Lancaster University

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Summer school is a gift for Britain’s brightest youngsters

08/16/2004 15:13:40

Some of Britain’s brightest schoolchildren are visiting Lancaster University for a special two-week summer school offering them the chance to study with top academics and meet other gifted young people.

It is the first time Lancaster has run the summer school for the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), a Government-funded initiative based at Warwick University that provides a range of opportunities for the top five percent of schoolchildren from across the UK. Lancaster is the only North West university holding such an event.

The summer school, aimed at 11-16-year-olds, started on August 8 and runs until August 20. There are currently 147 schoolchildren staying on campus, taking part in courses organised by the departments of History, Art, Economics, Psychology, Music, Engineering, and the Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy.

They can choose from eight courses including music technology using computers, building an electrically powered go-kart, learning about how the mind works and problem solving, and developing artistic skills. The summer school aims to be both a stimulating academic experience and a chance for gifted children to make new friends who share their interests, and there is a wide programme of social activities arranged such as sports events, competitions, day-trips and music.

Lancaster’s Department of Continuing Education, which runs the summer school, has just secured £561,000 funding to continue holding the event for the next three years and will also be organising other activities during the year for gifted children.

“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,” said Lucy Lloyd, Marketing Manager at the Department of Continuing Education. “Feedback at the end of the first week from participants at this year’s summer school is excellent.”

There will be a chance for university staff to find out more about the summer school with a view to their department taking part in the future on Friday (August 20) at a ‘Sharing Morning’ where the children will present their achievements to their peers. It takes place in George Fox LT1 from 9.30 to 1pm. To attend, e-mail Fiona Frank, NAGTY Development Officer, at or telephone her on 07778 737681.