Successful year as Worcestershire HE Plus Hub

Worcester Sixth Form College is celebrating the success of its first year as the as the HE Plus Hub Centre for Worcestershire.

The University of Cambridge works with groups of state schools and colleges in 20 different regions of the UK on the HE Plus Programme.  More than 130 schools and colleges across the country participate.  The College has worked with 6 county high schools this year (with the hope of more participating next academic year) on a wide-ranging programme of activities. 160 students were involved in 44 different subject sessions offered by College staff and teachers from some of the schools. 12 visiting speakers also delivered sessions, including lecturers from the University of Worcester, medical consultants and even a talk by the former UK Ambassador to Chile on her life as a diplomat and her experience of society in Chile.

The project has involved university-style lectures and discussion of topics at a level higher than A level and has covered a range of topics including: the Apollo Space programme; women in Greek drama; plastic waste in the world’s oceans; how our ancestors invented Maths; why Charles 1 was beheaded; how miscarriages of justice happen and the human genome project. Students also got advice from The Hive on doing high level research, from Cambridge University on how to make your university application stronger and from a finalist in the TES Teacher of the Year Award on how to improve revision skills. 

There was also a residential trip to Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge in March involving 32 students from the Sixth Form College and the other schools taking part.  Students had masterclasses with Cambridge academics and enjoyed talking with current undergraduates about what it is like to study at a top university like Cambridge.

It is anticipated that participation in the project will encourage and prepare more academically able students to make competitive applications to top universities in the UK and abroad, including the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and the Russell Group. It will also help to develop academic skills, understanding, motivation and confidence. 

Paul Morris, Head of English, Languages and Media Arts at the College who has led on the project, said: “It has been exciting to work with students and teachers from across Worcestershire on the HE Plus project.  The students I speak to after each session are buzzing with new ideas and clearly love pushing the boundaries of their knowledge and thinking ever further.  Doing HE Plus sets them up so well for making really competitive applications to top universities.  We are all looking forward to an even better year next year!” HE Plus has been an exciting and valuable extension to the College’s highly successful Ambition Programme.