Making choices about your education is an education in itself. At Island School students learn to take the responsibility for those choices more and more as they go through the school. We believe this enables them to plan and fashion their educational journey to suit their interests, needs and skills.
At all levels from year 9 to year 13 there are mandatory aspects of the programme and an array of options to go alongside them. Choosing the right option involves research, seeking advice and receiving guidance. Guidance within the school comes, primarily from the following areas:
- Form Tutors, who are closest to the students and have an overall view of their progression
- Head of House and Senior Head of House, who will have followed the students through their journey and have experience of many options choices to draw on. These members of staff will be the final arbiter of whether a student should be accepted onto a particular programme or course.
- Subject teachers, who can advise on the nature of a potential course choice and suitability for it.
- Senior staff such as the IB coordinator or Vice Principal i/c Middle School who can comment and advise on the suitability of a package.
- The Higher Education department, with a comprehensive view of the opportunities and requirements of the wide range of courses available all round the world.
Parents have a significant and vital role to play in this process as well. They must guide their children to seek advice, have discussions with them and listen to their desires and concerns. It is important to remember that students need to choose positively for suitable courses that they are passionate about, rather than be moulded purely by their parents’ aspirations.
The students need to gradually take more and more control of the process, acknowledging that they will be the ones making choices on their own in their future lives. The consequences of choices get more and more significant as students’ progress through the school. Choices made going into year 9, for example are not irrevocable in that they do not cut off any future pathway. However the course of choices at IB or APL in year 12 need to have a clear eye on the possible prgressions after graducation. The following documents answer some of the questions about option choice and give some links to further information. There is a wealth of information on our curriculum pages of the website and parents and students are encouraged to have as many conversations as they can to make sure the right choices are made.