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Military Preparation College opens in Croydon

A specialist training college that helps 16-19 year olds get fit and ready for employment, including rewarding careers in the Armed Forces, was officially launched in Croydon on Tuesday 3rd November 2015.

YPO collaborates with schools on money-saving initiative

YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation, is working with schools to generate ideas and recommendations for saving money and achieving maximum value from already stretched budgets. This is part of a new initiative to showcase the organisation’s role in helping their customers buy better and delivering value for public money. To date, the publicly owned procurement organisation has visited over 300 primary and secondary schools initially across London, hearing first-hand about the challenges facing schools in the current economic climate and sharing best practice for making savings. Just some of the recommendations from pupils, teachers and school business managers include reviewing contracts and energy saving initiatives. Other suggestions include running cost comparisons to ensure best value, and buying in bulk to achieve economies of scale. The initiative links to the YPO purpose of helping their public sector customers to buy better and commitment to reinvest all profits back into the public sector.

It is also timely given the government’s forthcoming Spending Review at the end of November. Despite reassurances that per-pupil funding will be protected, an independent report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies has warned that spending per pupil is likely to fall over the next five years.

Simon Hill, Managing Director at YPO, said: “YPO is a champion of public value and we work closely with schools across the country to help them make their budgets work as hard as possible. As a not-for-profit organisation we are committed to passing on savings to our customers. This year, £2 million will be given back to schools across the country which have worked with YPO to buy school resources and equipment.”

The money-saving ideas and

recommendations will be used to build up an ongoing portfolio of ‘best practice’, which the organisation will share with its members and customers. November 2015

The Croydon Military Preparation College is based at Meridian High School. It is the 18th branch of the college to open in the UK, and the first in London.

The Military Preparation College is a free-to- attend training college which offers a unique style of ‘active learning’, designed to develop students’ physical fitness, functional skills and self- confidence.

For those interested in careers in the Armed Forces, the College provides them with the best possible chance to pass selection and complete basic training. For others, it’s a chance to acquire valuable new life skills and qualifications, setting them up for either further education or employment.

The Military Preparation College is opening its doors at Meridian High School and will be working in close partnership with the school and its

students. This move has been welcomed by the headmaster of the established school in Croydon in view of the alternative education pathway that will be on offer to South East London’s learners. The College operates a ‘roll on, roll off’ joining process with no set deadline by which to apply, allowing new recruits to join on a weekly basis. The average length of a learner’s stay is 27 weeks before they are ready to progress into employment or further education or training. Huw Lewis MBE, Founder and Managing Director at the Military Preparation College, comments:

“Given the right environment, young people from all types of backgrounds can and do succeed. Teamwork, personal pride, physical and mental robustness, duty, community spirit, confidence and humility are the qualities that we endeavour to teach our learners. We are pleased to be bringing our unique style of active learning to Croydon and the London area, and to work in close partnership with a school that shares a similar outlook on education.”

Over 100 schools sign up to new IB middle years electronic assessment

The International Baccalaureate (IB) has launched a new eAssessment model for 16 year olds upon completion of the Middle Years Programme (MYP). Over 100 schools have now signed up to the new electronic assessment, providing feedback including “we have to move forward with the times and MYP eAssessment does that”, and describing the assessment package as a “well-designed, user-friendly examination package”.

Carolyn Adams, Chief Assessment Officer at International Baccalaureate said: “The eAssessment is a reliable, globally consistent and highly innovative assessment model that provides quality assurance. Each exam is authored and marked by trained MYP examiners and the exams use best in-class security procedures. The IB uses cutting edge technology, but it is the concept-based nature of the tests themselves which is the most innovative aspect of the eAssessment and that students find engaging and that parents and schools will find immensely informative.”

MYP eAssessment examines each student’s work in two different ways: a moderated ePortfolio of the student’s coursework for four subject groups – language acquisition, physical and health education arts, and design, and personal project; and on-screen examinations. The examinations are in mathematics, language and literature, sciences, individuals and societies, and interdisciplinary learning whereby students demonstrate interdisciplinary understanding of at least two subject groups, bringing together concepts and methods to explain a phenomenon, solve a problem, create a product, or raise a new question. The Chief Examiner in the Interdisciplinary component said: “I was delighted at how well the students engaged with the eAssessments. The best candidates were able to link their classroom learning with the real world experiences provided in the eAssessments and their responses were innovative and perceptive.”

Carolyn Adams continued: “The eAssessment measures students’ ability to think critically and creatively in novel and real world situations. It is a completely unique approach to examinations and we will be using our 45 years of experience as an examining body to ensure the success of the model. Schools access the eAssessment exams as downloadable packages which can then be uploaded onto individual computers, with no need for internet access during the examination itself.

“Students taking MYP enjoy a rich experience during their final years of study which is reflected in the eAssessment framework – only 25 percent of the assessment is based explicitly on knowledge and understanding, the rest focuses on analysis and conceptual learning which is the basis of the MYP.”

The MYP is for students aged 11-16 years. Its curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, which span several disciplines to deliver both breadth and depth of learning. Students also participate in action and service. There is also a personal project for which students choose their own topic. The project is designed to encourage students to think about their learning and gain valuable skills that prepare them for success in further study and beyond. 5

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