[Press & Publications] Back to School - At University: Summer School for 'gifted and talented' 11-year-olds

August 2000

No 155

Gifted and talented children from Leicester are to converge on the University of Leicester for a special Government-backed summer school that aims to heighten their aspirations.

As part of a Department of Education and Employment funded project, the University of Leicester is working closely with Leicester City Council and a group of exceptional Year 6/7 students.

Sixty 11-year-olds from four city schools have been targeted for the programme during which they will meet leading academics from the University of Leicester in different disciplines, including mathematics, english, education and the arts.

The youngsters have been identified as being within the top 5% of the whole cohort year, with an ability to achieve and benefit from such an initiative. The schools involved fall within the widening participation remit - schools the University has worked with in order to increase progression rates into further and higher education. They are Judgemeadow School, The City of Leicester School, The Lancaster (formerly known as Lancaster Boys School) and Sir Jonathan North School.

Helen Newton, the Senior Curriculum Consultant for Special Educational Needs in the Education Department has close links with the University's School of Education and is working with the School and the University's Widening Participation Project Leader, Herabans Kaur, in order to raise aspirations and to empower young people to make informed decisions about their future.

Ms Kaur said: “The Gifted and Talented students will be involved in numerous activities during the two week period, including campus tours undertaken by current undergraduates, giving them the opportunity to interact with the undergraduates to gain first hand knowledge and experience of life at university.

“The aim of the two week summer school is to raise awareness, engage interest and to break down barriers to education, focussing upon the key skills of numeracy and literacy.”

Dr Jeremy Levesley in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department will be presenting a Maths Workshop during the Mathematics Summer School, commencing 14 August. Students will be introduced to an exciting and interesting way of addressing and solving problems acquiring transferable skills of use and application in everyday matters.

workshops include a Probability Workshop and Maths and Fun Workshop at the Abbey Pumping Station, both organised and delivered by Dr Mike Price at the School of Education.

Professor Nick Cull in the Centre for American Studies will be delivering a Star Wars lecture as part of the literacy summer school commencing Monday 21st August. The idea is to use a concept with which young people are familiar as a means of engaging and retaining interest, and to use that concept as a means of demonstrating the relevance of academic tools in critical analysis and a range of other transferable skills.

Ms Kaur added: “As a pilot project both Leicester City Council and the University are hopeful that the success of the Summer School will result in similar events in the future.

“We recognise the need for increased awareness of the benefits of education and are keen to continue working together in order to ensure raised awareness and raised aspirations within the widening participation target group.”


For further information/details contact: Herabans Kaur, Widening Participation Project Leader on 0116 252 5349.

Helen Newton, Senior Curriculum Consultant, Standards and Effectiveness Division, Leicester City Education Department, Marlborough House, 38 Welford Road, Leicester LE2 7AA. Tel: 0116 252 7724.


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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 11 August 2000 15:52
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