iPQ, Teachers, Schools, Julia Martin (CEO) 16 June 2022

How the ISEB Project Qualification (iPQ) puts design thinking, problem-solving, communication and team work into practice

By Julia Martin, ISEB CEO

The Times Education Commission Report, published yesterday, calls for a renewed, qualitative curriculum, easing the pressure of exams and clearing a muddled path to employment. Among other suggestions, the Commission’s 12-point plan for resetting our national education system lobbies for a greater focus on practical skills valued by employers – design thinking, problem-solving, communication and team work – and seeks to abolish the division between book-learning and practical training that has ignited so many public debates in the sector.

At ISEB, we embrace these four key areas and aim to develop assessments and qualifications that underpin creativity, communication, problem-solving and teamwork, and also develop skills in presentation, leadership, having a positive impact on the world around you and independent learning. Although we continue to provide our respected admissions exams, the Common Entrance (CE) and the online Common Pre-Tests, we now offer a project-based qualification completely designed around developing skills in these areas; the ISEB Project Qualification (iPQ).

The iPQ provides a framework for teaching and assessing the development of pupil-led project-learning skills in Years 5 & 6 and also at Years 7 & 8. It can be used as a stand-alone addition to an existing curriculum, or as an alternative to one or more curriculum subjects. If schools are looking for a qualification they can offer alongside either Common Entrance or the Common Pre-Tests, or any other existing curriculum, they can find out more at www.iseb.co.uk/ipq.

We’ve seen pupils this year produce some outstanding and creative projects and are delighted to see each school using the qualification in a way that works for them and their pupils. Some examples of the creativity, curriculum innovation and impact we have seen include: a working hovercraft built from a leaf blower; iPQ used to award progress in Religious Studies with pupils exploring everything from modern miracles to the link between the teachings of key religious figures; and the impact of charities and a whole cohort learning broadcasting skills and devising then producing their own podcasts. What is common to all the projects and experiences we’ve seen, is that the iPQ is showcasing how creative, engaged in the world around them and in the process of their own learning young people are and we’ve been inspired by what they’ve produced.

Read a Case Study about how The Banda School in Kenya have been working with the iPQ.

ISEB is committed to evolving assessment for future generations, always putting pupil outcomes at the centre of everything we do. The iPQ allows pupils to identify a question, research the answer, develop their views in light of research, present their findings, and reflect on the learning process. The emphasis is on the process rather than the output, providing the pupil with real insights into their own ways of thinking and working. It gives them a real opportunity to demonstrate what they can do and develop a wide-range of practical skills that will help prepare them for future learning. If you would like to learn more about how to join the growing ranks of iPQ schools and see what your pupils are capable of, find out more on our website, and sign up to our mailing list to be kept up to date with iPQ news and case studies.

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