The Evidence for FSGBacc
Academic success is easy to demonstrate. Character/mettle/resilience much less so and it is acknowledged that impact may take years to show on the individual.
However, a research project on the lifelong value of Out-of-Classroom Learning Experiences (OOCLEs) commissioned by Gordonstoun School and carried out by The University of Edinburgh noted that an astonishing 94% of respondents claimed that OOCLEs had an overwhelmingly positive impact on their personal growth; “A curriculum rich in OOCLEs leads students to develop personal responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills”
“Overcoming obstacles leaves students feeling that they can overcome subsequent, unrelated challenges”.
“The challenges presented by OOCLEs create social levelling and interpersonal ease; they push people physically, psychologically and are excellent social mixers”
“Trying a wide range of challenging activities, alongside a diverse group of students, with the expectation to ‘give it a go’ appears to yield positive and lasting outcomes”
“OOCLES seem to push participants in ways they have never been pushed before”
“Leadership was identified as a key outcome from having participated in OOCLEs”
"Students develop a generalised personal confidence and resilience through participation in OOCLEs, on which they are then able to draw when facing new chllanges both at school and beyond."
In other words...
Confidence is transferable
A similar survey, carried out by the University of Northampton’s Institute for Social innovation and Impact on Cadet Forces in the UK similarly found that ‘cadets have improved self-efficacy because of the activities they undertake’ resulting in increased social mobility, improved educational outcomes, improved mental and physical wellbeing & enhanced employability. It concludes; “participation in the Cadet Forces has significant positive impacts on young people, increasing their performance at school and improving their employment and career prospects. The impact is particularly strong for those cadets that suffer economic and other disadvantages; it is very possible that being a cadet is, for a young person from an economically disadvantaged background, a key factor that enables them to achieve positive life outcomes”
Specifically, participation in UK Cadet Forces:
the ability to communicate clearly, to diverse audiences, through formal and informal presentations and in discussions and interviews
the ability to lead a group of people to achieve an objective. This key skill includes the ability to plan and to
communicate that plan, as well as being able to control, motivate and drive a team to succeed,
the resilience to keep going, even when things go wrong or the situation is challenging,
the ability to work as a member of a team, sharing views and helping others, while being able to take instructions
the ability to use social skills, including different behaviours, to achieve positive outcomes,
the ability to accept diversity and work with the different talents that people have,
the personal confidence to utilize key skills in different situations and with different people
We would assert that our FSGBacc programme has a similar impact on self-efficacy for our students because of the activities they undertake. Self-efficacy is a concept that relates to an individual’s confidence, motivation and self-esteem and their belief in their ability to exert control over their environment. A high level of self-efficacy is significantly correlated with educational and employability performance and motivation
A 2008 report published by Ofsted, on ‘Learning outside of the classroom’ acknowledged that ‘learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils personal, social and emotional development’ and that ‘memorable activities lead to memorable learning’.
“Such hands-on activities led to improved outcomes for pupils and students, including better achievement, standards, motivation, personal development and behaviour. The survey also found examples of the positive effects of learning outside the classroom on young people who were hard to motivate”
It concludes that ‘the most effectively led, managed and confident schools included ‘Learning outside of the Classroom’ as an integrated part of a well-planned effective curriculum
…and more recently
The Centre for Education & Youth in their report on Enriching Education Recovery agree;
“There is robust evidence linking NFL (non-formal learning*) to improved educational outcomes, employment prospects, and physical and mental health. Investment in this area can also deliver economic benefits in the longer-term through improving educational outcomes and life skills”
They further report that; “Recent polling shows that - whilst people recognise that children and young people need extra support with formal, academic catch up, even larger proportions agree with the need for more access to extracurricular activities and wider learning experiences: almost 9 in 10 teachers (88%), and 8 in 10 parents and children and young people (78% and 80% respectively) want to see more around this. There is appetite among children, parents and teachers for extracurricular and enrichment activities to be a more integral part of the existing school day. There is an opportunity for schools to offer a gateway for children and young people to access NFL both within the school, as well as connecting them to off-site opportunities”
* NFL takes place outside of such a classroom environment, with students participating in activities or acquiring a skill that is not formally assessed and is not always delivered by teachers. People typically refer to them as “extra-curricular activities”
At The Folkestone School for Girls we’d extend the findings of this research to the impact of all the activities that we offer as part of our FSGBacc.
All will make you Learn, Grow & Develop.
It is the desire to do just that, and the evidence of your desire to do just that, to Learn, Grow & Develop yourself, to push yourself, to challenge yourself; to be the best version of yourself that employers want to see.
….and they are just good fun, too!