Octagon is Kingham Hill School’s flagship academic programme. It exists to ‘provide academic extension and enrichment to students with significant potential’. It teaches the Trivium (Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic) during weekly lessons around the Octagon table and lessons are aimed at the pursuit of knowledge and a shared love of learning. Students are selected on the basis of their academic potential across a range of subjects and they should also be highly motivated and highly enthusiastic about learning.
In this area you will find all the news from Octagon.
Gathered on a cold, wet Wednesday evening in the Dining Hall were 40 keen Octagon and Sixth Form students, for many their first Burns’ Night. Bradley Lowe opened the event with the Selkirk Grace, following this Callum Partridge addressed the Haggis before preceding to ceremoniously stab it. During the starter, which was Cullen Skink and the delicious main, Fife Miner’s Stew, we played a Call my Bluff- Scottish word game. Perhaps the most memorable entries were stravaigin which some people thought meant to drink gravy from a plate. That amstoorie was Scottish for Amsterdam. Others thought that driffle meant to talk rubbish and perhaps the most original, brose which some thought meant brothers reciting prose.
An instructive morning was spent at the Year 10s’ Octagon trip to Oxford, following in the footsteps of the Sixth Form who had gone on a similar trip the year before. We had an auspicious start to the day as the sun smiled warmly upon us as we boarded the train to Oxford for the second time that term. The Year 10s were buzzing in expectation of a fact-filled foray into the world of academia.
On the 23rd of June 2011, The Octagon Academic Society celebrated the end of the academic year with a trip to Cambridge for picnic, punting and a meal out. The journey by bus seemed to pass quite quickly and it wasn't long before we were all standing on Jesus green with the picnic laid out in front of us.
There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
The Wind in the Willows
The Octagon Academic Society members of years 10 and 11 were invited to a series of lectures and a debates hosted by Julie Arliss and Dr. Peter Vardy on a Gifted and Talented Study Day in Oxford Town Hall. To begin with, Dr. Peter Vardy delivered a presentation on the Nature and Reality of Mathematics.
Sixth form members of the Octagon Academic Society experienced an amazing evening of culture, fine wines and education. We attended The Chequers Village pub for a talk by a sommelier and two local breweries for a night of wine and beer tasting.
On Thursday the 25th of November, Michael Ramsden came from Oxford to give a lecture to all the Octagon, Theology and Christian Union Students who had “Big Questions” about God.
The evening started off with a Questioning session - everybody with questions had them written on the board. Then everybody voted for the 3 that they would most like to be answered and the two questions that had the most votes, he would answer. The two questions that were chosen were:
On Thursday the 17th of March, the entire Octagon Academic Society from Kingham Hill School went on a trip to London to the National Portrait Gallery in order to visit a specialist photographic exhibition by Hoppé.
After a surprisingly short bus ride into London, everybody disembarked to stretch their legs and have some lunch. We had this in Trafalgar square, sitting on Admiral Nelson’s plinth watching the Olympic clock count down.
The Octagon Academic Society were treated to a very lively and controversial lecture about gross diseases, blood sucking parasites and disgusting killer bugs from Dr Mike Leahy on Wednesday the 11th of May.
There was an excellent turnout for the lecture as all of octagon attended along with other students who were interested. It was so crowded that extra chairs were added to the theatre and some people even had to sit or stand at the back of the Lecture theatre.
Octagon lessons over the last 12 months have included philosophy, IQ tests, logic puzzles, topical examinations, a book club, literature and comprehension, a study of ethics, evolutionary psychology, business ethics, cryptology, code-breaking, linguistics, critical thinking and coping strategies and the nature of mathematics and the Fibonacci sequence.
The Octagon council is made up of eight student members who serve the school’s academic community and the needs of the society by advising on the content of lessons and the extra-curricular events that are planned. They work very hard! When on the Octagon Council they learn skills such as board management, planning, event management, journalism and PR.
Students are selected on the basis of their academic potential across a range of subjects, although there is always attention given to subject specialists. Students should be highly enthusiastic about learning and ideally have A grade potential in order to be nominated for Octagon membership.