The Virtual Scholars Programme

The Scholars Programme will be available virtually for all schools and partners. Pupils will follow a similar structure as the in-person Scholars Programme; seven tutorials with a PhD tutor, culminating in a challenging final assignment. University information, advice and guidance will be provided through accompanying resources and events created in collaboration with our university partners.

We are pleased to be able to offer The Scholars Programme virtually for any schools who would prefer, or due to ongoing COVID restrictions, require it. The virtual programme ensures that – whatever restrictions are in place – pupils will still have a sustained university-style learning experience through tutoring with a PhD researcher along with high-quality information, advice and guidance to help them progress to a competitive university. We will be able to adapt the programme for partners needs or to any changing circumstances in the year ahead. ​

The Virtual Scholars Programme will work with the same number of pupils (one tutor supporting 12 pupils in two groups of six) and the delivery of the tutorials will be synchronous – with the pupils and tutors meeting for their tutorial at a set time on a weekly basis. ​

We have delivered the programme in this format successfully since summer 2020. We encourage you to read the case studies below to see how the programme has worked for these partners. Have a read through the Virtual Scholars Programme overview via the button below and get in touch to discuss the practicalities of delivering this in your school.

Alternative IT Provisions for Pupils
We have collated a list of ways pupils can access remote learning from home. You can access this document via the button below.

Virtual Scholars Programme – School Case Studies

Overall I found The Scholars Programme really beneficial and I'm grateful to have had this opportunity.

Virtual Scholars Programme FAQs

Will the virtual programme provide the same value for money?

The virtual programme is designed to support the same aims as the in person programme. Adaptations and additional resources have been added throughout to ensure pupils get the same experience of the programme as they would do usually. 

What resources will pupils have access to?

As usual we will provide each pupil with a physical copy of a Scholars Programme pupil coursebook. These will be delivered to schools for pupils to collect. The programme structure will be support by Scholars VLE which will host additional resources for pupils and allow messaging between pupils and tutors, and group messaging for the tutorial groups. The virtual tutorials will most likely be held over Zoom, but if schools have a preference for a different platform this will be discussed on a case by case basis. 

Are university campus trips still included?

Throughout 2020-21, we are working with our university partners to gain access to university campuses as soon as we can. However, the majority of our partners have closed campuses to visitors and university staff until the Spring 2021. Whilst we are planning to run in person events from then, we cannot guarantee that there won’t be ongoing campus closures preventing us from running trips. If that is the case, we will provide a package of support to ensure pupils have a high quality university experience off campus. You can read about our plans for off campus university information, advice and guidance here.

What do the virtual formats look like?

We can deliver the programme virtually in two ways. We will work with schools to establish the best delivery method for them and be able to swap between if needs change during the programme.  

  • Delivering tutorials in school with the PhD tutor calling in remotely via a secure video conferencing platform. Suitable if external visitors are not possible in school.
  • Delivering tutorials remotely to pupils in their homes via our Scholars VLE with embedded secure video conferencing, plus additional online resources to enhance their learning (hard copy course handbooks would still be sent to every pupil). Suitable for local or national lockdowns.

How will you monitor and evaluate the virtual programme?

The same evaluation methods will be applied to the virtual programme. We will measure pupils’ progress against our competencies through the pre and post assessment (completed online) and the baseline and final assignments. Schools will be provided with an impact report which will be the same as the in person programme.

How are you ensuring safeguarding of pupils?

All virtual tutorial sessions are recorded and stored for six months. All messages and communications between pupils and tutors on the Scholars VLE are moderated. All tutors will have additional training on how to deliver virtual tutorials safely and flag any concerns or issues according to our standard child protection policy. 

I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn and write about topics I otherwise would never have known about.