Stewards Academy students graduate from Cambridge University programme

THURSDAY 14th February saw the culmination and celebration of a Cambridge University Scholar’s Programme for 12 pupils from Stewards Academy with a graduation ceremony at SOAS University.

Pupils involved were Bryony Witt-Davies, Izzi Spooner, Jessica Harrington, Matylda Szcerba, Liam Holt, Jake Ward, Joshua Palmer, Patrick Snowden, Jessica Purser, Mia Todd, Chuk Uzosike, Luke Donnan.

As part of the event, the pupils were given a tour of SOAS and enjoyed being able to compare the university to Cambridge. Both universities have been very welcoming; pupils were quick to notice how different the day-to day life experienced by students at Cambridge and SOAS appears to be whilst also finding similarities such as the emphasis on independent study and resilience.

The Scholar’s Programme journey began back in November 2018 when pupils attended Cambridge University to find out the topic they had been assigned and to meet their PhD tutor, Finn Schulze-Feldmann. Over the last three months, pupils have experienced 4 further seminars and two 1-2-1 meetings to learn in a university setting. Pupils have studied a range of historical sources relating to the title of their dissertations: Peace between Faiths? Christian Encounters with Islam in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. All 12 pupils completed a 2000 word essay which was marked according to university criteria including referencing, a skills post graduate students still find challenging!

As part of the graduation ceremony itself, two Stewards pupils were asked to speak in front of the other participants about their experience. Bryony and Jessica both spoke about how the programme had developed their confidence and allowed them to see just what they are capable of. Their advice to future participants is to persevere so that they can enjoy the sense of accomplishment at the end.

Holly Sherwood, Assistant Headteacher said: “All 12 Stewards pupils passed with scores reflecting a degree equivalent 2:2, 2:1 and Bryony achieved a 1st. I can honestly say having sat in the seminars that the work produced was inspiring. All of the pupils completed these projects on top of existing work commitments and have demonstrated fantastic knowledge and understanding. They will be able to show these dissertations at interviews in the future and explain the many skills they have developed. Well done to all the pupils involved, a great achievement.”

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