In 2016/17, Newton Abbot College introduced a bespoke course for all or students in Years 7 and 8. This course is entitled IWP – Imagine What’s Possible - and is delivered in a weekly, one-period lesson. Throughout the course, students explore topics and learning activities that link directly to PSHE, CEIAG and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills. It is particularly focussed upon how students view themselves as learners, their self-belief, their motivation to learn and their aspirations for their futures.
We recognise that in this increasingly competitive world, we need to equip our young people with these essential skills to help minimise the effect that negative, stressful situations can have on a leaner. We aim to help our students to face challenges, learn from them and apply these personal skills and attributes that are so essential for employability and a healthy life.
At the start of Year 7, students begin their Imagine What's Possible journey by exploring Personal and Learner Identities; in which they reflect on how they feel about themselves as learners and their individual abilities. Building from this, students explore the benefits of “Growth Mindset” and how they are able to ‘step up to thrive’. They then have the opportunity to develop their understanding of personal finance and customer awareness, before moving on to a series of investigations and projects aimed at developing important personal attributes such as leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication.
Students return to the concept of Personal Learner Identities and re-assess their individual attributes and skills. They then progress on to a unit of study specifically designed to help them become more aware of, and start to consider, their possible future pathways towards career choices and opportunities at universities and future employment by exploring their individual personal attributes and skills. This is designed to support and encourage students to prepare for their Year 9 options preferences in the second half of Year 8. In preparation for a successful transition into Year 9, students investigate how personal and academic target setting can be used positively to improve their outcomes at the end of Year 11.