Beyond the classroom

Clubs and societies

Ours is a broad and progressive co-curricular programme. A tremendous variety of clubs, societies and activities enables all students to get involved, wherever their interests lie. Students discover new passions, develop their confidence, embrace their creativity and, most importantly, have fun.

Our co-curricular provision is extensive and constantly evolving. Students find all sorts of clubs to engage their interest, from Improv Club to Dissection Society, from Junior Feminist Society to Gardening Club.

Engineering and creative technologies are exciting developing areas; students can now attend Rapid Prototyping Club or participate in Formula 24 Firefly racing in Motorsports Club.

Avid readers can join Junior and Senior Book Clubs, as well as diversifying their reading lists through attendance at the new Decolonised Reading Group.

Students in a lesson in the art studio.

Frequently the ideas for new clubs come from the students themselves. A recent example is the very popular ‘Knit & Natter’, a student-led arts and crafts group which provides a lovely way for students of different age groups to come together in a relaxed environment after lessons.

There is a great emphasis on senior students playing an active role in running activities for younger students, encouraging them to take the lead and contribute to the school community.

Clubs and societies offer students the chance to develop a range of skills and they excel in multiple areas. Debating is a perennial favourite; junior and senior teams meet weekly for practice and training with a debate coach and test their arguments against teams from across the world in a range of leagues and competitions. Keen chess players receive weekly instruction from an International Master.

Student journalism thrives at St Paul’s, with students writing regularly for our newsletter The Bulletin and the school website. Student editors produce a variety of magazines each year, including Foodie and CaCo2, as well as a student newspaper, The Marble and an online magazine, iPaulina. These enable students from all year groups to write seriously and creatively about topics of their choice.

Students reading books in the library.

Make an impact

Participation in the co-curricular life of the school offers students an opportunity to make their voices heard and have a tangible impact on school life. St Paul’s Environmental Action Committee (SPEAC) is made up of a dedicated committee of VII (Year 12) students and a network of year reps throughout the school.

They organise a range of campaigns and initiatives, write monthly bulletins and give assemblies to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage greener behaviour.

A recently launched weekly Eco Discussion Group enables internal discussion of important issues, such as the role of corporations in responding to climate change and the links between racial and environmental justice.

Students on a geography field trip.

Adventure and challenge

As students progress through the school, the co-curricular programme offers plentiful opportunities for personal development.

Students in the VII (Year 12) join teams with students at St Paul’s School for the Young Enterprise competition, in which they launch their own small businesses, encouraging entrepreneurship and invention.

Students in the Middle and Senior Schools frequently choose to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which involves volunteering in the community, learning a skill and getting active, as well as completing outdoor expeditions. The programme challenges students, developing their resilience and teamwork.

New perspectives

Events and initiatives organised as part of our co-curricular provision play an important role in introducing students to a diverse range of perspectives. We have an ongoing collaboration with Project Rousseau, a charitable organisation based in the USA which helps students from families living well below the poverty line aspire towards Higher Education.

Participation in the Project Rousseau scheme enables students to make connections with others from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, from becoming ‘pen-pals’ to joining group discussions; most recently, students from the V (Year 10) to the VIII (Year 13) have participated in ‘Broadening Horizons’ conversations on a wide range of topics such as ‘Harlem Renaissance Poetry’, ‘Voluntourism – Where Does Community Service Stop and Tourism Begin?’ and ‘What is Justice? Rawl’s Veil of Ignorance, Plato’s Republic, and more’.

Within school, groups such as Literary Society, Science Society and History Society also enjoy an extensive programme of external speakers. Recently, visiting academics have spoken on a range of topics including ‘Imperial Intimacies and Afterlives: Gender, Race and Empire in Twentieth-Century Britain’, ‘Being a Robotics Engineer – From Space to Healthcare’ and ‘Has Faith Disproved Science?’ These not only enrich students’ academic education but challenge their thinking and assumptions.

Students in a classroom.

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