Lancaster University

This is archived news from Lancaster University. You can find up-to-date stories in our current news section.

Summer school for Britain's brightest youngsters

07/29/2005 14:32:25

Lesley Fuzell

Some of Britain’s brightest youngsters have learned about subjects from maths to music at a summer school for gifted pupils at Lancaster University. School may be out for the summer but more than 100 of Britain’s brightest pupils have been exploring new subjects with some of the University’s top academics.

Workshops ranged from music, art and sociology to history, philosophy, maths and religious studies. Students, aged 11 to 16, from schools across the country were given the chance to study in a University environment alongside leading academics and other gifted young people.

The summer school took place at Lancaster University from July 24 to August 6.

Activities included:

· Visit to Sellafield and topical discussion on decision-making on environmental issues for philosophy and maths students.

· Discussion on the film “Terminator Two” for religious studies students.

· Facial life casting (making moulds of their own heads) in the art class.

· Visit to Bay Radio for media studies students.

· Improvising music on a range of instruments, including mandolin, saxophone, bass guitar and drums, and an end-of-course concert.

· Climbing trip to do sketching in the Lake District.

· A cross-curriculum session for History and Media Studies on the stereotyping of Native Americans in film.

Lancaster was the only North West University to run a summer school for the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY). NAGTY was set up by government, at the University of Warwick, to improve provision for gifted and talented children and young people up to the age of 19 years, and to provide guidance, advice and development for teachers. It is the centre of expertise for gifted education in England. The National Academy’s funding comes from the DfES and also the private sector through successful partnerships with businesses, charitable trusts and individuals.

Summer school participants from across the country stayed in student residences at the University campus. There were be a wide range of social activities for them to choose from, including a talent contest, films, bowling, music, sports and games.

Lucy Lloyd, Marketing Manager at Lancaster University’s Department of Continuing Education, said: “Most able pupils need extra support if they are to fulfil their academic potential. Many get bored at school, and feel held back. Some get picked on because they are clever. While teachers may recognise a pupil’s ability, they may not have the time to give the individual attention the pupil needs to really maximise his or her potential. The summer schools that are offered under the NAGTY scheme are an opportunity to bring out a child’s talent in a supportive environment, where it definitely is cool to be bright.”

The summer school at Lancaster University is organised by the Department of Continuing Education which is experienced in running residential summer schools for young people.

The summer school is open to NAGTY members. To find out more about the summer school and how to join the Academy, call 024 76 574919. You can also find information on the NAGTY website at: