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First 'signature' subjects to be taught next year

Diallo Rabain Minister of Education (File photograph)

The first ten “signature” courses to be introduced in public schools have been identified, the education minister said yesterday.

Some of the specialisms will be introduced at CedarBridge Academy and the Berkeley Institute, the inaugural signature schools, from next September – but the subjects have still to be decided.

Diallo Rabain said: “Our original signatures included entrepreneurship, but it was decided that should be part of all of the signature learning programmes rather than be a stand alone.”

He added the Government wanted schoolchildren to “follow their passions, build on their talents and achieve their career and further education aspirations”.

Mr Rabain said: “So each of our senior schools will have two signatures – signatures based on sectors of the economy or society and cover a wide range of occupations.”

He added the subjects were chosen after consultation with teachers, pupils, parents, employers and the general public.

Mr Rabain said that courses that covered business and finance, sports, medical and trades were popular “consistently, across the board”.

The specialist subjects picked were science, engineering, technology and maths, climate and environmental resources, health and social care, community and social investment, arts and culture, education services, sport and leisure, financial and insurance services, hospitality and tourism and building, construction and maintenance.

Mr Rabain declined to reveal the number of submissions received.

But he said there had been engagement with a “broad cross section” of the public.

Mr Rabain added that teachers would be given time to train in the new specialties before the start of the 2022 school year.

Training will be held over this summer and continue into next year.

Mr Rabain was joined by Craig Bridgewater, the chairman of the board at Berkeley, and Jason Wade, the board chairman at CedarBridge, for the announcement.

Mr Bridgewater said that the consultation gave business and the public “a vision of how they might partner with us”.

Mr Wade added he was pleased with the consultation process, which included meetings with the Learning First school redesign team and the Innovation Unit, a firm of overseas consultants.

He said: “My impression was a positive one – they put forward ideas and showed a willingness to listen to our board. We were able to give feedback to what we thought was necessary for the system.

“We believe that when it comes to signatures, they are what Bermuda needs for the future – they address the needs of our young men and women.”

The two schools have created transition committees that will work with the ministry, Learning First and the Innovation Unit to set up the new programmes.

Anyone interested in taking part in the redesign should e-mail schoolredesign@moed.bm.

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Published May 20, 2021 at 8:04 am (Updated May 20, 2021 at 8:04 am)

First 'signature' subjects to be taught next year

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