Sidney's Schools Liaison Officer has waved goodbye to this year's group of students attending the 2019 Lower Participation Neighbourhood (LPN) Summer School.

Every year Sidney Sussex works in collaboration with Christ's and Murray Edwards to run an August summer school for Year 11 students who live in areas of low participation to higher education.

This year's LPN Summer School took place between 18-21 August, and it was a fantastic success! Lauren Scarratt, Sidney's Schools Liaison Officer, did a brilliant job co-organising the event, and here she tells us all about it:

"The LPN Summer School invites students who have just completed Year 11 to attend a three-night residential here in Cambridge. They can find out more about the course they’re interested in and what it would be like to study in Cambridge.

All of the attendees come from regions of the country that have a lower than average rate of progression to Higher Education, and we were delighted to have applications from so many different parts of the country this year.

Around 120 students attend each year, with half of the students staying in Sidney, and the other half staying in Christ’s College. Students are then invited to return at the end of Year 12 to stay in Murray Edwards College, where they attend more specific sessions about applying to Cambridge.

It can be quite daunting for students, most of whom are 16 years old, to travel alone for the first time to a new city. They might not know anyone else coming, may be arriving to study something they have never tried before, and with Cambridge academics too!

However, by the end of the summer school, everyone seemed far more relaxed and confident in their academic sessions, living in College, and enjoying the city.

We’re incredibly grateful to all the staff and undergraduate students who help to make this event as engaging and welcoming as possible. We’ve had some great feedback from attendees about the academic sessions and living in the Colleges.

Staying in the College and meeting our current students, and other prospective students from around the country, allows attendees to feel more confident and at home in a College environment.

Many students also commented on the academics who so kindly ran sessions over the three days. Whether the material itself was challenging, unexpected, fun or “too much maths” (!), the patience and enthusiasm of the academics was something that seemed to pleasantly surprise many of the attendees.

The LPN summer school is jointly run by Christ’s, Murray Edwards, and Sidney, and applications open online in May. If you know any Year 11 student who might be interested in the 2020 LPN Summer School, or a school or teacher that may have some potential applicants, please do let them know that they can find further information on our LPN Summer School webpage, and access the online application form available from May.

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