings provided the environment that we were looking for. When they joined the college, I was certain that I had made the best choice.
Kings has had a very positive influence on my sons' character and they are now more studious than before and I'm really satisfied with the service and support Kings provide. Kings follow the students' academic progress closely, and whenever the boys need more time or support with their studies, the school has a plan and continues to closely monitor their progress. This includes monitored study within the school's boarding residence.
"My sons have regular counselling about their degree and university options and full support through the UCAS process. They also participate in and enjoy a wide range of extra-curricular and social activities.
There is a great relationship between staff and pupils at the school and they love the Principal, Dr Andrew Short. As a mother, I am very pleased with Kings, all the support provided and Kings Bournemouth and their quick replies to my requests and questions."
— Mrs K.
Volunteering to teach with United World Schools in Cambodia
31st May 2019
An adventurous group from Kings Oxford and Kings Bournemouth recently returned from the trip of a lifetime, volunteering to teach children in one of Kings' charity partner schools in rural Cambodia.
Three students — Chiara, Vicky and Kevin — were accompanied by Kings Bournemouth's Academic Assistant Director of Studies Nicola Cranshaw, and Kings Oxford senior teacher Sean Scatchard, the group leader, who shares their reflections on the trip.
Kings is proud to support United World Schools (UWS) by raising awareness and fundraising to build and sustain new schools in some of the world's most disadvantaged communities.
The UWS vision is to 'teach the unreached', and that's certainly what it felt like! Sleeping in hammocks, washing with a bucket, and giving lessons in art, music and logic, plus drama and sport, there was never a dull moment.
When we returned from the trip, the students decided to give a presentation, sharing their enthusiasm to encourage others to get involved. Here's a quote from each of them about their experience and why they feel so passionate about supporting UWS.
"I had a wonderful and life-changing experience in Cambodia. We were constantly surrounded by an extremely friendly and welcoming community and discovered the amazing culture and people living there.
I couldn't be more grateful and delighted looking at the kids smiling and being happy to learn new skills every day. It was extremely fulfilling and exciting to get to know them despite the language barrier, which I thought would be a bigger issue than it was.
The UWS team made us feel so comfortable being so far away from home. I can say that being a part of this volunteering trip had a real and valuable positive impact in my life. Teaching these children was the best way to give me even more desire to contribute to their development on a large scale."
"The kids were so keen to learn. The school was supposed to open at seven in the morning but they were already there, waiting for us at five thirty. And in the afternoon school finished at three but they would still be there at six!
It was amazing to see their enthusiasm and I was so pleased to be able to help them. I hope we can all contribute to making sure they have a good future."
"While in Kro Lorng there was a constant feeling of happiness. At the time I didn't understand why I felt so, but once back I realized it was a feeling that came from helping others and making myself useful.
Those children really want to learn and even the simplest everyday skills we've taught them were life-changing. This feeling of happiness is something that I am going to try to keep seeking, back in the United Kingdom and in Italy too, trying to contribute to their education from a distance."
As group leader, I was amazed by the sheer energy and resourcefulness of our students. They were so enthusiastic that at times it seemed like they'd got the whole of Kro Long village dancing! Everyone at Kings is really proud of them — they were just fantastic ambassadors for what Kings is all about.
Equally, I found it really fulfilling to see such keen, happy Cambodian children so eager to learn. Education is the key to a better world for these people, so it's great to see them really making the most of it. Without our support none of this would be possible and those same children would be working in the fields.
Nicola had this to say:
"It was a complete joy to accompany the three students Chiara, Kevin and Vicky on this trip to visit our school in rural Kro Long. I have never witnessed such commitment and such a degree of willingness from students. They contributed to this project wholeheartedly; demonstrating maturity and a level of capability they can be proud of for the rest of their lives.
Both Sean and I were amazed to see how teaching in the village came so naturally and was a rewarding experience for them. In the role of young teachers, they made a huge impact on the lives of the children and this was felt and made clear to us when we heard such excitement from them as they arrived to school at 5.30am on our last day!
I am sure the Kro Long children will never forget this project and I will always feel grateful to have shared the experience with three incredible students... and one incredible teacher of course!"
Outside the classroom: the importance of extracurricular activities
13th May 2019
At Kings, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, or 'enrichment' activities as they are also often known, alongside their main academic studies.
These activities range from participating in student councils and committees and nationally-accredited award schemes (such as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award), to joining clubs and societies. Kings Bournemouth offers a host of different options including sports clubs such as Badminton, Basketball, Football, Tennis and Volleyball; creative activities such as Arts and Crafts, Cookery and Origami; and clubs with a more academic focus such as Business Enterprise, Chemistry and Computer clubs.
The Enrichment Programme at Kings also enables students to take part in both local and international volunteering and fundraising schemes, and to complete work experience placements if they wish.
There are many benefits that come from involvement in these activities and schemes, some of which are highighted below.
Developing new skills
Whilst many enrichment options give students the chance to further skills within a specific subject or hobby, such as Maths or Photography, for example, extracurricular activities are also great for developing softer, more transferable skills. These can include skills such as public speaking, working in a team and time management skills.
Developing new interests
One of the great things about the Kings enrichment programme is that it can allow students to explore completely new interests that they wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to. They can also provide a great chance for students to broaden their horizons and their understanding of the world, particularly within the context of school which welcomes international students from a wide range of countries.
Helping students stand out within university and job applications
Extracurricular activities can help ensure students have plenty of evidence to include in both university and job applications that demonstrates they are well-rounded and have plenty of transferrable skills. For example, participation in Student Councils or on the Kings Business Enterprise scheme can show an ability to work as part of a team — or as a successful leader if a leadership position was held — and the determination to achieve goals.
Negin is currently completing a Medical Sciences degree at the University of Leeds. Speaking to us about her experience at Kings, she referenced how useful the enrichment programme had been when it came to applying to university.
"I did Biology club and UKCAT. UKCAT classes really helped me prepare for my UKCAT exam for entering the university. Biology club was more of a fun class where we could do exciting experiments that were not usually part of our study.
I was also part of the Student Council in both years. In my first year, I was the head of Charity Committee and the second year I was the secretary. Writing about my responsibilities during this time in my personal statement helped me to show the universities that I have some experience in leadership, which was an essential skill for my course."
Complementing academic studies with a way to relax
Enrichment activities can often provide a very welcome alternative to the rigours and intensity of academic study. Undertaking activities that complement class-based learning with a more relaxed pace, or which help keep the body fit as well as the mind, can be of huge benefit to our students.
Providing opportunities for socialising
Being a member of a club or committee is a great way to spend more time with peers and make new friends. Given that extracurricular activities may be undertaken with people that students don't usually interact with, it also offers the potential to meet new people with similar interests and to build friendships outside of the usual circles. This ensures that social networks are widened, and that communication and interpersonal skills are honed.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
"Students take part in a range of extra-curricular activities, including sports and cultural events. For example, students are preparing a production of 'The Tempest' for the end of term. Students' confidence and emotional health and well-being are promoted well by these activities."
— Kings Bournemouth Ofsted Report, 2018.
University Offers update
16th April 2019
2019 is shaping up to be yet another exciting year of success for students at Kings Bournemouth.
University Offers continue to be confirmed and it is interesting to see the wide range of subjects, prestigious universities and leaders in their fields for which our student have already received offers. Some of their chosen degree subjects and offer universities are listed below.
All students benefit from a structured and personally tailored University Application Programme. They are supported throughout the whole process by our team of experienced expert academics and counsellors.
Students’ choice of university may be influenced by a range of factors and are encouraged to explore their opportunities in detail. They are assisted to identify the most appropriate degrees and specialist institutions to meet their individual ambitions in their chosen subject and professional areas.
Actuarial Science; Biomedical Science; Business and Management; Chemical Engineering; Computer Science; Digital Culture; Economics; Engineering; Entrepreneurship; Film and Television and Digital Production; Financial Economics; Forensic and Medical Sciences; History; International Relations with Spanish; Languages, Cultures and International Relations; Law; Mathematics and Statistics; Management with Entrepreneurship; Mechanical Engineering; Peace Studies and International Relations; Podiatry; Pharmacy; Product Design; Product Design and Technology; Politics and International Relations; Psychology; Social Psychology; Sociology; Sports Management and Coaching; Visual Effects (VFX) for Film and Television and many more!
Leading and specialist universities
Arts University Bournemouth, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Brunel, Bournemouth, City, Dundee, Durham, East Anglia (UEA), Goldsmiths, Imperial College London, Kent, Kings College London (KCL), Kingston, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Loughborough, Manchester, Newcastle, Queen Mary, Reading, Roehampton, Royal Holloway, Sheffield, SOAS, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex, University of the Arts London (UAL), University for the Creative Arts (UCA), University College London (UCL), Warwick and more
The value of work experience for Medical School students
24th January 2019
Dr Andrew Short, Principal at Kings Bournemouth, explains here why relevant work experience is so important to any student seeking a medicine-related career.
Students following a Life Sciences or medical pathway have the opportunity during their time at Kings of adding to their profile by completing a period of work experience. We have an agreement with local hospitals which allows students to have direct experience of working in an emergency department or ward, shadowing doctors in their practice. This placement can take place during our Enrichment weeks or out of term time. Students also have the opportunity to join the hospital for longer term voluntary service allowing them to work around school times whilst they study.
Aside from helping students achieve higher grades in their studies and providing an understanding of their chosen career path, work experience can help towards making choices for university courses.
Our university application coordinators confirm that work experience gives students an advantage in applications and some vocational degree courses such as medicine insist that applicants complete work placements before applying. A piece in The Guardian quoting Sheffield University Medical School explains that this helps students to develop their medical knowledge and skills and ensures that they have “an understanding of the complex nature of a doctor's role, as well as being aware of the highs and lows of the profession” which we think is vital for anyone considering a career in such an important sector.
Adding value with the EPQ at Kings
21st January 2019
The Extended Project Qualification or EPQ is it is more commonly referred to, is a standalone qualification which is often taken alongside A-levels. It is highly valued for progression to university and carries UCAS tariff points.
Through the EPQ qualification students will complete a research project to explore an area of their own interest. At Kings this is usually directly related to their ambitions for further study at university and may be in a subject not offered at A-level.
By following an EPQ, students will develop and demonstrate a wide range of transferable skills, which can include:
- project management, planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, decision-making, problem-solving, evaluation and presentation skills
- critical, reflective and independent learning
- creativity, initiative and enterprise
- e-learning skills and the use of technology
The EPQ is assessed through a final project, report, dissertation, presentation or physical project with the following four learning outcomes:
- Managing a project
- Using resources
- Developing and realising a project
- Reviewing the project
The qualification is graded A*-E and carries UCAS tariff points equivalent to half a full A-level. It is highly-valued by universities. The Russell Group’s Informed Choices guidance advises that:
“Russell Group universities value the EPQ which can be drawn upon in your personal statement and at interview to provide evidence of enthusiasm for your chosen subject. Some Russell Group universities may also include the EPQ in their offers”
Many universities make dual offers to include an alternative offer with an EPQ. The University of Southampton were the first university to introduce an alternative offer scheme but there are now many examples; Queen Mary may provide a dual offer of ABB at A-level or BBB with an A in the EPQ.
For entrance to Medicine, Queen's University, Belfast will accept a grade A EPQ in lieu of their 4th AS requirement.
Other universities, including Oxford, may not make specific conditions for EPQ but do recognise the value it adds and encourage students to take it. Cambridge “welcome and encourage” the EPQ but “recognise that not all students have equal access to them and so completion of an Extended Project won't normally be a requirement of any offer made.”
Kings students continue enhance their university applications, using the EPQ to research a wide range of subject areas including English Literature, Fashion, Motor Engineering, Politics and Product Design.
Anna (pictured above) achieved an A in her EPQ project on Artificial Intelligence and is now reading Computer Sciences at King's College London.
Choosing your A-Level Subjects
11th December 2018
One of the most difficult decisions students have to make to achieve their place at a top university is which subjects they should study at A-level.
Every student is an individual. Whilst there is no single recipe for success it's sensible to choose subjects that demonstrate your ability, develop both your subject knowledge and transferable skills and that keep your options open.
Kings personal tutors and UCAS advisors are highly experienced in developing tailored study plans that ensure a genuinely satisfying academic journey and successful outcomes. Whether you are taking A-levels for the first time, resitting subjects or revising your study plan, come and talk to us to see how we could help you achieve your ambitions.
Here are ten top tips for success:
1. Do your research: Research which course best matches your interests and the subjects the universities require. If, like many students, you are not certain of your plans for degree, think about which subjects you don’t wish to pursue and check which doors that would close.
2. Don't limit your options: The prestigious Russell Group of universities published a guide called Informed Choices which explains in detail what they are looking for. We suggest that students typically choose at least two "facilitating subjects", with the third choice being more flexible.
3. Breadth of subjects is good: Avoid significant overlap, for example Economics and Business Studies.
4. Follow your interests: Students tend to be better at the subjects they enjoy and this should lead to a more fulfilling future career, but remember that two years is a long time and you might change your mind.
5. Play to your strengths: If you enjoy essay writing and research, then essay-based subjects demonstrate your communication and analytical skills and critical thinking. Science subjects demonstrate logical thinking and reasoning as well as building familiarity with scientific principles.
6. Consider studying a new subject: A-levels open up new subject possibilities, you may find a new area of study you find intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.
7. Know what the A-level course entails: Find out what exactly you will be studying over the next two years and how the course is structured. Kings London will provide advice and guidance but we are also flexible, it’s possible to change your mind if you start a subject and find it really isn’t the right fit for you.
8. Maths can be a winning choice: Universities value Maths and it is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees. Mathematical and statistical problem solving, data analysis and interpretation skills are used in a broad range of subject areas. If you have the potential to achieve good grades it is well-worth considering.
9. A-levels are more difficult than GCSEs: This may seem obvious but be prepared for a big jump in the focus, level of difficulty and possibly the effort required for each subject.
10. Get advice from the experts: Every potential A-level student should receive tailored advice from their current school, but we are always happy to discuss your subject choices. Our team are experts at helping students achieve their full potential and win their place at a leading university. Our students’ results and destinations illustrate their success.
Kings Bournemouth rated Good by Ofsted
22nd November 2018
In October 2018 Kings Bournemouth was inspected by Ofsted — the UK government's Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills — and, we are proud to report, achieved a 'good' rating overall.
The inspection report highlighted many strengths, with the school achieving a 'good' rating in the areas of 'effectiveness of leadership and management', 'quality of teaching', learning and assessment', 'personal development, behaviour and welfare', 'outcomes for pupils' and 'overall experiences and progress of children and young people in the boarding provision'.
Below is a summary of some of the highlights.
Effectiveness of leadership and management
- "Senior leaders ensure that the curriculum provides students with a broad range of experiences that go well beyond the core courses they have enrolled on. Students take part in an extensive tutorial programme. This helps students understand and accept the importance of tolerance, democracy and the rule of law in modern Britain."
- "Students take part in a range of extra-curricular activities, including sports and cultural events. For example, students are preparing a production of 'The Tempest' for the end of term. Students' confidence and emotional health and well-being are promoted well by these activities."
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
- "Teachers are adept at welcoming students from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds. They build trust quickly with students. Consequently, students are motivated to work hard from the beginning of their courses."
- "Students are satisfied with the quality of teaching at the school. The school's survey of students' opinions shows the large majority of students believe they are taught well and make good progress. Many students return to the school in subsequent years for further study."
Personal development, behaviour and welfare
- "Students are supported well by staff through a tutorial programme. This helps to build students’ self-confidence, and so students are better able to engage in lessons."
- "Senior leaders encourage good behaviour and hard work by giving students regular rewards and recognition in assemblies. Some students, who have previously found it difficult to work diligently, have shown marked improvement in effort as a result."
Outcomes for students
- "Students in the academic department of the school make good progress, particularly on the advanced level foundation (ALF) programme. Students achieve good results in the mathematics module and the English communication and study skills module. These modules equip students well for learning at university."
- "The school provides an arts programme that gives students a range of creative experiences, such as drama and craft activities. Teachers use these activities to develop skilfully students' self-esteem and communication skills. Subsequently, these students are better able to take part fully in lessons because they are more confident to speak out when necessary."
Overall experiences and progress of children and young people in the boarding provision
- "Boarding accommodation is a short distance away from the school buildings. Students are provided with maps and details on how to travel locally. In addition, they are taught personal safety while living in an unfamiliar town and so understand clearly how to avoid risks."
- "Students are encouraged to share any concerns or ideas. Suggestion boxes, surveys, meetings and the student council provide useful forums to express their views and wishes. Student requests to change their accommodation arrangements are dealt with promptly and with sensitivity."
Successful university applications: more than just grades
23rd October 2018
Securing a university place is a landmark moment in any student’s life and one which therefore requires plenty of thought and preparation.
University provides an opportunity to explore a specific field in greater depth, often providing the platform from which students launch their professional careers and marks a new stage of personal development and independence.
Given the importance of this decision it is essential for students to ensure that they gain the right advice and guidance, not only about the most appropriate degree and university for them, but also about the application, offer and acceptance process.
The extreme competition for places at the top universities means that applicants need to do everything in their power to set themselves apart. Proven academic ability is one obvious criteria. Published minimum entry requirements (expressed in terms of grades for A-level or equivalent level qualifications) are just that: the minimum criteria. Getting these grades does not mean an automatic degree offer from that university.
For example, Imperial College London publish a minimum entry requirement for their BSc in Chemistry as AAA at A-level, however, based on 2017 data, 85% of offers were made to students with A*AA-A*A*A.
To have the best chance of success, the applicant needs to showcase more than just good grades.
Imperial College London also explain that applicants are selected based on academic achievement and performance in admissions tests and interview (where applicable). Departments look for students’ motivation and interest in the chosen subject, with evidence of full background research. They advise that admissions tutors “are also looking at applicants’ potential to benefit from – and contribute to – College life”. This is not unique to Imperial, UCL and other leading selective universities express similar criteria.
The Russell Group university, the University of Leeds, refers to using a ‘basket of measures in decision making’ when it comes to making offers. So, what does this mean? What additional factors could help students win their ideal place?
Additional assessments, tests and exams
For certain subjects, such as Medicine and Law, students may be required to do additional tests, which are designed to assess their aptitude for the skills required to study these subjects. The UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) is open to students considering studying medical and dental degree programmes, the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) is another test for potential students of medicine, dentistry and also veterinary sciences. The LNAT is for students considering a degree in Law.
For those students considering applying to Oxbridge, there is also the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA), a generic admissions test which is designed to test problem solving and critical thinking skills.
For all of the above, an interview is often required in the latter stages of an application.
An engaging personal statement
A personal statement is a short essay in which students explain why they’re the perfect candidate for the undergraduate degree course they are applying to. Students only write one personal statement, which is seen by all the universities they apply to.
The statement offers them a chance to distinguish themselves from other candidates, showcase their strengths (beyond the academic), as well as their interest in and knowledge of the area of study for which they are applying: students should think about the stories and practical examples they can use to evidence this.
A stand-out interview
If a student is invited to an interview by their prospective university, this is the final chance for them to demonstrate why they would make an excellent candidate for their chosen course — and, what they could bring to the university.
Interviews can range from an oral ‘exam’, a panel interview or multiple mini interview (MMI), to an informal chat, designed to encourage the applicant to choose that course. The format is also likely to vary according to the course – for example, whilst a Maths candidate may be asked to solve an equation, a student applying for an English Literature course may be asked to comment on a recent book they have read.
Interviews can also vary in length - lasting anything from ten minutes to an hour. Some universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge may require more than one interview and for students to be at the university for at least a day.
Above all, tutors want to see that students genuinely enthusiastic about their subject. They may also ask them to expand on any claims they made in their personal statement which demonstrate their particular interest in the subject so it’s wise for students to re-familiarise themselves with their statement before attending the interview.
Mock interviews are a great way to prepare, and are a regular part of the programme at Kings. Remember: asking good questions will impress interviewers just as much as good answers!
Relevant work or professional experience
Particularly for vocational degree programmes such as Medicine, gaining some relevant work experience during their pre-university studies can help students win a place at their preferred university. Work experience will demonstrate to admissions tutors not only a genuine interest in the subject, but also that the applicant is informed about, and committed to, the rigors of their intended course.
As former student Jeremy, who is now studying Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast commented:
“After doing my AS level at Kings, I spent 2 months in a hospital doing some volunteering. During those 2 months I was able to shadow doctors, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists and I knew from that experience that Medicine was the right choice for me.”
Other extra-curricular activities
It is important for students to demonstrate that they understand and possess the skills and attributes relevant to their chosen field of study and how they will contribute to their chosen universities’ academic community.
There are many extracurricular activities which further specialist knowledge and interest in an intended field of study, but equally there are others, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which are designed to enhance students’ wider abilities — both academically and on a personal and social level.
Those students who actively pursue extracurricular activities and projects are often viewed as very motivated and keen to take on new challenges and experiences — both of which are attributes which tend to be looked upon favourably.
References are as important as any other documents in a university application, particularly as universities are generally not able to interview every applicant, although they may be compulsory for some courses. References help them to gain an impression of who a student really is, which can be crucial when making a decision about whether to issue an offer. References are normally written by someone who knows the student at school or college, such as an A level tutor, who will – providing they have worked hard and maintained good attendance – be able to vouch for their suitability for their chosen course.
The ideal degree is within reach!
Students shouldn’t be daunted by the university application process to leading universities, but it is important to make sure that, not only do they have outstanding academic tuition, but also that they have advice, support and guidance from experts who understand the requirements are about more than just grades.
Developing the skillsets that will lead to future success
20th September 2018
In five years' time, it is said that more than one-third of the skills (35%) that are considered important in today's workforce will have changed.
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2020 the so-called 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' will have introduced, amongst other things, AI, autonomous transport, biotechnology and genomics.
These developments will have a huge impact on the way we live, and the way we work. Entirely new jobs will be created, whilst others which are commonplace now will disappear. As a result, workers' skillsets will also need to evolve.
A study conducted by the WEF found that these ten skills are likely to be most desired by employers in 2020:
1. Complex problem-solving
2. Critical thinking
4. People management
5. Coordinating with others
6. Emotional intelligence
7. Judgment and decision-making
8. Service orientation
9. Negotiation skills
10. Cognitive flexibility
Interestingly, although negotiation and flexibility are high on the list of skills for 2015, in 2020 they will begin to drop from the top 10 as machines begin to make our decisions for us. A survey done by the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society shows people expect artificial intelligence machines to be part of a company's board of directors by 2026!
Universities in the UK work hard to prepare students for successful future careers, and at application stage generally look for students who show the most potential, and who possess skills like those referenced above — in other words, those who will be best prepared for university and life beyond.
At Kings, we aim to prepare our students as fully as possible, ensuring that they have the skills which will both make them attractive to their preferred universities, and in the future to potential employers. We do this not only through class-based learning, but also through an array of enrichment opportunities that help students broaden their knowledge and skillsets even further. A selection of these, and some of the skills that they nurture, are highlighted below.
There is a Student Council in place at each of our schools, which gives students the opportunity to relay student views to staff on a variety of topics. It also gives members the chance to organise in-college events, such as fundraising activities and end-of-year balls. This enrichment option gives students the opportunity to hone a number of the top ten skills listed above, for example coordinating with others, judgement and decision-making, service orientation and people management. As student Judy commented,
"I am part of the Student Council, actually I am the President of the Student Council. I really enjoy it because I want to improve my leadership skills."
Student Irina also pointed out the advantages of involvement with the Student Council:
"I've been in the Student Council since the beginning of the year — I'm Social Representative. We have a few members of it, a board, but we don't just do separate things — when we're organising events, like the Romeo and Juliet play or the May Ball, we do it with the EFL Student Council. It's very good for university applications, but it's not simply for merit or reward. You receive so much experience from it, when you're organising events, this teamwork really helps — it prepares you for university life."
Trinity Arts Award
The Trinity Arts Award is another feature of our enrichment programme, and is designed to help students to explore their creativity. As Kings Bournemouth's Trinity Arts coordinator Nicola Cranshaw states:
"Students are not only enabled to be creative and, in some cases, discover a side to themselves that they didn't realise was there, but they are also helped to gain some of the other important skills to prepare them for university and beyond. Leadership and teamwork skills are vital at degree level, in the work place and in life generally. Whilst managing creative projects, students apply critical thinking and analysis to a joint goal and achieve some great work together. All very impressive when applying to university and importantly, their confidence and personal growth as young adults."
Clubs and Societies
There are also a range of clubs and societies that form part of the enrichment programme. Again, many offer students the chance to develop and practise skills that now feature in the top ten. For example, Art Club is ideal when it comes to developing creativity. As John who is studying at Kings Brighton commented,
"Art club helps me academically and my personal interests as well. It is about life drawing so I like to draw and why not do some drawings beyond class… This is the first time I have done life drawing."
Debating Society is another popular enrichment option, which offers students the chance to learn and develop skills such as cognitive flexibility (being able to adapt how you communicate based on who you're talking to), and negotiating.
Some of our clubs involve team sports, such as basketball club and football club. These offer students a great way not only to keep fit, but also to thrive as part of a team, something which in itself requires a good level of emotional intelligence, and the ability to coordinate with others.
Other clubs involve learning new hobbies, such as photography and even chess — a great example of an activity that uses both problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme
A further enrichment scheme which develops all of the skills that feature in the top ten is the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Comprising, at Bronze level, four sections (volunteering, physical, skills and expedition) it is completed over several months, and offers participants the chance to meet new people, learn new skills and enjoy physical activity. In 2007, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (the DofE), funded by The Pears Foundation, initiated in-depth research into the impact of the DofE on young people. One of several statistics established was that 93% felt they'd improved their teamwork skills (coordinating with others), 84% improved their decision-making skills and 76% stated that they were now better at sticking to tasks and seeing them through (complex problem solving).
Whilst the majority of students of A-level age choose to undertake the Bronze level award, two further awards — the Silver and Gold — are also offered to students between 14-24.
Volunteering and work experience
There are many opportunities to get involved with volunteering whilst studying at Kings, an out-of-classroom activity which can teach students a huge range of skills, as well as being hugely rewarding. Equally, unpaid work experience can be a fantastic way not only to get an idea of what a certain type of career would be like, but also to learn new skills in areas such as complex problem-solving, people management, coordinating with others, judgment and decision-making and service orientation. Students who are interested in applying for a medical degree, for example, have the option to undertake work experience placements in local hospitals, or with the British Red Cross whilst completing their studies at Kings.
Extended Project Qualification
A final enrichment opportunity available to A-level students, including those at Kings, is an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). The qualification is taken by some students in England and Wales, and is equivalent to half an A-level. It can be particularly good for nurturing skills like critical thinking. All students may take an extended project as a free-standing qualification, and although the choice of topic is free, they must show that it is academically useful, either related to their current course of study, or their future career.