Schools from across St John’s College link regions join our pioneering Inspire Scholars Programme for Years 9, 10 & 11!

Date 28 June 2022

Earlier this term the St John’s Access Office launched the pioneering Inspire Scholars Programme for Years 9, 10 & 11 to non-selective state secondary schools from all of the St John’s College link regions (Ealing, Harrow, East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, and Southampton).

We are delighted that our launch has been met with such a positive response from schools: all schools on the pilot programme have enthusiastically indicated that they would like to remain on the programme, and we are now in conversation with schools from across our link regions about joining!

A quote card for Inspire Scholars, which reads "I honestly enjoyed all of the classes as they have been fun, and I've learnt so much that helps me in school".  Join now!

The Inspire Scholars Programme is a pioneering, sustained-contact opportunity for students aged 13-16. The programme has been collaboratively developed with input from 24 Ealing and Harrow schools that participated in our three-year pilot scheme and offers super-curricular and aspiration-raising opportunities for students, career-development roles for teachers, and support for parents & guardians. The students invited to take part in the programme – the Inspire Scholars – will take part in a range of exciting and enriching educational activities that work to raise their aspirations, improve their attainment, and allow them to explore new education settings.

At the heart of the Inspire Programme are our Inspire Clubs in which our Inspire Scholars take part in challenging and fun classes developed by academics, teachers, and other educational professionals. These classes cover a range of Arts & Humanities and STEM subjects, and include titles such as ‘Climate Summit: Political Action in Practice’ (Politics), ‘Getting to Know You: DNA Progress versus Privacy’ (Biology), and ‘Show and Tell: Verbal and Non-Verbal Storytelling’ (English & Drama). Through these classes, Inspire Scholars are encouraged to think about subjects in new ways, to experiment, to debate, and to get creative. Inspire Scholars are also invited to visit St John’s on Inspire Scholar Visit days for a bespoke programme of activities, join our online Critical Thinking programme, take part in our annual Virtual Summer School, and our Residential Summer School. We are also able to offer competitive Aspiration Day grants of up to £500 for schools to run educational school trips or inspiring in-school visits; previous schools have used this to run a physics-themed trip to Legoland, explore the dinosaurs of London’s Natural History Museum, and inspire their inner thespians by attending a performance at the Globe Theatre!

A quote card for Inspire Scholars, which reads "I thought it was a brilliant programme. Some of the pupils who struggle with confidence for various reasons benefitted from this. They grew in confidence and started to think of themselves as skilled academics. I cannot wait to run it next year". Join Now!

We know that our Inspire Scholars achieve best when their wider school community also feel engaged and supported. The Inspire Scholars Programme offers live twilight sessions about university study and supporting the academic achievement of Inspire Scholars for parents and guardians to help them feel informed about opportunities and support available to their children. Our Inspire Teacher Leads attend an annual Inspire Teachers Conference, are part of our Inspire Teacher Hub community, and are offered paid opportunities to develop more content for our programme.

We are excited to continue working with students and their school communities through the Inspire Scholars Programme for Years 9, 10 & 11, and we are looking forward to welcoming them to the St John’s community. We would like to sincerely thank all the schools that have helped us develop the programme, our expert Steering Committee, and the support of the College’s President, Professor Maggie Snowling. Thank you, too, to our generous donors for supporting our work.

You can read more about our Inspire Scholars Programme and other Access and Outreach provision offered by St John’s College by following this link. If you would like to find out more about the programme or discuss your school’s involvement, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please contact:

Inspire 9, 10 & 11 Programme Coordinator, Dr Eleanor Baker or