All four cohorts came together for the first time this afternoon, with the November Meet-up taking place at Tonbridge School
The November Meet-up is a core part of our programme, and it was great to see all our students and mentors back together again, with a well-crafted schedule put together to meet the needs of individuals and the different groups.
The 2013 cohort continued their focus on their University applications with one-on-one support from Higher Education Advisers from Tonbridge and Sevenoaks Schools, before a session on what to expect during the transition from School to University with one of our longest-serving and original mentors, Rosalie, and a variety of different research and mock interview based activities.
The 2014 cohort were given more of an introduction to the UCAS process by our Operations Manager, Carl Plane, with a focus on how to develop and then show an interest in a particular subject. There was also time to reflect on GCSEs and the challenges they now face in starting their A-Levels; self-analysis a key part of defining and achieving success. One of the core elements of the programme is the need to overcome misconceptions and fears relating to Higher Education and it was with this in mind that the final session focused on student finance, a very worthwhile exercise indeed.
The 2015 cohort, as is now standard for the year 10 when going in to year 11, had been working on essays since the summer residential, on a topic of their choice. The meet-up provided them with an opportunity to go over and review their essays with their mentor, and to discuss the work they had done in University seminar or supervision style detail. Queens’ College, Cambridge have been assigned Kent as one of their regions for widening access to the University and we have looked for ways to partner with them in recent years. Two of their fantastic undergraduates visited this afternoon to talk about the application process to University, an invaluable experience for our students to hear from two more people who had recently undergone the journey they aspire to take.
Lastly, and by no means least, our new year 10 cohort attended their first day meet-up, enjoying a Learning Strategies session courtesy of Tonbridge School’s Learning Strategies Department, before taking part in an English lesson with two English undergraduates, Tom from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and Zoe from Balliol College, Oxford. Finally, they were given the opportunity to provide feedback on their initial experiences of the programme, both to inform our decision-making moving forward and to start to develop their sense of ownership of the programme they are such an important part of.
All in all a great success – roll on February!