Many Symonds students fall into the ‘gifted and talented’ category. We believe that none of our students should be corralled into special groups, but we do provide a number of opportunities to maximise students’ potential.
Virtually all of our academic courses run lunchtime workshops in addition to timetabled lectures. These give you an opportunity to investigate your subjects in more depth.
All applicants receive one to one support including mentoring from current Oxbridge students, practice interviews and application advice.
Fifty three Peter Symonds students, from twenty-nine different secondary schools, have received conditional offers of places at Oxford or Cambridge Universities for September 2013. Also a very high proportion of our students have been offered places at Russel Group Universities; twice as many as the national average for sixth form colleges.
The University of Cambridge has nominated Peter Symonds as the hub college for its HE+ Project in Hampshire. The Project is now in its fifth year, the HE+ Project is designed to encourage Lower Sixth students studying in state schools and colleges to apply to Cambridge and other top universities, as well as to provide them with academic and application support.
The project has grown over the years and now caters for about 400 sixth form students from eight local colleges: Andover/Sparsholt, Bitterne Park School, Brockenhurst, Itchen, Peter Symonds, Portsmouth College, Richard Taunton and Havant College. This programme offers students a real insight into university style learning and what is available to them once they have completed their A Level studies.
An A2 Level qualification offered in the second year, this is an opportunity to develop an idea or interest beyond chosen subjects. Staff supervisors support students who choose to undertake a project and guide them through the process of planning and producing the final product. This may take the form of a written report or an artefact such as a piece of music, a play or a computer program. The Extended Project provides excellent preparation for the research skills required at university and has been described by students as ‘very worthwhile’ and ‘a great experience’.
Ensembles, orchestras, choirs and jazz bands provide a tremendous range of opportunities for talented musicians. Symonds also hosts the Hampshire Specialist Music Course. Dance and Drama productions showcase other talents.
This scheme is aimed at supporting gifted students by helping them to manage and balance sporting, personal and academic demands. Current students on the scheme include Adam Knott (Paralympic goalball), Xanthe Weatherhead (rowing), Georgie Wingrove (diving) and Sarah Hill (judo).