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The Basildon Academies

Plenty of light bulb moments for students in ‘The Brilliant Club’

A group of Year 9 and 10 students have been given an exciting opportunity to experience university style learning for themselves, when they embarked on the Brilliant Club Scholars Programme.  

The Brilliant Club aims to introduce the world of Higher Education to students who traditionally might not consider applying to competitive UK universities.  The aim is to break down the mystery surrounding the application process, and show students what they can expect, and achieve.  The ground-breaking initiative gives students the support of a PhD level tutor over the course of a term, during which they complete a university-style module, culminating in a final assignment.  As well as in-house tutorials, the students will benefit from trips to two highly selective universities to give them a taste of what might be ahead of them in the future.  

The project was kick-started in great style for the students with a trip to the prestigious Goldsmith University in South London, which made a big impression on the study group. Crystal from Year 10 reports; “During the tour we were able to see the impressive buildings, facilities and surroundings. It was a chance to experience the lifestyle of a university student.” Jacob in Year 9 was also impressed by the welcome they received; “When we arrived at the uni we were greeted by the student ambassadors who then took us to the spacious lecture room. I have never been to a lecture before so it was an exciting time.” After their lecture on study skills had been delivered they took part in their first tutorial of the course, and learnt that their assignment was to be entitled ‘How to rebuild a country: dilemmas and decisions in post-conflict reconstruction’.

So what did the students make of their first tutorial?  Jennifer, also from Year 9, was quick to see the value in what was offered and said; “We learnt things like academic skills and were pushed by our tutor to do better and expand our thinking during our session.” Lucianna in Year 10 is also enthusiastic about the course ahead of her, saying; “I am looking forward to the project. The tutorial challenged us to think and research post-war changes.”

All of the students who participated in the visit left feeling keen to make headway with their projects, and appreciated being able to take a view of the world of university study with fresh eyes. Valeria in Year 9 sums it up when she says; “The whole experience broadened my knowledge on universities and what they are like. I do feel like I will pick up a lot of skills as well from the programme we’re currently in. I definitely had fun and would go again!”