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The Scholars Programme

The Scholars Programme (The Brilliant Club)

The Scholars Programme begins and ends with a visit to Durham University and Newcastle University. Our pupils will get the amazing experience of seeing for themselves both the intellectual and physical environment of the university.  This is a key part of The Scholars Programme as it provides our pupils with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition needed to be successful on the programme. 


Why have we partnered up with the The Scholars Programme?

The Income Deprivation IDACI domain measures the proportion of the our school population experiencing deprivation relating to low income. The definition of low income used includes both those people that are out-of-work, and those that are in work but who have low earnings (and who satisfy the respective means tests).


  • 90 to 95% of our pupils live in income deprived homes.


The Education, Skills and Training Deprivation IDACI domain measures the lack of attainment and skills in the local population. 


  • 90 to 95% of our pupils live in homes where parents &/or carers have not continued into higher education or training.


What does The Scholars Programme offer our children?

  • Challenging courses on subjects beyond the curriculum, taught by world class researchers.
  • Opportunity to experience university-style learning in small group tutorials.
  • Graduation ceremony at either Newcastle or Durham University.


Programme Planning


In-school Launch Event: The pupils will meet their PhD tutor and have the opportunity to learn more about university and The Scholars Programme.


In-school tutorials: The PhD tutor visits the school on a weekly basis to deliver tutorials. Each pupil receives a course handbook to support them through the programme. They also have access to The Hub to get support from their tutor and submit homework and assignments.


Final assignment and feedback: All pupils complete a final assignment pitched one key stage above their current level. Tutors provide one-to-one feedback in tutorials 6 and 7. Assignments are marked and awarded university gradings.


Graduation Event: A visit to Durham or Newcastle University to learn more about university life and celebrate their achievements on the programme.


School impact report: The school is provided with a detailed, bespoke impact report at the end of the programme outlining the pupils’ progress against The Scholars Programme university readiness competencies. The report also showcases Pupil Premium impact and progress against the Gatsby benchmarks.


How are pupils supported?

The Scholars community of more than 1,000 PhD tutors is what makes it unique. For some pupils, the only doctor they may have ever met is in a medical setting, but the programme open up the world of academic research and gives young people the opportunity to study university-level work in an accessible manner.  


The Scholar Programme tutors are recruited from a range of disciplines covering STEM, Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. The training also supports tutors to develop their understanding of pedagogy and teaching practice to deliver high quality tutorials to small groups of students. Tutors also undergo Safeguarding and professional standards training.


Students each receive a course handbook to support them through the programme. This will include all the material they need for their assignments and tutorials. Students will also have access to The Hub throughout the programme to submit work and get support from their tutor.

The Scholar Programme- 22/23

Some children in Year 4 and Year 5 completed the Scholar Programme with Dr Mark Ashely Parry and looked at the topic area- Climate Change: What is it and why does it matter?


The children examined the causes of climate change, and think about what we can do to reduce the effects on people and on our planet. To finish off the course, they wrote a 1000 word essay on an aspect of the impacts of climate change. The course also helped the children to develop a range of scientific skills. For example, they learned how to use evidence to support your arguments. Such arguments will be made using scientific language using data and information that you will discover as part of the course. They also developed data analysis skills and understood how to write reports and how to reason scientifically. 


Below is some of our children's fantastic essays!

Graduation Event- Durham University