HE+ Programme

Course content
Dave Gent
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Course introduction

Dave Gent
Gifted Student Program HE+
Applying to a prestigious university is an exciting yet demanding process. As an ‘HE+’ student you will visit both Oxford and Cambridge universities where you will be able to speak with current undergraduates and find out more about life at a prestigious university. You will attend masterclasses in a variety of subjects through the Cambridge University HE+ programme which will enable you to develop your skills in your chosen subject area. You will also have the opportunity to attend university summer schools to experience the reality of life at university. In addition you can choose to take part in the Manchester Access Programme.

Who should follow the programme?

To access this elective, you will need to have GCSE grades mostly at 7,8 & 9

What activities can you expect to experience?

Half-termly extension classes in a range of core academic subjects to broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the subject and develop key transferable skills, such as independent learning and research skills. You will be able to choose from:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • History
  • Social Sciences/Humanities
You will also experience :
  • Workshops led by staff from the University of Cambridge, addressing such topics as university choices, making a competitive application and preparing for interview.
  • Masterclasses delivered by academics from the University of Cambridge on a variety of topics Help applying for Cambridge and Oxford Summer Schools
  • Preparation for university aptitude tests and interviews.

In the classes you will meet students from the other participating schools, have the opportunity to discuss the topics and explore the breadth and depth of your chosen subject more fully. At times you will need to do some additional reading in preparation for the extension classes. Recent examples of topics include: ‘More than just stamp collecting: Biology and the scientific method’ (Biological Sciences), ‘Conformational Analysis: A new way to look at molecules’ (Chemistry), ‘Cepeid Variables’ (Physical Sciences), ‘The Maths of Skateboarding’ (Mathematics), ‘Comparing Filth by Irvine Welsh with Tam O’Shanter by Robert Burns (English), ‘What is History?’ (History), ‘Human Rights; Conjoined Twins’ (Social Sciences).

What about trips and visits?

  • A two day visit to the University of Cambridge in March, staying at Murray Edwards College
  • A two day visit to the University of Oxford in June, staying at Pembroke College.

During the visits there will be opportunities to meet with university admissions staff, sample university lectures and supervisions/tutorials in a range subjects, meet current university students and find out about the application process, aptitude tests and the interview.

You will develop the following employability skills:

  • Engage with new arguments, ideas and perspectives
  • Tackle unfamiliar topics and problems

What will this elective lead to after SJR?

If you take part in the programme throughout Year 12 you should feel well prepared and confident to make a strong application to university in Year 13. You will receive further help to prepare for any aptitude test requirements and preparations for any interviews.

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Nurturing rising talent

Our Elective Programme is designed to help you develop your gifts and interests as part of an enhanced level 3 programme. We will help you realise your potential by nurturing your talent and preparing you for study at the most prestigious universities or for progression to competitive higher-level apprenticeships. Your options range from our Honours Programme, which might include following a fourth A level, to specialist Futures Programmes that will support your career goals.

Level 2 entry requirements

If you’re not quite ready to start on a Level 3 Technical course (T Levels) or a Vocational Level 3 course (BTEC) but want to begin on the path to your chosen career, the Transition Programme could be for you.  

Transition Programmes are tailored to prepare students to move onto Technical or Vocational Level 3 study. They will give you the opportunity to improve your English and Maths, your work readiness skills and introduce you to the technical skills and concepts that you will need for future study and employment. 

As part of the Transition Programme you will study a BTEC Level 2 Award in your chosen subject area as well as the BTEC Level 2 Extended Award in Work Skills. You will also have the opportunity to resit GCSE English and/or Maths if you have not yet achieved a grade 4. 

Entry criteria for Transition Programmes is four grade 3s including grade 3s in English Language and Maths GCSE.

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