Aim: To establish IB Global Politics as a viable post-16 option for students as the school moves from A Level to IB; to extend students’ interest in current affairs and develop their skills of ‘deeper learning’; to provide opportunities for colleagues to expand their subject expertise and to enhance extracurricular provision with a residential trip to the USA.
Background: The school’s intake is not typical for a selective school, with a large number of students from lower socio-economic and ethnic minority backgrounds, who have additional learning needs or have no experience of post-16 education in their families.
The course was promoted to Year 11 students, with the aim of forming a viable cohort at a time when the school was still delivering the A Level. Interschool links were established with Dartford Grammar School, an IB-only school, which was also establishing the course, and resources were shared. Teachers received IB online training and produced schemes of work for Year 12.
An initial cohort of eight students began the course in September. Schemes of work for the two-year course were produced, along with the necessary resources for the anticipated Year 13 class. Tentative plans were made for an enrichment trip to Washington DC and New York, together with IB History, and six of the eight students decided to participate.
All eight students decided to continue into Year 13 and a new cohort of ten students was achieved in Year 12. The enrichment trip to the USA took place again and 25 students from Year 11 were recruited for the following year. With some external students also joining, this will create two IB Global Politics groups.
Evidence: Recruitment to the course and options for further study, student questionnaires, internal exams.
Impact: A key success has been increasing recruitment onto the course, and five of the original cohort of eight have opted to continue with their Politics studies at undergraduate level. Students highlighted the opportunities for deeper and independent learning as the most enjoyable aspects of the course.
Limited specialism within the department for the delivery of Global Politics has resulted in the sharing of learning ideas and strategies, though with the exception of Dartford Grammar School, the opportunities to collaborate with other schools has been limited, as IB is still very niche with the only professional development offered online.
Reflections: A potential future challenge will be adapting the course to meet the needs of larger groups of students. Only having two colleagues involved in the initiative resulted in considerable amounts of time being devoted to the project’s management over the three years. Opportunities to include a greater number of colleagues could have enabled us to be more creative and extensive in our problem-solving.
Contact: Rob Goodall, Head of History and Politics, firstname.lastname@example.org