Independent Learning Skills (ILS)/EPQ/AQA Bacc
At DHSG we strongly believe in supporting the curriculum with opportunities developed to support the wider skills required for employability and higher education. All students have a timetabled lesson called Independent Learning Skills (ILS) which instils valuable skills of research, evaluation and independent learning. Students have the option of using the ILS to complete an Extended Project Qualification in Year 13. This allows students to pick a topic of their choice whether this is something purely academic or something more project based and practical and audit the process they go through in researching and realising their piece to fruition. This is a qualification that is now extremely well valued by both higher education and employers alike and gives the students the confidence to be independent in their wider studies. We also offer the AQA Baccalaureate which adds to the Extended Project Qualification with a certain level of volunteering in the community, as well as sitting the AS General Studies exam. This allows the students to add to their academic studies by being active in a community setting and links in with a lot of our leadership opportunities mentioned on our website. For our students that take the AQA Baccalaureate, it is an extremely rewarding and memorable experience and one that stands them in good stead for the world of work and higher education.
CSLA and PE
We also offer other extracurricular activities such as the CSLA. Here, students undertake 8 units that challenge students' leadership skills both within a school and community setting. In order to complete the course students must; pass a basic first aid course, lead/volunteer for a 6 week extra-curricular unit of activity within the school and complete 10 hours of community volunteering/leadership, and as part of our promotion of student independence students are encouraged to source their own placements. (where possible students are expected to find their own community placements). We also offer recreational PE where students have the ability to choose the types of sports and activities that they wish to pursue and are able to combine their academic pursuits with that of their sporting interests. A myriad of sports are offered, both indoor and out, and students also have the opportunity to use the multi gym as well.
To prepare our students for a more globalised world, we also offer conversational languages which typically include French, Spanish and Chinese subject to demand. This helps underpin the valuable spoken skills if a student is undertaking a language at A Level, but also if anyone is a beginner and wishes to develop the skill of learning another language if they harbour ambitions to work in another country or to have a gap year. Students can start at any level and often find that after a year, they are amazed at the progress that they have made.
To help underpin many of the humanity or arts based subjects, Anthropology is often a popular choice. A study of humanity from a variety of perspectives be it social, cultural, political or even biological is often valued by the students and helps understand how humans have become the drivers for societal change and how we have evolved as a race. The subject combines many facets of academic disciplines and is very popular with our students due to the resonance with many subjects. However a great many take Anthropology as their enrichment subject purely for academic interest.