Application is open on rolling basis
CATALYST, a selective 1- and 2-week programme offered by Winchester College, is where students aged 13-18 discover how tech, science, culture, and industry change the world while building critical skills to shape the future.
CATALYST explores the topic of ‘change’ in the past, present and future. Lessons are interdisciplinary, covering a variety of topics across STEM, and natural and social sciences, among other areas of study. For example, in previous programmes, students have explored the impact of technology on society, the ethical governance of artificial intelligence, the consequences of personhood and identity in society, and the climate emergency.
CATALYST programmes explore how tech, science, culture, and industry have changed - and will continue to change - the world, with the aim of empowering them to be drivers of responsible change in the future.
CATALYST is developed and delivered by expert Winchester College educators, practised in helping students build real-world skills, with a focus on problem-solving and decision-making through active debate and discourse.
We offer an innovative and rigorous educational experience designed to stretch students, covering a broad range of topic areas that go far beyond the scope of any standard secondary school curriculum.
How can we ethically govern technology as it reaches a tipping point… artificial intelligence? How do identity shape individual and community perceptions of and resistance to change? What does macro change really look like, and what can we learn from the climate crisis?
In our novel and interactive 1 and 2-week programmes, the CATALYST team works with students to explore unique change systems with the aim of surfacing themes and insights that you can apply to your own vision for change.
Alongside the programme, students are also challenged to undertake a personal ‘Change Project’ where they identify and work to address a problem in their local community. Students receive personalised support to develop their projects, with selected projects awarded monetary backing and continued support.
CATALYST programmes are convened in our bespoke digital campus, allowing students to join from anywhere in the world.
However, we fundamentally oppose ZOOM-school and are extremely wary of screen fatigue. We ensure students will not be ‘stuck behind the screen’ all day, with off-screen interaction embedded in course content as students are challenged to participate in both remote and in-person activities in the student’s local community.
When students are ‘online’, they will have access to a custom-designed online environment (imagine a 2D, Zelda-like setting) that aims to foster interaction, idea sharing, and cohort community building.
Key Skill Development:
We focus on developing 6 key skill areas, each of which is assessed during the programme and detailed in a CATALYST Transcript for each student, setting out a student’s accomplishments and ambitions and providing insight and guidance on how they learn.
The CATALYST programme helped to convey the complexity of issues like climate change, but then also showed us the broad spectrum of action that can be taken. This bridge between content and real-world application is something that isn't done very often in education. And to see them doing that to an increasingly complex level was great to see.
Emma (S22 Cohort)
A true eye-opener. The programme brings not only new perspectives but also important life skills. Socialising, sharing ideas, having a debate, and laughing with your cohort.
Shotaro (S22 Cohort)
Do you want to look at the world with a different lens? CATALYST is the way to go. You will work alongside people from all over the world who have a diversity of interests but who are all driven to make the world a better place. CATALYST’s style of teaching is creative, lively and interactive.
Elisabeth (S22 Cohort)
You get to meet so many amazing people, including your teachers, lecturers, guest speakers, and peers. It is definitely an experience that helped me grow as a person and also helped me expand my knowledge and manage my teamwork skills and work ethic better.
Amelia (S22 Cohort)
CATALYST challenges the cohort to the fullest and embraces everyone's differences and specialities to help the pupil and the rest of the cohort learn even better. They often say it takes pressure to make diamonds, and CATALYST does a great job of applying that pressure in a supportive way.
Michael (S22 Cohort)
I gained skills from all different areas; teamwork, how to think at speed and then form a solid argument, how to be pushed out of your comfort zone, and then having enough confidence to present a speech or present a piece of work that you've done.
Maya (S22 Cohort)
Interactive, informative, crazy, fun, intensive, immersive, and unforgettable!
Yui (S22 Cohort)
It zoomed out to the bigger picture and made me really think about topics I didn’t know much about. I think the topics were really well thought out and the other people on the course definitely added to this sense of worldliness.
Martha (S22 Cohort)
They expect students to be knowledgeable in various areas and treat students as more mature people than school teachers usually do. This allows the students to be more independent but also be able to take part in more academically stimulating conversations.
Pat (S22 Cohort)
I have completely changed my outlook to studying, the future. I also learnt better study skills and time management.
Shakir (S22 Cohort)
SUPER INTERESTING!!!!!! Personhood - what a personal (no pun intended…) and engaging topic :))) and discussing how we think of ‘the end’ and what it could entail, also what different people see as their world. Also a very different style of challenge that was very interesting. All in all 10/10 <3
Tabi S22 Cohort
Most CATALYST students are between 13-18 years old; entering Years 9 - 13 or Grades 8 - 12.
If you are currently in your final year of secondary school, you may also be eligible to apply depending on the term dates of your academic year.
If you’re not sure of your eligibility please get in touch with us at: [email protected]
There are 2 parts to the application. Part 1 is an initial intake form accompanied by a short video interview that provides the student’s basic information, as well as their academic and extra-curricular interests. Part 2 is a live interview with a member of the CATALYST Admissions Team to determine whether a student is a good fit for CATALYST, and, more importantly, whether CATALYST is a good fit for the student!
We accept applications on a rolling basis, or a ‘first come, first served’, basis. Admissions for each programme close once a cohort has been selected. Accordingly, we encourage those interested to apply sooner than later. Please see our available programmes below.
Financial aid is available and is offered on a case-by-case basis. Students who are invited to interview will have the chance to indicate whether or not they require financial aid.
1-week programme (Easter):
1-week programme (July):
2-week programmes (July & August):
Application is open on rolling basis