The PULSE (Personal Understanding, Learning Skills and Enrichment) programme was integrated into the Year 12 academic timetable in September 2017. This programme was developed in order to facilitate the academic and personal core skills in Shiplake Sixth Form pupils. Pupils option to follow two potential routes: the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE). Both of these qualifications lead to UCAS points and can aid university applications.
Both the EPQ and CoPE include a six-week Study Skills programme at the start of the year which cover topics such as organisation, research and independent work. As well as the Study Skills programme, each pupil is supported by a personal supervisor throughout the project and has two lessons a week to work on their project.
Both options also include a weekly lecture programme, to include talks from guest speakers and staff and student-led presentations. The EPQ requires pupils to research a topic of their choice and allows them to display their understanding of that topic in a way that they choose. This can be done in a variety of ways, from writing an essay, to creating a song. The CoPE option is more vocational, where pupils work on specific skills on a day to day basis. Students are given the opportunity to complete their CoPE both within the College day and at home. Students working towards a CoPE qualification complete a portfolio of evidence demonstrating key academic and personal skills, totalling 150 hours of work.
PULSE gives pupils an opportunity to study a topic that they are passionate about and at the same time allow them to learn a range of skills that will help in higher education courses and in the workplace. Whichever qualification pupils choose they will develop time management, problem solving, initiative, research, digital literacy, oral presentation, collaboration, discussion, critical thinking and self-evaluation.