The curriculum in the Upper School retains the balance of head, heart and hands of the earlier years, increasingly challenging students to stretch themselves – to explore and discover who they are and what they stand for.
Main lesson blocks in the Sciences, Humanities and Arts; weekly subject lessons in English, Maths, French, blocks of Craft; Individual and Group Projects; Outdoor Pursuits; Horticulture and Landwork; Music, Games, Bothmer exercise, trips and expeditions.
Drumduan Upper School Qualifications for Continuing Education
We believe that while the traditional educational model of finishing school at 17/18 years and transferring directly into university may suit some people, it does not suit everyone. We have all seen people take up a university place only to drop out in the first or second year.
We see education continuing beyond our school parameters, which allows us to concentrate on developing the relevant skills to equip young people for adult life, within an atmosphere of social inclusion.
Having experienced learning whilst immersed in nature, many of our upper school students are naturally drawn to issues related to sustainability, human connection to nature, landscape or the environment.
By placing problem solving and creativity at the core of all that we teach our curriculum allows students to explore their passions and gifts for life.
Free from the constant pressures of testing and examinations, our students develop a love of learning and space to develop ideas and thinking. We believe it is that creative capacity to adapt and problem solve that gives our students something different and special to take with them, as they prepare to light up the world.
Integrated Education Qualifications
The current state school examination system of learning how to regurgitate facts in a limited time is not the best way to learn and prepare for the future. In fact, numerous media articles in recent years agree that school leavers - despite an increasing level of qualifications achieved - are ill-equipped for the world beyond school which requires the capacity to act with initiative, independence, resilience, responsibility and the ability to work collaboratively.
We prepare students for continuing education beyond school into vocational and academic pathways including apprenticeships, further education colleges and universities through the Integrated Education qualifications.
These qualifications were developed by The Crossfields Institute with subject-specific expertise provided by teachers and educators from Steiner Waldorf School Federations from four countries (Finland, Norway, Denmark and the UK) participating in the Erasmus+ funded ACTS project 2015-18.
The qualifications consist of two stages: Level 2 (GCSE/Scottish National 5 equivalent) which is aimed at ages 14-16 and Level 3 (A-level/Scottish Higher equivalent) which is geared towards ages 16-18. There are four potential outcomes achieved through a credit system: an Award (12 credits), a Certificate (24 credits), a Diploma (69 credits) and an Extended Diploma (117 credits).
The courses are highly flexible, with the option to fast-track or slow down these stages - allowing the school to remain inclusive and learner-centred whilst adequately supporting and challenging all learners.
Delivery consists of a taught curriculum, individual student projects and a unique Creative Thinking Skills module which is designed to inspire innovation while developing various creative and critical thinking techniques. Rather than taking the conventional approach whereby subjects are taught independently of each other, the IE qualifications require an integrated style whereby teachers and students are required to make links across all curricular areas, reflecting a real-world approach to education.
There are no obligatory exams, assessment is based on a range of evidence — main lesson books, independent projects and a selected portfolio of work — which fits in with Drumduan’s style of experiential, immersive and self directed learning.