St Augustine's Catholic College

Stretch & Challenge


St Augustine’s Stretch & Challenge programme

We hold the conviction that every member of the College community is made in the image of God, and as such, we all have infinite potential and immeasurable value. Our shared purpose is the ongoing discovery and development of this potential in all members of the College community for the good of the individual and society.

At St Augustine’s, we believe that, by providing opportunities for Stretch and Challenge in every classroom, all children will have the chance to flourish. We aim to provide an ethos of high expectation and aspiration, and we endeavour to provide opportunities to extend learning both within and beyond the classroom.

The Aspire Coordinator, Mrs Rachel Hunt, will meet termly with our top 5% in each Year group to offer them support and monitor their progress. In addition to this, each department maintains its own list of students with exceptional potential in their subject to ensure that opportunities for stretch and challenge are maximised.

Year 11 Aspire to Excellence Tutorial Programme

At St Augustine’s we value each individual and their gifts, whatever they may be. For those who are aiming specifically at academic excellence, we provide a structured, tailored programme of support to help them raise and fulfil their aspirations, aim high and stretch themselves academically, and build skills and personal qualities that will enable them to be confident and successful in making well-founded applications to top universities.

This programme currently begins in Year 11 and continues into Sixth Form. It is delivered by Mrs Hunt (Aspire Coordinator) and Mrs James (Oxbridge Programme Coordinator) with support from Ethan Alford (Sixth Form Aspire Ambassador) through regular sessions during tutor time.

It includes:

  • sessions on post-16 and post-18 opportunities, including Russell Group and Oxbridge Universities

  • how to develop super-curricular experiences and study skills that will maximise GCSE, A Level and post-18 achievement

  • strategies for revision, time management and managing stress and anxiety

  • tips from former St Augustine’s students now studying at top universities

  • workshop sessions with our contacts at link colleges, Merton (Oxford) and Robinson (Cambridge)

  • a visit to a top university

We look forward to working with you through Year 11 and beyond to support you in your aspirations and success.

Oxbridge Aspirations Programme

Our Oxbridge Aspirations Programme invites students with exceptional academic potential and promises to take advantage of the tailored support we can offer to strengthen their applications in this competitive field.

Our highly personalised preparation programme for Oxbridge applicants starts in year 12 with the annual Oxbridge Conference trip in Swansea. The programme thereafter comprises:

  • mentoring sessions

  • focus clinics and subject interest groups designed to challenge, develop and inspire students

  • workshops delivered by the School Liaison Officers for our link Oxbridge Colleges (Merton, Oxford and Robinson, Cambridge)

  • conversations with former St Augustine’s students now studying at Oxford or Cambridge

  • support with applications

  • interview preparation and

  • events supported by the West Wiltshire Alliance.

The Oxbridge Programme is just one way in which we aim to help our students raise their aspirations and equip them to fulfil their potential.

“I felt supported throughout my Cambridge application - the faith that my teachers had in my abilities helped boost my confidence and encouraged me to work for my goals. Although it is an incredibly demanding process, the extra support I received helped enormously and the supervision-style sessions I had proved a great advantage with my actual interview. St Augustine’s has encouraged me to strive for my ambitions and has helped instil a work ethic which has been invaluable not only through A-Levels, but will hopefully continue to be so throughout my life beyond”

— Isobel Dignum, currently studying English at Peterhouse College, Cambridge

EPQ Programme

If you are looking for a way to challenge and stretch your abilities, develop new and existing skills and prepare for higher education or employment more effectively, then the EPQ offers the opportunity to do all of these things in Year 12 alongside your A Levels. It is an excellent way to enrich your Sixth Form experience at St Augustine’s and equip yourself for what comes next.

The EPQ is a standalone, research-based independent project equivalent to half an A Level. Projects can be written research reports or ‘artefacts’ – anything from a piece of artwork to organising an event or designing and carrying out an experiment.

Recent projects have included:

  • An evaluation of the science of forensic dentistry

  • An investigation into the effects of Dissociative Identity Disorder on day to day living

  • Design and creation of a thrust vector control system

  • Organising an athletics meeting

Learn more about EPQ

Stretch & Challenge Enrichment

Art & Design

Business & Economics

Drama KS3

Drama KS4&5

Design & Technology






Modern Languages



PE KS4&5





Oxford & Cambridge Resources & other Lectures

University of Oxford Admissions

University of Oxford Podcasts

University of Cambridge - Super-curricular suggestions


Gresham College Free Lectures