The Sixth Form Extended Studies Programme - “The Cogitas Programme”

Cogito ergo sum


Introduction to Cogitas

The aim of the Cogitas is to provide breadth to students’ academic study in the sixth form.  Students pursue a 4th A-level as a means of developing academic depth, and these lead to a further A-level qualification; more than the customary three A-levels pursued in many schools and colleges.  However, breadth is also an important part of a student’s academic development, and that is the purpose of the Cogitas/Extended Studies.

The programme starts with one or two collective sessions, introducing the course and covering some broad aspects of study skills.

Students have the opportunity to choose two courses from those offered below, which they will study across two semesters through the three terms.  Each semester will run for 16 weeks.  These are non-examined courses, allowing teachers to offer topics which they themselves are enthused about, and an opportunity for students to share in that interest and extend their own horizons.

  • Ancient History: Greece & Rome
  • Crime, deviance and punishment
  • Becoming a Man 
  • Napoleon: The Man and Myth 
  • Introduction to 'R'
  • The Journey of the Arts
  • What Does Theory of Knowledge Mean? 
  • Art History, Theory & Knowledge

Whilst the courses do not have any formal examinations, they are nonetheless underpinned by some key principles, which students will develop and be expected to demonstrate during the course of their studies.  Some of the courses lead to an agreed end project (a mock trial, a presentation, a product) but completion of the two semesters, whatever courses are followed, also offers the opportunity for students to develop the academic richness they can write about in their university personal statements. 

The following core principles are developed across the courses.

  • Oral Argumentation and Presentation
  • Analysis and constructing strong arguments
  • Assessing evidence and developing critical thinking
  • Research and wider reading