Oldfield School students were excited to welcome local MP Wera Hobhouse to hear about their progress on The Scholars Programme – a prestigious national scheme which gives school pupils an opportunity to experience university-style learning.

The Programme is part of a wider initiative involving 172 students from across Years 7, 10 and 11, designed to encourage the most able students to have high aspirations and expectations of themselves, and their achievements whilst at school and beyond. The initiative involves aspirational mentoring and a series of lectures and workshops held during lunch times at school, created and led by teaching staff.

Within Oldfield School there is a rich, varied range of university level expertise and staff have been excited by the prospect of sharing this wealth of knowledge with the students selected for this programme.

Wera Hobhouse met some of the 32 students from Years 7, 10 and 12 who are currently involved in The Scholars Programme which places PhD Tutors in schools, teaching university-style tutorials to groups of four to six pupils. This is proving to be a unique opportunity for the students to experience university-style teaching whilst working with a world-leading expert. Those engaged in the programme are currently attending PhD tutorials once a week and preparing 2,000-word dissertations on subjects including neuroscience, feminism in French literature, and working as ‘Disease Detectives’! All students have attended a launch trip to either Cambridge or Exeter University and, if successful, will graduate from the programme at a leading Russell Group University.

“It was great to visit Oldfield School today, and meet pupils taking part in The Scholars Programme,” commented Wera. “I was very impressed at how they engaged with such a complex and challenging academic topic. It just goes to show what young people from Bath can achieve if we give them the opportunity. I wish the pupils the very best for the future, and I encourage more schools to give their pupils the chance to benefit from this programme.”

Jessica Lobbett, Assistant Headteacher, added, “I was delighted to meet with Wera Hobhouse and show her the excellent work our students are doing in The Scholars Programme. I am very proud of the achievements of all of our students and I am excited to see how their participation in the programme inspires their study and future opportunities.”