Posted on May 21st 2018
"My Time on the Scholars Programme"
Timothy (centre), Year 9, writes about the Scholars Programme, which gives students at Harris Garrard Academy the chance to study university level topics with a PhD research student.
Taking part in the Scholars Programme was a great experience for me. The chance to learn about the reign of Queen Elizabeth I at a high level was one that I was very grateful for.
Over the last two terms, I have been studying this topic with Dr Dustin Neighbours (right). His expertise and knowledge in this field was fantastic but what I was particularly impressed with was his outgoing and friendly nature. He encouraged me to keep going when I struggled. The aims of the Programme were to give students a chance to develop the key skills that will help me throughout, what I hope to be, a successful future. For example, I feel that my confidence within this topic has massively improved as now, when asked questions, I can give more detailed answers. This has allowed me to engage more in group discussions.
Picture: Elliot, Timothy, Taliyah, Fauve, Oliver at Goldsmiths College for their Graduation Ceremony from the Scholars Programme.
As part of the Scholars Programme, I was thankful to be able to attend not one, but two university trips. This provided me with the opportunity to observe the facilities and services that are offered to students, to listen to inspiring anecdotes from teachers and students.
As part of our final trip, to Goldsmiths University, we took part in a Graduation Ceremony to celebrate our successful completion of the course. This gave me a taste of what I will, hopefully, one day achieve at the end of my university career. It was also great to be able to celebrate with the others in my year and students from all across the country.
These trips have given me the motivation to work harder whilst I am still at secondary school. Furthermore, receiving advice from my parents, teachers and friends has really helped me to understand the challenges of university.
2,000 word essay
The most difficult task that I was faced with during the Programme was the final assignment – a 2000 word essay. After weeks of extra academic sessions and tutorials, this was a task to see what I had learned and listened to. I was given a deadline and some sources to analyse. As I was typing, I always had a judgement and criticism for what was appearing on the screen, so when I submitted my work, I was extremely nervous. However, I ended up getting the second highest mark in the group!
The point I am trying to get to is that through this I have learned that it is completely normal to struggle when trying to understand and analyse sources, while ensuring that my writing has a clear and concise structure. Despite the fact that I was given such a high mark, I now have even more motivation to push myself further into my studies and hope to someday reach the level where my work exceeds my own expectations.
I’d like to sign off by saying that I loved taking part in the Scholars Programme and hope that now I can push myself more into my studies.
Timothy, Year 9
The Scholars Programme is run with Brilliant Club, an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities.