We believe that Sixth Form education is more than just achieving fantastic A Levels; it also needs to prepare you for the future, which requires a broad knowledge and a wide range of skills. For this purpose, we have developed our bespoke GIS Diploma, offering an extensive choice of electives that will help prepare you for university and life beyond education.
Over the next few weeks, we will have a more in-depth look at some of the GIS Elective choices and hear the views of our students, as they reflect upon these opportunities.
This popular elective aims to broaden students’ understanding of the applications of the natural sciences, as well as developing their ability to apply this understanding to debate controversial and topical ethical issues within today’s scientific community.
Personalisation of learning is at the heart of the elective as students prepare a literature review on a topic of their choice. Expert guidance on effective research techniques and referencing is offered from esteemed school librarian, Mr Fortune, and scientific support from the elective leader and outstanding chemistry specialist teacher, Mr Smith.
Mr Smith speaks highly of the excellent mini-thesis prepared by our current Year 12 cohort, saying “The standard of work produced is often far beyond that expected from A level students and arguably more in-line with early undergraduate level.”
Our impressive Year 12 students have been equally enthusiastic about their experience on the course. Ian recognised “The enrichment elective has been a unique opportunity for me to challenge myself outside of the normal school curriculum. The highlight for me has no doubt been the opportunity to write a literature review on understanding Alzheimer’s disease. Learning for the first time how to thoroughly research a field of interest and to synthesise a piece of work was a difficult, yet highly rewarding, experience.”
Sainavi has also enjoyed this elective: “This elective has allowed me to explore innovative scientific research and discuss the controversies surrounding them; my favourite part is debating the ethics of implementing new scientific treatments. I have also really enjoyed writing an academic literature review on Huntington’s disease, a topic I am fascinated by. This experience helped provide an insight into the tasks we may complete as undergraduate students. My passion for the sciences has increased tremendously since being part of this elective!”
Reflecting on her experience this year, Avin says, “The Natural Sciences Elective has been great as I have been able to discuss and debate a lot of controversial topics with my peers. Writing literature reviews is something everyone will have to do at university at some point, thus I really appreciate the opportunity to write one now with the support of teachers. I had the freedom to explore a fascinating topic (the use of metal-organic frameworks in the elimination of bacterial biofilms) in a great amount of detail.”
Equally as positive about the course, Sophie identified the highlight of this elective as being the class discussions on controversial scientific topics such as cryogenics.
“I believe that everyone has benefitted so much from this; not only did it stretch our knowledge on topics beyond the AS syllabus, but also helped develop our critical thinking skills as we may debate in favor of what we don’t personally believe in sometimes.” Sophie also enjoyed the challenge of the literature review: “It felt like such a big accomplishment when I completed it, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Mr Smith’s (extremely) thorough feedback on my first draft. From this, I’ve further developed my interest on Biophysics (a possible field for future studies) as well as an essential university skill in writing a literature review (especially doing citations!)”
We are excited to announce that we are extending the opportunity to take electives to our IGCSE students. Year 10 students from August 2021 will be able to choose an elective course to broaden their learning experience. Look out for more information on this in the near future!