Learning +

Learning+ is a school initiative to help and encourage students to develop their academic and intellectual interests beyond lessons. By taking part in some of the programmes we hope that they will:

- Learn about a variety of fascinating and unusual topics, and come into contact with important and stimulating ideas   and people
  • - Do better in lessons and exams
  • - Begin earlier to sort out their thinking about what to study at University (or whether to go at all)

The elements of Learning+ are:

        • The Williams Project, named after Sir Bernard Williams, one of the foremost British philosophers of the 20th century, and an Old Chigwellian. It provides opportunities for students to broaden and deepen their intellectual lives, encouraging the realisation that thought is not divided into school subjects. We hold meetings after school every Tuesday of Week B, in two sections: IIIrd and IVth form (4:15-5:15), and Senior School (5:30-6:30). (In the Trinity Term we hold just the one session, 4:15-5:15, for all ages.)
        The full programme for the term is published in the school calendar and around the school, as part of an Academic Lecture Programme which also includes talks run by other societies and departments. 

  • Chigwell Academic News, a collection of email groups to which any student can sign up. There is a wide range of subjects available, from school ones like biology and English to university subjects like medicine, law, philosophy, sociology and architecture. Chigwell teachers use the CAN to share interesting articles they find online: it’s a great resource. Click here for instructions on joining groups.
  • The Pilot, the school’s academic and creative journal. It publishes a wide range of high-quality academic essays, opinion-pieces, short stories, poetry and artwork from students, teachers, and visiting speakers. The next edition is currently being edited, so please get in touch if you would like to submit something. The published magazine also constitutes an excellent resource.​

Philosophy for Children (P4C) operates at Chigwell. It’s a carefully developed programme designed to get even the very young to ask questions, think critically and evaluate arguments. For details of how it works for particular age groups please contact Lisa Barden (KS1), Stephen Goodfellow (KS3) and Chris Lord (for KS4 and KS5).
Higher and Extended Project Qualifications (HPQ and EPQ) operate at KS4 and KS5. These are independent projects selected, researched, written and orally presented by the students themselves. The resulting qualifications are highly valued by employers and universities, and are excellent for the development of academic independence and self-reflection. Please contact Ben Wille for details.
The Howard and Mitchell Essay Competition is a long-standing feature of Chigwell’s academic calendar. Every autumn many excellent essays are submitted voluntarily by members of the MVI. These are combined with EPQ project-essays and judged by two panels (humanities and social sciences (Howard) and science and maths (Mitchell)) chaired by experts from outside school. The winners present their essays in the Lent term, immediately followed by the Prizewinners’ Dinner.