Year 11s get the inside track on university learning

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18/10/2013 by sleach860

On Thursday an enthusiastic group of Year 11s got to find out what it takes to shine in academe.  The pupils were participating in Manchester University’s Skills for Success Day, designed to simulate some important aspects of academic study and start the development of skills essential to enquiry based learning.

After an introduction and welcome to the university, the MCMA learners were given an introduction to the art of note-taking, a core skill for any undergraduate. Familiar techniques such as mind mapping were illustrated as well as more novel methods such as the Cornell system.

The Year 11s then got to experience one of the pillars of higher education the lecture, delivered by Biophysicist Craig Testrow on the controversial topic of nuclear weapons.  The lecture quickly put the newly honed note-taking skills to the test and reams of annotated pages were produced.  The talk’s contentious subject matter generated many questions from the visiting pupils and led on to the next activity: research.

The MCMA cohort was then split into groups with students from three other schools; Droylsdon Academy, Fearns Community College and Stretford Grammar.   Each group then undertook research on nuclear weapons, focusing on environmental, health and political issues.

In the afternoon the groups then delivered a presentation, highlighting their research findings and answering questions from the audience.  The presentation concluded the pupils’ day of skills development.

Finally, a Q & A session with current undergraduates yielded interesting information about university life, accommodation, student finance and interestingly good reasons for studying medicine at Manchester; namely its exceptional anatomy facility and the opportunity to dissect whole body cadavers.    

Pupil feedback was again very positive. “It was a good experience”, noted Callum Saville capturing the general mood.

Find more about Craig Testrow’s research at the Young Persons University website:


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