Glenalmond has a rich academic environment in which the Scholars and Award Holders take a central role. The focus of the programme is to broaden intellectual aspiration, engender clarity of thought and to prepare for entry into elite academic institutions when they leave Glenalmond.
Scholars and Award Holders at Glenalmond follow a linear programme of taught courses, lectures and seminars from Third Form to Upper Sixth that is designed to develop intellectual strength, rigour and creativity. In addition to the extensive pastoral tutor support given to all pupils, the Scholars and Award Holders are also overseen by specialist staff who work with individuals to develop the skills and strategies needed to reach the highest levels of academic attainment. Scholars and Exhibitioners booklet.
Many Scholars and Award Holders are entered into the Oxbridge Preparation Programme. This takes place in Sixth Form and is designed to prepare pupils for the specific application requirements for entry into courses at Oxford, Cambridge, and in Medicine, Dentistry, Law and other specialist subjects.
All Scholars and Award Holders are members of the William Bright Society. This is a school body for academically gifted pupils and it aims to provide the depth, richness and colour that academic pursuit should always have at the highest level. In addition to an extensive lecture programme, WBS members also attend academic courses outside of their timetable that are designed to nurture intellectual and academic development:
Subject specialists work with small groups of WBS members on a two year programme to nurture academic attainment through entry into some of the most illustrious national academic competitions for this age group. These include: the Royal Geographical Society's Young Geographer of the Year Award, the Royal Society of Chemistry's Top-of-the-Bench Award, and the Pushkin Prize for English.
This programme is designed to introduce pupils to the very notion of knowledge and the thinking process, focusing on paradox and fallacy of thought, artificial intelligence and chaos theory.
This course focuses on developing the critical method to thinking and to developing the skills needed to construct robust and coherent argument. It also uses the philosophical principles of logic and reason to counter weakness in argument.
The final year is dedicated to presenting some of academia's big conceptual challenges; those that bridge the Arts-Science divide and that require sophisticated philosophical and analytical skills. These include analysis of human rights, societal structure and anarchy, inductive logic and scientific refutation, philosophical reductionism and the nature and value of perceptual art.