“Great oaks from little acorns grow.”
14th century proverb

  • New Pre-6th Form Course at Durham School | Dickinson School Consulting

New Pre-6th Form Course at Durham School

A popular entry point for international students is the UK’s Year 11. This is the academic year during which students turn 16 years old, so it is often the first year many feel mature enough to take on the exciting challenge of living away from home and it fits well with educational systems in a number of other countries.

A potential complication is that Year 11 also happens to be the second year of the standard (i)GCSE course, so some schools are unwilling to take new students into the year, fearing disruption to the existing cohort and too much pressure on the new student, if trying to fit into a new curriculum halfway through.

The solution offered by several of the British boarding schools we work with is a special, one-year “Pre-6th” course, so we were delighted to learn recently that Durham School has also introduced this option. It is offering a one-year, accelerated GCSE programme, on which international students, for whom English is their second language, can be entered into 4-8 GCSEs. Enrolled pupils are welcomed as full members of the wider Durham School community, participating in all aspects of boarding school life including the School’s extensive sporting and co-curricular activities. If appropriate, specialist IELTS tuition will be included, which supports the pupil’s application to courses at leading British universities or higher education institutions.

The curriculum is tailored to allow the teaching and assessment of three elements:

  1. Compulsory GCSE subjects: Maths, English (either as a First or Second Language), Art and a Modern Foreign Language.
  2. Non-Compulsory GCSE subjects: Further Maths or Statistics Science; as either Physics, Chemistry and Biology or as a single Science award.
  3. Core non-examined units: Games, Personal Social and Health Education, Cultural Studies (including introductions to ‘International English’, Music, Drama, Modern British Society and Institutions).

Pupils are taught as a separate tuition group except for some Science lessons and Games, but have full access to the School’s specialist teachers and teaching facilities, and are fully integrated into the house structure, thereby gaining all the benefits of life in a busy boarding school.

This is just one example of a one-year course for 15-16-year-olds ahead of 6th form or their local equivalent. Please contact us to find out more.

Photo by kind permission of Durham School