Every year, First Year Specialists (Year 13) spend some of their summer holidays writing Research Essays on academic subjects of their own choosing. Members of staff advise them as they develop interesting research projects, suggesting further reading and lines of enquiry, but the experience is designed to prepare all of our pupils for the self-directed study and writing which will be so crucial in their coursework, at University and beyond. Some of our pupils do find this challenging, learning valuable lessons about, for example, setting achievable goals and managing their own time effectively. Many of them, however, discover that they are able to write to a very high standard without adult intervention. Some pupils excel once they are given the room to develop their own ideas and break through to attain a standard that they have not previously achieved. This becomes a significant foundation stone on which to build further significant academic achievements.
The essays below were awarded distinctions.