Welcome to the St Olave's SCHOLA Project in partnership with Woodard Schools.

St Olave's Grammar School has been appointed to engage with Woodard Schools to share its expertise in the development of scholarship and, particularly, to support other schools in improving students' preparation for successful Medical applications and Oxbridge applications. For Oxbridge applicants, the SCHOLA project will focus on refining candidate competencies common to all subject areas but will also offer subject specific resource and support in all major areas of study. As a tertiary strand, we will offer intensely specialised support to Mathematicians aspiring to study at Oxford and Cambridge.

Whilst we seek to influence pupils and colleagues in partner schools by developing their confidence and knowledge and by cultivating a more collaborative culture within the Woodard family, ultimately we seek to drive up performance in these areas by increasing the number of students in partner schools who gain access to these highly competitive courses and institutions. Promoting the very highest aspirations for children from all social backgrounds in all Woodard schools is a fundamental educational tenet. Underpinning children's belief in themselves by sharing sound, well-honed structures, resources and initiatives to optimise the chances of success is what the SCHOLA project is all about.

To book yourself on one of our courses (a list of dates follow below or can be found on the course outlines linked on the right) or to find out more about any of our project invitations, please contact Mrs A. Farrell at schola@saintolaves.net.

What is SCHOLA?

SCHOLA is a Woodard initiative that will use one of England's top schools to build a collaborative network of widely-recognised outstanding practice across the Woodard family. A focus on social mobility, raising aspirations and formalising systems will increase the number of successful applications to the world's top universities and Medical schools, distinguishing Woodard schools as amongst the very best. This will be underpinned by the pursuit of scholarship through Academic Journals, a cutting-edge Lecture Series and online Portal materials, with emphasis on STEM subjects, as follows:

  • Aspiration, Oxbridge, Medics.

    Share expertise in systems to optimise preparation for Oxbridge, Russell Group and Medical applications, so that students from all backgrounds aspire to top university places.
  • Woodard networks.

    Supportive and sustainable partnerships through professional collaboration between Woodard teachers will enhance standards of attainment and increase the uptake of STEM subjects at GCSE and A level and progression to related university courses.
  • SCHOLA Portal.

    Extensive online resources will be accessible to Woodard partners through this web-based Portal. It hosts a wealth of materials related to Oxbridge and Medical applicants, as well as a range of high level Mathematical resources. These are available for the first time to all Woodard Schools. N.B. The SCHOLA portal is currently under development (Autumn/Winter 2015) and will be available for partner schools to access shortly. Updated details of how and when access will be available will be circulated to schools expressing an interest in this offering.
  • SCHOLA Oxbridge and Medics' Conferences.

    Annual SCHOLA Oxbridge Aspirations conferences will run with representatives from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Content covered at the conferences will include: preparing for UCAS, critical engagement with wider reading and relevant research, preparing for admissions tests and refining interview technique. The Medics' conferences will have speakers from leading Medical Schools including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, UCL and St Andrew's.
  • Extension, enrichment and peer-to-peer support.

    SCHOLA seeks to foster a genuine love of learning by promoting the pursuit of scholarship and developing a series of Academic Research Journals including articles from EPQ and HPQ projects from students within partner schools.The project will also broaden the outreach of our current Olavian Lecture Series to embrace the whole Woodard family through on-demand archived broadcasts.

About St Olave's - History, Expertise and Outreach

Dating back over 450 years to the time of Queen Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare, St Olave's Grammar School has built a reputation as one of the country's finest schools with an unbroken tradition of providing free education for students from all walks of life.

Why do this at St Olave's?

We have formalised programmes in place to support students with applications to Russell Group universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and Medical Schools. We already share expertise in these programmes with many other state and independent schools. Our 53 successful Oxbridge and Medical students in 2014, and 55 in 2015 (and a consistent track record at this level), do not just stem from selectivity; they result from tightly organised preparation and experience built up over many years. Our Oxbridge conferences are attended by hundreds of students and parents from a wide range of schools. Feedback materials from the last decade of Oxbridge interviews are available to partner schools. The response to our Medics' courses, with involvement of Imperial College, includes many Senior and Middle school students. Structured programmes are in place for students making applications in Medicine, Mathematics, Law, Economics, etc. These all include formal preparation for STEP I, II and III, Oxford entrance exams, BMAT, UKCAT, LNAT, CAT, PAT, TSA, MAT, ELAT, HAT, MLAT, with access for students from a wide range of backgrounds and other schools.

  • Lectures.

    The fascinating Olavian Lecture Series sees large audiences of students and teachers from a wide range of partner schools, as well as members of the local community, engaging with some eminent speakers including: Dr Lawrence Goldman, Lord Professor Robert Winston, Professor Sir Richard Friend, Professor Robert Freedman, Dr Adam Rutherford, Professor Steve Jones, Dr Robert Mulvaney, Professor Barry Cookson & Dr James Spencer, Sir Tim Hunt, Dame Mary Archer, Professor Sanjeev Gupta and Lord Butler of Brockwell.
  • Scholarship.

    The development of scholarship and the promotion of independent student research permeates all aspects of our philosophy on education. One of the outcomes is an impressive array of Academic Journals, emanating and edited from within the student societies and with erudite articles written by students of all ages. Download the Natural Sciences Society or Medics Society journals.
  • Outreach.

    With recent government initiatives to strengthen the teaching of programming skills (as distinct from ICT), we now hold an extensive range of outreach courses with substantial sign-up. STEP and Mathematics courses extend the compass of the Further Mathematics Network, embracing colleagues from as far apart as Norfolk and the Weald of Kent, focusing, for example, on the Mechanics M1 module or the use of graphical calculators.