The Dolphin Project Qualification (DPQ)
Further examples of excellence were seen in pupils' submissions to the Dolphin Project Qualification (DPQ) that aligns the development of core skills with pupils' particular interests.
ISI Report June 2021
At Dolphin we have embraced Project-based learning as it encourages our children to take more ownership of their progress and development and it gives us the freedom to adapt our syllabus, to keep it current and in align with pupil interests. It focuses on the active development and assessment of core skills such as Communication, Collaboration, Leadership, Independence and Creativity and is assessed continuously, rather than terminally. It blends content mastery, meaningful work, and personal connection to create a powerful learning experience, in terms of both academic achievement and personal growth. It gives our pupils the opportunity to gain skills that are valuable in today’s life, such as how to take initiative, work responsibly, solve problems, collaborate in teams, communicate ideas and meet deadlines.
The teaching methods and assessment framework for our Dolphin Project Qualification have been built around our Core Values and these are explicitly taught during the projects:
- Kindness (collaboration and teamwork)
- Freedom (autonomy and independence)
- Discovery (gathering, synthesizing and analysing information)
- Challenge (generating and selecting ideas, developing questions)
- Confidence (communicating with clarity and precision)
Assessment becomes more meaningful as the focus is on the process rather than the outcome. The pupils put together a portfolio, with the support of their teachers and mentors, which is then assessed holistically. “You don’t need to be top of the class to do well in the DPQ!”
The Dolphin curriculum has academic excellence at its heart and continues to promote our pupils’ love of learning. Our project-based learning approach, which begins in the Early Years and culminates in the Project Qualification means that learning can happen through guided discovery rather than the passive intake of knowledge. It teaches our children how to think, rather than what to think.