This term 12 higher-attaining students in years 9 and 10 have been specially selected to take part in The Scholars Programme delivered by the Brilliant Club, to encourage students to aim higher and increase their aspirations.

The programme involves mobilising the PhD community to share its academic expertise with state schools. It places doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in schools to deliver university-style tutorials, supplemented by two trips to highly selective universities in the UK.

The first university visit in early January was to Goldsmiths University. As part of this Launch Trip, the students were given a tour of the university site by student ambassadors and had the opportunity to ask questions they may have had regarding university life. Students also met their university tutor for the first time, and took part in their first university-style tutorial.

This challenging programme requires active participation from students in weekly tutorials, independent-study and a final graded assignment, but also provides invaluable insight into higher education. As the students’ advance through the programme, they will invariably develop a number of soft skills, such as a strong work ethic, time management abilities, good communication skills and the ability to accept and learn from constructive criticism

Besides promoting academic excellence and development of these soft skills, the programme delicately promotes social and emotional wellbeing. Indirectly, the programme will help stimulate a state of positive mental health through the development of the students’ self-confidence, optimism and self-worth.

The students have now reached the half-way point of the programme and are enjoying it thus far. They look forward to the remaining tutorials and the second university visit for their Scholars Programme Graduation.