The Horizons programme is an extra-curricular programme for high-achieving year 12 and 13 students. All students who achieve a GCSE average score of 6.9 or above are enrolled on the programme and remain on it throughout the sixth form. The aim of the programme is to increase students’ cultural capital and confidence. Students meet once a fortnight with the KS5 Stretch and Challenge Coordinator for a discussion based activity, for example, art appreciation, academic presentations, philosophical or political debate, or creative thinking. In addition students are challenged at each meeting to use a ‘word of the week’ and to find out something ‘quite interesting’ about a given subject before the next meeting. Longer term reading challenges are also set, and students are asked to visit galleries and museums and report back.
The students are also expected to complete the Extended Project Qualification, an externally examined Level 3 qualification which involves the completion of an independent research project. Teaching for this qualification takes place during year 12, and the students complete the work by the end of January in year 13.