YEAR nine and 10 pupils at Mossley Hollins High School have been given the opportunity to experience university-style learning.
The Scholars Programme recruits, a prestigious national scheme, trains and places PhD researchers in non-selective state schools to deliver university-style tutorials based on their own research to small groups of pupils.
The pupils recently met by MP Jonathan Reynolds are studying a course entitled Combating Climate Change Through Renewable Energy with their tutor Chukwuma Obgonnaya from the University of Manchester.
As part of the programme, the pupils have also visited two highly-selective universities, where they have received information, advice and guidance about university life and making a successful university application.
The Scholars Programme is run by The Brilliant Club, an award-winning charity whose aim is increase the number of pupils from underrepresented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities.
An independent evaluation by the Universities and Colleges Application Services (UCAS) showed that nearly 60 per cent of pupils who complete the programme go on to attend a highly-selective university. For pupils on the programme who were eligible for free school meals, 58 per cent progressed to a highly-selective university, compared to a national rate of 11 per cent.
Mr Reynolds said: “It was great to visit Mossley Hollins High School and to meet pupils taking part in The Scholars Programme. I was very impressed with how they engaged with such a complex and challenging academic topic.
“It just goes to show what young people from Stalybridge and Hyde can achieve if we give them the opportunity. I wish the pupils the very best for the future, and I encourage more schools to give their pupils the chance to benefit from the programme.”
Headteacher Stuart Marshall added: “I was delighted to meet with Jonathan Reynolds and show him the work pupils are doing in The Scholars Programme. I’m proud of the achievements of our pupils who are participating and am excited to see how their participation inspires their study and university choices.”
Dr Chris Wilson, CEO of The Brilliant Club said: “In Britain today, there’s an entrenched link between a young person’s background and their chance of education success.
“The Scholars Programme helps pupils develop the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfil their academic potential and secure places at highly-selective universities.
“We’re really grateful to Jonathan Reynolds for taking time to come and see the great work that our PhD tutors and partner schools are doing, and the amazing things pupils are achieving.”