Getting Started

If you would like to establish a National Baccalaureate curriculum framework in your school or college there are
two routes to choose from:

1. Devising your own National Baccalaureate programme:

You need to consider each of the three core elements of the NBfE framework in turn:
a) Core Learning
b) Personal Project
c) Personal Development Programme

You can download this one-page Getting Started guide to share with colleagues. NBfEGettingStarted

You might also like to look at this excellent leaflet provided for students at The Priory Federation of Academies in Lincolnshire: baccalaureate leaflet_DL

a) Core Learning:

Decide which qualifications you are going to include in your framework. This may include academic or technical qualifications in any combination. You should make sure that the level of the qualifications matches the appropriate tier of NBfE. For example, the Advanced Bacc should contain Level 3 qualifications.

A key aspect of the piloting process is to determine the level of minimum expectations that schools and colleges find provide the appropriate level of challenge whilst remaining affordable and sustainable. Three A levels or a three-unit Diploma qualification is a good starting point.

Decide whether students also need any pre-requisite qualifications in order to satisfy the requirements of your Bacc framework. Do they have to have Maths and English at GCSE, for example?

b) Personal Project:

Decide how you will deliver this component of the programme using accredited project qualifications or a centre-devised alternative. Different exam boards offer accredited projects at Level 2 and Level 3. You will also need to determine the extent to which these are undertaken by students independently or in taught programmes. The Case Studies tell you the project programmes that different providers are offering or considering.

Some providers have found that offering both accredited programme such as EPQ alongside their own in-house project has worked well.

c) Personal Development Programme

This is arguably the most exciting aspect of the whole NBfE concept . The idea is to provide a structure for the activities students engage in beyond their taught core curriculum such that it adds up to something coherent and broad for each learner. You should take advantage of the opportunities in your local context to give your PDP distinctive characteristics. There are a number of questions to consider:

  1. Which areas of activity to include: physical and outdoor pursuits, creative and cultural activities, community service and work experience, technological and/or digital activities communication focused activities.
  2. Decide which components are optional and which are compulsory. Try to make sure that each student will have opportunities to develop a wide range of skills and personal attributes.
  3. Work out the approximate scale of your PDP in terms of the total hours students will spend completing it. This doesn’t have to be a strict log of hours but it helps to give an indication of the depth of the learning experience by specifying the time students should allocate.
  4. Decide on a means by which students’ activities will be recorded: a scrapbook or diary, a digital log of some kind or a simple list of activities.
  5. Decide what you will use to determine whether students have completed their PDP to a satisfactory level in order to meet the requirements for gaining the overall Baccalaureate.


2. Adopting an Existing Programme

It is certainly worth exploring the different models that are already available from different organisations. You could use them in their entirety or borrow certain elements.

Here are some of the organisations recognised by the National Baccalaureate Trust as providing Bacc models compatible with the NBfE framework:

The AQA Baccalaureate

The Modbac

The International Baccalaureate

The City and Guilds TechBac