Academic Excellence at Wells Cathedral School

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Academic Excellence

Our Ethos

We believe education should develop the whole child, ensuring that pupils strive for success in their academic studies as well as engage in co-curricular opportunities. Our curriculum is designed around our four key values of: Creativity, Aspiration, Responsibility and Endeavour and strives to ensure that all pupils:

• develop a genuine love of learning and an actively enquiring outlook

• develop a disciplined approach to learning

• are stretched and challenged by what they learn so they make progress

• become confident, creative, resilient and adaptable citizens

• develop communication skills to express their views in written, oral and practical ways

• understand and learn from other cultures and societies.

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Years 7-9

Our broad curriculum allows all pupils to develop skills and interests to enable them to make appropriate choices for their GCSE options. Pupils study Art, Classics, Drama, English, Modern Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Mathematics, Music, Religious Studies, Science and PSHE.

GCSE

In Years 10-11, pupils choose three GCSE options and a Modern Foreign Language in addition to the core subjects of Mathematics, English Language and Literature, Science and Religious Studies. This comprehensive platform keeps A level options open.

Our Curriculum

A Level

Our Sixth Form curriculum gives pupils inspiration and independence along with flexibility and opportunities to help them meet their potential. It caters for pupils who want breadth and variety as well as for those requiring depth and intensity. In addition to A levels, pupils have the opportunity to work for an Extended Project Qualification.

Curriculum Details

For more details, please see the relevant academic handbook on our website https://wells.cathedral. school/handbooks:

• Academic Handbook for Years 7-9

• GCSE Handbook

• A Level Handbook

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Enrichment and Scholarships

Academic Scholarships are awarded to pupils entering Years 7, 9, 10 and Lower Sixth based on their current academic ability and potential. All pupils are invited to take part in our range of academic enrichment opportunities (many are compulsory for our Academic Scholars), which include:

• participation in stretch and challenge within lessons

• access to subject specific enrichment opportunities

• attendance at talks by visiting speakers

• being an academic role model in lessons

• fortnightly Think Tanks (Years 7 to 8)

• fortnightly academic enrichment sessions (Years 9 to 11)

• timetabled academic enrichment lessons (Lower Sixth)

• Oxbridge preparation sessions.

We also offer a Specialist Mathematics programme for pupils with truly exceptional mathematical ability and potential. Please see our Scholarship leaflet for details.

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Pupil Profiles

Emma Edson

What I like most about being an academic scholar is that I get to go to Think Tank to do fun, mindstretching activities. I also have great teachers who challenge me, and I’m encouraged to try my best and to believe in myself. This especially helps me in difficult challenges as I feel that I should give it a go - even if I don’t succeed at first. In lessons I hope to achieve my academic goals and truly be the best I can be. Being an academic scholar has definitely enhanced my time at Wells!

I am studying Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Geology in Sixth Form. Whilst these subjects are similar, they have their differences and are helping me have a much wider knowledge of the world around me. As an academic scholar, I get a wide variety of opportunities to expand my academic horizons; currently I am working on a TED Talk. This is exciting as it is an opportunity to work on skills that I haven’t worked on before such as research methods and public speaking.

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Recent Highlights

Wells pupils have achieved success in many national and international competitions, including:

• Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge

• Campaign for Rural England Major Photography Prize

• Years 9/10 Millfield Maths Team Challenge

• National Geology Competition 2022

• Physics Olympiad

• Chemistry Olympiad

• British Maths Olympiad

• Southampton Junior Maths Challenge 2022.

Recent school activities have included:

• A seminar on “The Poetry, Life and Thought of Samuel Taylor Coleridge” by Literary Historian Stuart Andrews

• A professionally filmed and streamed performance of the examination set text “Our Country’s Good” by Timberlake Wertenbaker by pupils in Years 10+.

• Year 11 Maths Specialists taking IGCSE Maths in January and all achieving Grade 9

• Regular TED-Ed Student Talks

• Engineering Week, in which all pupils in Years 7 - 11 undertook an engineering challenge

• Higher Education Morning for parents and pupils

• Interview Day, in which sixth formers undertook practice interviews with external interviewers

• Dedicated educational trips to various venues in the UK, Europe and Africa

• A visit to the Year 10 Open Day at Lady Margaret Hall College, University of Oxford, to raise aspirations for competitive university applications.

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Next Steps

We start the journey to higher education and offer advice and information on university courses, careers and vocational training that are geared towards each individual pupil. Our UCAS Advisor works closely with pupils as they begin to think about universities and careers. We organise visits to the UCAS fair and Oxford Colleges, practice interviews, work experience, and an information morning with a variety of talks for pupils in Lower Sixth. We have an Oxbridge Programme for Sixth Form pupils with a particularly strong academic profile. Our robust process of grade coaching offers an open process in which pupils are encouraged to participate fully in identifying targets and agreeing on realistic predicted UCAS grades. Our advisor is available if parents or pupils would like to discuss anything with support continuing through to results day and beyond!

Over the past five years, an average of 5-10% of pupils have achieved places at Oxbridge, with around 75% of pupils achieving places at Russell Group universities or conservatoires.

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If you would like to find out more about Wells Cathedral School, please contact our admissions team on 01749 834441 / admissions@wells.cathedral.school or visit our website https://wells.cathedral.school

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