From education to employment

University connects up with sixth-formers to help them run real-world research projects

A group of talented teenagers unveiled the details of their research into pressing real-world problems at a special event held at the University of Winchester 

The 25 sixth formers from Barton Peveril were the first cohort to take part in a new programme run in partnership with the University entitled ‘Connect Course and Group Project in Interdisciplinary Learning’.  

The ten-week course challenged the Year 12s, to research a topic, in some cases conduct a survey, and write a report before delivering a presentation on their research methods, findings and conclusions. 

In addition to helping hone research and analytical abilities, the exercise was aimed at helping to develop teamwork, planning and problem-solving skills. 

During their course the sixth formers visited the University for three advice sessions delivered by Pro Vice-Chancellor, Sam Jones, Brandon May, Lecturer in Criminology, and Paul Kerensa, Lecturer in Screenwriting.  

Seven groups, each of three or four students, gave presentations on the following subjects: 

  • Cities of the Future 
  • Is Social Media to blame for the fall of our grades? 
  • Should Britain raise children to be bilingual? 
  • How does someone’s socio economic background affect their perception and quality of their healthy lifestyle 
  • How has the legalisation of cannabis affected crime rates in Canada and Uruguay? 
  • Financial Education – the importance of financial literacy 
  • How does AI-generated disinformation impact people’s perceptions of politicians? 

The sixth-formers made their presentations to a panel made up of Barton Peveril’s principal Rob Temple, deputy principal Nicola Carcone, Interdisciplinary Learning Coordinator and Maths teacher, Sarah Roberts, and Anthony Pagett, Director of Curriculum – Psychology, Criminology, Geography & Interdisciplinary Learning, together with Sam Jones. 

Following their presentations each group fielded questions on their research from panel members and their fellow students. 

Each student received a certificate for completion of the course which will be a useful addition to their university applications alongside their A-level grades.  

The course has been a huge success and a second cohort will begin work in the Spring.  

Sam Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Winchester, said:

“We have a strong and longstanding relationship with Barton Peveril, one of the colleges that sends the largest number of students to study on degrees at Winchester each year. The Connect Course is a new joint initiative which will be a feature of our partnership going forward.  

“The first cohort of students on the Connect Course have been a truly inspiring and highly motivated group to work with. They are a credit to the hard work of staff at Barton Peveril. As I said to them when presenting their certificates, they really are going to change the world for the better.” 

Rob Temple, Principal of Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, said:

“The project enabled students to consider and collaborate on some of our most pressing societal issues, which required them to work beyond their comfort zone and develop transferable skills that will be essential as they move into careers in the future. I am delighted that we, alongside the University of Winchester, have been able to make this happen and look forward to developing the initiative further in the future.”  

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