Uxbridge High School students in Year 9 and 10 attended a graduation ceremony at Newnham College, part of the University of Cambridge on Monday 12th May. Each of the students involved had recently completed and passed a 2000 word assignment on either international relations or the growth and death of cancer cells. However, the students had a little help along the way in the form of two PhD students from leading universities who tutored the students through six university-style sessions, which took place on university campuses and the Uxbridge High School site.
This is the second year Uxbridge High has worked with The Brilliant Club, the organisation which leads the programme, linking PhD and secondary students and the quality of the students’ work and the impact it has made to their future ambitions has been just as strong as last year. Tanzil Choudhury in Year 10 for example, spoke about how the programme had improved his research and essay writing skills and made him even more determined to go to an leading university in the future. After achieving a first and a distinction for his work, his teachers and PhD tutor agreed he is certainly on course to achieving his aim, as are all the students who took part in the programme.
Noga Glucksam who led the international relations course and is close to finishing her PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, commended the students for their hard work during her closing speech to her group of 11 students and surprised all those present by revealing that the quality of some of their assignments was better than what she received from some of her first year undergraduate students.
Aidan Leach, science teacher and the school’s High Achievement Coordinator was equally impressed, and expressed his thanks to the students, PhD tutors and The Brilliant Club staff: ‘It was another fantastic cohort of students and against a backdrop of mock exams and all the other pressures secondary school students experience, I was truly impressed (once again) by the quality of work these young people and others like them can produce. Days like today really highlight what education is all about – stretching and challenging students to make sure they make the most of their potential.’