There is a strong belief at Epsom that no child should be left behind. Whether on the field, the stage, in the studio or the classroom, we support every pupil in all their endeavours. We are determined to help each pupil fulfil their academic potential.
All teachers and tutors believe in the concept of the ‘growth mindset’, the inspiring idea that one’s intelligence, talent, knowledge and ability can always be improved with effective learning and practice.
Aim high, work hard.
Our teaching is based on the belief that we can never know how far pupils might go or how high they might fly. It is important that young people break free of any self-imposed limits of what they can achieve and instead aim high and work hard.
Academic excellence is our core aim; we devote hours of energy and thought into becoming better and more skilled teachers, and to ensuring that our pupils have every possible opportunity to advance and excel.
To that end, we provide pupils with every opportunity to soar while at our school; to acquire the skills, knowledge and discipline to succeed in the world’s most exacting careers and universities.
Below is just a flavour of what our academic enrichment programme provides our pupils.
The Cultural Hour is time, each day, dedicated to artistic and cultural events. It provides pupils with the chance to gain insight into ideas, activities and lives they may never have experienced. In recent years, students have enjoyed presentations and lectures from poets, critics, journalists and captains of industry.
Providing students with insight.
“The Cultural Hour broadens our pupils’ experience of the world,” explains Mr Nick Russell, Head of Sixth Form. “To meet and listen to experts across various fields is inspiring, and it gives students an insight into worlds and lives far beyond the Epsom community.”
“Listening is a hugely important skill, and one that is much underrated: those who listen, learn. The Cultural Hour hones this skill and is the catalyst for further student research and enquiry.”
Enrichment for every year group.
All academic departments lead an event as part of the Cultural Hour at some point over the academic year, and this guarantees a wide, varied and inclusive programme. In addition, the system is carefully planned to ensure that there is something suitable for every year group just about every week.
The Lord Rosebery Lectures are a series of presentations from inspirational people and leaders from across the cultural spectrum, giving pupils unrivalled opportunities to questions and to learn.
In addition, many subjects and our PSD (Personal Social Development) programme invite experts to give seminars and presentations on a wide variety of specialist subjects.
An extraordinary range of speakers have visited the College over the last three years: authors, scientists, broadcasters, poets and dieticians, and there have been multiple events including theatre productions, quizzes and interactive displays.
Recent highlights have included Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England and named by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential 100 people. He delivered a lecture on the unpredictability of modern macroeconomics which has entered a new paradigm since the financial crisis of 2008-9.
Less well-known, but no less inspiring, was Angus Kennedy, the world’s leading expert on chocolate and confectionery. He gave fascinating insights into this ever-growing global industry – and supplied free sweets.
Provocative and challenging.
Inspiring for different reasons, was the literary critic Jim McCue who delivered a lecture entitled ‘There are no Human Rights.’ At the outset, virtually every student vehemently disagreed with the proposition, but after listening carefully to the arguments there was a vote, and over half had been persuaded that human rights were a fanciful and potentially dangerous concept.
Regardless of whether or not one agrees with Jim’s proposition, this was a clear demonstration of the power of academic enrichment at Epsom.
It is an absorbing process to hear an argument that is so powerful that it changes the way you think and view the world.
Individualised Academic Projects fulfil various purposes. First, they allow any student to follow an area of academic interest and explore that topic in real depth. The topic chosen can be entirely free from the school curriculum but the task is agreed with a member of staff.
The projects pursued in recent years have been wonderful and wildly different. They have ranged from ‘The Impact of Charles II on British Theatre’ to ‘3D Printing and its effects on Modern Medicine’.
The level of independence shown in the students’ research is comparable to university study.
Developing academic writing.
Not only do our pupils acquire lots of unique knowledge, they also learn valuable lessons about academic writing; particularly the need to structure substantial pieces of work, the desirability of citing supportive authoritative sources, and of the need to write with clarity and in a measured tone.
As part of the process, students present their project and field questions. Discussing their area of interest with their peers and leading members of staff is excellent practice for university interviews, and helps foster a culture of academic respect and enquiry.
The Core Curriculum for Sixth Form students extends their knowledge and skill beyond their chosen subjects, providing academic breadth and essential preparation for life beyond the College.
Before joining the Sixth Form, in addition to choosing three A-level subjects, students are required to choose from a range of Core Curriculum options. These are:
- Global Perspectives and Research
- Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
- English – Advanced Placement qualification
- Mathematics – Level 3 Mathematics in Context
- Modern Language options in French, German, Spanish or Mandarin
- Young Enterprise
More information can be found on our Sixth Form pages. Read more.
We provide a huge array of clubs and societies, across almost every academic discipline, as part of our co-curricular programme.
These are designed to spark further and deeper interest, and range from STEM and Junior Science to Debating, Computer Focus and Economics and Enterprise.
Pupils are actively encouraged to take part in competitions such as the Science Olympiads and in Oxbridge essay writing competitions – and Epsom students have had success in both these areas in recent years. There is also a thriving debating culture as evidenced through the popular Darbyshire Debating Competition.