Gifted and Talented Programme
The most able pupils are well known to staff and they are encouraged to develop higher order thinking and reasoning skills.
ISI Report, January 2015
The extra-curricular learning programmes at St Columba’s College are designed to appeal to, and to include, those students who have a thirst for knowledge.
It is also the case that many of the students involved are very talented individuals, but a passion for finding things out is the main entry criterion.
From Forms 1 to 3, the ‘I Wonder!’ Programme seeks to engage students with all manner of challenging and thought-provoking topics and activities, from Deep Space Exploration to Classical Architecture.
From Form 4, the Prestigious Universities Programme provides wonderful opportunities for students to learn beyond the curriculum. This wider learning supports their applications to the top universities and is designed to be stimulating to the fastest learners. Topics which have been available in the last few years have included written and spoken Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, and explorations of the history and culture of the nations who speak those languages. In development is a series of workshops based on Richard Feynman’s theory of Quantum Electrodynamics for the scientifically minded of our more able students.
Applicants to Oxford and Cambridge are allocated an Oxbridge mentor – a subject specialist, who supervises the wider reading and additional attention that such applications require. In particular, the subject mentor supports the applicant through tests specific to an individual university, and also the tests for wider university applications in Law (LNAT) and Medicine (BMAT).
Available to all age groups is the ‘In Search Of…’ Programme, which each year follows an important historical personality and themes the learning appropriately. Recently, ‘In Search of Leonardo’ culminated in trips to Paris and Milan, as students consolidated their year-long learning about Leonardo Da Vinci. Teachers from all departments contribute specialist knowledge to the programme from all their different areas.
At St Columba’s College, the extra-curricular learners soon come to realise that they can pursue their curiosity in any direction they please with the full support of academic specialists, and that the sky is very much not the limit!