The Scholars Programme provides Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 pupils with an inspiring experience of university-style learning beyond the curriculum, through seven tutorials taught by a PhD tutor and a trip to a competitive university

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The Scholars Programme gives students in secondary school the opportunity to explore higher education and build key skills to help them succeed in the next stages of their education. We work with students in Years 7-8 on our Key Stage 3 placements, and Years 9-10 on our Key Stage 4 placements.  

Students take part in a series of seven university-style tutorials, delivered in-school by a PhD tutor throughout the course of an academic term. The tutorials are based on the tutor’s area of research expertise, so pupils explore an inspiring, supra-curricular topic whilst developing key academic skills that support their attainment across the curriculum. Students receive feedback and support from their PhD tutor to write a final assignment of 1,500-2000 words, demonstrating the subject knowledge, written communication and critical thinking skills they have developed throughout the programme.  

On completion of the programme, students visit a university for a Graduation Event to celebrate their achievements and build their understanding of higher education, helping them make informed choices in the future and believe that they can succeed in university-style learning. 

We work with non-selective schools to address educational inequalities; to find out more about our targeting criteria, click here. 

Pupil Journey

What does The Scholars Programme offer pupils? 

  • Your younger students will get an inspiring academic experience to set expectations high at the start of their time in secondary school and support with the transition from primary school by focusing on independent learning skills. 
  • Older students will have the opportunity to explore post-16 pathways as they select their GCSE options and consider their future options.  
  • Students will get to explore life and learning at competitive universities through the university- style tutorials and the Graduation Event. 
  • Students will develop their independent learning, essay writing, discussion, research and critical thinking skills through the series of tutorials.  

Why get involved? 

  • Recent research has shown that students who did The Scholars Programme in Year 8, 9 or 10 were more likely to achieve a 9-5 in maths and English than students who scored similarly at Key Stage 2 within their schools.
  • Eight consecutive years of independent evaluation from UCAS have shown that The Scholars Programme has a significant impact on university application and progression rates.
  • The Scholars Programme develops key academic skills, including critical thinking and written communication, as well as university knowledge and confidence. We will report on this in a bespoke impact report for your school at the end of the placement. 
  • The programme has been cited by cited by Ofsted as an effective use of Pupil Premium funds. 

What do students learn? 

Our Key Stage 3 courses are pre-designed and adapted to be accessible and engaging for younger students. Our Key Stage 4 courses are designed by our PhD tutors, allowing students to explore a new area of research in an interactive way. Throughout the series of tutorials, tutors share both their research expertise and passion for their subject, inspiring future generations of researchers. 

Click on each handbook title to find out more about the course

Looking for Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 5 information?

This experience taught us what it is like to submit university style essays. As well as learning about the skills and standards we had to meet to complete our essays, we also got to learn different viewpoints and opinions on the topic we were focusing on. Our tutor was wonderful and gave us feedback which really helped us achieve our best.

Students have had the opportunity for self-growth, the opportunity for them to build their confidence and to build their academic abilities. I think it’s a really robust programme that is well thought out and well planned. Also, the opportunity for students to get to work with an industry specialist – I mean that doesn’t happen every day, does it?

The Brilliant Club - School Enquiry

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