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Preparing students for successful futures with Study Skills Initiative

Head of College, Steven Turner, explains how Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate (QE) in North Yorkshire teaches its students invaluable life skills to use in school exams, further education and throughout their careers.



QE Collegiate is a place for highly aspirational, talented, and curious students to focus on academic study whilst being stretched and challenged to reach their full potential in their passions. The Collegiate offers a programme ‘beyond the curriculum’ to set students apart from their peers in the university market with additional lectures, national competitions, opportunities for student leadership, and over 100 weekly enrichment activities. Above all, the Collegiate takes pride in fostering future readiness by developing the wider skills that are essential for future employability and success.


Working together, our Stretch and Challenge and Pastoral teams provide weekly sessions on mental health, wellness, physical health, and future-readiness. They cover a wide range of topics such as coping with exam stress, the importance of movement and diet, how to network, sourcing work experience opportunities, tackling procrastination, and balancing study with Collegiate life. In addition, students can seek professional careers assistance and participate in several informative workshops and lectures delivered by academic staff, alumni and external professionals to help them best prepare for UCAS applications and further education, especially for those applying to competitive fields.


In September 2022, we introduced the Whole School Revision Project, which has enabled our students to develop vital life skills, including mental agility, resilience, teamwork, collaboration, and effective study habits. The project takes a research-led approach to developing the most efficient revision techniques for our students, so they are better prepared to retain knowledge, apply critical thinking skills, and excel in examinations not just in the immediate future but throughout their life. By revolutionising our students’ approach to revision with impactful methods such as Cornell notes, flashcards, and blank page retrieval, we have been able to empower them to become future-ready, independent individuals. In addition, the project developed leadership skills among 27 students who acted as Ambassadors for the project. The impact of this initiative is evident through student feedback, with 43% of students expressing increased focus and dedication to their revision.


In September 2023, we built on the success of the Whole School Revision Project and launched the QE Study Toolkit which teaches study skills for effective learning, knowledge retention, time management and skills for creating excellent coursework. All students from Year 6 to Year 13 benefit from this programme. As one GCSE student summed up, “My study methods have changed massively. Flash cards, dual coding, interleaving – they've helped me to effectively take in information, which in comparison to my past scrolling for 30 minutes on a screen, is much better. I have gone from averaging 4s and 5s to getting 8s and 9s in every assessment”.

Success at QE is more than achieving excellent academic results. Our students leave us as well-rounded individuals with plenty of hands-on experience wherever their passions lie. We are dedicated to preparing them for all future examinations and projects, in and out of education, not just those that they undergo whilst here with us.


Contact us

Nestled in 220 acres of countryside between Harrogate and York, QE is a co-educational day and boarding school for students from 3 months to 19 years, known for its academic success and excellent facilities. Contact admissions@qe.org to book a private tour or visit www.qe.org to find out more.

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