On just one day in November, A level students had the difficult choice of learning more about the Dutch painter Vermeer, French subtitled movies or biodiversity in Southampton at lunchtime workshops. The weekly talks are offered through Barton Peveril’s ASPIRE programme (formerly known as Gifted and Talented) to stretch students’ minds and encourage them to explore topics beyond the curriculum and consider applying to Oxford, Cambridge and other leading universities.
The visiting speakers that week were Vanessa Remington, Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection together with Lucy Mazdon, Professor of Film Studies, and Environmental Science Communicator Dr Tony Curran, both from the University of Southampton.
Careers Manager and ASPIRE co-ordinator Shoonagh Hubble says: “We lay on a full programme of fascinating and challenging lunchtime talks on Tuesdays to introduce young people who achieved A and A* grades at GCSE to new concepts and subjects. We also run a popular Mandarin club with the Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton.
Student Tara Ridley, who is taking A level Environmental Science was enthused by Dr Curran’s talk. “I want to carry on with the subject at university and eventually become a teacher. I found it really useful to find out more at the workshop about what I’ll learn there once I leave college.”