Global Awareness BAC identified as exemplar course
Bedales features prominently in an article on the benefits of social and emotional learning (SEL), recently published by TES.
The piece, by Christina Quaine, references a 2017 meta-analysis of 82 research studies which found that participation in SEL programmes improves students’ mental health, social skills and academic achievement, with benefits continuing into later life. Students also display fewer conduct problems and report lower levels of emotional distress. In the UK, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has found that SEL interventions have a valuable impact on attitudes to learning and social relationships in school, including an average impact of four months’ additional progress on attainment.
An example of SEL, the article explains how the Bedales Assessed Course (BAC) in Global Awareness encourages students to apply 21st-century skills to understanding and addressing global issues, such as poverty, equality, social justice and human rights. Bedales Head of Global Awareness, Abi Wharton, believes the course helps students to develop crucial citizenship skills. She says: “If, as appears to be the case, we are on the cusp of the voting age being lowered universally, then we need to ensure that our young people have enough knowledge about the world to use this vote appropriately. The Global Awareness BAC has begun the task of helping our students towards a meaningful and practical education in citizenship and the sense that they can change the world in which they live.”
However, the article suggests that those who might benefit the most from SEL may not be exposed to it, with a 2015 report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission finding that provision across the UK was patchy. With no existing statutory approach to SEL in the UK and little funding available, the author concludes that improving provision for all will be a challenge.
The full article can be seen on the TES website here (subscription may be required).