Although we hear so much about A Levels and the IB Diploma, in reality there's more than one route to university, a career and becoming a self-supporting 'bona fide' grown up.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com met Greenfield Community School's IB and IBCP coordinator, Mike Worth to find out more about the unique IB Career Programme...
What is the IB Career Programme (IBCP) at Greenfield?
The IBCP gives students the opportunity to combine academic courses/subjects with career related or vocational courses which will ultimately help then transition into their chosen career.
At Greenfield Community School we currently offer 2 pathways of Business and Art & Design which gives students a diverse range to follow. We offer the world recognised BTEC qualification as part of the Career Programme which is delivered in specific units and gives the students ‘real-life’ experiences.
In the Art and Design course the units are varied from Graphic Design, Fine Art, 3D Design, Media, Photography, Fashion and Textiles, Visual Design, Printed Textiles and Sculpture, thus giving students the opportunity to specialise and develop a varied creative experience.
In addition to the BTEC courses, our students chose 3 academic subjects which link to their chosen career pathway. For example, if a student wishes to pursue a career in business, they may choose Maths, English and an additional language to support their transition into their business career.
As part of the Career related Programme, students also study the ‘core’ subjects of personal and professional skills, work placement, ethics, international dimension, language development and service learning. These courses integrate with each other to give students a holistic experience and valuable life skills needed for when they enter the workplace. Key skills of management, organisation, planning, team work, problem solving, presentations are all included.
The IBCP is an innovative programme of study intended for the 21st Century Learner. In today’s society, employers are actively looking for students who are able to display transferable skills and problem solvers rather than simply academic qualifications. The International Baccalaureate has an excellent saying that is ‘Knowledge isn’t the answer; applied knowledge is the answer’.
Who do you think is the ideal candidate for the IBCP?
The IB Career related programme is designed for all learners but especially those who wish to focus on career related learning in a practical context to develop key life skills. Linking these skills with academic subjects is an important aspect of the CP.
The key factor is that the IB Career related Programme is a framework and not a ‘one size fits all’ type of course. Students have choice and can follow their own chosen pathway.
The IBCP is fully authorised and can enable students to go to university, tertiary colleges or into directly into employment.
Do you think the new format English and maths GCSEs introduced this year will mean more students in are looking for this type of solution than in previous years?
Yes I think so. For many students completing Grade 10 or Year 11, they are often only offered a narrow academic route and whilst this type of education has been the mainstay for many years.
The IB Career related Programme now offers students a different type of learning experience. Core subjects are important and can still be studied at a level which suits the students needs and ability.
How can students apply for the course?