Improving access in STEM subjects

Villiers Park Educational Trust

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Stepping stones to excellence two-day residential courses

Stepping stones to excellence are one component of the Villiers Park Scholars Programme. We also offer them to local schools.

The key features are:

  • Themed, e.g. bidding to become an Olympics host city, code breaking, founding a new university, planning a space mission

  • Targeted at able young people between Y9 (13-14 year olds) and Y11 (15-16 year olds) who are from less advantaged backgrounds with no family history of attending university

  • Also run in Y12 and Y13 as part of the Villiers Park Scholars Programme

  • Run by a member of the Villiers Park staff and an expert who is usually an academic or researcher from a university

  • Held across two days with an overnight stay

  • Includes a visit off-site

  • Focused around a team project with a presentation on the second day

  • Up to five young people from each school – for Y9 and Y10 they usually work in school teams

  • Outcomes include

    • Development of Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

    • Creating or reinforcing a peer group with shared aims

    • Learn about how subjects are applied in the real world

    • Interaction with a role model

    • Opportunity to discuss their future goals

    • Develop presentation skills that will help at interviews in the future

Examples of programmes