ACS International School Hillingdon (@ACSintschools) has been authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Career-related Programme (CP), an alternative education pathway for learners aged 16-19, which blends academic and vocational courses to help students prepare for their future career pathways.

Supporting the thriving drama and arts offering at ACS Hillingdon, as part of the CP, students will be able to engage in career-related study focussing on theatre and/or film. Students who are passionate about the stage will have an unmissable opportunity to gain qualifications from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the oldest drama school in the UK, and will develop a wide range of performance skills.

In addition or as an alternative to the LAMDA qualifications, students have the option to take an A Level in theatre, where they are able to focus on acting or directing. ACS Hillingdon is also working to introduce a Level 3 qualification in photography as an option for the CP career-related study to enhance the current film studies offering at the school.

As an additional opportunity for CP students, ACS Hillingdon has established a unique partnership with Creative Media Skills Group, a training partner based at Pinewood Studios. Students are able to attend one-week courses where they complete skills-focussed work with experts, further developing their understanding of the industry and enhancing their skills within their subject area. For example, the students currently studying Greek theatre as part of the theatre course will spend a week at Pinewood in September, working on mask-making with an expert in prop-making or costume design.

Ailie Smith, CEO, Creative Media Skills Group, comments: “At CMS, we work to ensure that top UK screen professionals are able to pass on their experience and knowledge to the next generation of crew, future-proofing the UK film industry. While working with ACS Hillingdon students last year, we saw incredible talent across a range of areas, as well as a sheer drive to learn amongst the young people. We’re looking forward to meeting this year’s cohort, supporting them to bolster their industry skills through our partnership.”

As well as the career-related study, the CP’s innovative three-part framework comprises the CP core, and the study of at least two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses. The DP is a challenging and rigorous academic programme for learners aged 16-19, which is highly-regarded by universities all over the globe. The CP core focuses on helping student to gain important transferable skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement.

Through the CP, students develop skills that are genuinely valued by employers and gain real-life work experience. While the LAMDA qualifications are designed to support the skills of students who aim to apply for performance-based university courses, such as theatre or performing arts, the skills gained are also valuable for students wishing to pursue other careers in the public arena. Students gain experience in speaking in public, providing them with an important self-confidence boost for future high pressure moments, such as job interviews, negotiations or debate.

Martin Hall, Head of School, ACS Hillingdon, comments: “We’re extremely excited to be able to offer the CP as another educational pathway for our High School students. ACS’ mission is to prepare students to be ready to answer the world’s next questions by offering a unique learning experience that adapts to the frequently changing world. The CP is incredibly valuable in the way it helps to bridge the gap between industry and the classroom – students are able to focus on more vocational, career-related learning and develop those specific skillsets required for the workplace of the future.

“To ensure that we are delivering a successful, future-ready education, we must recognise that there is no 'one size fits all' approach that will help students get ready for their lives after school. The CP combines both academic and practical learning to set students up for whatever pathway suits them best - whether that be higher education, pursuing an apprenticeship, or entering the world of work.”

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