We were delighted to welcome the University of Cambridge on campus for a range of raising aspirations workshops with Sixth Form and school students. Elsie Linley, Schools Liaison and Access Officer at St John’s College, Cambridge, inspired our B6 Honours programme and RAY students with an introduction into student life at the prestigious university, followed by engaging skills-based workshops.
The B6 Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge and those in the elite Russell Group of universities. The Honours Programme is a supplement to our students’ academic provision, aimed to help equip them with skills in wider academic research, debating and critical thinking.
For the Honours programme, Elsie delivered a session all about supra-curricular engagement; the process of building and enhancing what you learn at school by exploring and evaluating a topic of choice. The students got to search for a resource, evaluate it, summarise, reflect and respond and then discuss in their groups. Topical articles included deforestation, the rise of AI, the role of social media, and the moral use of facial recognition.
For the RAY session with local Yr 11 pupils, Elsie led an informative subject exploration skills workshop, focusing on critical thinking and using effective questioning.
RAY is an innovative after school programme that introduces Year 10 pupils to the fundamental elements of critical thinking they will need for success at GCSE, and beyond. Pupils apply in Year 9, and if selected, are invited to attend The Sixth Form Bolton to experience a range of engaging masterclasses over the course of Year 10 and into Year 11.
Over 50 RAY pupils attended the event from a range of local schools included Sharples School, Harper Green School, Westhoughton High School, Atherton High School, St Joseph's RC High School, Mount St Joseph Catholic School, St James’s Church of England High School and Smithills School.
Bradley Forster, a current Year 11 pupils at St Joseph's RC High School in Horwich said about the masterclass:
“The session from the University of Cambridge was really challenging; it encouraged us to think for ourselves, discover and explore different levels of questioning, and to listen and respond to other people’s views and opinions. I have really enjoyed being part of the RAY programme and I can’t wait to join the Honours programme at B6 next year.”
Elsie Linley, Schools Liaison and Access Officer at St John’s College, Cambridge said:
“It was a pleasure to deliver these sessions to such engaged cohorts of students. I was very impressed with their confident and thoughtful reflections on each task and topic. Practising these skills in critical thinking and small-group discussion is an excellent way for students to prepare for both applying to, and studying, university courses.”
Find out more about the opportunities available at The Sixth Form Bolton here.