Our new partnership with Brilliant Club

image of studentsSince Spring 2016, the University of Sheffield has partnered with ‘The Brilliant Club’, a fair access charity which works to address educational disadvantage and widen access to highly selective universities for pupils from non-selective state schools. The University of Sheffield researchers deployed on the project have now delivered 10 programmes in schools and our relationship with the Brilliant Club will continue to grow throughout 2016 and 2017.

The University of Sheffield works with the Brilliant Club to recruit, train and place doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in targeted primary and secondary schools and Sixth Form colleges across the country to deliver The Scholars Programme.

The programme consists of five in-school tutorials, together with visits to two highly selective universities. Over the programme, the PhD tutor delivers a course based on an area of expertise, if working with Key Stage 2 or 3, or directly based on their own research, for Key Stage 4 or 5 groups. Courses delivered by recent University of Sheffield tutors include “From Bare Bones: Reconstructing Ancient Diets using Zooarchaeological Techniques” and “Antibiotic Apocalypse”. The aim is to equip pupils with the knowledge, skills and ambition to secure a place at a highly selective university in future.

Pupils who take part in The Scholars programme are supported by their PhD tutor to produce a final assignment, an academically rigorous piece of work, ranging from 1000 words in length at KS2 and 2500 at KS5. The programme also includes two visits to highly selective universities, in the form of a Launch Trip and a Graduation Trip. Both trips give pupils the opportunity to get advice and guidance about progressing to university, meet current students and experience the intellectual and physical environment of the university. The Launch Trip includes the first Scholars Programme tutorial, and the Graduation Trip a certification ceremony to celebrate all the pupils’ hard work over the term.

 Tamsyn Fraser, University of Sheffield researcher said:

“I was pleasantly surprised by the speed at which the pupils understood the new concepts I was teaching them, as well as their ability to generate new and independent ideas about the material. However, what impressed me the most was their enthusiasm and commitment to the course. Many of them achieved a very, very impressive standard of work.”

For more information, visit the Brilliant Club’s web pages: www.thebrilliantclub.org