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The pupils' learning is characterised by persistence, resilience, excellent collaborative work and effective organisation. ISI Report, January 2015

The College’s main focus is to provide its pupils with high-quality learning opportunities, which provide them with the necessary skills and attitudes to be the best learners they can be.

All aspects of the curriculum and learning are regarded as equally important to the boys’ holistic development, as the College aims to prepare them ‘not just to make a living, but to make a life’. Learning is based always on high academic expectations, quality experiences, and enjoyment and engagement in the learning process.

All boys are expected to achieve the highest possible level of academic success and personal growth. They are encouraged to do this through self-review and target-setting. At Key Stage 3, the College has introduced an A* grade to encourage its more able students to challenge themselves to their ‘own best standard’. There is, understandably, an emphasis on the core skills of English and Mathematics, but the curriculum offers boys a broad range of subjects to develop their interests and skills. Cross-curricular links, connecting subject knowledge and skills, support the holistic development of boys’ learning further.

Learning at St Columba’s focuses on being challenging and inspiring for all. Lessons are interactive, providing opportunities for boys to be involved through teamwork and activities, which encourage them to think creatively, to debate opinions confidently and to work independently. There is an emphasis on encouraging boys to take responsibility for their learning and to promote self-confidence, perseverance and self-discipline, and the skills of critical thinking and collaboration. Skills and positive attitudes to learning are fostered through Attitude to Learning Points, awarded by teachers in all lessons for qualities, such as ‘resilience’, ‘perseverance’ or ‘creativity’.

Enjoyment and engagement are key features of learning and the College believes all pupils should be happy and secure in their learning environment. Class activities and the use of new technologies draw boys into the learning process and allow them to take ownership of their learning. Opportunities to explore the subjects in more depth and extend their knowledge beyond the taught curriculum inspire the boys and curriculum topics excite their interest as well as developing their understanding of the twenty-first century world.