Global Perspectives take centre stage

By Abi Wharton, Head of Global Awareness

What a year to introduce the Pre-U in Global Perspectives and Research to Bedales! This is a course that allows students to explore any global issue using what is termed as the critical path – deconstruction, reconstruction, reflection and communication of any particular perspective.

Over the past year, we have explored topics as wide ranging as ownership of the Elgin marbles to the perceived role of the US as a global policeman. We allow our own views, or reconstruction of an argument, to be built on other perspectives, understanding the need to explore a whole raft of ideas influenced by cultural, economic, religious and ethical concerns to name but a view. The students have communicated their ideas in exciting and innovative ways, being at the forefront of remote learning by giving their assessed presentations on Microsoft Teams before the Easter holidays.

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Living and thinking sustainably

Sustainability

This article was originally published in the Old Bedalian Newsletter 2020.

The whole school community has been doing more to reuse, reduce and recycle in the wake of the climate change campaign that has been dominating the streets and the media, drawing attention to the urgency of the global changes that need to be made.

Bedales hosted a ‘Funeral for the Planet’ earlier this year, where a climate emergency was announced. The event was organised by Bedales Head of Geography Paul Turner, who became one of the UK’s first United Nations-accredited climate change teachers. Bedales’ Geography department has also recently launched the UK’s first climate breakdown scheme of work, collaborating with other teachers and organisations.

Following this, a group of 60 students joined a climate change protest in March, marching from Parliament Square to Buckingham Palace and were encouraged by the amount of support they received from tourists, construction workers and even police officers. Students took part in more protests in Petersfield and in London, with a small group attending a symposium on climate change at the London School of Economics. A number of speakers were present including Lord Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, who addressed the question of, ‘What should individuals, communities, schools and universities do to stop climate change?’

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‘Unforgettable’ Global Awareness trip to India

Global-Awareness-India

By Georgie du Boulay, Block 5

The 10-day Global Awareness trip to India at half term was one that will stay with the 17 students and three teachers who attended for the rest of their lives.

For the first three days, we were immersed in the dusty air and sun-baked atmosphere of Delhi sightseeing, which was jaw-dropping itself – yet nothing could compare to the timeless and unforgettable experience we had in McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsahla in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It was a brilliant introduction to volunteering! From the mass clean-up of the streets, to the eye-opening mutual learning with the Tibetan Refugees programme, each day was full of exciting activities that we had never done before.

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New Pre-U in Global Perspectives & Research

By Abi Wharton, Head of Global Awareness

We are delighted to announce that we will commence teaching of the Cambridge Pre-U in Global Perspectives and Research from September 2019 in our vibrant Sixth Form Enrichment Programme.

It has long been a desire of parents, students and staff to introduce a sixth form offering to complement the BAC in Global Awareness which continues to develop in terms of popularity and success.

The Pre-U, which is suitable for all students, regardless of whether they have taken the BAC in Global Awareness, places academic specialisation in a practical, real-world context, being a seminar-based opportunity to research and explore a range of issues challenging people across the globe. Developing critical/analytical, research, and problem-solving skills essential to higher education, students will learn to place their personal perspectives in a global context, finding new inspiration and challenges for their studies.

During their study, students consider at least four topics taken from different themes. For example, genetic engineering, medical ethics and priorities, standard of living or quality of life, ethical foreign policies, or the religious-secular divide may be studied under the Ethics theme. Typically students develop the necessary skills to embark upon a realistic and meaningful research agenda.

Students will submit a presentation and an essay from their portfolio and sit an examination. The Independent Research Report gives candidates the chance to dig still deeper into a particular subject, or to cross boundaries by doing interdisciplinary work, or to make a new departure by investigating a subject not covered by traditional school syllabuses. Students submit a single piece of extended work on their chosen theme. Students can choose whether to take the Pre-U short course or to study for the two year Pre-U.

An increasing number of UK and international universities are providing statements of recognition for Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives and Research (GPR). In their view, Cambridge Pre-U GPR is an excellent preparation for undergraduate study since it gives real evidence of independent, critical thinking. This is applicable across all undergraduate subject areas due to the nature of the skills developed throughout the course.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.

Global Perspectives Pre-U | Two year syllabus | Short course syallbus