- The SPGS journey
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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 App Development Club or participate in Formula 24 Firefly racing in Motorsports Club, amongst other opportunities.
Avid readers can join the Cover to Cover book club, while others may choose to attend Feminist Society or Chemistry & Sustainability Club. From Crochet Club to Maths Doodles, there is something for everyone!
Frequently, the ideas for new clubs come from the students themselves. Film Society and Finance Club are just a couple of recent examples.
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.
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.
The St Paul’s Environmental Action Committee (SPEAC) is one of the most active and long-running student societies at the school, 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, work with staff in sustainability taskforces, write for school publications, give assemblies and attend Parents Guild events to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage greener behaviour across our school community.
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.
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.