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Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (COPE) at Camborne Science and International Academy

Course description

CoPE aims to assess and develop a student’s personal skills. Through a series of projects, students will find themselves challenged in a variety of ways e.g. personal confidence, team working skills, learning how they learn, presenting skills, debating and researching. Students learn how to interact in an adult like manner and are encouraged to shoulder a high level of responsibility for their learning. Through this student driven curriculum, learners experience projects that are beyond the normal experiences of a classroom, in doing so, developing as a young adult, enriching their CV and increasing their employability.

Students will have regular access to computers to produce quality portfolio evidence. At least two out of the three timetabled lessons will be based in a computer suite. When not in a computer room, students will be taught in a utilitarian classroom, which can be set up to adopt many different teaching and learning methods.

Course content

CoPE is an optional course for students entering Key Stage four; students can enter the course at level 2 or three. Level 2 equates to a GCSE standard award at grade B GCSE. Level 3 equates to an A grade at AS level. ASDAN is the name of the course provider.

Students on this course are provided with structure and taught how to access the skill based assessment criteria. Lesson content is focused on the process and the assessment criteria rather than set topics. At all times, students are encouraged to choose their own topics whilst progressing through the skills based assessments.

In a mixed ability class, the lessons will be structured according to level 2 progress. Level 3 students participate fully in the introduction of each skill assessment but work predominantly independently for the remainder of these lessons, receiving 1:1 support regarding their challenge progress. When assessment criteria and portfolio development is being taught, level 3 students take part in these activities, they are taught how to access level 3 criteria which are expansions on level 2. Level 3 and level 2 students discuss challenges and progress together and the focus is on a supportive and equal atmosphere within the class. Lots of activities focus on evidence development, class ethics, peer assessment and support. A mature and responsible attitude is taught and expected.


The topic and length of each challenge are chosen by the students. The teacher supports students in choosing the skill assessments for the students’ chosen challenges.

Level 3 challenges can vary in length. They can constitute either 20, 30 or 50 hours. Students have to complete 150 hours (15 credits) in total.

Six personal skills are assessed: Oral Presentation, Discussion, Research, Working with Others, Improving Own Learning and Performance, Problem Solving. The topics they choose for their challenges can be exceptionally broad but need to adhere to guidelines.

There is no exam for this course. Students complete a detailed portfolio of their progress Portfolio evidence needs to indicate a level of personal responsibility and learning that is worthy of a Grade A at AS level.

Certain topics lend themselves more naturally to different skill assessments and different lengths of time. Please see the examples shown below of suitable level 3 challenges:

  • Topic – Decide which A levels to take; Assessment – Problem Solving; 20-30 hours
  • Topic – Produce a Talent Show for Charity; Assessment – Working with others, possibly discussion; 50 hours
  • Topic – Produce a detailed analysis addressing the question: Has bullying got worse over the past 20 years?; Assessment – Research, Discussion, Oral presentation; 20-30 hours
  • Topic – Learn how to be a coach with the aim of leading a 6 week rugby training programme in a primary school; Assessment – Improving own Learning and performance; possibly research; 50 hours
  • Topic – Learn Spanish and achieve a grade A; Assessment – Improving Own Learning and Performance; 50 hours
  • Topic – Answer the question: Is the War in Iraq Just or Unjust?; Assessments – Research, Oral Presentation and Discussion; 30-50 hours.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Camborne Science and International Academy directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2015

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