Mary Morrissey writes:
On Friday 13th, the English Department had the first event in the ‘Reading Scholars’ programme for this year. The ‘Reading Scholars’ programme is part of the University’s commitment to help able students from low participation areas gain the confidence to apply for a university place. It is a year-long scheme in which students on the programme are invited on campus several times for subject-specific learning events and for study-skills training and mentoring in applying to university. The Year 12 students have a mentor (a current student in the department), who remains in touch with them electronically between events too.
This is the first year that the Department of English Literature has taken part in the scheme, and we are delighted with how well it is going so far. Our mentors (Parris, Hannah, Jake and Jess) were terrific in making the students feel at home on campus and helping them adjust to university-style learning (lectures and seminars). We had some games too, and discovered a real talent for inventing Shakespearean insults! By the final seminar, all our Year 12 students and mentors were deep in discussion with Verity, the seminar leader, about the problems of modernising The Taming of the Shrew. We hope the conversation continues, and we look forward to seeing our Scholars back on campus in the new year.