Last week, the first Diploma award badges arrived much to my excitement. This delivery coincided with Ms Extance, Assistant Head Co-curricular, carefully going through the Ipswich High School Diploma’s first year’s results in order to finalise the awards for Year 7 pupils. Similarly, Mrs Finch, Head of Prep and Mrs Allen, Deputy Head of Prep, have been reviewing the attainment of Year 5 and 6 pupils to ensure that the awards are equitable across the Prep and Senior Schools.

The IHS Diploma

The Ipswich High School Diploma has now been in place for a year and the award days; end of term achievement assemblies, prize giving day and Berners’ days are nearly upon us. The Diploma was designed to be a bespoke award for pupils to celebrate attainment in both academic and co-curricular areas of school life. Pupils are awarded a ‘pass’, ‘merit’ or ‘distinction’ for their academic achievements, which are measured through their subject reports, whilst ‘certificates of achievement’ are awarded to pupils for ‘going above and beyond’ in their co-curricular clubs and activities. A ‘pass’, ‘merit’ or ‘distinction’ is awarded based on the number of certificates of achievement and passes achieved for different co-curricular activities that fall under different categories. It is this, combined with the academic level results that give the overall diploma grade.

Excellent Engagement of Pupils

Having reviewed the results of pupils across the Prep and Senior School, it is clear that Ipswich High School pupils have excelled both inside and outside the classroom. Pupils have been committed to the activities they have signed up to during enrichment and have given much to these, as shown by the number of certificates of achievement obtained by the pupils; 126 in total in Year 7 and 170 in Years 5 and 6.

Taking Academic Ownership

Pupils have shown strong academic progress throughout the year. The mastery curriculums in every subject have made the expected academic levels for a pupil in each subject more transparent, therefore making it easier to track academic improvement. This is encouraging pupils to take more ownership of their learning, identifying areas they need to work on and improve, which is a skill that is transferable to people of all ages. This, matched by the development of skills such as leadership, teamwork, resilience and enquiry, which are obtained from co-curricular activities, further helps support pupils in life beyond school.

Looking Ahead to the Next Academic Year

When the first cohort of Ipswich High School pupils receive their Diploma certificates and badges next week I hope that all the pupils involved have a real sense of achievement for all that they have achieved this year. The exciting enrichment programme has been confirmed for next term already and, this combined with a challenging and engaging curriculum I am certain will make the second year of the Diploma equally enjoyable and fulfilling for all those involved.

If you’re interested in finding out more about IHS Diploma click here.

By Nicola Griffiths, Deputy Head
28 June 2019