I hope that you are all staying safe and continuing to work hard during these unusual circumstances. Many of you may have more time available during the day now that you are not having to travel to/from school and are spending more time stuck indoors at home. Why not use some of this ‘extra’ time to explore some academic opportunities beyond your usual taught lessons?
Academic extension is for everyone, and there are so many different forms that it can take: from spending a few minutes exploring some of the ‘What are YOU thinking this week?’ ideas listed below, to entering one of the exciting competitions that are currently open for entries; from following current events (not just Covid-19!), through to thinking and talking more deeply about things that you may be reading, watching or doing in your day-to-day lives. Why not keep a real/digital diary of your thoughts, reflecting briefly each day on anything that has sparked your interest and made you think?
If you are in need of some uplifting music to soundtrack your stay-at-home lives, our wonderful Year 12 students and tutors have shared their ‘feel-good Friday’ tracks and collated them into an unofficial Spotify playlist ‘GSAL Feel Good’ for everyone to enjoy.
The GSAL Journal
Articles of the Week:
An Old-fashioned Room Year 7 students were asked to complete a creative writing task and Oliver Herring (7JAR) went on to produce this wonderful piece of text.
Supposing that everyone in the world really could speak English, would that mean that learning other languages was a waste of time? Following her first essay published in The GSAL Journal on ‘How has warfare changed since WWII?‘, talented Year 12 student Imogen Holbrook (12ADM) returns with this convincing essay written in response to the Newnham College (Cambridge) Modern & Medieval Languages Essay Prize.
Read a wide range of thought-provoking articles in The GSAL Journal, written by GSAL students.
What are YOU thinking this week?
More thinking skills resources are available on The GSAL Journal.
GSAL Earthshot Competition – Open to all students in all year groups, this exciting competition challenges you to find creative solutions to Earth’s problems. Taking inspiration from the official Earthshot Prize established by HRH Prince William in 2019, the brief is to create and communicate an original solution to a chosen Earth problem. Can you repair the Earth before it is too late? Find out more by clicking here, and by watching this short video, or speaking to a member of the geography department. What are you waiting for? Deadline: Friday 24th April 2020.
Students in Year 7-9 who would like to find out more about the 2008 Society can speak to Mr Yates (History) or Mr Dodd (Geography) in school.
Oxbridge Offers – Ten Year 13 students from GSAL are a huge step closer to attending the top two UK universities after receiving offers from Oxford or Cambridge colleges.
All GSAL students who would like to find out more about applying to Oxbridge should register their interest with Mr Yates (History) or Mr Dodd (Geography) in school.
A full listing of academic competitions is available in The GSAL Journal.
[Year 11 & 12] Dukes Education Essay Prize – The Dukes Education Essay Prize is open to all students in Years 11 and 12. It is inspired by the famous entrance test for All Souls College, Oxford, where students write an essay in response to a single word, from the perspective of a specific academic subject. The Prize rewardscreativity, lateral approaches, and engagement with a subject beyond the curriculum. It is a fantastic opportunity to practice university-style assignments, and a prize is a great achievement to discuss on a personal statement. The words for this year’s competition are: Environment – Value – Citizen – Movement – Sequence – Vision – Duty. Students should pick one word as the title of their essay. They can then explore the title from the perspective of one or more academic subjects. How to enter: 1. Choose a title from the seven options above; 2. Write an essay of up to 1,500 words on that title; 3. Submit to dukeseducation.com/essay-submission by the deadline. Click here for more information, or speak to Mr Dodd (Geography) in school. Deadline: 1st June 2020.
[Year 12] Peterhouse Essay Competitions (History, Science & English) – Three prestigious annual essay competitions include Peterhouse’s Vellacott History Prize, the Kelvin Science Prize and the Thomas Campion English Prize. The Peterhouse Essay Competitions are a great opportunity for Year 12 students to start exploring their subject and get a taste of university-level research. It runs every year, with questions released in December and the deadline for entries falling at the end of March. Each competition has a prize pool of £750. Click here to find out more, or speak to Mr Yates (history) or Mr Dodd (geography) in school. Deadline: 20th April 2020.
[Year 7-13] GSAL Earthshot Competition – Open to all students in all year groups, this exciting competition challenges you to find creative solutions to Earth’s problems. Taking inspiration from the official Earthshot Prize established by HRH Prince William in 2019, the brief is to create and communicate an original solution to a chosen Earth problem. Can you repair the Earth before it is too late? Find out more by clicking here, and by watching this short video, or speaking to a member of the geography department. What are you waiting for? Deadline: Friday 24th April 2020.
[Year 9-13] ISSET’s Mission Discovery Summer School – This is an exciting opportunity for ordinary students to do something extraordinary. UK and international students from ages 14 – 18 (Year 9—13) get to work with NASA Astronauts, rocket scientists and NASA personnel for a week. In teams, students will propose an idea for their own science experiment; the best idea will be launched into space and carried out by Astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Deadline: TBC.
[Year 12] EDT Headstart Courses – The Engineering Development Trust (EDT) run successful university taster courses for students aged 16-17 in Year 12 who have an interest in creativity, problem solving, & STEM subjects – for those who want to look at the world, play a part to resolve critical issues to help our environment & create a better world. The courses are designed to increase confidence, help students make well informed decisions about their future & show STEM career paths to be accessible & exciting. Headstart courses range from 3-5 days. Click here to find out more and apply online. Deadline: Various.
[Year – Various] Law at University – For all students interested in studying Law, there is now a dedicated GSAL Law Site updated regularly. In addition, any students in Year 12 who are interested in finding out more about studying Law at university should speak to Mr Yates (history) to express an interest.
A greater selection of wider learning resources are available on The GSAL Journal.
All departments offer a range of subject enrichment opportunities; please speak to your subject teacher to find out more. The following super-curricular opportunities may also be of interest:
Aspire & Widening Perspectives (Sixth Form Enrichment) –Mr Rushworth
Debating Society –Mrs Rees, Mr Morley, Mr Westwood, Miss Simpson
Extended Project Qualification – Mrs Walker
LEAP (Business Enterprise) –Ms Ward
Media Society – Mrs Kurczij
Model United Nations Society –Miss Haigh & Mr Stodolny
The Model United Nations (MUN) takes place on Mondays in Hi5 from 4-5:30pm. Please see CVH or AMS for more information, or the Y13 MUN President and Vice-Presidents: Ted Borland, Amy Alexander, Taskiya Rehman & Aneesh Varma.
Oxford & Cambridge Programme – Mr Yates & Mr Dodd
Public Speaking –Mrs Kurczij
Science Society – Dr Dearden
Mr Chris Dodd
Teacher of Geography
Deputy Head of Academic Extension & Oxbridge