Schooling is free and compulsory for all children between the ages of 4+ – 16 years. The Falkland Islands Government provides staff, equipment and supplies for education throughout the Islands, has a primary and a secondary school in Stanley and operates two small settlement schools on large farms. Other rural pupils are taught individually or in families in their home settings.
The schools are of United Kingdom standard using English methods and examination systems. The Infant Junior School and Camp Education has approximately 260 pupils of 3+ – 11 years. The Falkland Islands Community School has 158 pupils in the 11-16 age range. Numbers on roll fluctuate, so it is difficult to be 100% accurate. Both are fully inclusive schools. Many teachers come from Britain; there are also Falkland Island teachers, all of whom have trained in the United Kingdom.
Stanley Infant & Junior School is conveniently sited in the centre of town. The main school block was constructed in 1955 with large modern extensions being added in 1990, 1996 and 2002. It is a well resourced, forward looking school with full curriculum provision for pupils from pre-school to Year 6. The latest school inspection judged the quality of education as satisfactory to good.
In the rural areas, known as Camp, younger children either attend the small settlement schools or are visited by one of a team of travelling teachers for two out of every six weeks. Individual daily lessons via the telephone are carried during the remaining four weeks of the cycle. Settlement and Travelling teachers receive support from the main provision based in Stanley.
Older children resident in rural areas (Camp) attend school in Stanley and live in a boarding hostel staffed by a Senior Houseparent, a Matron, four Houseparents and others. In early 1985 small, purpose built, dormitories were opened for up to 65 pupils aged between 9 and 16. There is also ample accommodation for dining, study and recreational activities.
The Falkland Islands Community School, which opened in 1992, offers a range of GCSE and vocational options. Falkland Islanders and the children of contract workers who achieve specified qualifications at Level 2 (GCSE and equivalent) can apply for Falkland Islands Government grants to continue their education to Advanced Level/International Baccalaureate and beyond. The majority of students apply to either Peter Symonds' College in Winchester or Chichester College of FE, with whom the Islands has long-standing partnerships. Occasionally parents select other Colleges for which they receive equivalent funding.
Within the community there are many clubs and societies which range from shooting and golf through amateur dramatics to spinning and weaving and watercolour painting.
There is a joint public and school library which is located in the Community School. There is also a Sports Centre with a modern heated swimming pool which adjoins the Community School
. This Centre, which has three badminton/short tennis courts in the sports hall, a gymnasium and a squash court, is open to the public when not in use by the school.
The school year is divided into three terms each having a half-term break. This mirrors the schooling pattern found in the northern hemisphere. The school year begins in September. However, the long five week holiday follows the first term in December and therefore remains in the Falklands’ Summer. Camp terms are similar, but may vary slightly in accordance with local requirements.
The Education Department also provides for Vocational learning and development through a Training Centre
Currently, the Training Centre provides a range of accredited courses, such as NVQ’s, IVQ’s, ACCA accountancy, Essential and Functional Skills, ECDL computer courses, Construction Skills Health and Safety online tests, NARIC First Aid, IOSHH Working and Managing Safely and Highfield Food Safety. Non-accredited courses are also offered to the community such as teamwork, managing your time, effective writing, interview techniques, customer service and conflict management. The Training Centre also offers Plant Operator Certificates, a locally accredited course for plant operators and a Young Apprenticeship Scheme for 14-16 year olds and an Apprenticeship Scheme for 16-25 year olds. All apprentices look to complete NVQ’s or other trade related qualifications to level 3.
STANLEY INFANT/JUNIOR SCHOOL AND CAMP EDUCATION
FACILITIES AND ORGANISATION
The School has over 260 pupils between 3 and 11 years with 17 teachers, a Head Teacher, a Deputy Head Teacher, a Special Needs Coordinator shared with the Community School, a Special Needs Teacher and a team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs).
All teachers are fully-qualified; most are from the UK, there are also Falkland Island teachers, all of whom have trained in the UK. A Speech and Language Therapist spends several days a week in school and there is regular contact with the Hospital. Some subjects are supported by specialist teachers from FICS.
The school has well equipped classrooms, each having two computers and an interactive whiteboard. The school has a computer suite with 24 computers. All computers are networked and have a broadband connection to the internet. The school also has TV, DVD and video facilities. There is a well stocked library and a spacious school hall is used for PE, drama and other activities. Generous funding provides well maintained modern buildings, ample books and equipment and plentiful resource materials. Use is made of the Community School’s playing field, sports hall and indoor heated swimming pool, which is only a short walk away.
Classes are organised in year groups from Foundation Stage 1 to Year 6. Depending on intake numbers, year groups are organised into one or two classes. Current Government policy states that the maximum class size will be 30.
There is no requirement for school uniforms, but school branded clothing is available in the Falklands. It comprises of polo shirts, jogging bottoms and sweatshirts / hoodies embroidered with the school logo.
CURRICULUM AND PASTORAL CARE
The primary curriculum in The Falkland Islands is based on the framework for National Curriculum in England with adaptations to accommodate the local context. In line with England, students take National Curriculum SATs at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 (7 years and 11 years).
There is a large range of after school activities including Brownies & Guides, Cubs, Sea Cadets, Choir, Recorders, Drama, Knitting, Journalism, Watch Group. Past Finders, PE, Netball, Football and Swimming Club.
The School has a vibrant Parents’ Association which supports the school in a variety of ways including raising money. They have donated, amongst a multitude of items, camping equipment, digital cameras, climbing wall and playground tables. The Parents’ Association has raised over £24K in the last 4 years.
Stanley is a small enough community to enable school staff to have regular contact with parents and with appropriate outside agencies. A Speech and Language therapist is attached to the school and an Educational Psychologist visits the Islands from UK.
The Staff are involved in regular meetings with their colleagues in the school and in Camp as well as liaising with staff from the Community School. All parents receive a written report about their children in the third term of the year and parents' consultation evenings are held near the end of each of the first two terms. The ethos of Stanley Infant/Junior School and Camp Education is one of learning and enjoyment. Pupils enjoy going to a school where their educational attainment and welfare are uppermost in the minds of the Head Teacher and staff.
TRAVELLING TEACHERS IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS
In the Falkland Islands the term Camp is used to describe all the rural areas outside Stanley. The Falklands comprise two main islands, East and West Falkland, and several hundred smaller islands, a number of which are inhabited. These islands cover an area about half the size of Wales but are much more spread out. From Stanley in the East to New Island in the West is a distance of some 150 Miles. On East and West Falkland there are about 200 miles of largely un-surfaced roads and travel across Camp is by four wheel drive vehicle, motorbike or horse. Internal air transport is provided by nine-seater Islander aircraft and for many travelling teachers this is a key mode of transport when moving around their “beats”. The terrain is rugged, hilly and can be described as desolate but is dramatic and extremely beautiful. This is the background against which the travelling teacher works.
Camp Education is for all children who do not live in Stanley and is co-ordinated from the IJS site in Stanley. Some children attend two settlement schools at North Arm and Goose Green. Others are educated at home, having a Travelling Teacher for 2 weeks and 4 weeks of telephone lessons and homework. We aim, on the completion of the installation of broadband internet in Camp to eventually use computers instead of telephones for distance learning lessons.
Most Camp children come to live in Stanley House, the boarding hostel when they are 9 or 10 years of age.
A few Camp children live in isolated settlements. Others live on isolated farms. There are 22 pre-school, infant and junior aged children in Camp and the majority are taught by a combination of travelling teacher and telephone lessons. A few pupils are taught in the two settlement schools at Goose Green and North Arm. The Telephone teacher is based in Camp and sometimes Settlement School Teachers are required to provide telephone lessons for some of the more isolated pupils.
Travelling teachers will usually have a “beat” of three locations, the school-aged population at a location will usually be one or two pupils. A teacher will stay at each location for two weeks, so a single circuit of a beat therefore takes about six weeks.
The teacher arrives at the location and will teach in the home, or in a separate ‘schoolroom’ building. Teaching takes place over a 4½ hour teaching day or, in case of pre-school children, will depend on liaison between travelling and telephone staff and also the parents. However, it is essential that teaching staff remain flexible and, within reason, fit in with the day to day requirements of the farm.
Before arriving in Camp the Travelling Teacher is briefed by the pupil's Telephone Teacher on what work has been covered and what the next steps are. Liaison between the Travelling and Telephone Teachers is an essential feature of Camp Education to ensure continuity and progression. Travelling teachers receive a report from the Telephone Teacher at the beginning of a visit and in turn provide a report for the Telephone Teacher at the end of the visit.
Camp based staff may be brought into Stanley for training, workshops and staff meetings and it is arranged that Travelling Teachers will travel through Stanley as a part of their beat. The service retains a house in Stanley for the accommodation of Travelling Teachers when they are in town.
It has been found that teachers who can involve themselves in the life of the farms tend to gain most enjoyment and satisfaction from their visits. Being a travelling teacher is a challenging opportunity and one that is likely to be totally different from anything ever experienced before. It can be a very rewarding experience, and is certainly one that will bring a totally new perspective to life and work as a teacher.
FALKLAND ISLANDS COMMUNITY SCHOOL
The Falkland Islands Community School is a fully inclusive comprehensive school which caters for boys and girls of all abilities between the ages of 11 and 16 as well as providing a resource for the community as a whole. In addition to general classrooms there are two Science Laboratories, a Music Room with three practice rooms and specially designed and equipped rooms for Art, Information Communication Technology, Design Technology, Food Technology and Textiles.
The Community School incorporates the Community Library and exists alongside the Leisure Centre, which is managed separately. The Leisure Centre includes a 25 metre Swimming Pool, Sports Hall, a Squash court and a Cardio-Vascular suite as well as outdoor facilities for football and athletics. The library is well stocked with books divided equally between fiction and non-fiction as well as a varied selection of videos and CD ROMs.
Years 7 to 9
Students transfer from IJS/Camp to the Community School at the start of the academic year in September. On entering the school, students are placed in two mixed ability groups. Setting in English and Mathematics is organised at a later date. Group numbers are smaller than in the UK but currently the largest class size is 21.
The curriculum followed is broadly similar to the National Curriculum studied by pupils in England but the content of the Programmes of Study has been adapted, where appropriate, to take account of the unique opportunities presented by the history and environment of the Falkland Islands. Spanish is taken by all Key Stage 3 pupils.
Years 10 and 11
A full range of curriculum subjects is offered as GCSE examination choices for pupils in Key Stage 4. Core subjects are: English, Mathematics, Science, ICT, PE, PSHE and PDC (Personal Development Curriculum). The remaining subjects offered are preferences, but the curriculum has been broadened to include some vocation GCSEs such as Catering, Health and Social Care and PE Studies.
All students continue to benefit from PSHE courses which include a Falkland Islands citizenship dimension. The community services such as the police, social services and health services input at appropriate times during the course.
Candidates are entered for GCSE examinations set by the examination board deemed best suited by subject leaders: University of Cambridge International Examinations, EDEXCEL , AQA and OCR and WJEC.
All students have the opportunity to gain work experience. With the help of local employers the school has created a data base of work placements. Students choose a placement and apply for the post in just the same way as they would when applying for a realjob. This gives them valuable experience in the correct way to make initial contact with employers, complete application forms and write letters of application and Curricula Vitae. Employers interview the applicants and offer placements. While students are on work experience they are visited by staff from the school. The students keep a diary of their experience.
Two members of staff have responsibility for oversight of the pastoral system. This has recently been reviewed and revised and new programmes of study formulated. Form tutors have a key role to play in the pastoral system to ensure that the safety and well being of students is maintained.
For sporting and other events pupils are divided into three Houses, Fitzroy, Ross and Shackleton. The school has a traditional sports day and swimming gala and there is the annual Tumbledown run
Support for students with SEN is managed by the SENCO who has oversight of the special needs requirements throughout the schooling system. Two specialist special needs teachers one in IJS and another at FICS provide additional support as does the team of Learning Support Assistants. The special needs of students include those with autistic spectrum conditions to the gifted and talented. Wherever possible these students are taught within the mainstream setting.
Students have the opportunity to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities both after school and during the lunch break. The activities offered vary according to teacher interests and strengths Among the activities currently available are, ICT club, hand chimes,
open studio, drama club, music clubs, and a range of sports clubs appropriate to the time of year. Students also take part in camping and other outdoor pursuits, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Falkland Islanders and the children of contract workers who achieve specified qualifications at Level 2 (GCSE and equivalent) can apply for Falkland Islands Government grants to continue their education to Advanced Level/International Baccalaureate and beyond. The majority of students apply to either Peter Symonds' College in Winchester or Chichester College of FE, with whom the Islands has long-standing partnerships. Occasionally parents select other Colleges for which they receive equivalent funding. The Falkland Islands Government generously supports students who qualify for Higher Education courses.
Any member of the community wishing to improve their educational qualifications by gaining additional GCSE examination passes is welcome to join any of the courses on offer at GCSE. The Community School was approved as an Open University Centre in 1996.
Further information is available from the Assistant Director of Education, Education Department, Stanley, Falkland Islands, FIQQ 1ZZ
Tel: 00500 27289
Fax: 00500 27292
Or Falkland Islands Government Office, 14 Broadway, Westminster, London, SW1H 0BH