30 September 2019

Confirmation of Future Development of CE

I wanted to write to our key stakeholders after the IAPS conference at which we had further discussions about how CE will look in the future and to tell you about the positive response we had to our proposals. There was support for the continuation of rigorous subject assessment based on specifications which will emphasise not just knowledge but the application of knowledge and which will be based on the core aims for CE. These aims include preparing pupils not only for the next stage of their education but for lifelong learning based on secure foundation of subject knowledge, concepts and skills and the ability to apply what they know to new situations. CE specifications will encourage pupils to be enthusiastic learners who are open to new ideas and experiences, curious, questioning and keen to experiment. Pupils studying for CE will be able to communicate clearly orally and in writing, have the confidence to weigh up evidence, think for themselves and make up their own minds. They will have opportunities to learn from working independently and collaboratively, understand how subjects connect with each other, and demonstrate cultural awareness and empathy, developing an understanding of their own place in the world. There was also enthusiasm about the development of an extended project qualification (or ISEB Project Qualification) which will, for schools who wish it, run alongside these subject specifications and assessments, affording the opportunity for fostering research skills. As such, CE will continue to enable prep schools to recognise and acknowledge what has been achieved in Years 7 and 8, provide, where needed, an entry mechanism for senior schools, and indicate to senior schools what they can expect from the pupils who transfer to them in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding.

I had not intended to be in touch until after the HMC Conference, but in view of some misleading coverage in the press at the weekend it seemed appropriate to contact you sooner rather than later. If it is helpful, please feel free to pass on any of this communication or our earlier Newsletters to your staff, governors or parents.

Durell Barnes
Chair of ISEB