In the second week of Work Experience, Archbishop Lanfranc pupils visited four of our top Universities and wrapped up the week with a workshop in school. Headteacher, Mr Clark has christened the Aimhigher Project as ‘Aimhighest’ and this week our pupils lived up to that label.
On Monday, we went to Sussex University, just outside Brighton, to get a taste of life in a campus just outside of a major town. A senior lecturer led the group through an extensive list of Higher Education Study Skills. Our pupils were already familiar with a large number of them and quickly came to grips with the new techniques. This was tested after lunch with a law lecture from a PhD student. They had to take notes at lecture pace and then answer an exam question in a seminar. They got every point of law with the correct case reference; a display which prompted the Sussex University Coordinator to comment that they were better prepared than the majority of Year 13 students that he worked with.
On Tuesday, Ms Anderson took the group to Cambridge University. Again they took everything in their stride. To a man and woman, they felt that they were capable of getting into Cambridge. They appreciated the difference between the context of Sussex and the University city of Cambridge. Some recognised that they would be uncomfortable in that sort of environment, others relished the thought but none were afraid. During the day, the group learnt how to present a CV and what the top Universities were looking for in a student.
University College London (UCL) on the Wednesday, was the highlight for the group last year. The inner city context did not please all of the group, however the science people recognised the attraction of going to a University that is currently ranked Number 4 in the world. The group covered all the financial aspects of going to university, including student loans and managing their own money. After which we had an incredible lecture from a young researcher about the ‘Teen Brain’, which inspired everyone with the possibilities of research work. The huge choice of Colleges within London was not lost upon anyone either.
Thursday saw us in Egham, at the Royal Holloway College, right out in the green belt. A small college town, that went to sleep when the University students went home. It was completely different from the other sites we had visited. Here the pupils discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to ‘independent living’. Their grasp of what was entailed and what sort of adaptations needed to be made over the next two years was very impressive.
We finished the week with a workshop in the LRC. The entire week was reviewed in a variety of activities that went way beyond the original programme, because the group were so astute and receptive. The massive improvement in Speed Reading was testimony to the degree of application they brought to the 2010 University Week. Everyone who came into contact with them was impressed. They were a huge credit to the school and to their families.