BRIGHT sparks have ignited their academic ambitions after taking part in a nationwide university scholar’s programme.
Students from Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool, have graduated from The Brilliant Club, an education charity which aims to widen access to higher education.
The charity, which works with schools across the country, helps to stretch pupils academically by increasing their knowledge, skills and ambitions and encouraging them to think about attending university in the future.
Head of School Audrey Brahimi said: “This is the second year that Eldon Grove Academy has taken part in The Brilliant Club programme which helps to raise aspirations in our students.
“It is all about planting seeds for the future. Our school motto is ‘Potential is our Passion’ and this project is about showing students that whatever their background or wherever they are from, everyone has the opportunity to aspire to be the very best that they can be.”
The 12 Year 6 students included Cassie Gray, Navila Azad, Liam Rennie, Harry Johnson- Clark, Penny Dixon, Gracie Hope, Amelia Connelly, Ryan Duong, Hudson Wales, Kayla Brown, Becky Brown and Kristian Burnett.
They worked with a PhD tutor over six tutorial sessions to study a branch of STEM before each was tasked with a 1,000 word essay on ‘A healthy heart’.
Students were also given the opportunity to visit Durham and take part in a seminar, in one of the lecture theatres, as well as learn about university life and what it is like to be a student.
“I am so proud of each and every pupil that took part,” said Mrs Brahimi. “To write a 1,000 word essay and have it marked by a university tutor was a massive undertaking.
“The project has made them all aware that we have one of the best universities in the world on our doorstep and given them the ambition to challenge themselves academically to help reach their full potential.”
All 12 students were invited to attend a graduation ceremony at Durham University where they were each presented with certificates in front of family and friends.
Pupil Penny Dixon, ten, of Hartlepool, who received a distinction for her essay, said: “I was very happy to be selected to take part in The Brilliant Club.
“I now know that I want to go to university in the future where I can have fun but also learn lots of new things too.”
Hudson Wales, ten, of Hartlepool added: “It was an honour to take part in The Brilliant Club.
“There was such a small group of people selected that it felt like a big achievement. I didn’t know anything about university life before but now I know so much and when I’m older I want to study a broad range of subjects and get a good degree from Durham University.”