North East Connected

funding secured for after-school aspirational classes

AN AMBITIOUS scheme is encouraging students to aim higher and broaden their horizons in an innovative approach to learning.

Northallerton School & Sixth Form College has just secured government funding to help increase the number of pupils going on to higher education.

In collaboration with FutureHY (the National Collaborative Outreach Programme Higher York), the school has launched The Study: Aim Higher, a project aimed at year 11 students.

It will strive to maximise the performance of every pupil, with a particular focus on hard-to-reach teenagers targeted by the county-wide scheme.

The scheme is designed to:

Head of biology Anna Cox, who is leading the project, said: “Students often wish they had started revising earlier. We’re creating that opportunity. We’re making it normal to come into school early and study. They’re all in it together so, who knows, it may even become cool.”

Joe Shuttleworth, 15, of Northallerton, said: “I’d never thought of working in the morning before – this is perfect as I’m at my most alert and I go to my first lesson already feeling like I’ve achieved something.”

Assistant principal Bronia Harris added: “Almost 70 students have attended the first sessions – we are thrilled.”

The first study skills session was entitled ‘How to find an effective revision technique for you’. Maisie Hicks, 15, of Northallerton, said: “It was brilliant! I immediately had a much clearer idea of what I needed to do.”

Her mother Allison Hicks said: “This is a great scheme and is already having a positive impact on Maisie. She is so much more confident in herself and her ability to focus on preparation for her exams.”

In addition to the school project, FutureHY is providing many other opportunities for students in Northallerton.

Forty Northallerton pupils spent a day at a Year 11 conference hosted by the University of York, learning about their options for life post-16 and post-18 in a fun and inspiring way.

Boys in years 9 to 13 will also be invited to take part in a Marginal Gains workshop with former athlete Sean Dirrane. Sean will show the boys how they can improve their academic performance and life chances by making small, manageable changes to their learning behaviour.

FutureHY project director Helen Smith said: “We are delighted to be working with Northallerton School & Sixth Form College to support these goals through a variety of workshops, campus visits, mentoring and career-related opportunities.”

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