ASFA students set to learn with Eton College

Thirty students from the Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) have secured a chance to learn virtually at Eton College this summer.

The EtonX programme allows students globally to benefit from Eton’s acclaimed expertise in developing well-rounded, high-achieving students. An Eton education develops real-world skills alongside academic learning.

The broad range of courses draw on centuries of expertise from Eton College, preparing students with the skills they need to be leaders and be successful in the world’s top universities. All students will be mentored by their Eton college tutor, receiving certification at the end of the summer.

Jen Avery, English teacher at the academy, came across the opportunity during lockdown and managed to secure 30 places for the academy.

These places were then offered to students of all abilities in Years 10 and 11, giving them the chance to continue their learning during the summer holidays.

Choosing from a range of courses, Jen and ASFA students decided the most beneficial would be ‘research skills’, ‘resilience’ and ‘creative problem solving’.

Jen said: “All of the courses sound great but we want students to get the most out of this opportunity and so, together, we chose the ones we thought would help them ahead of sixth form or college, university and the world of work.”

The research skills course will see students develop their ability to conduct independent research that goes far beyond textbooks or basic internet searches. They will learn new research techniques to help plan and organise their research for essays and other projects.

The resilience course will help them feel more capable and in control. They will analyse a range of scenarios which will help them learn how to bounce back from failure and use key techniques, such as growth mindset, mindfulness and gratitude.

Finally, the creative problem-solving course will allow students to come up with many innovative ideas, to craft those ideas and apply them in life. They will also develop skills in creative expression, both verbally and visually and learn how to see problems from different perspectives.

The two-week courses are packed full of engaging learning materials, with a personal action plan and a knowledge test for each learner. Students learn from each other as well as from their Eton College tutor, participating in a range of role-play and discussion tasks in the virtual classroom and collaborating on peer learning tasks between classes.

Jen added: “The programme will not only support their academic learning but it’s also a brilliant way of meeting other students from around the world, which will help build their confidence when speaking with people from other walks of life.

One Year 10 student said: “I am really happy to get a chance to take part in this opportunity.”

Andrea St John, senior assistant headteacher, said: “Our Year 10 and 11 cohort at ASFA are incredibly motivated and are always so keen to get involved in extra-curricular learning. The fact that they are eager to continue their studies during the summer holidays is testament to this. It is an invaluable opportunity to further develop communication skills, readiness for sixth form, university and the world of work.

“We wish them luck and can’t wait to hear about what they have learnt from this experience”.

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