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College Life

Independent Learning

Higher education courses require students to think and work independently and we encourage this autonomous learning throughout Rendcomb College from Nursery through to Sixth Form so that when the time comes for pupils to progress, they are fully equipped with the skills they need.

Our Senior School pupils undertake a formal Independent Learning Project at Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) and in Sixth Form they may begin the AQA Extended Project Qualification or the Gold Arts Award, both of which carry UCAS points. These projects instil important skills in our pupils such as time management, confidence, motivation and the ability to problem solve and troubleshoot.

Our Junior School pupils begin their independent learning in Nursery and Reception when they might talk to their peers during ‘News Time’ about their weekend or participate in a show and tell session. Older Junior School Pupils undertake projects such as ‘Build a Bridge’ or writing and performing poems for World Book Day or creating science posters on a specific topic.

Independent Learning Project

Pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9 undertake an Independent Learning Project in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms in addition to their timetabled subject lessons. Pupils spend between 2 and 10 hours on their Project during tutor periods, during prep time once other prep is completed and at home. Pupils are encouraged to think broadly and research a topic that interests them culminating in a presentation to their tutor group. Pupils gain transferrable skills such as public speaking, independent research and confidence.

Topics may include:

  • The life and times of an historical figure
  • Olympic sports through the ages
  • A study of a particular composer
  • A catalogue of nature and the surrounding environment
  • How an invention has changed the world.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is offered to Sixth Form pupils and is worth half an A Level. It is an opportunity for Sixth Form pupils to undertake a project in a subject area in which they are interested. It provides a context for developing critical thinking and project management skills; skills which are widely transferable, and which will help pupils become a more confident student in other areas of study.

Why do the EPQ?

  • Show employers and universities that you have a good range of appropriate skills for work and further study
  • Link subject choices, interests and future plans
  • Contextualise learning
  • UCAS points available
  • Take responsibility for your own learning.

Gold Arts Award: Level 3 Certificate in the Arts - Qualification number: 500/9666/7

Gold Arts Award is a Level 3 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and is open to young people aged 11 to 25.  The award offers 16 UCAS points.

To achieve a Gold Arts Award, young people collect evidence in an individual arts portfolio of their experiences of:

Personal arts development

  • extending their own arts practice
  • identifying development opportunities within the wider arts sector
  • researching advanced practitioners and reviewing arts events
  • forming and communicating a view on an arts issue.

Leadership of an arts project

  • planning a project, identifying the project's aims and outcomes
  • organising the people and resources
  • delivering the project and managing the effectiveness of the project
  • managing a public showing of the work
  • reviewing their leadership development and finding effective ways to collect and evaluate feedback from participants, audience members and other stakeholders.