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Warwick Bright Stars 2019/20

Year 5 students at the Bright Stars graduation

Over the past academic year, Liberal Arts students have been working with a local primary school as part of the University’s Bright Stars Programme.

With the goal of helping students to explore new subjects, discuss their ideas, and inspire an interest in higher education, Bright Stars offers subject-specific three-week modules designed and delivered by current undergraduates. At the end of the programme the students, their teachers and parents are invited to a graduation ceremony at Warwick to celebrate their work. The trip to campus is a great opportunity for students to ask us any questions they have about university and to get to hear what life as a student is like at Warwick.

Our team included students from all years of our Liberal Arts programme, working together under the guidance of Senior Teaching Fellow in Liberal Arts, Dr Kirsten Harris, to produce an active and fun module. The module introduced Year 5 students to the principles of an interdisciplinary liberal education. Children completed detective-style activities to help them understand the importance of synthesising different kinds of knowledge and asking different kinds of questions. The aim was to enhance key research abilities such as developing a critical enquiring mindset, and combining historical, ethical, sociological, cultural, and literacy skills.

"I really enjoyed working as a Liberal Arts ambassador for Warwick Bright Stars as it was an amazing opportunity to leave the university bubble, get to know the neighbouring towns and spend time with local communities. It was also a great place to connect with Liberal Arts students from different years and use each other’s strengths to create a transdisciplinary teaching plan.

We took on a PBL [Problem-Based Learning] approach by presenting a crime scene at the British Museum and encouraged our students to conduct their own research (through map making, data collection, text analysis). We also encouraged them to decide for themselves what to do with the suspects, how to present their findings in news reports and where to keep the stolen items.

I was particularly touched by our students' curiosity and enthusiasm. They engaged so well with all the activities we had prepared for them and were constantly asking questions about uni life and sharing their own ambitions for the future."

Sara Mahmud-Marshall, final-year Liberal Arts student