Nene Trust School News

Manor Students develop their critical thinking skills

This term has seen 24 of our year 9 students embark on an exciting new project with the University of Northampton.  The programme is targeted at our ‘most able’ students and is designed to stretch their learning, to experience a new subject, to develop their critical thinking skills and also to develop their essay writing and referencing skills.

The project started with a visit to the new University of Northampton campus to see what university life is like, have a tour of the campus but also to find out a bit more about what the project actually entailed.  Students were dived into 2 groups and provided with an exciting and challenging topic.  Something new and certainly something they had not studied before.  Each group was assigned a mentor who was an expert in their field and a current PhD student studying at the university.  As a school we were allocated ‘The use of Islands in European Literature’ and ‘Collage images in painting’  Two challenging but interesting topics for the students.

Following our visit to the university the PhD and Post Graduate students have been visiting Manor to teach a six-week module to the students.  The visits started in in February and have ended as we go into the Easter break.  The students have shown great resilience in being pushed outside of their comfort zone and have learnt many new and transferrable skills which will help them into key stage 4 and 5 and hopefully beyond!

At the end of the 6 week programme students have been tasked with writing a 1,000 assignment or submitting a practical piece of art depending on their topic.  Like university submissions students will be uploading their work onto a designated UNIclub portal and they will receive feedback on their finished piece of work.

We have been so impressed with the way in which the students have thrown themselves into this project and whilst the finished piece of work shows the journey they have been on we hope that it has been a real opportunity for students to aspire to want to study higher education!

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