ELEVEN hard-working students have been rewarded with their college’s best-ever results after completing the prestigious Brilliant Club Scholars’ Programme.

The Richmond School and Sixth Form students all graduated with outstanding grades for their final assignments that were the equivalent of a first or 2:1 degree.

The Brilliant Club is a charity that recruits, trains and places doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in state colleges to deliver courses of university-style tutorials based on their own area of expertise, with the aim of increasing the number of students progressing to highly-selective universities.

The results of the initiative speak for themselves, with Scholars Programme graduates being almost twice as likely to progress to leading Russell Group universities. The students are not only recognised for successfully managing the additional academic rigour of the programme alongside their A-level studies but also developing the invaluable skills required for university study.

Tom Walsh, a PhD tutor who supported the students throughout the project, said: “I was blown away by the quality of work. I have marked 170 undergraduate essays this month from Durham University first year students and the work from Year 12 Richmond Sixth Form students was of the same standard, if not higher."

“Channelling their interest into hard work will pay dividends at university. If this group of students can continue with this work ethic, they will do very well in the future. The students should have massive confidence in the skills that they have developed and I know they will go on to be successful in their careers.”

The students unanimously agreed that the programme, which was focused on the Middle East and its culture had been invaluable.

Ben Gill said: “The Brilliant Club really helped me with my essays. I do A-level history and it has helped me to structure my essays and bumped up my marks already.”

Beth Wray added:“I have managed to improve my grades for my A-level subjects so I feel this has had an immediate impact on my studies.”

Since 2016, over 55 students from Richmond Sixth Form College have graduated from The Scholars Programme. Sandra Johnson, assistant headteacher, who has co-ordinated the Brilliant Club initiatives throughout this time, cannot praise the scheme highly enough, saying: “I cannot think of a better way for students to get a feeling and understanding of the step up to university-style learning and the skills they need to develop to succeed. All our students who have graduated from the Scholars Programme have benefitted hugely from the experience and it has certainly helped them stand out in their university applications.”