The ‘Special Subject’, for all boys in Years 7 and 8, is designed to advance independent learning and research skills. These boys are given some curriculum time to embark on a research project of their own choice (within reason!) using NCS’s library and ICT resources. While there is no compulsion for the boys to spend any extra time on these projects outside the classroom, they are warmly encouraged to choose a topic that interests them so much they just won’t be able to help themselves finding out more at lunchtimes or at home. Topics in the past have ranged from the crisis in the Middle East to the career of Leonardo da Vinci. The boys are given a whole year to work on their projects, aiming to complete the best mini-thesis, so they are awarded The Warden’s Medal at the end-of-year Prizegiving.