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The UCL / City and Islington Sixth Form College Partnership
“I am delighted that our research projects into the curriculum are advancing well. This is one way in which UCL and City and Islington College together will be able to make a significant contribution to national thinking on key areas of the curriculum, at both secondary and university level.” - Professor Michael Worton, UCL Vice-Provost (Academic & International)
The Partnership offers important opportunities for research projects which support the priorities and interests of both institutions. The findings from these projects have enabled CIC to improve the support it provides to students making the transition from A level to study at a selective university, and have informed the development of UCL’s policy and practice on teaching and learning, admissions and pastoral support.
Examples from the first phase of the project include:
Transition Between School and University
An English teacher from CIC joined UCL as an Excellence Fellow to undertake an extended piece of research into the development of academic literacy amongst pupils from non-traditional backgrounds.
The Mathematics Department used CIC as a ‘test-bed’ for their course for first-year undergraduate mathematicians, which is designed to bridge the gap between A level study and the demands of a degree-level mathematics programme. Working closely with another Excellence Fellow – a member of the Mathematics Department at CIC – staff at UCL have drawn on the experiences of students in determining course content and structure, and used Sixth Form students to trial sample activities.
Modern Foreign Languages in Schools
The Sixth Form College was one of the partner schools in the ATLAS project run by UCL’s Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Students completed questionnaires and talked to researchers about their attitudes to language learning; their comments informed the development of a languages ‘tasters’ website.
In 2004, the Sixth Form College was a key partner in UCL’s pilot of the ACER generic admissions test, and will continue to play a valuable advisory role as UCL establishes its policy in this area – particularly on the impact of those groups of students who are the focus of UCL’s widening participation activities.
Further collaborations of this kind will be an integral element of the next phase of the Partnership.