This first-of-its kind scheme offers teachers of 16-18 year-olds in the UK the opportunity to immerse themselves in College life, meet Trinity admissions staff, and pursue a research project beneficial to their teaching.
Up to four teachers a year can participate in the initiative, either during school half terms (one week) or summer term (two to four weeks). The scheme is free and includes college accommodation and meals in Hall. The College will also contribute towards travel costs to/from Cambridge.
Trinity’s Senior Tutor, Professor Catherine Barnard, said: ‘We want teachers to know that Trinity is a warm and welcoming place to students from all backgrounds. We want to break down barriers and misconceptions.’
The scheme is designed to be a two-way learning process, she said.
The school system in the UK and school exams are undergoing fundamental change. We want to learn from teachers, who are at the coal face, about those changes and the implications for university admissions.
A typical day for a Teacher Visitor at Trinity would feature a meeting with College admissions staff and Schools Liaison Officers, a discussion with a Trinity academic in a relevant subject, meeting current undergraduates – perhaps over lunch in Hall – and time to work on a research project.
There would also be opportunities to observe Supervisions, the small group teaching unique to Cambridge, and depending on the time of year, attend University lectures.
Professor Barnard said:
Teacher Visitors would also have the possibility of linking up with a local state school to discuss their approach to Cambridge admissions and higher education more generally.
Trinity Admissions Tutor, Professor Adrian Poole, said the College was keen to learn from school teachers. ‘We hope to gain from our Teacher Visitors a more informed sense of their perspective on the challenges and opportunities their pupils face, and to build connections on which we can draw for further advice in the future,’ he said.
Phil Evans, Head of School Sixth Form at Comberton Village College, Cambridge, said that while there were many effective schemes at Cambridge and Oxford designed to attract more applications from state school students, there was more to be done. He said:
Trinity College’s Teacher Visitor initiative is an ideal opportunity for state school teachers involved with university admissions to find out what life is really like for students at Cambridge – not just the challenge and stimulation but the high levels of support and welcome on offer that are not always apparent.
The Teacher Visitor Scheme is a new strand in Trinity’s Access and Outreach Programme, which includes visits to and from schools, subject-specific residentials at Trinity, and partnerships with organisations such as Villiers Park Educational Trust – all of which are designed to raise the aspirations of students, improve educational attainment and widen participation in higher education.
You can find out more information and how to apply to Trinity’s Teacher Visitor Scheme.