Following the success of the Atlantic Diploma – which is based on the International Baccalaureate (IB) – the Atlantic pre-Diploma has been developed to address the language barriers which often set non-native English speaking students at a disadvantage when preparing for higher education in the UK.
An International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) course, the pre-Diploma, is designed for international students aged between 15 and 16 years old; its aim is to prepare students for the sixth-form level Atlantic Diploma, or any form of pre-University study.
The first international students to study the Atlantic pre-Diploma have travelled to UWC Atlantic College’s campus on the South Wales coastline from all corners of the globe.
Pre-Diploma students from, among others, China, Pakistan and America, are already embracing the UWC mission statement of “making education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”.
John Walmsley, principal of UWC Atlantic College, said: “Many international students are at a disadvantage when studying in the UK. Our new Atlantic pre-Diploma will provide these students with a platform to develop not only their English but their outlook on the world.
“A typical IB student has a love of learning and also enjoys a broad range of extra-curricular activities. Students are independent, prepared to take risks and enjoy being stretched and challenged; a pre-Diploma student will be no exception.”
A key feature of the Atlantic Diploma is its co-curricular programme, which challenges students to place equal focus on academics and experiential faculties. Elements of this approach will be replicated with the College’s pre-Diploma, giving IGCSE students the opportunity to participate in a range of co-curricular activities.
The Atlantic pre-Diploma’s academic curriculum uses the IGCSE. The primary focus is on academic English, which will account for 30% of a students’ time. Students will also study mathematics, at least one science, humanities, an additional language, and choice of art or another two subjects depending on ability.
Students will also participate in the college’s co-curricular programme. The four co-curricular faculties provide learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom environment and encourage students to be more dynamic through activities such as lifeguarding, gardening and working in local charitable projects.
UWC Atlantic College is attended by around 350 Atlantic Diploma students from over 90 nations. Many Atlantic Diploma students attend the College on full scholarships and bursaries, which are offered to students who may not otherwise be able to secure places with the college.
The Atlantic pre-Diploma will benefit both new and existing students by allowing them to integrate, learn from, and reside with each other within the College’s medieval St Donats Castle Campus, which is located on the Bristol Channel Shoreline between Cardiff and Swansea.