In November, Year 10 Villiers Park Scholars from three Swindon schools, including LPA, attended their first ever residential at Villiers Park in Cambridge. The ’Scholars University’ challenge saw them working in teams with their peers from fellow schools, with the aim of creating their very own university. The students were divided into teams of university faculties, from maths and science to creative arts, as well as a leadership team who coordinated the overall project. Over the two days, each team worked together to finalise their offer of courses, budgets and USPs to attract people to attend their university, and the culmination of the task was a superb University Open Day led by the Scholars in which each faculty presented what they were offering to potential new students.
During the trip, the Swindon Scholars visited Trinity College, Cambridge University, and were treated to a lunch in the Great Hall (quite an impressive place for lunch), a talk led by Cambridge University on myth busting and admissions, a tour by two undergraduate students and a mind blowing talk from Baland Jalal about neuroscience on dreaming, out of body experiences and attraction. This trip to Trinity College was hugely inspiring and enabled Scholars to realise their true academic potential.
The residential course helped students to develop their communication skills by working effectively in teams, confidence by presenting their work and speaking to new people, and their creative thinking and independent research skills. Overall, the course helped to develop strategies and techniques that will contribute towards success at school, university and throughout life.
Ms Dabbs with our year 10 Villiers Park Scholars