Sixteen 5 th form students took the opportunity to delve deep into an off-syllabus subject completely of their own choice in a new competition this year. The idea was to extend our scholars, get them used to independent work and prepare them for the rigours of sixth form.
Presenting to an audience of parents, staff and students, we heard an amazing range of topics, some of which were far removed from even A-levels topics. To prepare, the students had each completed 10 hours of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) of their choice over the half-term. They then collaborated in groups of similar subjects for the final short presentation.
The inaugural winners of the Peter Frankopan Prize for Academic Extension were Gregor Maclaine, Alan Xu and Ollie Heywood who competed MOOCs on Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Algorithmics and Graph Theory with Python and Game Theory. Their ability to understand very complex theories,
explain them in a clear way, and relate them to everyday life was extremely impressive.
Highly commended were Locky Almanza and Elodie Sinclair who competed MOOCs on Particle Physics and Astrophysics. They drew excellent comparisons and lessons from studying Physics on very different scales, drawing lessons about how evidence of life on another planet might come from
very small sub-atomic particles.
Attie Christie-Miller and Arthur Grigg contrasted lessons from the development of Taiwan and China and considered how people are willing to trade freedom for economic growth.
Charlie Thorogood and Robbie Innes contrasted the development of China and Ancient Greece, drawing similarities but also important difference such as the importance of language in their development.
Cordelia Clay, Olivia Harford and Alina Kuznetsova summarized a huge amount of information on Social and Clinical Psychology. Eva Sanderson studied the development of Hollywood whilst Yash Jain investigated US public policy.
Overall we learned about a very impressive array of thought-provoking subjects. More importantly, our students really developed some excellent studying habits and stretched their horizons way beyond the their standard courses.