On Tuesday 17th September 2019, Croydon High School successfully launched its second annual ‘Consilium’ Academic Scholars programme. The Consilium programme, Consilium meaning intelligence and someones plans and advice that can be trusted, is designed mainly for academic scholars, as well as others, to go beyond the curriculum. Students, ranging from Years 10-13, were welcomed in the morning to croissants and orange juice followed by information on the new changes that had been made to the programme and what to expect this coming year. Many were excited to hear about the new talks that were being made on different topics such as street art and space.

What makes each and every one of these talks special is how they link to the students daily lives. The first talk on  street art called, ‘Is Street Art Real Art?’ by Kevin Zuchowski, was about all sorts of paintings on the walls in Croydon making everyone aware of what makes the place they live unique. Everyone was also open to another perspective of how graffiti is different to street art and about Croydon’s very own graffiti group. Throughout the talk, discussion was made about whether graffiti was considered apart. To many people’s surprise the room was filled with varied views. Many said that although graffiti is considered illegal, it is still a type of art, on the other hand, some thought that graffiti is not art, but has its own form of creativity.

So, what’s new to come? Students were beyond surprised to know that both Croydon High and Whitgift had collaborated this year, to allow all scholars to work together at both schools. In the upcoming days, trips both collaboratively and independently with Whitgift are to be seen, as well as talks at both schools from professors, authors and doctors.

This year’s programme encourages students to go far beyond than simply listening to the talks; during the breakfast, Croydon High’s academic scholars were shown a Ted Talk by a girl named Greta Thunberg. Greta is a 16 year old environmental activist, who knew something was wrong with our world and acted upon it through protests and talks. No one could deny the fact that listening to that talk left a large imprint on their thoughts as to how they could help improve the world through their own actions.

In fact, after attending a session run by Professor Merix Srokosz about Climate Change, Miss Samantha Kelly, the Head of Academic Development at Croydon High, said, ‘With the rise of groups such as Extinction Rebellion and the work of Greta Thunberg, I think it is so important that our young people understand the realities of climate change and Srokosz spoke in an incredibly engaging and informative way.’ As for the future of the Consilium Programme, Miss Kelly has also revealed that ‘the mentoring/ coaching aspect of the programme,’ will also be launched during the Summer Term, which will allow academic scholars to move in a direction that is beyond the curriculum. All scholars will be happy to know they have something different and new to look forward to.  Although, this is only the second year of the programme, everyone is looking forward to see what this programme will lead on to in the future.