The Academics – Learning Branch

By digging deeper and living the intellectual virtues, a Laurels Sixth-Former becomes a lifelong reflective and innovative learner.

High Expectations

There are very high expectations of students to realise their potential.
Students are taught in small classes similar to seminars and tutorials at university, allowing students and teachers to form close, personal relationships. Students acquire a strong knowledge content, an intellectual frame of reference and disciplined thinking and communication skills. Each student is expected to aspire to the best they can be.

Study at The Laurels Sixth Form

The key words are pro-activity and independence. The Laurels teachers support each student to reach their personal best and they love it when you show a thirst for understanding and a desire to know more. Our expert teachers like to be challenged too! As well as directed learning in your chosen subjects, students will be expected to study Philosophy, Religious Studies and Character Education.

The Lunch Time Colloquium

A colloquium, derived from the Latin meaning ‘conversation’, is an academic conference with a time for questions and answers.
The Laurels Colloquia are an opportunity for Sixth Formers to share their learning with other Laurels students. They may be humorous, enlightening, inspiring or stimulating and will reflect our Sixth Formers’ interests or passion. They may be based on the extended project they are completing. A colloquium will take place every half-term. Topics could range from ‘Is Guernica the greatest anti-war painting ever created?’ to ‘How I designed and made a skateboard from scratch.’

Intellectual Virtue
(Habits of a good thinker, student, inquirer)

CuriosityA disposition to wonder, ponder, and ask why. A thirst for understanding and a desire to explore.
Intellectual humilityA willingness to own up to one’s intellectual limitations and mistakes. Unconcerned with intellectual status or prestige.
Intellectual autonomyA capacity for active, self-directed thinking. An ability to think and reason for oneself.
AttentivenessA readiness to stay focused and on task. Notices and attends to important details.
Intellectual carefulnessA sensitivity to the requirements of good thinking. Quick to notice and avoid intellectual pitfalls and mistakes.
Intellectual thoroughnessA willingness to probe for deeper meaning and understanding. Unsatisfied with mere appearances or easy answers.
Open-mindednessAn ability to think outside the box. Gives a fair and honest hearing to competing perspectives.
Intellectual courageA readiness to persist in thinking or communicating in the face of fear, including fear of embarrassment or failure.
Intellectual tenacityA willingness to embrace intellectual challenge and struggle. Keeps its “eyes on the prize” and doesn’t give up.

*These categories were adapted from the Intellectual Virtues Academy (IVA), Long Beach, CA