The word 'Scholarship' at St John's is not just a noun, it is considered a verb also.
When we talk about the concept of scholarship, we mean the process of learning, the choices a child makes in their learning, the risks he is able to take and the questions he is courageous enough to ask. When learning is at its most effective, it requires pupils to be thoroughly engaged, active participants in their own learning journey. This is why we offer the wide range of learning opportunities we do at St John's: to challenges students as much as possible in new and innovate areas.
Lessons at St John's for children of all ability aim to develop their knowledge of a subject but much more, they aim to develop in each individual an ability to understand the subject and apply this understanding in a variety of concrete and abstract contexts.
In Year 7, students invited to join the 'Scholarship Seminar Group'. Importantly, this group is not chosen by ability but rather on a willingness to challenge themselves even further intellectually. The group meets approximately 4 to 5 times each term for a seminar hosted by a range of eminent speakers on topics that are not ordinarily part of a preparatory school curriculum. By attending the group, each pupil is undertaking to prepare for this seminar by reading or reflecting on pre-material prior to each session. The purpose of each seminar is for students to learn collaboratively rather than be 'taught' further by the tutor. The success of their learning depends entirely on the quality of their preparation.
In offering students this opportunity in way we do, we are aiming to develop their ability to listen actively, to learn collaboratively and value the contributions of their peers.
Recent topics have included:
The Rwandan War: How it was caused and how it will affect the future of Africa (Dr Michael Gray: Director Studies at Harrow School)
What is History and How Is It Measured? (Professor Paul Kosmin: Harvard University)
AI: What are the Legal and Conceptual Challenges Ahead: Dr Laurence Newport (Royal Holloway University)
Ancient Roman Origins of Modern Medicine: Dr Matthew Johncock: Wellington College
Victorian Literature and the Work of Gerard Manley Hopkins sj: Professor Michael Hurley: Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge and ex-pupil of St John's.
Other topics have included: The Human Brain: what are emotions and how are they created?, An Introduction to Philosophy and Critical Thinking