Academic - Framlingham College

To find the joy in learning, to delight in discovery, to apply critical thinking and to encourage our pupils to achieve their very best. This is the ethos that lies at the core of Framlingham College’s teaching and learning philosophy.

Each Framlinghamian is encouraged to become an active learner who is able to deeply and carefully reflect upon their learning. We provide an environment where our young people can foster an intellectual curiosity and spirit of inquiry with engaging and challenging lessons and where every pupil is expected to take an active part.

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Eric Hoffer - American moral and social philosopher

We encourage each Framlinghamian not to shrink from failure, because it is only through making mistakes that real learning happens.

We hold dear our responsibility to inspire, excite and encourage our young people to be the best that they can be. Not to be afraid of the big ideas, not to hold back from thinking the impossible, to take sensible risks, to put their head above the parapet and have the courage to step over it, taking others with them.  It is from this that we encourage each Framlinghamian not to shrink from failure, because it is only through making mistakes that real learning happens.

Providing a true breadth of academic experience encourages our pupils to learn more about themselves and to equip them with the mindset and habits that will help them forge their place as global citizens.”

David Ashton - Deputy Head, Academic

The academic journey we carve for each of our young people is designed to prepare them for life beyond school. Providing a true breadth of academic experience encourages our pupils to learn more about themselves and to equip them with the mindset and habits that will allow them to ask the bigger questions, to challenge the status quo, bring about change and help them forge their place as global citizens.

As a 2020 Microsoft Showcase School, Framlingham College is leading the way in its use of technology to enhance learning. This is a true demonstration of our commitment to provide our pupils with the understanding, skills and ambition they need to embrace digital innovation and to shape the future.

Our Academic Approach

At the heart of our academic ethos are three core principles:

Intellectual Rigour

Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous”
Confucius, The Sayings of Confucius

At Framlingham College our desire is to embed a love of learning in each child, regardless of where their talents lie, where our pupils are encouraged to question ‘the why?’ and ‘the how?’ and not just ‘the what?’.  To achieve this, our learning culture is ambitious and driven by the belief that we ‘should all aspire to be the best we can be’, having high expectations for ourselves and others.

Academic fulfilment is measured by involvement and application, not just achievement. At Framlingham our core belief is in the individual and so, we recognise that every child’s journey will be different and for every child, the measure of success is therefore different.

Intellectual Curiosity

Our pupils are invited to explore, read, reflect, debate and innovate.”
David AShton, Deputy Head Academic, Framlingham College

We encourage pupils to cultivate a desire to know more. By providing them with engaging and challenging lessons that inspire each of them to think and discover for themselves, we hope they’ll go on to continuously question the norm and be inquisitive at every turn.

We help to nurture a growth mindset in pupils to enable them to become resilient and never give up. By supporting our pupils, we encourage deep learning to help them understand what they are doing, giving them opportunities to reflect on their work and improve it.

In the modern professional world, our young people will be required to learn new skills and potentially work in industries yet to be created. They will need to be curious, flexible, creative, and intelligent problem-solvers. We arm our pupils with attitudes and habits so that whatever their next steps are, they will be able to ask the right questions, adapt and learn the skills required.

Intellectual Activity

One of the beauties of secondary school learning [at Framlingham College] is the ability to further your learning. Often people confuse being stretched with being overworked, yet throughout all my time at the College I’ve realised how the balance is just right”
Dan, Framlingham College Senior School Pupil

A rich and stimulating programme of courses across all year groups also forms an integral part of our curriculum, so that our pupils are nourished by intellectual activity beyond the classroom and beyond the confines of the school and our immediate surroundings.

There are opportunities to take part in Model United Nations, Inter School Quiz Club and English Speaking Union Debating with a vast range of clubs and societies on offer, ranging from Philosophy Forum to Investment to Chinese Calligraphy.

We offer a wide variety of field trips to make the subjects practical and relevant to the pupils. For example, our Geographers visit Iceland every two years, along with making good use of the Suffolk landscape for local fieldwork, whilst our Physics pupils attend talks at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge on a termly basis. Religious Studies pupils visit key sites such as the Buddhist temple in London and Ely Cathedral with Drama students regularly attending performances in locations such as Ipswich, Cambridge and London.

As an extension of learning and interests, pupils can enjoy talks from inspirational speakers around the world such as Sir Richard Dearlove (former Head of MI6), Marc Morris (historian and international expert on castles) and Suzie Imber (astronaut).

To stretch their learning, pupils in Years 10 and 12 have the opportunity to complete the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) and highly regarded Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is an individual, extended piece of research leading to a formal award equivalent to either a GCSE or an A Level. Both qualifications encourage the development of independent learning skills, as well as providing a valuable opportunity to move beyond the set curriculum. Pupils decide on the title and the form it will take. The scope is very broad – it could be an essay, a piece of creative writing, poetry, a science project, a work of art or a plan for a performance. For our part, we provide the tools, teach the skills and help the pupil to create a piece of work that’s truly theirs.

The Curriculum

From Years 9 to 11, our subject offering is broad to allow our pupils to maintain diversity and variety within their subject choices. This encourages our pupils to see the breadth that learning can involve whilst they are constantly challenged to make links between their subjects.

We are committed to offering an approved, broad-based curriculum at ages 13 – 16. Pupils take a challenging range of subjects at Year 9, everything from traditional areas such as History and Religious Studies to creative pursuits such as Art, Drama, Music and Design and Technology whilst Computer Science encourages out pupils to be forward looking and innovative. Design and Creativity are at the core of our academic programme, thus preparing our pupils to join an ever-changing world. Business is added as a possible GCSE subject at Year 10 where pupils have the opportunity to study four Options in conjunction with Core subjects such as English, Mathematics and Science.

Whilst our pupils have freedom in choosing their GCSE Options, we do encourage breadth and challenge through asking them to consider the following model (which includes the core subjects):

Compulsory SubjectsOptional Subjects
English LanguageArt & Design
English LiteratureBusiness
English as a Second Language (ESL)Computer Science
MathematicsDesign Technology
Science (Single or Combined) *Drama
French
Geography
History
Latin
Music
Physical Education (PE)
Religious Studies (RS)
Spanish

* With direction from teaching staff.

Reading

We believe in the power of reading and we encourage all pupils to pick up a book as often as they can – whether that’s a novel, an audio book or a newspaper article. We talk about written stories often because we want our young people to be interested in learning and understanding more about the world – its past, present and future. University students may need to read for several hours a day and with this in mind, we want our pupils to be confident and able to rise to – and enjoy – this challenge when the time comes. Of course, reading is also one of the best ways in which we can all find some quiet and calm – so important to wellbeing.

Academic Scholarships Pathway

Scholarships at Framlingham College are highly sought after because of the outstanding pathways that we provide for our Scholars. Our Scholars’ programme is so much more than getting good grades and reports. It’s about cultivating an academic mindset.

The Scholars’ Programme is both for those officially holding Academic Scholarships and those who have demonstrated a willingness to effectively engage with academic thinking above and beyond their lessons.

The Scholars’ Programme develops further the intellectual curiosity that is nurtured in all our young people. Starting in Year 7 it continues throughout the Senior School, for all year groups from Years 9 to 13. Our Sixth Form Academic Scholars also play a role in nurturing and guiding the younger students, acting as role models and mentors.

Our Academic Scholars are asked to take the lead in encouraging all that is key to our learning environment, whether by attempting to answer hard questions and asking challenging questions in the classroom or setting the tone in academic societies. They look for links between subjects and step outside of their preferred areas. They are role models for all and we have high expectations of them. In return, they will be mentored by their Head of Year as a group who will monitor their academic progress as well as supporting them in their Personal Development Plan (PDP) where they will be usually supported by a teacher who is an expert in the area (we currently have scholars learning Ancient Greek, exploring Nuclear Physics and learning Sign Language). There are also regular trips to events such as Teentech, along with a residential visit to Oxford and a visit to Cambridge Universities . The Academic Scholars from all year groups meet regularly and have their own programme of visiting speakers.

View our Scholarship Information Booklet

Academic Support

At Framlingham, the pupil is at the centre of all we do and so our academic support is flexible, responsive and matches the individual learning needs of the pupil, constantly evolving with them. Our aim is to always work proactively, planning for a bright future. Provision is individualised and includes one-to-one, small group and in-class support.

Pupils are empowered to develop their own learning strengths and preferences. We work with each student to guide their understanding of their own situation, their own thought processes and their own strengths; this maximises success and enables them to have control and ownership of their own learning.

We work with pupils with a range of learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD and ASD, but recognise that barriers to learning come in many forms – nervousness around exams, a lack of confidence in their own ability and anxiety can prevent a student living up to their potential. We recognise that working together is so important for success, so our approach is collaborative, employing a multi-disciplinary partnership of learning support, with teachers, pastoral and medical staff, as well as valuing a close liaison with parents.

The Academic Support Centre supports all, not only those who directly experience barriers to learning. It provides advice and strategies to teachers in the classroom, as well as providing general study skills support and resources to all students.

Where Next?