School life: Former Rishworth pupil returned to share past memories

Former Rishworth pupil James Sexton
Former Rishworth pupil James Sexton

Schools often have a statement that they will provide for the most able through some sort of stretch programme but do they always get properly implemented and do they stay on the policy shelf?

At Rishworth we have a now well-established Intellectual Curiosity programme which has as its founding premise that everyone, no matter what their academic ability, has the potential to be intellectually curious.

Through this programme we have launched our now famous space module into the upper atmosphere from the playing fields, we have developed a number of competitions where students have the opportunity to travel to London to research complex questions around anything that they are interested in, we have other competitions that have resulted in computers being built that can do the Rubik cube and participate in numerous national competitions particularly in Maths, and even have a Year eight student who has learned to recite Pi to 131 places.

One other fact of the broader intellectual curiosity is our AMA (Academically Most Able) provision. Members of AMA have regular meetings through the year and discuss and debate just about anything. This term the Senior AMA group were delighted to welcome back Rishworth alumnus, James Sexton, to lead a lunchtime session on ‘Protecting the Bubble’. James, who recently graduated from St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, with a first-class degree in Music, is soon to take up employment as a ‘Graduate Brainbox’ - yes, honestly, that’s his job title - with Brainlabs in London. Discussion flowed freely across issues such as naivety, elitism and gender inequality, with much time spent debating the nature and value of various ‘bubbles’. James also shared memories of his time at Rishworth as well as giving the students a useful insight into life at Oxford and beyond.