One of Reed’s core values is curiosity; we pride ourselves on instilling a love of learning in every one of our pupils. As such, our objective is to extend and enrich learning at every available opportunity. Our Academic Scholars are selected as ambassadors of this attitude to learning, with a responsibility to form and lead discussion of challenging intellectual ideas across the School. They are under the guidance of our Head of Scholars who is responsible not only for the progress of our Academic Scholars, but also for stretching all of our pupils intellectually and imbuing them with a desire to know more about the world which they inhabit.
Academic Scholars are challenged and nurtured at all stages of their school career. Their progress is monitored closely – particularly through the use of their Notebook, in which they archive their thoughts and chart their progress through academic challenge – helping them discover a particular subject or subjects of interest and encouraging them to fulfil their potential. An important part of this is ensuring that every teacher is aware of the personal strengths and needs of the Scholars in their classes and that lessons are adapted accordingly.
We strive to provide an appropriately challenging environment outside the classroom too, to stretch our most academically able pupils. To assist in this goal, we host an Epicureans Society meeting once a week, where Academic Scholars from all year groups meet to encounter challenging academic ideas and skills found beyond the curriculum, as well as to learn from one another. We also run a vibrant and broad academic extra-curricular programme that is second to none, to offer a stimulating sense of the wide range of academic and intellectual possibilities open to our pupils. To help Scholars navigate these opportunities, they have an ‘Academic 100’ competition, with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for how many achievements are completed across the year.
“As an Academic Scholar I'm given the licence to further my learning and the rewards for doing so.”
Hayden M, Lower Sixth Form
"It's great to be given the opportunity to challenge yourself and think at a higher level, without being set hours and hours of extra work."
Joshua G, Fifth Form
Inspiration within the classroom
Teachers at Reed’s use a variety of methods to extend and enrich our academic pupils in the classroom. These range from embedding challenge exercises into every lesson plan; setting specific enrichment tasks as an extended prep; linking learning objectives to higher order skills, such as evaluation, comparison, and synthesis; encouraging flipped learning wherever possible allowing our most able pupils to explore a topic for themselves before it is covered in class.
Every department has a ‘Stretch and Challenge’ page on our Virtual Learning platform. These include reading lists, podcasts, TED talks, videos and the like for eager pupils to explore beyond the syllabus.
Enrichment beyond the classroom
Outside of timetables lessons, there are many opportunities for enrichment beyond the classroom. Scholars attend at least one Society or department trip per term from a wide choice ranging from the Classics Society to Introducing Philosophical Thought to the Medical Society.
Scholars take part in a number of internal and external competitions in which our pupils often win key accolades. For example, recent successes have been obtained in the Oxford Debating contest, the Erasmus Essay Competition, Maths in Motion Challenge and the Oxford Classical Essay Competition.
An annual lecture is delivered by a world class expert in their field and followed by a formal Scholars dinner. Departments invite external speakers to the school on a regular basis and we have hosted a number of prestigious visitors. Pupils frequently have the opportunity to attend lectures in venues like the Royal Geographic Society in London.
The Epicureans’ Society is run by the Head of Scholars as a series of seminars. Examples of recent topics include: Cryptography, Game Theory, the Ethics of Psychological Experiments, and Marxism.