Boys achieve highly in a wide range of activities, particularly the gifted and talented. They are supported by plentiful opportunities stretching well into the evening
ISI Inspection 2015
It is our aim to exercise and stretch all of our boys’ minds so they acquire a love for learning. Supplementing the boys’ class-based learning is a broader programme of enrichment designed to nurture and stimulate their developing intellect.
As well as the ambitious and diverse range of visits arranged by individual departments, the Saturday Speaker programme attracts inspiring visitors from all walks of life. Recent talks have included Olympians, adventurers, economists, bomb disposal experts, actors and scientists. Guests spend a great deal of time answering questions from the boys.
By the time boys get to the Fifth Form, they are attending subject-based academic societies (e.g. History Boys, STEP club for gifted Mathematicians, Salon for budding writers and the MFL seminar group for linguists). Debating is lively in the Wildman Society and boys sign up in good numbers to represent their Houses in the Literary and General Knowledge competitions. Junior and Senior Debating teams take part in a range of competitions outside school.
Many boys are invited to attend the various scholarly societies: the Agora for the Third Form, Copeland for the Fourth Form, the newly constituted Whitehead Society for the Fifth Form and Turing for the Sixth Form. The younger boys discuss unrelated topics with a member of staff, whilst Fifth Form and Sixth Form boys make presentations to staff and their peers usually leading to lively debate!
Academic Award holders are invited to attend a Scholars’ Dinner and many will be invited to a Grades Dinner to celebrate those who have performed particularly well in the grading cycles which occur twice termly. Boys who work with distinction over a sustained period may be awarded honorary scholarships and a small number of scholars’ ties are awarded for exceptional performance.
Many boys attend conferences designed for highly able students and also take a trip to Oxford University to get a taste of the very pinnacle of intellectual life at a young age. They also take part in a cross-year group programme to improve their critical thinking skills, and many are encouraged to participate in numerous national and international competitions.
Sherborne boys are not spoon fed; there is a culture here that once we have given them the scaffolding, to paraphrase General Patton, we let them ‘surprise us with their ingenuity’.
We encourage assiduous and frequent questioning and we instil the resolution to improve.
Tim Dawson BSc, Dip Stats Oxon, MA
Head of Scholarship