Targeting our students with the highest cognitive ability enables us to monitor and intervene quickly when our students underperform, when they do not participate in CCAs, or when they feel unchallenged by our school.
This in-depth and targeted intervention and support helps these students remain focussed on achieving excellence and excelling across their subjects. Academic mentors set reading between sessions and discuss personal interests to deepen knowledge on specific fields, whilst encouraging participation in the BaH diplomas and CCA opportunities.
This mentoring culminates in a final assignment, which could be participation in an Oxbridge essay competition, an independent piece of research, or a dissertation on a specialist topic. These are compiled and published annually.
The Bayt al-Hikma programme endeavours to foster partnerships with universities across the world, and regularly invites guest speakers to talk to interested students on specific areas of research and study. We intend to host academic symposiums where students can come together to discuss advances in specific fields of study, and be challenged to think beyond the curriculum through exploring contemporary research and study.
We provide a rich range of resources within the library to facilitate the Bayt al-Hikma programme. These resources are discreetly signposted and available to all students. Students who are exceeding their subjects receive extension reading lists tailored around the learning needs of that specific subject, so students who are exceeding can still push themselves and go beyond the curriculum. Each reading list is carefully designed by the faculty to complement the curriculum within an individual year group whilst extending students beyond it. We strongly encourage parents to purchase any books which are unavailable due to high demand.
A Philosothon is a friendly “competition” held in Year 9 between small teams in which students participate in a series of “Communities of Inquiry” and are judged by the quality of their participation. Students are asked to consider open-ended questions which require an extended response and typically involve appeal to more than one discipline. Students are asked to have a conversation (using the community of inquiry method), in mixed age group teams about a clearly defined philosophical or ethical issue.
There is already evidence of the benefits to children who learn to use the community of inquiry method of learning (Professor Keith Topping, University of Dundee, 2007), and we hope to build further on this evidence. Philosophy is commonly pigeon-holed as a separate discipline but what is particular to Philosophy is that it is not just something that students learn about, but it is something they do. Philosophy is an activity that in a life well-lived (for Socrates this was ‘an examined life’) one learns to perfect. The uses of Philosophy extend, and can be applied, to the full range of subjects. This strongly suggests that those who are given such opportunities will benefit widely from it throughout life.
Learning from educators from top universities around the world, students in Secondary get the opportunity to complete independent courses in areas of their choice. These can teach a range of skills, from coding to project management, and enable any students who want to put the effort in to learn and be tested on new skills in a way that sets them up as creative independent learners for the future. Our intention is for students to leave us as self-motivated learners who develop themselves in new areas and fields of academic research which they will one day become leaders in. Courses students can choose to participate in include:
- King’s College, London - The Science behind Forensic Science
- John Hopkin’s University - Lessons in Public Health Promotion
- Monash University - The Science of Medicines
- Google - Digital Marketing
- Meta - Marketing Analytics
- Erasmus University - Econometrics
- Edinburgh University - Philosophy and Science