At Cheltenham College, we seek to provide intellectual challenge for all pupils through the daily curriculum. There is also a huge range of extension activities offered during the afternoons and in the evenings, and our philosophy is to be democratic: there is no elite Gifted and Talented group from whom some students are excluded. Nevertheless, the strength of our pastoral system is that every pupil's intellectual interests and ambitions are known both by the Housemaster/-mistress and by the tutor, and those highest achieving pupils will be given a firm nudge towards these extension activities.
During a pupil's five years at College (for those arriving in Third Form), we want to chart a course towards independent study and thought. The tutorial programme starts to address study skills from the initial weeks of Third Form, and regular preps (homework) will give pupils the opportunity to plough their own furrow, often offering a choice of tasks to accomplish a particular academic goal. We want Cheltonians to assume responsibility for their own learning, and to discover how and when they learn most effectively. This is particularly important for those who wish to attend evening events, as prep must be fitted in to 'free' time earlier during the day. However, there is always the 'safety net' of tutor and Housemaster/-mistress to provide structure for those who require it. There can be no question at College of pupils being left to drift academically.
Forms of Academic Extension
College displays the following forms of academic extension:
- Within lessons, class teachers set a range of tasks to provide a suitable challenge for pupils' differing abilities. Sometimes, pupils will be given a choice of task to complete.
- Academic Societies and other events take place several times a week during the afternoons and evenings. It must be stressed that day pupils are just as active in evening events. They can return to House during the late afternoon to do their prep in a quiet, supervised environment, and may stay for dinner before their event starts, typically at 7.00pm.
- Additional provision is made for those students interested in applying for Oxford and Cambridge universities, or for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. We should stress, however, that tutors support their tutees' aspirations for all courses at all institutions.