The key to success in education and the workplace is to be surrounded by inspiring and competent people who can give you the tools you need to reach their level, as well as the resources to do so.
Our aim is first of all to ensure that the children know and understand what they need from the curriculum to pass their SATS, GCSEs and A-levels in order to satisfy the requirements of the education system.
Yet more importantly to we seek to braoden their minds – to get them to want to learn and love learning by putting them in an environment with highly educated, motivated and intelligent teachers who have been successful in education and the workplace.
Teaching staff include a mixture of highly qualified teachers, graduate students and other professionals who are keen to encourage children from all, and especially disadvantaged, backgrounds in to their professions such as engineering, the sciences, law and writing. We take those who are not professional teachers intentionally because many children would not otherwise be exposed to such high level professionals in their day to day lives, and these motivated, successful people have a wealth of specialist knowledge not taught in schools. We hope the children will be inspired by these people.
Examples of what we have done outside of the curriculum include training children for the Maths Challenge which can eventually lead on to the Maths Olympiad and introducing some very basic ideas from number theory. One of our teachers was a philosophy graduate and tried teaching basic propositional logic and reasoning skills. Just before the last term ended, we started a program of reading classic English literature in the oldest classes and initiated a debating club. We also have an ambitious program in development to organize work experience and internships at big city firms, engineering companies and civil service institutions to show children what they can achieve if they put their minds to it.
Finally, we want members of the community involved. They might teach, or act as classroom assistants or offer work experience or supervise behaviour – anything that gets parents involved with their children's education.