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Academic enrichment

We encourage Gordon's students to develop an approach to study which gives them the will and capacity to continue learning throughout their lives. Whilst on the journey to Sixth Form and beyond students should encounter learning that is increasingly challenging and teachers should encourage them to develop scholarship in their preferred subjects, rather than simply restricting their thinking to the demand of published syllabuses.

A central pillar of this drive is our Scholars' Programme which seeks to draw together the many strands of opportunity for scholarship open to our most able students.

gordon's scholars' programme 

The programme is founded upon academic progression within the school and this, of course, forms the basis for success. Having said this, true greatness within academia is much more than this and goes well beyond the standard curriculum. There are three strands:

• Looking up –Activities designed to develop students academically e.g. via departments and Period 7 academic activities such as Latin.

• Looking out –Activities of a competitive nature inside and outside of school designed to develop skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and communication.

• Looking forward –Activities designed to enable students to plan and prepare for a high-achieving future and to gain the required experience, e.g. attending insight talks.

We aim to deliver these opportunities and to direct our students along unique, bespoke pathway, encouraging them to move from being simply good towards truly great. In support of this initiative, students will receive regular information about upcoming events both within Departments and across the wider school which are designed to extend students’ learning and stretch their intellectual understanding. 

For more information on our Scholars' Programme please contact Mr P Schofield who leads our programme.

we also recognise that all our students deserve the very best opportunities in order to excel in their lives and to reach their full academic potential.

High academic expectations are a hallmark of Gordon’s but we believe in more than just good examination results, students should become increasingly engaged in learning and the world around them. With this in mind most Period 7 and subject-based opportunities are available for all students to extend their learning and go beyond what is expected. See our co-curricular section for more details.

Wider Reading 

As with all extension programmes, there needs to be a strong foundation in the wider reading that students undertake in their own time. The most beneficial reading a student can do would be based in the subject(s) they intend to follow at University. This will allow them to deepen their understanding and develop a significant advantage over their peers both on application and at interview. Please click here to view a detailed subject based list of wider reading ideas, compiled by Trinity College Cambridge.

For a more general education in topics as diverse as philosophy and the history of ideas through to political systems and social commentary, please make use of the Penguin Great Ideas series available in the school library. Please click here to view a selected list of available texts.

Lecture Programme

Please click here for more information.


There are also a number of Radio 4 podcasts based around the history of ideas which we would strongly recommend students listen to. These explore some fundamental ideas and principles around which social, political, economic and cultural norms have evolved. Please click the podcasts below to listen.