ORA Scholar Programme

ORA Scholar Programme: We Open Doors

Our ORA Scholar Programme is open to all students who want to achieve extraordinary things and are willing to work for it. The programme is open to all abilities: any student that is willing to try their very best and has high aspirations. We expect a simple commitment which is exemplified in one word: ‘effort’. It doesn’t matter if you think you are ‘clever’ or not, if you have achieved well in tests previously, or not. Our Scholar Programme is a commitment you make to working hard, it’s for those that delight in learning and achieving.

Elite Scholar Program Lead: Mr R Madajczyk (Assistant Principal)
Email: [email protected]

In our programme we will ensure you are supported and guided in terms of what you need to revise and what you need to read. We will invite you on trips and visits and to attend career masterclasses so you can start to decide what your future could be.

The programme is open for new entrants every Autumn Term and has a 3 week entry period. To apply you have to write a paragraph explaining why would you like to join The ORA Scholar Programme and how it can help you become responsible member of local, national and global communities. On the top of that you need to get a teacher and parent recommendation of support. The Scheme is very popular with over 90 applicants applying last year. However, there are always places available for those willing to give us their maximum effort. All scholars are expected to revise key knowledge for English, Maths and Science for 20 minutes each and every night.

We know, regardless of background or prior circumstance, education opens doors. It gives our children choices of the like we may never see ourselves. It allows them to make a difference, perhaps earn more than us and to ultimately lead fulfilled lives. But it’s a partnership. Us, our students and our families. We know that family support is everything, after all it’s why you are sitting reading this website. Our ORA Scholar Programme has a single aim: to support our students with their families to be successful. Our programme will support our students to reach for exciting, and often competitive, life opportunities across all subject specialisms.

Leadership in the classroom
Our Subject Leaders throughout school have made commitments. This means they will deliver outstanding learning opportunities for our ORA Scholars with their teams, day in, day out. Students will be regularly assessed and will know their grade and how to improve on a day to day basis.

Leadership outside the classroom
Our ORA Scholar Programme will support, challenge and mentor our students through school with us. It will provide a range of opportunities including support, advice and guidance so that our students perform at their very best. This will include help with planning studying, mental health and well-being, independent learning, university visits, specialist careers advice and 1-1 mentoring and support by an ORA Scholar Lead.

It is our joint partnership with home that means our students continue to achieve outstanding outcomes, and for this we thank you.

We can all Support University Entrance

Not all universities are equal. Some are famous worldwide for the best courses. Oxford and Cambridge for academic focus; University of the Arts for Creative Arts; Loughborough for Sports, Russell Group of Universities for many academic subjects, veterinary and medicine, and so the list goes on.

It’s important to know which universities are the best for the subjects you are interested in (use your journal to research and record these). Find out what the entry requirements are. Entry to these universities is competitive and most often not just based on grades. You need ‘cultural capital’; you should be opinionated and have your own views of the world, you need to have a wide vocabulary and be able to communicate confidently.

You need to be able to talk about world events and the world you live in. You need to experience the richness of life, anywhere and everywhere! The UK has so many events both locally and nationally that will widen your interests and will build what universities call ‘cultural capital.’ Visit the theatre, exhibitions, live shows, festivals. Make sure you read at least 20 minutes every day as a minimum. Read challenging books and be ready to talk about them; both subject-specific and literary-based (listed later in this guide).

Get volunteering! We often see students gain access to universities where all candidates have the same UCAS points but one student has a personal statement detailing how they ‘made a difference’ in the community. These could be leadership roles in sports clubs, activities out of school or volunteering for charities.

Pop your phones away after 8pm at night! Use gaming as a treat and an indulgence but certainly always after homework. Rest, catch up on your day and eat a decent meal!  Feed the body and the brain. Sleep well.

We Love to Challenge: How to use Your Journal

Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson… These names all come to mind when we think of successful people. And even though all three are great examples of success, there are lots of other people who are successful in their own way with whom we may not be as familiar.

But their habits? Well, that’s a different story.

You see, successful people all do similar things. If you want to be a success in life and leave ordinary behind, learn from these 10 things successful people do. Get ready for the results that are sure to follow if you do them consistently.

1. Download the TED App. Listen to talks randomly at least 3 times a week.  Do the same with Podcasts that you enjoy, ones like ‘Intelligence Squared’ and ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ are expansive and varied. 
WHY? This will widen your knowledge and understanding.

2. Define your goals For GCSE and A Level. What subjects and what grades do you need? Write these in your journal. 
WHY? Successful people commit to their goals. When successful people set a goal, nothing gets in their way of achieving it. Make sure you know what courses and exam boards you are on. That way you can access all the past papers and mark schemes from the exam websites to test yourself regularly!

3. Write a list in your journal about what is stopping you from succeeding or improving. Then add a date and time plan in order to start action.
WHY? Successful people know that they are the masters of their own destiny. You don’t hear them complain about the things that stopped them from success. You won’t hear them make excuses.

4. Do all homework to the best of your ability and ensure you make a revision timetable from the start of year 7! Little and often is the key to remembering everything!
WHY? Successful people work hard. Have you ever met someone who is super-successful and lazy? Neither have I. The truth is that the road to success is paved with hard work. If you want to achieve great results, you’ll need to make some compromises.

5. Find people to look up to and find out how they got there!
WHY? Successful people find people who are doing what they want to do, and emulate them. Your ORA Scholar Ambassador will talk to you about their habits. Don’t know anyone successful? That’s OK. You can read books written by them or about them. Listen to their radio interviews or watch them on TV.

6. Need help with confidence?  Tell your ORA Scholar Ambassadors.
WHY? Do you believe you can achieve your dreams? I’ll tell you something in case nobody told you before: You can do whatever you want in life, you’ve just got to believe it, and then work like mad to get it.

7. Eat well, exercise and sleep! 
WHY? Most successful people know they need energy to get ahead, and the best way to have that is to eat well, exercise and get proper rest. Keep a diary of exercise and set yourself some targets! Which brings us to our next point…

8. Make time for the activities you love and enjoy.
WHY? Hard work is a requirement for success, but you can only push yourself 24/7 for so long. Successful people work hard and then unplug so they can refresh their minds and bodies. List fun stuff you love to do and want to try in your journal, and plan to do them!

9. Set yourself intentionally hard challenges.
WHY? Successful people aren’t afraid to take risks. They treat any mistake as a learning opportunity. Messed up a presentation? Read a book on how to present successfully so you can try a different approach next time. Messed up a test? OK, why? What do you need to do to improve, ask your teacher for revision help. In Year 7 why not try a Foundation Maths GCSE paper? In Year 11 why not try an A Level History paper? Everything is available on-line nowadays with mark schemes accessible to all, not just teachers! Why not try to sing or play the guitar? Feeling brave? What about performing in a school show? Why not exhibit your artwork or set yourself up a blog or website to share your views and work?

10. Explore career options, universities and courses. Know what GCSEs and A Levels you need to get entry. Spend time googling the best courses and exploring the 1000s of options. Journal these. 
WHY? Ensure you have clear information so you can make clear decisions about course choices in year 8 and in Year 11 for A Level and degree pathways.

These are 10 things successful people do. How many of them are you doing today? If not all, or most of them, it’s time to upgrade your behaviour so you can get the success you deserve.