Brilliant bright sparks from Ely College wow uni academics with their maths skills

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Twelve bright Ely College students recently got a taste of uni life when they “graduated” from a special scheme at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

The high-achieving year eight students, all part of the college’s Brilliant Club, stunned academics at UEA by not only completing the demanding programme but also achieving maths problems usually set for students three years older!

The Ely College students were participating in a scholars programme aimed at giving secondary school pupils an insight into university learning.

They were given a number of tasks which, if completed, allowed them to ‘graduate’.

All twelve students graduated with half of the students graduating with first class honours for the work that they conducted on the day under the supervision of University of Cambridge PhD tutor, Emma Hildyard.

Tanya Batchford, a science teacher at Ely College, said: “It is really important to the College that we provide wider opportunities for our students and encourage them to have high aspirations.

“This programme, in conjunction with UEA, is brilliant as it allows us to inspire some of those students who had previously not considered university as a career option.

“It has been a pleasure watching them grow in confidence, particularly those who were hesitant but then graduated with a first class honours later that day.

“The confidence and skills that the students developed during the day will be invaluable as they continue their education.”

The scholars programme aims to give students a taste of what to expect from the top universities in the country.

The students got to work in small groups with their PhD tutor, who guided them through the project which was beyond what is usually expected of their age range.

The students successfully completed maths problems usually set for Year 11 students.

They were also able to experience day-to-day university life within the programme, visiting the university’s halls of residence and touring the campus.

Click here to find out more about opportunities available for students at Ely College.