As a Prep School Baccalaureate (PSB) school we are now more able to provide our pupils with a flexible curriculum and to focus more precisely on developing those skills and aptitudes that will best prepare children for the challenges of adolescence and beyond.
The ‘skills gap’ at 18 puts significant pressure on young people – requiring the acquisition of the necessary skills in the first year of employment or their first term of higher education. Young people should not themselves be held responsible for their lack of skills; it is a direct consequence of the academic focus of the education system. The lack of these skills is making the transition harder, and may have an impact on retention at university, and, more generally, the success of UK businesses. The modern workplace needs workers who have broad cognitive skills which include being able to solve complex interdisciplinary problems, thinking critically about work tasks, communicating effectively with people from a range of different cultures, being able to collaborate with others, and also being able to adapt to rapidly changing environments or conditions.
The PSB is an assessment model where children are encouraged, recognised and celebrated in their achievements. It focuses on the progress that a child makes in different areas of learning, not just academic, and different skills that they have shown over a two-year course in Years 7 and 8. Focusing on these things in all lessons, not just in tests, allows you to see the whole of the child’s progression. Tests focus on how much you know.
Today, you need social skills, leadership skills and teamwork skills. You need to be able to communicate well and listen to the needs of others.
The PSB provides you with the opportunity to learn and develop these skills. The PSB makes you think and question subjects, discuss them and listen to other people’s views. The PSB is a good preparation at an early stage to demonstrate the things that make you stand out in other ways by teaching you skills and qualities you didn’t have before.
All the skills that the child has shown are counted up at the end of the PSB session, including extra-curricular activities and the teachers’ own assessments of the children. You also sit formal exams in the core subjects and together these things are a much fairer way of judging the children.
The majority of senior schools accept the PSB certificate for entry at 11+ / 13+ together with their own entrance tests or core ISEB examination papers.
Senior schools like Marlborough are increasingly interested in the whole process of the balance between teaching and learning. This suits modern global syllabuses and the Prep School Baccalaureate is broad in its scope thereby leading to the prospect of a truly balanced education.
We endorse your desire for a rigorous and well-balanced academic curriculum and your vision of the PSB Learner.
Wellington College is a staunch supporter of the PSB, which is why we became an Associate Member School and are actively involved in developing it. Senior schools are crying out for pupils who are intellectually curious, highly creative, able to think on their feet and are genuinely broad of interest; youngsters who are optimistic about their capacity to make a positive contribution to their world now and in the future.
With the advent of the PSB, I know Amesburians will continue to be exceptionally well prepared and very welcome at the College. I applaud this initiative.
As the Head of a school which offers both 'A' level and the International Baccalaureate, I am a big fan for Amesbury's commitment to a broad and creative curriculum. The introduction of the Prep School Baccalaureate will give the pupils a wonderfully rounded experience, equipping them with the confidence and skills they need to make a successful transition to senior school. It is great to see Amesbury moving forward in this way.
The PSB provides an opportunity for pupils to explore their learning on a variety of levels and across a range of exciting and stimulating contexts. The PBS programme ensures pupils make connections between their many learning experiences through a coherent ethos and this can only enhance the quality of their education. I am all in favour of programmes which encourage teaching and learning on a more engaging and expansive level. Canford and Amesbury have a very good relationship and I am very keen to ensure this continues in the future.
This PSB initiative is very exciting. We want pupils at Cranleigh who are broad of interest and prepared to get involved in everything that we have to offer. We welcome pupils from Amesbury because they are well rounded and the PSB can only serve to strengthen our relationship.