The Ashcombe School

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The Brilliant Club

Twelve Year 10 pupils had the opportunity to attend the "launch day" of the Scholars Programme at St Catherine's Oxford. This is an initiative devised by The Brilliant Club, an award-winning university access charity that works with schools and universities across the UK. The purpose is to give pupils from comprehensive schools some experience of university style learning in the form of tutorials with a PhD student, planning, writing and submitting a substantial essay. The study and support from the tutor takes place in school and these sessions are framed by days at two high-entry universities.

The first tutorial was preceded by introductions to the course and a tour of the College with a student describing academic, social, sporting and artistic life at St Catherine’s. The PhD student led a great tutorial in which all pupils were involved and she noted afterwards how much she had enjoyed our pupils’ interest and feedback about the themes discussed.   

The assignment is a piece of research around “learning to read in the 18th Century”. Weekly tutorials take place for five weeks, and a graduation ceremony rewards the hard work at a second university in May.