School pupils celebrate Brilliant success at Homerton

Photo: 37 pupils from three schools travelled to Homerton to celebrate their success on a university-style tutorial programme organised by The Brilliant Club.

In the third week of September, 37 pupils from three schools travelled to Homerton to celebrate their success on a university-style tutorial programme organised by The Brilliant Club.

The Brilliant Club is an educational charity that recruits and trains PhD and postdoctoral researchers to help students from non-selective state schools develop the knowledge, skills, and ambition they need to secure places at highly selective universities. Pupils from years 5, 6, 10, and 11 worked in school with a PhD Tutor over the course of six weeks, experiencing small group tutorials on the researchers’ areas of expertise. At the end of the course, pupils tackled final assignments of up to 2,500 words long on topics ranging from neuroscience to poetry.

The students, from St Bartholomew’s School in West Berkshire, Rivers Academy in Hounslow, and Eastbury Primary in Essex, were hosted by Homerton College for a special graduation event. They received certificates, handshakes, and a big round of applause to congratulate them on completing the programme.

Each student experienced an inspiring tour of the College led by current undergraduates. Admissions Tutor Steve Watts offered a talk to students about why they might want to apply to University, particularly top Russell group universities such as Cambridge. Steve said “Homerton is always pleased to see keen, committed students and to help deliver advice and encouragement to them. Working with The Brilliant Club is a great way to achieve this.”

At the end of the day, Dr Rajbir Hazelwood, Programme Officer with the Brilliant Club, gave a keynote speech to celebrate the pupils’ hard work and encourage them on the next stage of their educational journey.

Dr Mary Henes, The Brilliant Club’s Regional Director for London, says: “We are delighted to see so many pupils at the University of Cambridge today to congratulate them on their success on our Scholars Programme. They have done tremendously well, studying with a researcher, in small groups, over the course of six weeks and addressing challenging questions in their extended final assignments. As part of the programme, they have also been able to visit two highly selective universities, where they met undergraduates, toured the campus, heard from university representatives, and thought about their choices for the future. I hope that they are proud of the work that they have produced, and that the experience of the Scholars Programme inspires them to consider applying for a highly selective university."

The University of Cambridge and its Colleges run hundreds of events each year to widen access to the University, and to higher education in general. Cambridge’s outreach work extends across the UK thanks to its Area Links scheme, which gives schools and colleges a direct contact with the University.

This article was written by Homerton’s Schools Liaison Officer, Emma Smith (