BGS Diploma

The BGS Diploma

Key to students’ success at both BGS and beyond is the development of not just the skills required to cope with academic work, but also the attitudes to cope with the challenges that students will face in all areas of school and wider life. In September 2017 we launched the year 7 BGS Diploma to develop the more demanding skills required to access the highest grades in the new GCSE’s and the attitudes to seek out and Embrace Challenge in order for students to fulfil their potential.


Working with our staff & students, universities and the CBI we identified the skills that students need to be successful in the new GCSEs, new A levels and beyond. These form the ‘skills’ sections of the BGS Diploma and each is focused upon in each half term of Year 7:



Skill Focus

Autumn 1


Autumn 2


Spring 1


Spring 2


Summer 1


Summer 2



The Year 7 students have had assemblies on each of the skills to help them to understand what the skill is, why it is so important and what they might need to work on in order to gain that skill. Throughout the year teaching staff focus on and develop these skills then check to see how they support a students’ progress.   If a skill is limiting a student’s progress intervention measures are put in place to ensure that they are brought up to speed. We also use the Academic Review Days to check on students’ progress.

In addition to the Skills listed above students are also supported to ensure that their Literacy, Numeracy and core ICT skills are at a level that will support their learning and progress.

The other part of the Diploma is the Challenge section.  Students have to complete a series of diverse  Challenges.  Challenges include:

  • Happy Healthy and Safe Challenge – this includes a physical activity participation and personal fitness development challenge
  • Responsible Learner Challenge – setting personally challenging academic targets and applying Psychology for Learning to their lessons
  • Active Citizen / Caring Individual Challenge – related to volunteering and being a Caring Individual
  • Prepared for the Future Challenge – where students start to explore the careers they are passionate about

These are vital in ensuring that students become comfortable with Embracing Challenge, see learning from mistakes as a key ingredient of success and develop a Growth Mindset where they believe in the importance of effort and tenacity.

In addition to the development of the Diploma Skills and the Challenges, the Psychology for Learning course ensures that students understand the neurobiology and psychological theories behind learning and memory.  This course also reinforces the development and importance of the Diploma Skills.

Year 7 students who have not met all of the Diploma elements will be supported to do so in the second half of the summer term. 


Core Skills Descriptors

Below are examples of the kinds of skills the students should have demonstrated in order to ‘pass’ the section. This list is not exhaustive but students should regularly demonstrate 50% of these or similar skills for it not to be a concern.



Know what homework is due and meet deadlines

Think about what and how they want to communicate

Bring the correct equipment every day

Use vocal projection and clear diction

Plan my week and have routines

Proof read and correct work and practice presentations

Draft, where appropriate,  plan and proof read  their work

Respect and address other people’s views

Plan time and prepare in advance to meet deadlines

Actively listen to people

Make time for hobbies and extracurricular activities

Structure resources to support their presentations



Are good communicators

Not being  easily defeated or giving up

When leading make sure all team members know their roles

Knowing what to do when I get stuck

Identify and  prioritise key tasks

Considering different ways to tackle difficult problems

Agree on and work to a plan

Reflecting on and learning from mistakes

Stick to their roles as a leader or team member and share responsibility

Seeking and acting on guidance from peers and teachers

Meet deadlines and check their progress with the team

Pushing myself to accept and face challenges



Being proactive and getting started

Know when to ask for help/support and do

Managing distractions

Celebrate and am proud of my successes

Trying or starting new things

Reflecting on and analysing my mistakes, targeting my efforts to my weaker areas

Taking calculated risks

Identify their  successful strategies and apply them to areas of weakness

Using all of the information, advice and people who can help me get better

Think carefully when setting and reviewing ARD targets