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  • Brilliant Club

    Brilliant Club

Brilliant ClubSome students in year 8 are invited to take part in The Scholars Programme (run by the charity, The Brilliant Club). This programme provides pupils the opportunity to work with a PhD researcher to experience university-style learning. It helps them to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to secure a place at a highly-selective university.

The Scholars Programme is delivered by a PhD tutor and involves two trips to highly selective universities and six in-school tutorials. The in-school tutorials take place during the school day and last for one hour each. The tutorials follow a curricular course designed to push the students to develop the academic skills they will need to secure places at highly selective universities. These are based on or incorporate the PhD tutor’s area of research. In recent programmes, students have studied ‘Gender and Peace’, ‘Literary Theory’ and ‘The secret to a long life’.

Students finish the course by producing an assignment which is marked using criteria from the key stage above their current level. They are then given a university-style grade (1st, 2.1 etc.) and feedback from their tutor to allow them to reflect on and improve their performance. Those students who produce work to a suitable standard will then be able to graduate on the second of their university trips.

This year 11 students participated in the course and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Everyone received at least a 2i and three students were awarded the highest grade of a first. As well as learning lots about life expectancy, they developed their independent learning skills and found out about university life.

It was fun. I really enjoyed learning in this way. It felt more grown up.

At first I wasn’t sure about whether to go to university, but now I think I would like to.

The topic was really interesting, and I really liked the way out tutor ran the sessions