The Brilliant Club – Ricardo Blagrove, Y10
The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charitable organisation which aims to increase the number of pupils from under-represented groups progressing to highly selective universities. Myself and 11 other students from Year 10 were selected to take part in the “Scholars Programme”, which brings PhD researchers into schools who then teach specialist topics, which for us was Migration and Mental Health. We were taught by Natalia Sali, a fantastic researcher from the Royal Holloway University of London who studies Social Sciences. The course consisted of multiple in-school lessons (where subject content was taught), trips to universities, and out of school work set via an online portal. The premise of The Brilliant Club is that you build up a comprehensive and thorough knowledge regarding the subject which you are studying, and then write a final assignment (of 2,500 words), which is then graded.
The entire course spanned across 7 weeks, and within that time there was the initial Launch Trip to Southampton University, where we had our first “tutorial” and learnt more about The Brilliant Club, as well as taking part in numerous workshops aimed at helping our study skills. Within our in-school lessons, we learnt about various sub-topics regarding the main unit, such as the perspectives on Mental Health, Theories on Migration, and much more. We also regularly participated in group discussions which really helped to solidify our knowledge on the many topics which we were studying. After finishing all 6 tutorials, we wrote a draft assignment on the final assessment question, which was “How does migration affect migrants mental health and well being?” This was then marked, and we were given advice on how to make our essay better in terms of structure and content. After this we went away to work on our final essay, which we then submitted through the online portal which had been set up. The essays were graded using the British undergraduate degree classification (1st, 2:1, 2:2 and a 3rd), and I was delighted to have received a 1st for my work.
A few weeks after receiving our levels, we were invited to King’s College London University on Saturday 3rd March 2018 for our graduation event, which was an event that celebrated the achievements of the FBS boys who had taken part in the course, as well as other pupils from different schools. Whilst we were there, there were multiple presentations by guest speakers such as Ryan Wain, a King’s College alumnus. In addition to this, we received lots of information about university and going forward in education. During the main graduation event, each school was called up and our names were individually read out. We then shook hands with the guest speaker, received our graduation certificate from The Brilliant Club representative, and then we lined up to have our photographs taken as a group. Miss Adams, who organised the Brilliant Club for FBS, was also there to support us.
Overall, The Brilliant Club has been a great opportunity for me and the others who took part in it. I have gained a lot of insight into university life and the pathway to getting into a great university, as well as the fact that it was very inspiring and enjoyable to participate in. It was a really rewarding experience and I am really pleased to have been part of it.