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2015

Dundee school pupils celebrate success at Abertay

21 April 2015

21 pupils from Braeview Academy attended an awards ceremony at Abertay University last night, to celebrate what they had achieved during the ‘Supporting Able Pupils’ initiative.

Now in its seventh year, Supporting Able Pupils is a three-month mentoring scheme run by Abertay that gives school pupils a taste of what life is like at a university.

The pupils work on a project under the guidance of a student mentor, and develop independent research, study and team-working skills in the process.

The projects are on topics of the pupils' own choice, and this year the subjects included chemistry, heavy metal music, choreography and dance styles, human organs, the Rwandan genocide and gaming.

During the three-months, the pupils learnt critical thinking skills and were taught how to carry out independent research both by their mentors and by the Abertay librarians.

They also received coaching in presentation skills ahead of an event in March where they had to present their research findings and answer questions about what they had learnt.

Last night’s ceremony was a chance for the pupils to celebrate their achievements with their mentors, teachers, Abertay staff and families.

Speaking about the scheme, Rona Whittet from Abertay University said:

“We’ve got a long-standing relationship with Braeview Academy which goes back 20 years, and we’ve been running the Supporting Able Pupils project with them for seven years now.

“This year we had 21 pupils taking part – all from S3 – and it’s been wonderful to see how much they’ve got out of it. Some of them were so shy and quiet when they first came to us, but the presentations they gave in March on their chosen topics were fantastic – they had gained so much confidence over the three months and were so eloquent that I am sure they will now go on to achieve great things.

“The main aim of the project is for the experience – and the opportunity to work with our student mentors – to inspire them to think that they too could be a student one day, to get them thinking about the types of jobs they would like to have, and to encourage them to think about continuing with their education at university when they finish school.

“The idea of leaving school and going to university can be a bit daunting, so this initiative is intended to help bridge the gap by giving the pupils an opportunity to carry out their own research – which is an essential skill for any student – and by giving them someone to talk to who can advise them on their projects, and give them an insight into university life.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07972172158 E: k.cameron@abertay.ac.uk

Notes to Editors:

In September 2007, Braeview Academy approached Abertay University in connection with a potential pilot project aimed at supporting their able pupils.

Braeview Academy, in common with many schools, identified a need to ensure that pupils who are at the highest levels of attainment are given opportunities to develop the levels of academic skills necessary to fulfil their potential.

The ‘Supporting Able Pupils’ project has been running for seven years, and over 140 pupils have taken part since it began.

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