UAK’s Brilliant Club Graduation.
12 UAK Year 10 students attended a graduation ceremony at the University of Leeds as part of The Scholars Programme. The event organised by The Brilliant Club, a charitable organisation established to open opportunities for state school students to access places at top universities, known as the Russell Group Universities.
“We were chosen by our teachers for being brilliant in a particular subject like maths, English or RE” explained Maryam Hayat, Year 10 student at the academy, “We had to write a 250 word statement explaining why we wanted to take part in the programme, why we think it would benefit us.”
Students attended a launch event at the University of Manchester in May. They were assigned a PhD Tutor in Philosophy: George Stamets, who they met on the day. Students had a tour of the campus, attended workshops on study skills and met other students on the programme from across the North of England.
Over the next six weeks students met with their tutor for a one hour session in small groups to learn about Philosophy and prepare for the final assignment: ‘Are my actions ever up to me? An Introduction to Free Will.’ The assignment was a 2000 word essay, marked by the tutor and marked using the degree level criteria. Natalie McQuillan who achieved a First explained “the assessment is designed to challenge pupils and to show the skills and knowledge we have acquired whilst studying the course.”
The graduation event on Saturday was held at the Michael Sandler Building, at the University of Leeds. Families and staff attended the event to celebrate with the students. The parent of Hifza Zafar, whose elder son and former student of UAK graduated this summer from the academy’s sponsor the University of Bradford after completing a degree in Pharmacy, exclaimed “Hifza’s been talking about this all summer, she’s been so excited about it.”
Mrs McQuillan, mother of Natalie stated: “Nat wasn’t sure about university, whereas her sister Sarah, who is studying her A Levels at South Craven always knew she wanted to go. After today Nat is now considering a future at university. We got some really useful information about student finance too.”
Year 10 students presented their experience to this Year 9 last week who are about to embark on the programme this term. They also presented to 250 parents and family members who attended the Year 5 and 6 Open Evening on September 19th. Stuart Smith, Assistant Principal explained, “our students have really done themselves, their families and the academy proud. This experience has introduced our most able students to a world of academic possibilities. The students are great ambassadors for UAK and we look forward to celebrating their continued success in whatever paths they choose.”