Lower School Scholars: IQ
IQ exists to promote scholarship within the school. All Lower School pupils are welcome to attend, but Academic scholars have automatic membership. The programme is designed to promote critical thinking skills with each term following a particular theme.
For many years the Lower School Academic Scholars have met regularly in order to expand, extend and deepen academic enquiry, encourage independent minds and further the enjoyment that they get from learning, thinking and creating. The group now meets on Thursday afternoons under the name IQ which stands for ‘Independent and Quizzical’. Whilst being compulsory for academic scholars, it is open to all Lower School students and is growing in popularity.
Topics discussed range from the arts and humanities to scientific and mathematical discoveries, such as the Mars landings and the complex robotics involved, or more down-to-earth topics, such as animal intelligence, philosophy and the workings of the brain, how we learn to count, and the discovery of DNA. An example of a termly theme might be 'How the mind work', exploring aspects of (good and flawed) reasoning and decision making.
Towards the end of the year students are invited to present to the group on topics of their own choice, which they research in their own time. The subjects they choose demonstrate their interest in the world around them: some previous examples include the science of music, phobias and fears, human rights and prison sentences, and even the pseudo-science of phrenology.