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Top marks for students working on university-style projects

Students who have been working with PhD researchers on university-style projects have had their grades back, with many achieving a First or a 2:1.

Groups of students from years 9, 10, and 12 have been taking part in online tutorials to gain an insight into higher education and develop their critical thinking through the Scholars Programme.

Year 9 students explored 'Introduction to Literary Theory'; Year 10s examined English and German perspectives of the ecoGothic; and Year 12’s topic was ‘A Biography of the Brain: The Evolutionary History of the Nervous System’.

Ahead of students’ virtual graduation on April 28th, they received their marks for their final assignments:

  • Year 12: Seven students were awarded a 2:1, two achieved a First.
  • Year 10: One student achieved a 2:1, three gained a First.
  • Year 9:  Five students gained a First, ten achieved a 2:1 and six were awarded a 2:2.

Year 12 student Emma Towler said: “I enjoyed participating in the Scholars Programme. The university style of teaching was a new and enjoyable experience. I found the topic, The Evolutionary History of the Nervous System, very interesting. It has also helped boost my understanding of the Theory of Evolution. Learning how to structure and write university style essays will certainly help me in future.”

All students had a final feedback session with their tutors, and were congratulated on completing the programme under such unprecedented stress. TCA staff who coordinated the project also commented on how students conducted themselves and the quality of the work produced.

Year 10 student Kacey Johnson said: “When I started the Scholars Programme I thought it might be really difficult as it’s all university-based learning. It was definitely a challenge but the tutor explained things really well. I enjoyed reading the material and extracts we were given – I wouldn’t normally read things like that.”

The Scholars Programme is run by The Brilliant Club, which aims to increase the number of pupils from underrepresented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. Students work on projects pitched at a Key Stage above where they are currently studying, in order to stretch and challenge them.

Year 12 student Matthew Hollis added: “Working with The Brilliant Club through the Scholars Programme allowed me to develop my research and writing skills. This will help me in the future as it has given me a look at what university is like. I also learned how to write essays properly, which will assist me in my A levels and in the future. It was an overall exciting and beneficial experience.”

“The Scholars Programme gave me an insight into university style learning and how it is to work almost completely independently,” said Year 12 student Alisha Cox. “It allowed me to explore in detail a new topic to increase my scientific knowledge.”