Stretching gifted students
At the Royal High School, Bath, we encourage all students to be academically ambitious, curious and intellectually open-minded. Aspire is our whole school academic enrichment programme, designed to challenge and develop students through a series of super-curricular activities. These take place during the school day after 4pm and, occasionally, at weekends or during school holidays.
Aspire is specifically designed to reach beyond the examination specifications in order to broaden horizons, foster thinking and, ultimately, to prepare students to be successful women in their lives beyond the Sixth Form.
In addition to the Aspire programme, we urge all students to support their learning through regular reading. Each term we publish extension reading lists on the school calendar and students can also access these on Firefly, our virtual learning platform. Engaging in regular reading is widely recognised to improve comprehension, analysis, expression and grammar; all essential skills for academic success across the curriculum.
Super-curricular clubs and activities
Each department offers a range of academically challenging activities throughout the year which aims to open up new worlds to the girls, enabling them to deepen their love of whatever area of the curriculum excites them. From ceramics to cosmic rays, GIS mapping to debating, there really is something for everyone.
The Aspire Lectures are super-curricular talks delivered by our highly knowledgeable subject-specialists and external speakers. The Aspire Lectures are an exciting way to impart knowledge about a range of academically challenging topics from across the curriculum and beyond. The lecture programme runs throughout the year, with two sessions per term from 4.15-5pm.
These lectures are compulsory for our academic scholars and Aspire group members, but all students from Years 7 to 13 are encouraged to attend. The lectures are also open to parents, as we welcome the opportunity to share knowledge with the wider school community.
The Aspire Awards are designed to reward academically independent and intellectually curious students who display outstanding wider reading and research skills. The Aspire Awards are annual, one-off financial rewards of up to £100, designed to enable students pursue their academic interests further. Students are invited to apply for an award in the spring term, explaining how they might use this award to further their academic studies, such as for books, supplies and external courses.
Lecture programme 2022-23
|Monday 10 October 2022||Natalie Cheers ‘How the Languages we speak shape our perception of the world’|
|Monday 16 January 2023||Kelly Lycett|
|Monday 13 March 2023||Aspire award holders presentations|
|Monday 15 May 2023||Theme tbc|
|Monday 12 June 2023||Student TED style talks|
The Aspire group is designed for those students who specifically enjoy reading beyond the curriculum, grappling with new ideas and being pushed out of their intellectual comfort zones.
The Aspire group meets regularly to discuss a variety of academically searching topics and current affairs. The girls are asked to challenge their preconceptions, draw upon their knowledge of the world and tackle complex political, social and subject-specific problems in order to build the skills necessary for life-long learning. The Aspire group creates space for students to ‘think around’ subjects in order to inspire and support further research and debate beyond the confines of the classroom. Aspire is taught in four different groups:
Years 7 and 8 Students are selected based on prior academic attainment. Academic scholars in years 7 and 8 are also invited to attend. Termly group meetings are led by our highly motivated Year 12 Aspire group.
Years 9 and 10 - All students in years 9 and 10 are invited to apply for a place within the Aspire group. This opportunity is designed to offer any student the chance to develop their critical thinking and discussion skills. All applicants are required to submit a 500-word personal statement that outlines their own personal interests, wider reading and aptitude for super curricular debate.
Years 11 and 12 - Students are selected to apply for a place within the Aspire group based on their prior academic attainment. Applicants are required to submit a 500-word personal statement that outlines their own personal interests, wider reading and aptitude for super curricular debate.
Yr 12 scholars are also offered a place within the group.
Oxbridge Aspire in Years 12 and 13 - Students wishing to make an Oxbridge application are invited to attend Oxbridge group sessions from February of year 12. These sessions are held fortnightly in the Spring and Summer term of year 12, and weekly in the Autumn term of year 13. The Oxbridge Aspire group helps to prepare applicants for the academic rigour of an Oxbridge application, including pre-assessments, personal statements and interviews.
Natasha in Year 12 is part of the Aspire Programme - here she presents her mini presentation online about anxiety annd mental health during lockdown. She delves into what anxiety actually means and why self care is so important.