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Science Stars launches

Published: 02 October 2019

Science ambassadors with students at Ernest Bevin College Science ambassadors with students at Ernest Bevin College

On Wednesday 25th September, the launch of Science Stars, one of St George’s flagship widening participation programmes, took place at the university.

Science Stars is a programme for year 11 students which aims to boost their GCSE Double Science grades whilst encouraging their love of science. This unique programme was piloted last academic year and the initial results from the pilot evaluation have shown significant improvements for all participants.

This year, a group of 18 pupils from Ernest Bevin College in Tooting Bec will be taking part, all of whom have been identified by their teachers as individuals who would benefit from receiving some additional help in preparation for their Science GCSEs. Pupils will receive customised science tutoring over a twenty-week period, delivered in small groups by trained St George’s university students.

Ernest Bevin College was chosen because it aligns with the WP team’s objectives; the school has a high number of pupils from backgrounds underrepresented in higher education, as well as a high proportion of pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals.

The programme has been designed with the help of education consultant Neil Gilbride.  Neil is a St George’s alumnus and also works as an academic in science education.  Neil has produced a range of materials focused on the school GCSE science curriculum and provided training to the six George’s undergraduates to help them deliver engaging sessions.

Marlene Copeland, Widening Participation Manager, works in partnership with the schools’ Head of Science to run the programme. Marlene said “After meeting all of the young people and their parents/ carers at the launch event on Wednesday, it is clear how enthusiastic and committed they all are to the programme and I am confident that we will see fantastic results again this year." 

She added “Our tutors are also really excited and eager to begin delivering the tailored sessions to their groups”.

Jess Bond, Head of Widening Participation, said: “One of the continued strengths of St George's is our links with our local community here in Tooting, where we have a track record of inspiring young people to consider careers in science and healthcare. We are delighted to be able to offer such a comprehensive programme of tutoring to the pupils from Ernest Bevin College to help them to fulfil their academic potential”.

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