University of Essex to host A-levels in schools’ initiative

A Levels students get a taste of Philosophy from a lecturer as part of the Essex University Taster D

A Levels students get a taste of Philosophy from a lecturer as part of the Essex University Taster Day. - Credit: Su Anderson

Sixth form students in north Essex can now get a taste of university life as part of a new education initiative.

A Levels students get a taste of Philosophy from a lecturer as part of the Essex University Taster D

A Levels students get a taste of Philosophy from a lecturer as part of the Essex University Taster Day. - Credit: Su Anderson

The University of Essex is set to host A-level courses for pupils from six schools across Tendring and Colchester through the VI6 scheme.

Students will be taught at the Colchester campus on Tuesdays throughout the term in one of seven subjects, including economics, maths, French and law, with the subject being one option for pupils who will study at their school during the rest of the week.

Two of the best teachers from the schools taking part will teach the subject throughout the day, and pupils will also be able to draw on support from university staff and students – as well as using the institution’s world-class facilities.

The partnership schools are:

Students (L-R) Kristian Williams (Colne), Cydney Phipps (Colne), Madie Eley (Thurstable), Ryan Stain

Students (L-R) Kristian Williams (Colne), Cydney Phipps (Colne), Madie Eley (Thurstable), Ryan Stainer (Clacton County High), Ben Rockell (Clacton Coastal Academy) and Jordan Wright (Philip Morant) - Credit: Archant

• Clacton County High School

• Clacton Coastal Academy

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• Colne Community College

• Harwich and Dovercourt High School

Headteachers from participating schools (from left) John Lee , deputy head Thurstable, Catherine Hut

Headteachers from participating schools (from left) John Lee , deputy head Thurstable, Catherine Hutley (Philip Morant), Tracey Hemming (Clacton Coastal), Nardeep Sharma (Colne Community), Jeff Brindle (Clacton County High) and Rachel Earle Director of Admissions and Access at the University of Essex - Credit: Archant

• Philip Morant College

• Thurstable School

Students will begin in September, but took part in a taster day during a launch event at the university this week.

It is the first time in the university’s 50-year history that it will host students studying A-levels.

There are around 200 spaces available, and places are only open to students aiming for a B grade or above.

Professor Jules Pretty, deputy vice-chancellor at the university, said: “This is the start of a ground-breaking initiative.

“We are giving the young people of north Essex the chance to be part of something really special, a new and exciting way of learning informed by our commitment to excellence in education.

“Immersing sixth form students in this living and learning environment at our campus will be inspirational for everyone involved.

“Students will become part of our university community, they will have the chance to learn and work like a university student and benefit from our facilities. We hope they will also be inspired by our ethos of challenging convention.”

Nardeep Sharma, Colne executive principal, added: “We are really excited about this project which allows our students to learn in new ways, experience higher education from a different perspective and develop a love of life-long learning.

“This is a unique project and no other area of the country has developed a project like this. I can only see it going from strength to strength.”

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