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Thomas Transition Project 2015-16

Today, Friday, 12th February, 2015, 21 Year 11 students enjoyed a campus visit to Leeds University as part of their involvement in the Thomas Transition project.

The Thomas Transition Project is a very exciting and exclusive opportunity that Moor End Academy has developed with the University of Leeds which is now in its sixth year.

Moor End is one of only ten schools to have formed a partnership with the University and is able to offer approximately twenty places to current Year 11 students on its Transition Project, leading to its ‘Reach for Excellence’ programme in Year 12.

The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university, described as "a top redbrick university and one of the giants of the British higher education system" by The Guardian newspaper. Most importantly, Leeds was ranked as the 9th most targeted British university by graduate employers. The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Leeds has around 33,600 students, the fifth-highest number of any university in the UK. The university has consistently been ranked second in the United Kingdom for the number of applications received, second only to the University of Manchester.

The University is keen to develop its links with bright, aspirational students who may one day wish to study at Leeds.

Throughout Y11 they will take part in four in-school workshops and a visit to the University of Leeds campus. The visit took place on Friday, 12th February, 2015. They will also have the opportunity to attend a one-night residential at Leeds at the end of Y11, after the GCSE exams. This will take place over 30th June/1st July, 2016. Our first evening session was held on Thursday, 10th December, 2015 3-4pm in English 6. Followed by sessions on: 14th January, 25th February and 21st April 2016 at 3-4pm.

Parents of the students involved attended an evening briefing session on the evening of 3rd December, 2015.

In Year 12, students will then have the opportunity to transfer onto the Reach for Excellence (RfE) programme. This offers further support with making decisions about higher education and involves many sessions and workshops at the University of Leeds throughout Years 12 and 13. There is also the opportunity to attend a week-long residential at the University and get 1 to 1 support with elements of the UCAS application process. RfE students wishing to apply to the University of Leeds will be eligible for consideration for Access to Leeds (A2L) – a contextual admissions scheme which can offer a reduced entry route to study at the University. A2L guarantees special consideration for applicants to the University whose personal circumstances have affected their ability to demonstrate talent and potential through grades alone. Students must complete two modules in Y13 as part of A2L. If they pass, and are made an offer from the course to which they have applied, they will receive a standard offer and an Access to Leeds offer two grades below the standard e.g. if a student received a standard offer of AAA at A-level, the A2L offer will usually be ABB at A-level plus a pass in the two modules.

To take part in this exclusive link, we were looking for:
• approximately 20 students;
• on course to achieve 5 or more GCSEs (inc. maths & English) at grade C or above;
• have the potential to achieve 3 or more A Levels at grade B or above;
• considering going to University.

Today, the students enjoyed a campus tour with Leeds University students who acted as Tour Guides, and participated in a series of workshops focused on ‘Discovering University’ and making the transition between school and college, delivered by James Leslie, Student Talent Spotting Team Coordinator, together with lunch in the refectory with students.

As part of their feedback, the students said:

‘The day has been a great opportunity to gain an idea of University life’.

‘I wanted to join the Thomas Transition Project because I wanted to see what a university looks like and this has made me decide to aim for university’.

‘Today was great! We had a tour and all my questions were answered. I enjoyed the food! I would recommend this project to other students’.