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Peter Symonds launches HE+ programme

The 2018 HE+ programme, hosted by the University of Cambridge, has launched successfully at Peter Symonds College.

Over 500 enthusiastic lower sixth students, from state schools and colleges across Hampshire, are set to meet up regularly at Peter Symonds for each of the five evening sessions. This is the sixth year that Peter Symonds has been the Hampshire hub for the scheme and has hosted the programme. This year the College’s own students have been joined by over a hundred students from Bitterne Park School, Andover/Sparsholt College, Brockenhurst College, Itchen College, Oaklands Catholic School, Portsmouth College, Havant and South Downs College and Richard Taunton College, for an extension programme involving university style lectures and additional support offered by Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Hampshire is one of 18 hubs around the country now running the HE+ project which brings together and supports large groups of lower sixth students with a range of science or humanity evening lectures and events. The scheme’s common aim is to stimulate the students with extension activities and materials while also challenging them to support each other in raising their academic attainment and aspirations.

One of the most recent HE+ evenings involved a collaboration between Peter Symonds and the University of Southampton, specifically aimed at HE+ Biology students. To complete their degree, third year Biology students can choose to plan, write and deliver a lecture about a relevant topic to an audience. These students volunteered to present their lecture to the HE+ Biology students to give them a taste of university level learning, while gaining the credits necessary to complete their degree.

It was clear that both university and college students gained a great deal from the evening. One student said: “I really enjoy the interactive learning with people who share the same interests as me”, whilst another added, “The practical activities really assisted our learning this evening”.

Student lecturer Jayleigh Huntleigh found the experience invaluable, saying: “I’m doing my teacher training from this September, so this experience has been massively useful to me and has confirmed that this is definitely the right career choice for me”.

On the conclusion of the lecture programme, many of the students will visit Cambridge, as guests of Trinity College, for further masterclasses and a university tour.

“The HE+ programme offers lower sixth students a real insight into university style learning and gives them a sense of what is available to them once they have completed their A Level studies,” says Nick Allen, Peter Symonds’ Assistant Principal (Quality) who oversees the HE+ Project in Hampshire. “It is an excellent opportunity for those who are considering their university careers and we are delighted to be the hub college for Hampshire in this exciting project run in conjunction with Trinity College, Cambridge.”


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