Shared Options Day in Cross and Passion College & Ballycastle High School

On Tuesday the 28th November, the first collaborative Year 10 options day was arranged between Cross and Passion College and Ballycastle High School.
12-December-23
Shared Options Day in Cross and Passion College & Ballycastle High School

On Tuesday the 28th November, the first collaborative Year 10 options day was arranged between Cross and Passion College and Ballycastle High School. The two schools have been collaborating for many years and have a fully collaborative curriculum at Key Stage 4 and Post 16 where pupils cross Moyle road between the two schools to join classes with their peers. In many different subjects across the two campuses, the pupils learn in these shared education classes where they prepare for their GCSE, BTec or A-Level exams.

The benefits for the schools are many fold; pupils have access to a wider range of subjects delivered from a diverse pool of staff, pupils learn in classroom environments with others from different backgrounds and cultures, both schools can offer a full curriculum which is sustainable and pupils have the opportunity to meet others and make friend with other young people with whom they would not normally have the opportunity to mix with in school, thus leading to improved community cohesion.

A number of years ago, both schools became involved in the Shared Education Signature Project funded by EA and, decided that as the Key stage 4 and Post 16 collaborative arrangements were well established, the focus for the Signature Project should be encouraging Key stage 3 pupils to choose subjects which suited their interests and abilities for their GCSE options. Therefore, this year, they planned and implemented a joint Year 10 options day which has proved to be an outstanding success.

Senior Leaders and the two Shared Education Co-ordinators met and planned a collaborative programme for the day which included parents, guardians and Year 10 pupils joining an options talk in their respective schools before touring both campuses to visit subject hubs to discuss potential subject options for Year 11. Teachers from both schools joined together across the two campuses to talk to parents and pupils about their subjects and what their study entails. After lunch, both schools invited parents, carers and pupils back for pupil progress meetings where further discussion could take place with each pupil’s individual teachers.

The day was a resounding success, parents comments included;

“Being able to go to CPC and meet the teachers there really put my child’s mind at ease that the subject teachers she could be with were as friendly and helpful.”

“Great way to do things, very helpful and informative and helped to make the GCSE decision much easier.”

“Great for my child and myself to have the chance to visit cross and passion to become familiar with the teachers and the layout of the school.”

“We were really interested in some of the subjects from BHS, so being able to go over, see the school and speak with the teachers on the same day was really useful”

“It was helpful for my child to have seen example work, look at exam papers and more importantly speak with teachers with regard to the GCSE subjects, being realistic about individual abilities and amount of work involved before making choices. It was good to visit both schools and consider backup options in case initial choices are not in the same groups”

“This morning was very well organised and actually benefited my daughter in every way and has made her think about different choices now to what she thought she wanted to pick. Very well done for organising this I wish my older daughter had a chance to do this when it was her turn over covid she might if picked subjects she might of actually enjoy thanks for organising very impressed with this.”

Staff also enjoyed the day and commented that it was “a worthwhile experience” and a “great way explain to parents what GCSE studies involve”.

Shared Options Day in Cross and Passion College & Ballycastle High SchoolShared Options Day in Cross and Passion College & Ballycastle High SchoolShared Options Day in Cross and Passion College & Ballycastle High School
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