Berkhamsted Group, Sixth Form | 21.03.2024

Why AI? Berkhamsted Sixth’s new Super-curricular AI Course  

Why AI? Berkhamsted Sixth’s new Super-curricular AI Course  

To prepare students for success in a rapidly evolving world, they must be exposed to the latest technological advancements that will shape their future careers. With this in mind, Berkhamsted Sixth in Hertfordshire recently introduced a Year 12 Super-curricular course in Artificial Intelligence, a rare opportunity for students to learn useful skills and knowledge in this exciting field.  

Designed by Assistant Head of Berkhamsted Sixth, Anna Chatwin, and Consultant, Mo Tanweer, the Super-curricular course familiarises students with Artificial Intelligence and its benefits/risks. During the course, students have engaged in powerful debates about the ethics of AI, they’ve considered how their future careers may be impacted- for better or worse- by the technology and have begun to explore with a hands on approach towards different AI software to make students aware of the pros and cons of using AI, how they can use it to improve their studies, and what the ethical debates are.  

When asked why they signed up for the course, one student said, “AI is not only useful for revision and exams, it’s going to grow with us. AI will become a big part of the industries we want to work in, so it’s important to have an idea of its capabilities and risks”.  

Another student was already considering how the course and the future skills gained from it could benefit her career, “I’m interested in the ethics of AI in Medicine and how it will influence the decisions I have to make, like when to turn off life support machines”.  

Mo and Anna echoed students’ sentiments about the vital role AI will play in the future. “If you look at the changes that are happening in the world and what’s happened in the last 12 months, AI has gone from a peripheral buzzword to a dictionary word of the year during 2023,” Mo says, “The course is about learning how can we harness all of the good parts of AI while limiting and putting guardrails around the bad stuff”.  

According to a Forbes survey of over 600 businesses, 56% are using AI to improve and perfect business operations, and this is only expected to grow by the time our Sixth Formers enter the working world. These technological advancements mean that most current school students will end up working in roles that do not yet exist, making it essential that we innovate our curriculum to teach students how to safely, effectively, and responsibly use this technology to make positive change.  

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