Head of Faculty: Mrs R.W. Adams
Note: In the Lower Sixth Form, all pupils embark on four qualifications leading to at least three A Level or Pre-U qualifications at the end of their two years in the Sixth Form. The fourth option may be a further A Level or Pre-U course, an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), or the Global Perspectives and Independent Research Qualifications described below.
The following information is taken from our document 'The Sixth Form and Beyond', which is updated each December. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.
Global Perspectives (GP)
Global Perspectives is a one-year self-contained course offered in the Lower Sixth Form that is designed to develop critical thinking and research skills in the context of important global issues. It leads to a Pre-U certificate and grade, equivalent (in UCAS terms) to half a full A Level or a bit more than a full AS Level.
It is a seminar-based course that provides excellent preparation for undergraduate study as it enhances pupils’ independent, critical thinking skills. There are no set topics, so we are free to address current issues as they arise and to choose topics that interest the students. Possible themes include:
- Migration/ refugees
- The impact of social media
- Water in Africa – who has the right to exploit natural resources?
- Have drones changed the nature of warfare?
- Will e-books make printed books obsolete?
- Does ‘Aid’ help?
- To what extent should we protect the right to free speech and expression?
Global Perspectives encourages the ability to follow and deconstruct arguments and assertions, to separate fact from opinion, and to assess and evaluate the truth of claims. The course is timetabled for 4 periods per week from September to May and students are taught in small seminar groups. The style of the course is to provide stimulus material and use these to provoke critical discussion and further research. Students are taught to use the ‘critical path’ to analyse arguments, select, evaluate, and reference sources, empathise with contrasting perspectives on an issue and then formulate and communicate their own view. As they progress through the course the work becomes increasingly student-centred.
The Global Perspectives Short Course is externally assessed at the end of the Lower Sixth year and has three components:
- GP1: A 1.5-hour written paper in which students are asked to read and critically compare two articles on the same topic (but usually presenting different arguments and perspectives).
- GP2: A 2000-word fully referenced essay on a research question proposed by the student on an issue of global importance (usually linked to topics discussed in class).
- GP3: A 15-minute recorded presentation on a research question proposed by the student but addressing issues raised by pre-released materials supplied by the examination board in March. The presentation is created and recorded by the student but does not have to be delivered to a live audience.
The Independent Research Report (IRR)
The opportunity exists to continue the course into the Upper Sixth for a full Pre-U qualification, with the second year being devoted to a 5,000-word Individual Research Project of the student’s own choice. Students work one-to-one with an individual tutor.
The decision to go on to do the full GPR course does not need to be made until the Michaelmas Term of the Upper Sixth year. GP + IRR gives a full Pre-U GPR qualification. Students who complete the GPR and have at least one Pre-U Principal subject also qualify for the full Cambridge Pre-U Diploma.
Pre-U Results – Global Perspectives