8 September 2020

More than 30 Birkenhead Sixth College students have benefitted over the lockdown and summer periods from working with an academic charity that aims to help young people from underrepresented backgrounds progress to highly-selective universities.

National charity The Brilliant Club runs a Scholars Programme that connects sixth form students with PhD counterparts to receive university-style tutorials and develop crucial skills , knowledge and confidence to secure places at universities that are traditionally exclusive in their recruitment.

The students taking part also produce a challenging final assignment which is marked and moderated using university grading.

Lauren Taylor was one of the College’s students to take part in the Brilliant Club’s programme.

She came to the College from Ridgeway High School, and takes Biology, Chemistry and Physics at A Level, with an aim to go into medicine after completing her courses.

Lauren said: “I took so much out of the programme. It’s given me really useful writing and researching skills that I’m already putting to use in my A Levels. It definitely felt like a step above A Level, which might have felt dauting before but it was definitely worth the effort and it’s been really rewarding.”
The experience has given Lauren the encouragement to set her sights on going to the highest possible universities, and she now has a place at Oxford in her sights.

She said: “My final assignment got marked 70%, which puts it as a first in degree levels, so I was really pleased with that. I feel confident that I’ve got what it takes to get a place at Oxford, particularly after doing the work with the Brilliant Club. It’s given me that little bit extra in my academic abilities and in my self-confidence.”

PhD Tutor on the Brilliant Club's Scholar's Programme, Hannah Martin, said: "It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the students at Birkenhead Sixth Form College and I'm pleased to say that they have all produced final assignments at a level I would expect from first year undergraduates."

For more on The Brilliant Club, click here, and click here for details of the College’s Careers Programme.