Eight Year 12 students from Richmond Sixth Form College have graduated from The Brilliant Club, following a four-month study programme specifically targeted to increase the number of pupils from state schools accessing top universities.
The Brilliant Club is a charity that mobilises the PhD community to share its academic expertise with students through an engaging and challenging schedule of activities. The eight students, who all study A-level Mathematics, worked on a project titled ‘Nuclear energy: solution to future energy needs’.
Subin Pariyar, Brilliant Club graduate, said: “Our subject topic was very interesting and enriched our experience. As a whole, I thought that the process was very enlightening because we were taught by a PhD student, Gary Linnett, who helped us to develop our skills in this given field. We learnt a lot of valuable transferable skills including essay writing and referencing. It was a great opportunity to meet new people and visit universities and we are thankful for the opportunity The Brilliant Club has given us.”
Between January and May the students worked with Gary Linnett, a PhD student at college, as well as attending university-style tutorials at The University of York. Gary’s research topic is chemical engineering for the nuclear industry and he praised the attitude and commitment of the Richmond students, saying: “I would like to thank both the students and staff at Richmond Sixth Form for welcoming me into their College. The engagement and commitment from all the students made the process of delivering my tutorials an incredibly enjoyable experience; this has been reflected by the very high standard of final assignments submitted by each student. I wish all the students the very best for the future and I am confident they will be a success in whichever field they choose to pursue.”
The Brilliant Club is a highly-regarded, award-winning charity that works with schools, colleges and universities across the UK. Its scholars programme is sought after by Russell Group universities as it demonstrates that students have the right academic mindset to continue their studies at degree level. The students attended a graduation ceremony at York University and were awarded with a degree level standard in recognition of the high level of work completed. The Richmond students were proud to receive 1st and 2:1 class awards.
Sandra Johnson, Assistant Headteacher, said: “It is vital that we continue to encourage the next generation of students to explore and access the opportunities available from highly-selective universities. The Brilliant Club allows them to develop their skills and ambitions further and get a taste of university-style studying.”
The Brilliant Club charity works with more than 10,000 students across England and Wales, making it the largest university access programme for secondary schools in the UK. Visit www.thebrilliantclub.org for further information.
Mrs Newson, parent of one of the students, summed up the benefits of this initiative saying: “The Brilliant Club was a fabulous opportunity for James. It was interesting for him to experience university-level lectures, led by a PhD student, getting involved and being rewarded. Standing up and delivering a speech made me feel a very proud mum, and increased James’ confidence. Thank you for giving him the opportunity to take part.”