In our ever-competitive world, many schools are introducing new strands to the education they offer that will expand pupils’ skills sets, ultimately increasing their employability but also better equipping them for life after school. Repton School in Derbyshire is no exception.
Preparation for life beyond school is one of the key focuses at Repton. The school is lucky to have a rich tradition of entrepreneurship and engagement amongst Old Reptonians and draws on this to pass on knowledge and experience through its programme of external speakers from across different fields. In turn, this helps to encourage a curiosity and outward-looking mindset within its pupils. The school has also hostedintroduced? a Careers Convention in 2020. Attended by over 150 pupils, this provided an invalulable forum in which current pupils ocould hear directly from former pupils, parents and visitors from industry, business and universities, which willis help guide them in their decision-making and facilitates the all-important networking.
In 2020 Repton introduced Future Learning, Future Skills – a course developed by the School to equip Reptonians with the knowledge, skills and confidence they will need both for their own success and to go on and make a positive contribution to our society, on a personal, professional, local or global level. Elements in the course include lessons in Personal Finance, looking at the bigger economic picture and ing pupils to think about their own financial futures and Wider World sessions that focus on national and global issues such as UK politics, medical science, geopolitics, the environment and artificial intelligence.
Another element of preparation for Reptoniansis the pupil-speaking course all Repton Sixth Formers are following, The LAMDA Speaking in Public course is aimed at improving their ability to deliver effective presentations; focusing on aspects such as delivery, the use of visual aids and engagement with their audience.
Reptonians recognize the crucial importance of this element of their education and are embracing the opportunity that Future Learning, Future Skills offers. For example, over half the pupils have already elected to carry on working towards a LAMDA qualification beyond the introductory course.
On an international level, the international family of Repton schools menas that Reptonians are members of a global network set to top 20,000 pupils. With Repton Dubai established over thirteen years ago, there are also schools in Abu Dhabi and Singapore, another opening in China in 2020, and future projects under development in Malaysia, Oman, Bulgaria and Thailand.
The approach taken by Repton and other similar schools is reflected at University level. Derby University has also implemented a new strategy through which they focus on practical knowledge over academic theory. Derby’s Vice-Chancellor, Kathryn Mitchell, has argued that is it important to focus on “what the employers think, what we think, what innovation might look like in the future, and what would be the applied research that might underpin them.” She continues: “We constantly have to predict the needs of industry and make sure that our curriculum modelling meets those future needs.”
Life at Repton School
Founded in 1557, Repton School has unfailingly championed its goals to educate the whole child and nurture thoughtful, critical adults who are engaged in the world and possess a variety of qualities. This -emphasis continues to this day and, while pupils strive to achieve academic excellence, they are also offered a broad range of extra-curricular activities that encourage them to explore topics that will challenge them, expand their minds and teach them to embrace learning for the pure love of learning.
Indeed, one of the School aims is for a pupil to leave Reption as a person who is: “Globally aware and internationally minded, intellectually curious, culturally informed and spiritually alive whilst also robust, self-motivated, technically motivated and committed to excellence in all they do”.
Every pupil at Repton is encouraged to pursue academic success, and each pupil is given the resources they need to excel. In 2019 GCSE results were particularly strong, with 67.4% graded 9/8/7. As an inclusive and largely non-selective school, there are always year on year variances in results for public examinations and in 2019 62% of A level results were A*AB – this however is not the full measure of the a Repton education.
In addition to the traditional A level courses, Repton has recently introduced A level Psychology and BTEC Sport.
Whilst at Repton, all pupils are encouraged to join an academic society, whichplay a role in feeding the curious nature of the pupils and broadening the learning over and above the exam-board curriculum. These vary from: Hampshire (Philosophy), Classics, Marriott (Politics and History), Gurney (Science), or MedSoc.
The success of the School can be measured in many ways and not only within the academic side, however, recent success within this field include six Repton pupils who have been offered Oxbridge places.
Another success is that of Reptonian, Ben Wheelton who has recently accepted to the Rolls Royce apprenticeship, which is recognised as one of the most competitive schemes in the world, with 57,000 applications for just 500 places, the statistics ran at 0.87% chance. Ben described the selection process as ruthless – involving psychometric testing, numerical and logical reasoning under pressure, interviews, assessments and two presentations to the Rolls Royce Board. Ben credits his success in part to how his character has developed whilst at Repton, including the CCF (where he is the Senior Cadet) which has helped his confidence.
The hallmark of Repton is producing pupils who are confident, happy, and untainted by arrogance or any sense of entitlement. The aim is that the students respect the privilege they have been provided and approach life with a respect for others, with their ‘sleeves rolled up’ and a determination to give back. Therefore, all students are encouraged to do just that – give back through service-learning opportunities. Some common activities that students partake in include supporting patients at Royal Derby Hospital, leading after-school clubs at primary schools, and helping local senior residents learn to use technology to improve their lives and connect with loved ones. Other pupils have spent time further afield – volunteering on medical and education projects in Nepal and supporting partner schools in Ghana.
The breadth of experience that pupils gain from these activities cannot be taught within the academic curriculum but enormously enriches their personal development and enhances their preparedness to enter the wider world.
Repton School, a co-education school situated in South Derbyshire and home to 610 pupils, has remained committed to ensuring that their students are prepared to meet the needs of a changing job market. The school understands that equipping students with a broad range of transferable skills and other qualities like resilience, empathy, and collaboration will prepare students for a range of employment opportunities in the diverse, changing, modern world.