At Colchester High School we pride ourselves on the all-round excellence of our education, preparing our children to meet the challenges of the real world and become valued contributors in their workplace and in society.
We believe that speaking and listening are two of the most valuable skills we can teach. That’s why we are one of only a few schools in the area to have been registered as an English Speaking Board Centre.
This means we can prepare our pupils to write, deliver and listen to presentations, lead discussions, manage groups of participants, make a useful contribution as audience members and analyse a piece of text. And it means that our children can not only work their way through nationally recognised qualifications (the Advanced Certificate is equivalent to up to 65 UCAS points on a university application), but also develop valuable life skills and grow enormously in confidence.
This is something we offer as part of the curriculum in Year 7, as an optional lunchtime club to Years 10 and 11, and as an after-school club to Years 3 to 6. The results have been outstanding. In February 2016, 40 of our Year 7 children entered the Senior Introductory Exam with 25 achieving a Distinction – the highest possible mark available. Our younger boys and girls did similarly well, with 12 out of 15 awarded Distinction at their exam level. And in Years 10 and 11 we saw four Distinctions and six Merits.
We have also seen wider success, with CHS reaching the final of the Business and Professional Women’s Public Speaking Competition, one of our pupils winning the District Award for Best Chairman, and another nominated as one of the top speakers in the country for his age group. It’s a real point of difference for the school.