12th November 2019 — The initiative, termed the ESP Scholars Programme and branded X-Calibre (based on the idea of ‘learning knights’, the source of the word scholar), was born out of the desire to continue the work of the award-winning Eastbourne Schools Partnership (ESP) which, for the past five years, has given open-access opportunities to around 14,500 local school children.
The Saturday morning workshops, running on six dates across three terms from 9.15am till 12noon, cater to pupils in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 from Bexhill Academy, Gildredge House, Ratton School, Seaford Head, St Andrew’s Prep, St Catherine’s, The Cavendish School, The Causeway, Willingdon Community School and Eastbourne College. The aim is for the pupils to think with courage as they work together to come up with solutions for the benefit of others both locally and globally.
ESP Scholars Programme sessions are being run by Dr Steve Hobbs, who completed his doctorate in how to encourage creative thinking in young people, and are supported by senior Eastbourne College teaching staff and sixth form scholars.
The X-Calibre syllabus (outlined below) has three parts and will include work set between sessions and an end-of-year project to be completed during the summer holidays.
- Term one Making connections: developing lateral thinking skills / innovative thinking
- Term two Discourse theory: how to communicate / work together
- Term three Problem solving: coming up with solutions to real-world problems
Trips and influential speakers are planned to enrich the programme, and participating pupils will be given constructive feedback on their progress through the year.
The ESP Scholars Programmes follows on from the outstanding outcomes of numerous ESP partnership initiatives, including Roy’s Homework Club, about which Emily Beer, head teacher of Willingdon Community School, said 'I am very grateful to the sixth form pupils of Eastbourne College. All our Year 11 pupils achieved a strong pass in the GCSE subject in which they were mentored. These pupils wouldn’t have achieved the grades they did in their key areas without Eastbourne College’s input.'