A Super Curricular Summer

Written by | Gifted and Talented

A number of Wallace High School students were selected to attend a range of courses following their AS examinations at different venues around the UK.

The breadth of experiences encountered by students is extremely encouraging and all of those involved have definitely learned a great deal from their time at different universities.

Dundee University’s Gifted and Talented Summer School remains popular with Wallace students; Lauren Laverty, Naomi Davidson, Christopher Dumigan, Dillon Sedge and Anna Craig making the trip to the city famous for the “3 Js”: jute, jam and journalism.

Naomi and Lauren greatly enjoyed their experience of the Architecture gifted and talented course. Over the 5 days they had the opportunity to meet lots of new friends who were interested in the same subject area and had a lot of common interests.

Throughout the 5 course, they practised blind drawing and studied serial visions which required students to move through a street and sketching what the surrounding atmosphere looked like. They then undertook a design piece, based on open and closed spaces. A second design piece was based on a reflecting space, where students had to come up with an idea of a reflection space and independently complete research and make models to represent their vision and ideas. All design pieces were then formed part of a group presentation to all other gifted and talented students. Lauren commented:

“Overall I really enjoyed my time at the University of Dundee as it has allowed me to expand my knowledge on architecture, and experience what studying this course at a university would be like. It also encouraged me to be more open minded about going away for university, especially because of their hospitality towards myself and everyone else at the event which I believe plays a big part in attracting students to study at Dundee.”

Dillon was awarded a place on the Law course which involved a wide range of both study and fun based activities. Escape rooms, a city wide treasure hunt along with a moot court allowed Dillon to experience the life of a student in Dundee as well as introducing some of the major concepts involved in the study of Law.

Anna’s experience was a similar balance of academic based activity and “the student experience” but with Anna’s interest in product design, digital interaction design and interior design she had the option of experiencing a greater breadth of courses and also the opportunity of engaging with lecturers who were able to provide deeper insight into courses thereby enabling Anna to make better informed choices for her UCAS application. Whilst there Anna was part of group that developed an innovative electronic alarm clock designed to encourage children to get out of bed. The completion of the project encompassed a wide number of skills and techniques that Anna will be able to employ in her studies at A2.

Anna had a great time and reflecting on her time in Dundee said “The experience at Dundee, not only has given me an advantage for applying to there. I can now say I’ve experienced what I want to study at University and believe it is right for me. For applying to other universities I now have something unique to talk about with the product I created there, which is a massive bonus for anyone applying for a design degree.”

Christopher Dumigan was selected to attend the mathematics summer school. The academic side of the course encompassed a number of advanced mathematical concepts such as permutations, group theory and modular arithmetic. Throughout the week, Christopher also had to work in a group to prepare a presentation on the topics covered to the academics leading the course – an invaluable experience as he prepares for degree level study next year. Christopher commented “The benefits of attending the course were getting a head start on topics that will be covered in my further maths at level and furthering my presentational skills”. The week culminated in a test based on the topics covered.

All students attending the Dundee University Gifted and Talented Summer School have been made unconditional offers for their course of choice next year based on their high levels of attainment and the aptitude they demonstrated for their chosen areas of study.

Aleena Suby was selected to attend one of the very popular Sutton Trust courses. Based at the University of Bristol, she followed a program encompassing elements of biomedical science such as pharmacology, anatomy and cellular and molecular medicine. Aside from the academic content she really enjoyed the experience of meeting other people from different backgrounds and also the chance to see around the university campus.

Julie Yeow was awarded a place at a Women in Engineering conference at the University of Aberdeen which lasted 3 days in July/August. She had to complete 2 engineering challenges which involving the choice of a site for a new bridge based on given data/logistic details and then actually building a model of the bridge and testing it in a laboratory environment. She also visited Chevron where she had speed mentoring with current female engineers and shown the emergency response room and off-shore communications base. Julie commented: “This experience helped me to see how diverse the world of engineering is as most of the engineers I met had worked in multiple countries and did a wide range of different degrees at university . Also, it was beneficial getting to meet similarly minded girls as it was a very encouraging experience.”

These summer experiences are in addition to Megan Henry’s experience with Villier’s Park in for a week in December 2017. Megan attended an Inspiring Education course in Cambridge focussed on computer science.

She had lectures covering many aspects of computer science such as the Enigma and Turing machines as well as lectures in complex maths and problem solving Students were also challenged with unfamiliar coding languages. Work culminated in the development of a new computer game with the students having written the code themselves. They then had to present to the academics leading the course as well as staff from the computing company ARM. Megan’s group were selected as worthy winners. Megan reflected on her experience saying “The whole week gave me an opportunity to expand my knowledge of computer science and allowed me to develop my confidence.”

All the students’ experiences outline how valuable these opportunities can be. Each individual is now better equipped for life at their chosen university and have a tangible motivation to work hard towards their goals.

Last modified: June 15, 2020