Learner’s Baccalaureate

What is the GTS Learner’s Baccalaureate?

This is the name given to the year 7 curriculum at GTS.  By the end of the year, learners will have developed four key learning skills:

  • Independence – To initiate and pursue their own learning

  • Accomplishement– To behave and present their learning professionally

  • Effort – To believe that through deliberate practice they can excel

  • Knowledge – To have a growing understanding of the world

These skills will be taught and developed through a series of challenges.

  • Arrival – Gigantic alien vessels are silently hovering above the earth’s major population centres. Learners will need to assess the risk these unknown creatures pose and find a way to communicate with them before it is too late!

  • Orchestrate! – Learners will perform in their own unique orchestra. They will not only have to learn to read music but they will also have to design and build their own instruments too.

  • The Big History Project – Learners will explore the history of the universe and mankind’s place within it, from the big bang to Brexit. This will give them an invaluable understanding of how science and history have shaped our lives today.

  • Beautiful Numbers – Learners will explore how an understanding of the beauty of mathematics can help them produce accomplished works of art, which will be exhibited for the whole community to see

  • Frankenstein – Expressing the monster within – Learners explore the story of Frankenstein’s monster.  They will then dig deeper into issues of self-image and investigate the gothic genre in art and literature.  Learners will then use this learning to stage their own Frankenstein show.

  • Youth Speaks – Learners will become expert debaters. They will explore a range of philosophical issues whilst developing their public speaking skills. The best team will represent the school in the regional competition.

How is the Lbacc delivered?

Learners will have 18  periods over the two week timetable, the vast majority of these sessions will last 100 minutes or more. This significant amount of time will allow learners to dig deeply into subjects that interest them and also allow them time to reach real and significant outcomes.

Three teachers will work with the learners for six periods each. Each Challenge will last six weeks. When learners start a new Challenge, they will have a new team of three teachers working with them.

How will I know my child is making progress?

Each of the four skills has several stages of development – engaging, novice, emerging, embedded, expert and master. As a parent, after each challenge you will be told at what stage of development in each skill your child is. During the Challenge, there will be a written report in all learners’ books for the learner, parent and staff to reflect on.

These conclusions will be reached by teacher assessments and by the learner providing evidence themselves for the teacher when they feel they have reached a certain stage in development.

It will have more impact on a learner’s progress if we can identify that they have difficulties, for example in being an independent learner, and focus on developing that skill rather than reporting on twelve different subjects and having twelve different ways in which they can improve.

What about all the things they need to learn in each subject?

We have worked closely with heads of subject to include key knowledge within each challenge in year 7.  We have staff from a wide range of subjects delivering the curriculum.  For example, learners are guaranteed a significant amount of time with an English, Maths and Science teacher.

Is this curriculum used anywhere else?

This curriculum has been extensively researched and is similar to curriculums offered by many schools across the country that follow the International Middle Years Programme, RSA Opening Minds or the Swedish Kunskapskollen models. 

These “off the shelf” curriculums did not specifically address the needs of the learners in Great Torrington so we used them as a foundation on which to build our own.