A unique aspect of our school offering is the Harington Challenge. This is a two fold mini project that all students are required to complete. Students firstly choose a topic of their choice, something that they have a real interest in or an area they wish to explore further as it possibly links with a future career choice. Once the student has identified their own individual title they will begin by writing a thousand word essay responding to it. Students are encouraged to use a wide range of primary and secondary sources to answer the question effectively. The range of topics that students choose are really impressive from the arguments of legalising performance enhancing drugs in sport, to the psychology of gender identity, through to the considering why India is more environmental sustainable than the UK, or whether humans will ever break the 9s mark for the 100m. Any topic is possible as long it is not duplication material direct from their lessons. The second section of the Harington Challenge is an oral presentation. Each student presents their findings to their form and answers any questions that arise. At the end of the term each form will put forward one form representative who will present to the whole year group.
The skills developed during the Harington Challenge are invaluable. Every year approximately 30-35 students will then decide to develop their ideas (or approach) further and complete an Extended Project Qualification (worth half an A level).