On Thursday 10th November eight of our successful students from the first cohort of the Scholars Programme visited Southampton University to be awarded their certificates. The purpose of the programme is to increase the proportion of students from non selective state schools successfully applying for a place at one of the top universities across the country.
In June the students attended Oxford University as an introduction to the programme. Once back at Mounts Bay they attended five seminars with a PhD tutor focusing on the impact of conflict on children and particularly how child soldiers are reintegrated into their communities at the end of conflicts. After their fifth tutorial, the students needed to produce a 2000 word assignment which they completed independently and submitted during the summer holidays. These assignments were marked at ‘A’ level standard. Five students were awarded first class passes which means their work was outstanding at ‘A’ level. A further four were awarded higher upper class passes which equates to work that is of a good standard at ‘A’ level. Two further students were awarded lower second class passes which represents work that is of an exceptional level for GCSE which considering both these students were in Year 9 when they wrote their assignments is a significant achievement.
Whilst at Southampton University the students attended an impartial advice and guidance session that taught that there are over 35,000 courses on offer to students from the universities in the UK. They were also told that 58 of the UK’s universities are in the top 500 in the world. They also looked at the reasons people choose universities and were asked to rank, in order, their importance.
The second session was a sample lecture which challenged the students to first work with other students from other schools. This gave our students an opportunity to work with students from very different backgrounds to the ones we normally experience in west Cornwall. The topic the students were focussing on was immigration. The students were asked to think of themselves as a British family who had to leave Britain immediately due to a crisis. The students needed to think where they would go, how they would get there and what things they would take with them.
After lunch we had a brief tour before a review session of the programme and then it was time for the graduation. It was a great experience with all the students celebrating each other’s success. We are very proud of our students’ achievement and more importantly how hard they have worked to enjoy this success.