By working with the UCL Academy, UCL aspires not only to contribute to and support the school, but also to learn from the experience in such a way that it will inform the university’s own approach to teaching and learning.
UCL and the academy are working together to promote academic excellence at the highest level, and to blur the boundaries between secondary and higher education.
Enhancing the curriculum
UCL organises a series of subject-specific activities to support the school curriculum. For example, UCL Psychology academics have given talks at a psychology conference held at UCL for Level 3 Psychology students.
UCL also uses technology to enable the academy to interact with UCL academics and teaching. For example, during a live Skype call in a chemistry lecture, Professor Andrea Sella (UCL Chemistry) answered students’ questions that were submitted to a Twitter hash tag. It is planned that academy staff will meet UCL counterparts working in their subject on an annual basis to assist in the development of each other’s curriculum.
Mandarin teachers at the academy are working with UCL’s Chinese societies, the Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) and the International Office to support the teaching of Mandarin.
Academy staff and students have full access to UCL’s facilities, including libraries, laboratories and lecture theatres. Following a successful trial in 2012, all the academy’s Foundation students will spend their first few days of the academic year studying at UCL.
UCL and the academy are working together to share best practice. For example, academy staff run ‘working with young people’ training sessions for UCL student volunteers and Outreach ambassadors.
The two institutions collaborate on research of mutual interest and expertise. As part of ongoing research collaboration, the Principal, Geraldine Davies, sits on an educational psychology project board and a neuroscience project board at UCL.
The UCLU Musical Theatre Society worked with the UCL Academy and Regent High School to produce the musical theatre production of Hairspray in March 2013 at Regent High School.
The UCLU Women’s Netball team and UCLU Handball Club are now coaching the Foundation students once a week in the academy’s brand new sports hall.
Aspiring medical students in Levels 1 and 3 are learning more about becoming a doctor through Next Top Doctor, a mentoring programme where UCL medical students work with academy students to explain the medical school application process and give an insight into life as a student doctor.
In January 2014, UCL launched a new mentoring scheme that pairs academy students (Level 1 and 3) with UCL students who share similar academic interests, so that they gain an insight into all aspects of university life.
At the launch event, several UCL mentors and their mentees spoke about their hopes for the scheme…
- International relations
UCL’s Model United Nations Society are giving academy students the chance to explore issues from human rights through to environment and disarmament via an academic simulation of the UN.