Tuesday 24 January 2012

Outreach and widening participation

Dr Elizabeth Boyle writes:

Applications are now open for our annual Sutton Trust Summer School in Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, which will take place on 13th-17th August. The Sutton Trust is an organisation which seeks to promote social mobility through education, and each year participants in our Summer School are given the opportunity to experience life as a Cambridge undergraduate: staying in a College, attending lectures and seminars, and receiving one-to-one or small group 'supervisions' on the languages, literatures, and history of medieval Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia. More information on how to apply is available via the University's webpages.

The Summer School is only a small part of the work we do to promote wider engagement with ASNC particularly, and medieval studies more generally. In recent months, for example, I have given various lectures in Cambridge to groups of pupils visiting from Langdon School, East Ham, and from Westminster Academy; I also headed to Dormers Wells High School, London, to give lectures on medieval Irish literature to students drawn from the Borough of Ealing's 'gifted and talented' programme; and last October, I gave a lecture on the historical Macbeth as part of the University of Cambridge's 'inspiring ideas' series. In all cases, I was overwhelmed by the natural enthusiasm shown by the students for medieval studies, despite the fact that most of them had not encountered medieval history or literature as part of their school curriculum.

Giving a lecture to secondary school pupils (and their teachers) on the real Macbeth
So, if you are a Year 12 pupil who is interested in the medieval world, and who attends a state school, please consider applying for a place on the Sutton Trust Summer School in ASNC. Each year, these Summer Schools give students the confidence to apply for a place at Cambridge, or at other leading universities: it could be a life-changing experience for you too.

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