Scholars' & Medics' Programmes
“A scholar is never finished, he is always seeking..."
At Solihull, Scholars are visible role models for academic excellence. Scholarships are offered at the 11+ and 16+ level and Scholars then embark on the Scholars’ Programme which includes projects, tutorials, evening events and an expectation of academic leadership and accountability. They are nurtured, driven and encouraged to revel in their academic pursuits. They should set the academic targets towards which all of our students aspire.
How are Scholars selected?
The top performers in the 11+ exam are invited to a scholarship interview which includes a discussion of the pupil’s work, questions that explore the pupil’s thoughts and ideas and a discussion of stimulus material.
The aim of the interview is to get a sense of the student’s intellectual potential. On the whole we are interested in the way a student thinks rather than hearing a ‘right’ answer. No preparation is necessary for the interview, except for the selection of their exemplar work.
Students opt for one or two scholarship subjects and sit written examinations in these areas (for Art and Design Technology a portfolio is required). All of the students are then invited to a scholarship interview which is tailored towards their subject areas. This is not an assessment of knowledge but rather of intellectual flexibility, skills and ability. The idea is to identify students with exceptional potential in the subject area, a passion for learning and an ability to contribute to the intellectual life of the school.
In exceptional circumstances a scholarship can be offered at 13+ level.
What are the expectations of scholars?
Scholars should be academic role models and as such we expect all of our scholars to maintain high standards of effort and performance. They are also expected to play a role in the intellectual life of the school and in the Sixth Form to work to assist their department (for example, running sessions with lower school students or being an ambassador for the subject).
It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain places at university for degree courses leading to Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry. With graduates in these vocations almost certainly gaining employment competition is increasing year on year.
At Solihull extensive support is given to Sixth Form students applying for these subjects. This includes advice on:
- A Level choices
- Selecting the right medical/dental/veterinary schools
- UKCAT preparation (and advice on BMAT)
- Writing personal statements
- Gaining medically related work experience
- Voluntary work placements
- Oxbridge entry
While success cannot be guaranteed, over the last 10 years very few applicants who have gained the required A Level grades have failed to gain a place at university for these degree courses.
However it must be stressed that the most important person in ensuring success is the applicant. The first hurdle is an excellent set of GCSE grades.