Outstanding Learners

The Outstanding Learner programme at Southborough High provides extra challenges to stimulate the educational development of a small number of exceptionally able boys drawn from across age groups. These pupils are chosen for their academic ability.


Defining Able Learners

Here at Southborough we believe in academic excellence and therefore challenging our most able students is at the heart of what we do. As of September 2015 an ‘Outstanding Learner’ group was established for pupils in KS3. Every member of this group attained a stanine of 9 in either the Quantitative, Non-Verbal or Verbal CATs which puts them in the top 4% nationally. For more information on CATs please see the following link:

What is CATs?


This select group meet on Monday lunchtimes with the Able-learner coordinator Miss Morkane and have taken part in a range of activities, events and trips over the year.

BBC School Report

Jack Petchey Speak Out final

Globe theatre trip

Trip to the Houses of Parliament

Rotary Club Youth Speaks competition


Outstanding Learners events

A Spelling Champion is Crowned!

SpellingChampThis Tuesday saw the crowning of Southborough’s first-ever Spelling Bee champion.  Newly crowned Spelling Bee champion Faizan Rashad is looking forward to a week off after a stressful two weeks of cramming in preparation for last week’s Year Group rounds and this week’s Grande Finale!

After going head-to-head with Adam Sepidehdam and Sathian Subenthiran over five very tough rounds, Faizan (representing Year 9) won on the word cipher.

Adam, the Year 7 winner from the prelims, placed second overall, with Sathian, representing Year 8, taking third.

"I studied hard over the past two weeks," Faizan (pictured above with Ms Flaherty) said. It was nerve-wracking, but he credits his tutor group as helping him get by.

Fifteen students had signed up for a chance to win the spelling bee crown this year, said Ms Flaherty, spelling bee coordinator and Literacy Co-ordinator.

"I tell them to go with their guts because they are usually right," she said during the competition.
Words such as quinoa, an annual herb of the goosefoot family that is native to the Andean highlands, challenged students, with Matthew McConaughey being the competition's kick-off word in the Celebrity round.

"Some of those younger students have really held their own," Ms King said.
Adam was close to becoming the first Year 7 to be spelling bee champ, but Burundi, a central African country, was one of the words that tripped him up at the end.

The bee proved to be good competitive fun as the contestants came down to the wire. The supportive audience from across KS3 and the staff were also a welcome addition to the overall feel of the competition.

Here’s to next year!
Mr Burns


Rotary Club Intermediate Youth Speak Competition 2016

OLRotaryClub; float: right;

On the 29th November, three year 9 Southborough pupils: Hammad Malik, Rabishana Rabindran and Dylan Maclean took part in the annual Youth Speaks competition, held by the Rotary Club. Competition was fierce this year with a total of eight local schools participating. The boys did exceptionally well; they put in a lot of time constructing a six minute speech and their topic: 'why we should invest more in renewable energy', was well received. Hammad's delivery was superb and Rabi earned himself a commendation for his vote of thanks.

Well done boys!


EU referendum debate

IMG 0943On Thursday 23rd June, Southborough able learners and debating team took part in a debate at St Mark’s and St Andrew’s primary school in Surbiton against Tolworth girls. The motion was:

Should the UK remain in the EU?

A coin toss decided that Southborough was to represent the leave camp – arguably the harder side to debate!

Mr Iles acted a chair as the four debaters: Anjevan Mahendran, Reuben Sinclair, Josh Gregory and Sajagan Varathan took to the stage to present their argument, eagerly watched over by years 3, 4 and 5.

IMG 0952

After a riveting question and answer session, the three year groups retired to their classrooms to vote, aided by more of the Southborough debating team who were on hand to answer their questions.

Unfortunately the vote was against us – however Southborough put in a fantastic performance and worked really well as a team, with Reuben Sinclair claiming the prize for best individual debater.

Pupils’ verdicts:

IMG 0950

On the 21st of June 2016, the day of the EU referendum, Southborough High school and Tolworth Girls debated in front of a primary school (Saint Andrews and Saint Marks) We, Southborough, had to debate for the leave side, much harder of the two. The hardest part was persuading the children to vote leave after many of them had already decided to remain. After the debate the children went back to their classrooms to vote and ask more questions about the matter. Southborough were definitely asked more questions but we replied well. The final result was leave; 151 and remain; 49. We were definitely out bribed as the girls bought chocolate stars to the debate, according to them if we were to leave the EU we would lose them as they are only sold within the EU. Yet, nearly four days later we can still buy them. Despite losing we all agreed that it was a great and enjoyable.  Experience and given another chance I would definitely participate.

Christian Harper, Year 9IMG 0941

Although I was not one of the main debaters, it was my role to ask questions to the opposing team, Tolworth Girls. The question I proposed way; “Why are we funding so much into the EU, when we could be funding it into Education, Public services or our NHS?” they were shocked as they did not expect that kind of question from our side. My opinion was that we unjustly lost as it was bribed away from us with … magic stars lost it for us!

IMG 0953

Alex Gardiner, Year 9

In the debate against Tolworth Girls, I was on the side line and was there not only to support our four main debaters, but to ask questions and to counter their argument. This experience helped raise my confidence and I now know much more about the EU referendum and how important this is and that it would change my future.  

Luke Newell, Year 9

Globe Theatre Trip - Review, Stanley Shaw (year 8)

"Our trip to see Twelfth Night at the Globe theatre was really awesome! It was an excellent idea to go and all the students loved it! The teachers managed us very well but still were very fun and chatty! The students taken were chosen well with all of us not misbehaving and looking smart to the public. The acting there was really exciting but the Shakespearean language was a bit confusing. Overall it was an amazing trip and I am privileged to be part of the Able Learners group." Stanley Shaw (year 8)

The Jack Petchey Speak Out Competition

Jack Petchey 1The evening of 17th March 2016 saw the final of the prestigious Jack Petchey Speak Out competition which requires participants of eight local schools to speak for 2 minutes on a topic of their choice to an audience of well over one hundred. Not an easy task! Ananth Vijayakumar and Brett Shepherd in year 10 were the lucky two chosen to represent Southborough High at the event and they did themselves and their school proud.

Ananth was first up and he chose an interesting and topical subject: pressure on teenagers today. His delivery was flawless and met to rapturous applause. After the interval it was Brett’s Jack Petchey 2turn and once again the audience didn’t daunt him and he delivered a heart-felt speech on stereotypes. Both boys showed that they can perform under pressure and have gained valuable experience and demonstrated that they are two of the best public speakers Southborough has to offer. Well done!


School Calendar

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