Summer Newsletter 2015 - page 8

James Bunyard, our Troops to Teaching trainee teacher, talks about GTS
students representing North Devon in the Future Scholars programme
where students can find out about university life with a visit to a Russell
Group University.
GTS Future Scholars visit Belfast
Queen’s University
The Future Scholars programme gives the opportunity to pupils in Year
9 to have an introduction to a Russell Group University. Although
maybe not a first choice for students in North Devon, Queen’s offered
five students from Year 9, accompanied by Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs
Whiteman and History teacher, Mr Bunyard a unique experience and
insight into one of the most historic and vibrant parts of the United
Kingdom.
The trip itself proved to be an adventure: the usual Belfast landmarks,
such as The Harland and Wolf cranes and the Titanic quarter were
obvious, and as we drove into the city the cultural history was revealed.
Some murals remain but the city itself has become a model of
cooperation and diversity; the taxi driver was keen to tell us that Belfast
was voted the safest city in the UK in 2012, and it felt warm and
welcoming with a thriving centre filled with shops, restaurants and
bars.
After a hearty Irish breakfast we made our way to the University itself
and the Future Scholars reception. Held in the Grand Hall and
overlooked by a portrait of Seamus Heaney, the students gathered and
admired their surroundings. The oak panelled walls drew some comments about Hogwarts as we were welcomed to the
University.
The day consisted of a number of presentations from various departments, giving a flavour of the courses offered by the
University. As a Russell Group University there is a clear emphasis on research: painless injections are being developed in
Science using patches instead of needles; research into detection of emotions by robots is being conducted by the Computer
Science department; the diverse history of the city and its culture is being looked at by Humanities and Languages.
Overall, the atmosphere was one of safety and supported learning and our Year 9 students found the experience rewarding
and enriching. We left Belfast with a better understanding of the courses offered and the life of a student at Queen’s, but we
also experienced a wonderful European city with a rich history and life which is just over the Irish Sea. What was certain was
that Queen’s would offer the warmest welcome to any student from North Devon in the future.
Year 7 GTS Learners
Conference
Year 7 pupils completed their first year at GTS with an
amazing conference held at Exeter University, where
every single child took to the stage to give their talk of
the things I don’t already know about yet’
.
The students were a mixed bunch—some so excited,
some more apprehensive than others, but we were
very proud of everyone who stepped up to the stage
and gave their talk. This is one event that every pupil
will remember as they took to the platform to share
their thoughts with such a large audience. They were
not speaking just to their teacher or peers, but to
friends and family who can share their speeches
online via our own School Youtube account. This expe-
rience will be with them for many years and is one that
we hope they will reflect on: that they are glad they
took that step, as next time when speaking in front of
an audience it won’t be half as frightening!
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12
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