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60 New Researchers, Aged as Young as 11, Boost University Studies

Originally published 27 November 2002

Sixty researchers from Nicholas Chamberlaine School, Bedworth, have won the opportunity to formally enrol with Warwick on a researcher programme on Tuesday 10th December 2002 and graduate in July next year. The new researchers, aged 11-16, are set to boost the University’s grasp of education.

The sixty children will participate in a pioneering school-based research programme where they will analyse key aspects of their school's teaching and learning culture. Professional researchers at the University's Institute of Education will train and support the young researchers as they analyse three areas of school life, including homework, independent learning and talk for learning.

The joint pilot project is part of Warwick's programme of fun and educational activities to introduce pupils in years 7-10 to the idea of higher education, and increase awareness of what university life has to offer. Nicholas Chamberlaine has a very low rate of entrants into higher education, and this is one of a number of initiatives to raise aspirations among young people.

Dr Wendy Robinson, from the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick, said: "The project seeks to make learning available to those who ordinarily would not go into higher education. A major challenge for all universities is to develop the tremendous potential of pupils from all sections of society. If a country's greatest wealth lies in the skills and intelligence of its people, there can be few better long-term investments than those directed at enhancing access to education. Further, as diversity helps students to learn from each other as well as from their formal education, Warwick is keen to encourage applicants with different backgrounds."

Graham Tyrer, Deputy Head Teacher with Nicholas Chamberlaine School, said: "This project will foster a culture of learning and participation in the school. Through intensive research training the pupils will be given the opportunity to voice their views about education, and to participate in the school's decision-making processes. Support from the University provides status for the project, and for pupils. The formal graduation ceremony in July 2003 will give students a taste of university life and celebrate their successes."

At the end of the academic year the junior research teams will participate in a learning parliament where the pupils will circulate their findings to peers, researchers at the institute of education and Warwick Local Education Authority. It is anticipated that the project will develop understanding of what motivates and inspires children from schools where pupils often underachieve, and that similar projects will then be rolled out to schools across the Midlands.


For more information contact:

Jenny Murray,
Assistant Press Officer,
University of Warwick
Tel: 024 765 74255
Mobile: 07876 217740,

Dr Wendy Robinson,
Institute of Education,
Tel (work): 024 7652 3231,
Tel (home): 01926 339 815,