A key aspect of being an academic scholar at Stamford is being part of a community of scholars, which meets regularly throughout their time at the school, from Year 7 through to Year 13. Academic scholars are expected to take a lead and be role models in the classroom, engaging positively in lessons, demonstrating intellectual curiosity and showing independence and initiative in their approach to academic work in school and at home.
Year 7/8 Scholars
The aim of the sessions at this age is to broaden the scholars’ horizons, challenge their thinking and encourage questioning and the students really enjoy the variety of activities on offer. Examples of activities include: a talk on the future of aviation by a Year 13 Extended Project Qualification student; listening to Year 9 scholars present their individual scholars’ projects; study of how brains perform and respond to different methods of training and assessing the impact of vocabulary breadth of educational outcomes.
All scholars are given the Scholars’ Challenge, a list of ideas and suggestions to stimulate intellectual curiosity and looking beyond the curriculum.
Year 9 Scholars
Work on an individual project during the spring term. They are encouraged to choose their own academic topic, do some research and present their project with a bibliography and evaluation. Recent topics: “Why and how does PTSD have an impact on the brain?”; “Is Vladimir Putin one of the world’s sanest leaders?”; “How does language affect personality?”
Year 10+ Scholars
As academic scholars move up the school, meetings begin to focus more on encouraging students to develop their enthusiasm for particular academic fields and gain experience in talking about what they are interested in through individual projects and presentations to the group; students are also actively encouraged to contribute to the Stamford Endowed Schools’ blog to build up a digital portfolio. In Years 10 and 11, we begin to look at A-Level choices and all options post 16 with the school’s Higher Education tutors, discussing what makes a successful university application and introducing the concept of supra-curricular reading. For Year 11, there’s also a visit to Christ’s College, Cambridge to encourage intellectual ambition and kick-start their thinking about what sort of university experience or course might suit them. Older scholars are provided with an ‘Academic Extension’ booklet that every department has contributed to. This contains a wealth of ideas about how to push beyond the everyday curriculum.
As academic scholars, students are given a scholars’ log or portfolio at the start of Year 7, which serves as a record of their academic progress and extra-curricular activities throughout their time at the school. Scholars have regular opportunities to discuss their scholars’ log or portfolio with the Head of Scholars and from Year 10 upwards may have an annual one-to-one interview with the Head of Scholars or Higher Education tutor to discuss their contribution to the academic life of the school and explore their choices and options for the future.