The Brilliant Club is part of the Scholars Programme which is a charity that encourages able young people to consider university as an option for their future.
This year Northgate identified 12 students from Year 9 to take part in the programme. Students chosen for the programme were Reegan Onslow-Clarke, Jaylen Campos, Nathan Cason, Megan Norgate, Alanna Morgan, Alex Macpherson, Alice-Joy Morant, Kuneesha Purewal, Ben Eglen, Mitchell Palmer, Ellie Dalton and Marcus Ashworth.
Mr Blocksidge, Brilliant Club coordinator/G&T lead at Northgate explains more about the Brilliant Club:
‘The programme involves a launch trip to a highly selective university; work in school with a PhD tutor on an academically challenging subject area, a final assignment of 3000 words which is marked to degree standards and a graduation trip to a highly selective university.
Our launch trip was to Gonville and Caius College Cambridge where students and staff had the opportunity to have their first tutorial with their tutor, have an information and advice session (IAG), meet students at the university who gave a tour of the university and be involved in a study skills programme. Lunch was provided in the college dining hall.
Our tutorials were led by Jack Massey, a PhD student at UEA, and the focus of the work was:
“Why should music lyrics be classed as poetry?”
All students submitted their final assignment and passed, achieving 2:1 or 2:2 grades and one student, Alex Macpherson, achieving a First.
The graduation day was held at UEA on Saturday 12th May. Parents were invited as well as school staff and students. The day included an IAG session, a tour of the university with UEA students, a study skills session and the graduation ceremony.
The students worked very hard and I am very pleased at the outcome. They did find the work challenging and needed quite a lot of support and encouragement initially. However, it made all of them realise they had the potential to complete a degree course and most were convinced that this was a route they would like to follow.’
Miss Theobald caught up with some of the students who took part to get their thoughts on the programme. Ellie explained, ‘in the tutorials we compared songs and poems, each session looked at a different way to compare them. We had to write a 2000 word assignment. It was challenging as it was beyond GCSE level.’
Mitchell commented, ‘it is something good to put on our CVs for the future and has helped with our essay writing’, whilst Alanna felt, ‘it was quite stressful as we would receive a homework assignment after each tutorial which we had to complete on top of our normal homework from other lessons. We had to be really organised.’
Finally Nathan explained, ‘some techniques and terms within the essay writing we hadn’t come across before so that was quite difficult, however the whole experience was worthwhile. It was also interesting to visit two very different unitversities and have a chance to compare them.’
A big thank you to Mr Blocksidge and the Brilliant Club for enabling some of our talented Year 9s to take part in the programme. We hope it has inspired them to consider university as an option for the future and expanded their horizens.