On Monday 24th October, around 100 students attended the first session of this year's High Flyer academic programme, ably led by Aspire Champions from our school Sixth form.
This programme aims to give students the experience of university-style learning. Aspire Champions teach university-style tutorials to small groups of students, based around supra-curricular topics designed to stretch and challenge students.
At the end of the programme, students will complete a final assignment of 1500 words, which will be marked in university style, with pupils receiving a first, 2:1, 2:2.
The first session focused on study skills and linked to requirements of top universities. Every Monday, students will attend weekly tutorials led by Aspire Champions and supervised by senior staff over the 5 weeks of the programme.
In this year’s project, students will consider why some books are, or have been, banned and decide if there are any valid reasons for a ban to be imposed.
They will research acclaimed writers from a range of time periods and countries to decide whether or not to 'cancel' them.
Should a writer's personal beliefs, which may differ from our own values, affect our enjoyment of their works? Is it still acceptable to read older texts with attitudes and values today's readers find outdated or offensive?
Students will play detective, judge and jury to decide which authors are worth reading today and which should be removed from bookshelves nationwide.