The Clayton Academic Scholar’s Programme

The Clayton Academic Scholars’ Programme aims to extend and encourage academic scholars through a programme of targeted activities in the Senior School. The programme, named after former Headmistress, Miss Clayton, has been developed to allow these girls the opportunity to embrace wider areas of academic interest.

Linked closely to our whole school value of ‘We deliver academic excellence’ each scholar will work with a Clayton Mentor through her time in the school. Her Clayton Mentor, a member of our academic teaching staff, selected for his/her experience of working with very able academic pupils, will meet with each scholar on a regular basis throughout the year. The purpose of the meeting is to develop areas of academic interest, outside normal curriculum teaching, for each scholar. The role of the mentor is to act as a guide in allowing the scholar to enhance her knowledge in this area. Apart from the individual meetings with her Clayton Mentor, each scholar will be expected to undertake her own academic research in a subject area of interest and then deliver an extended presentation of her findings to her peer group, her Clayton Mentor and the Deputy Head Academic.

During the academic year, scholars are expected to attend Clayton discussion meetings. These groups comprise of pupils from various age groups to encourage the sharing of thoughts and ideas between the younger and older girls. The discussions are led by the Deputy Head Academic and an invited member of the teaching staff and will focus on topical academic subject matter.

The highlight of the Clayton Programme is the annual evening Clayton Lecture, where guest speakers from the academic world are invited to come and talk to the scholars about their areas of research. Previous speakers have included:

  • Professor A C Grayling, Master of the New College of Humanities
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This year we look forward to welcoming Dr Carolin Crawford, an astrophysicist researcher and lecturer based at the Institute of Astronomy and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 2009, Dr Crawford was recognized for her outstanding abilities at science communication by a ‘Women of Outstanding Achievement’ Award from the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. After the lecture, a scholars’ dinner is held where the girls have the opportunity to talk with our guest speaker, staff and other scholars from all year groups.

Our expectation is that all Clayton Academic Scholars play a full role in the school, perform towards the top of their year group when it comes to examinations, both internal and external, with the aim that most of them will reach an academic level where they could apply to Oxford, Cambridge or other world-leading universities. We also expect our Clayton Scholars to attend our Beacon Academic Enrichment activities, participate in relevant subject specific societies and undertake wider academic reading