From education to employment

HSDC Gifted and Talented students are excelling


Over 40 parents and guardians of HSDC’s (@Be_HSDC) first year Gifted and Talented students recently joined a virtual panel of curriculum, careers and subject experts from our Havant Campus to take part in an evening entitled ‘Competitive University Courses”. Parents and guardians received guidance about applying for competitive courses and the opportunities available through HSDC’s Aspire Programme.  Topics included Russell Group Universities, Oxbridge, Medicine, Veterinary and Dentistry. 

HSDC’s Aspire Programme provides specialist support for gifted and talented students who have excelled at their GCSEs or who have been recommended by their teachers, to help them maximise their potential and go on to study at Russell Group including Oxbridge universities. In normal years, students in this programme have the opportunity to attend a series of lectures from a range of in-house experts covering diverse topics, rounded off with a lecture from a visiting university academic. They can also take part in activities within their subject areas designed to help stretch and challenge them. These might include taking part in trips and competitions or joining enrichment classes. 

This year, because of the pandemic, students in the programme have been directed towards virtual events, such as virtual university tours and workshops and, at HSDC Alton, students are attending virtual lunchtime sessions to help them to prepare for their university applications. 

Some Aspire students also take part in HE+, a widening access programme for academically-able students run by the University of Cambridge. Yvette Wands, HSDC Alton Law teacher and HE+ Alton programme coordinator, explains,

“This year, the HE+ programme has switched to online lectures, delivered by Cambridge academics, which is a fantastic chance for students to access super-curricular opportunities relating to subjects they might wish to study at university. The programme isn’t only designed for potential Cambridge applicants but helps to build confidence among students thinking of applying to competitive universities, especially when those students are first-generation university applicants.”

Second-year Aspire students have been receiving good news about their higher education applications, including 13 students who have received Oxbridge offers. We have a 37% offer rate this year for the University of Cambridge, the number one ranking university in the UK.  That’s nearly 10% over the national average!

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