One of our year 12 students has just returned from a summer school run by the Sutton Trust, here is her report...........
Sutton Trust Summer School, Nottingham
Summer School is a unique experience which is not only a lot of fun but provides you with real life experience of what real university lectures and seminars are like in a certain field and gives you the opportunity to experience laboratory work if you’re interested in pursuing a degree in science. These sessions are mainly interactive and have sparked my interest in a range of different topics I hadn’t yet considered and helped me to decide on my degree choice (and give you inspiration for your personal statement!) The fun doesn’t end after the summer school with a range of activities being offered over the year including reunion parties and an e-mentoring scheme where extra personal support is available from one of the ambassadors at the Summer school.
The scheme is completely free with all travel expenses reimbursed and it is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and try new things as well as get a taste of university life as an undergraduate. The ambassadors running the summer school are current students who are more than happy to give you the honest answers about what it is really like to study at university and help you in any way they can. I found the idea of living away from home and not knowing anyone daunting but having been to summer school, I can’t wait to go! This week settled all of my worries and also helped me to make decisions about the type of university I want to go and which accommodation options I would prefer as well as lots of additional information regarding financial support available, societies to participate in, volunteering opportunities abroad etc.
The week went so quickly and there was never a dull moment with every day filled with exciting activities. The first day at the summer school involved a tour of the halls and campus and a chance to relax and meet the ambassadors and other students. Breakfast was at 8-8:45pm then we met in our academic strands and walked to our lectures. We had two academic sessions and then a 30min break with the chance to chat to the lecturers and admissions tutors before having another 2 academic sessions. Next we all met up for lunch and split up into our tutor groups for university related activities such as interactive sessions on presentation skills, finance and budgeting, writing an effective personal statement etc. After this we were given some free time to chill out and enjoy the facilities in the halls and junior common room and every evening was packed full of different entertainment choices with lots of flexibility including a pub quiz at a local bar, an international night (featuring karaoke, jaffa cake eating challenges, biscuit decorating etc!) a range of sports, drama workshops, team challenges and to round off the week a formal dinner and a disco (…not forgetting the pony game!)
A definite break from school after AS exam stress, summer school is an amazing opportunity to get firsthand taste of university life to see if it’s really for you, a great laugh and the chance to see if the subject you’re intending to study is what you expected it to be.