We have extremely high aspirations for each child within our school and this is further promoted by the many opportunities offered to pupils through our Aspire Higher Programme.
What is the Aspire Higher Programme?
The Aspire Higher Programme is a specialised educational programme geared towards stretching and challenging all pupils, and in particular the academically able, providing them with opportunities to develop themselves as learners through all stages of their education and providing them with the tools with which to fulfil their aspirations and to help “Build a Bright Future for All”.
Who Can Participate?
At Colchester High School all children are valued for their individual strengths, talents and interests, whether this is in the core curriculum subjects or in any other areas of their learning. The Aspire Higher Programme is therefore open to all pupils with aspirations to achieve their high intellectual potential and is especially suitable for Scholars or those pupils who are identified as More Able and Talented.
Our Senior School Scholars are expected to attend a wide range of activities and events which form part of the Aspire Higher programme. They are provided with teacher mentors, guided by the Senior School Academic Lead, to ensure that their intellectual potential and interests are developed. Pupils are encouraged to explore and immerse themselves in their passions and expected to demonstrate their love of learning through the creation of a Personal Portfolio/Log of Academic Excellence.
How Does It Work?
Pupils are afforded opportunities to:
- Undertake higher order thinking challenges (such as Bebras computational thinking tasks and NRich activities)
- Assume Service, Community and Leadership roles (Sports Leaders, Diana Anti-Bullying, Literacy Leaders, Eco Schools)
- Participate in Nationally recognised accreditations including:
- The Eco Schools Initiative
- The Arts Awards
- The Crest Awards
- The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
- English Speaking Board
- Beyond Education Being Human – a Nutrition and Cookery Social Enterprise
- Attend lectures and Presentations from Guest Speakers (including poets, critics, journalists, scientists, economists)
- Investigate the role of Democracy and political action and our role in creating a fairer more equitable society.
- Participate in local and national debating competitions.
- Take positions of leadership within the CHS community (School council, mentoring, tutoring)
- Lead the Pupil Voice Programme (Academic Mentors, Digital Champions, Culinary Connoisseurs, Global Citizens, Marketing and Media “Newshounds”, Pastoral Mentors)
- Implement community programmes exploring sustainability, diversity and equality, ethical and social action and entrepreneurship to help drive positive change.
These skills provide invaluable experiences to build confidence, resilience and articulation which develop our pupils as a whole individual.
How Does The Programme Fit into The Curriculum?
The programme works in addition to our normal enriching curriculum which ensures that all our pupils are stretched and challenged through the incorporation of:
Extension through Competition At CHS we encourage our pupils to participate in school, local and national competitions to deepen their understanding of a subject and provide recognition of their achievements.
- Cross Curricular Enrichment Activities – pupils are encouraged to explore the interconnectedness of subjects in real life situations.
- Learning by Questioning: We use a variety of teaching styles and a range of higher-level questions to stimulate critical thinking skills, notably philosophy, ethics, reasoning and the creation of ‘Big ideas’.
- Digital Literacy – Using their 1-2-1 devices, our pupils benefit from the use of technology to support and enhance their learning, inspire creativity and collaboration and provide our pupils with the 21st century digital skills required for the future.
- The Wellesley Award – our own Character Development Programme, which encourages our pupils through participation in a wide range of enrichment opportunities, to focus on personal character development, cultivate a sense of citizenship, embrace the creative arts and manage their mental and physical wellbeing to meet the demands of an ever changing global world.
- Inspiring Futures Programme – Under the Inspiring Futures Programme, Year 11 pupils are given the opportunity to develop life skills that will support their progress through further education and into the working world. They will have the opportunity to attend seminars on communication, careers opportunities, leadership, creativity and emotional intelligence and receive training and guidance in professional social networking and Sixth Form taster lessons.
Gateway to an Exciting Future
The Aspire Higher Programme together with our curriculum provides a firm academic foundation for pupils and helps to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, whilst building leadership skills and developing resilience, perseverance and a growth mindset for the world beyond school.
Every year we are proud to announce to have pupils who are nominated for the ISA Whitbread Memorial prize, which recognizes and celebrates outstanding involvement in, and service to, the wider aspect of school and community life, in conjunction with achieving academic excellence in GCSE Exams.