New IB qualification at Homewood to create ‘career-ready’ students
In a new move to help students meet the increasingly complex demands on them to be career-ready employees, Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre has introduced the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) as an alternative to A levels.
The school believes this new qualification will both broaden sixth formers’ horizons, increase their self-reliance and thereby increase their employability when they eventually reach the job market.
The IBCP is a challenging two-year course for 16-19 year-olds, developed by the creators of the International Baccalaureate and accredited by Ofqual. Through a focus on work-related learning, it prepares young people to have the skill set and outlook required for life-long 21st century employment. The programme combines the best of ‘traditional’ academic subject study with career-related study but with more depth, diversity and scope than level 3 vocational qualifications.
Students who choose the IBCP undertake a minimum of two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses, a vocational qualification and the CP Core.
The DP courses provide theoretical underpinning and academic rigour, while the career-related study further supports academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning. The CP core is designed to develop key skills and competencies:
- Approaches to Learning (90 hours): focusing on transferrable work and life skills, emphasising critical thinking, intercultural understanding and effective communication
- Language Development (at least 50 hours): students take up a second language to increase their understanding of the wider world
- Reflective Project: students produce a comprehensive research project on a moral or ethical issue
- Community and Service (at least 50 hours): voluntary work using community service as a vehicle for new learning
This year’s IBCP students are learning Mandarin via Homewood’s Confucius School Chinese teacher plus a further foreign language in independent study. Their reflective projects include the ethics surrounding crypto currencies, sweatshop factory production and tax avoidance, whilst they have been working to improve the school environment using horticulture. They are also using a board game, developed by a Year 12 student, to help vulnerable students improve their self-esteem.
Students take written examinations at the end of their Diploma Programme courses which are marked by external IB examiners, whilst the CP components are assessed by the school.
According to Dr Claire Tyson, IBCP coordinator at Homewood, the new qualification not only helps students to engage in career-related learning, it also ensures that they can build life-long skills, thrive on problem-solving and become better time managers. “These are the kind of transferable skills that employers need from a modern workforce,” said Dr Tyson. “The IBCP will therefore deliver a better match between employer expectations and potential candidates’ skill sets.”
Homewood’s next Sixth Form Open Mornings take place on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 March from 9-11am.