Training weekend electives

Below are the May 2017 training weekend electives. At the bottom of this page you can sign up for the electives ahead of the training weekend.

Please note that some sessions will only run in one slot.

Elective slot 1 options

  • Assessment for Learning
  • Creative final assignments in STEM
  • K+ Spotlight Summer School
  • Moving from Didactic to Dialogic
  • Sharing your academic journey
  • Telling Stories that Matter: Blogging (London only)
  • The British Education system
  • Thinking about Thinking: UCL project
  • Threshold Concepts (Sheffield only)
  • Tricky Situations in schools

Elective slot 2 options

  • Creative final assignments in STEM
  • Even trickier situations
  • K+ Spotlight Summer School
  • How will your tutorials complement pupils’ school education?
  • Moving from Didactic to Dialogic
  • Overcoming barriers to writing
  • Want Talking Heads?
  • What next? Planning for further impact (London only)
  • Working with Small Groups

Elective blurbs

Assessment for Learning

How do you know what the students know? How do you know what you say is going in? This elective will help you develop and evaluate strategies for checking pupil understanding and adjusting your tutorial as necessary. This elective will be useful for new tutors and returning tutors who want to see assessment techniques in action.

New, Returning, AST

Creative final assignments in STEM

The final assignment often takes the form of a literature review. This session will explore alternative ways in which final assignments in the STEM subjects can be designed to allow pupils to use their creativity, problem solving and research skills. There will be time built in to the session to review and revise the final assignment in your own course, so this is perfect for new tutors still designing their assignment, or returners looking to refresh and update their course.

 This session will also touch on setting and assessing problem sets as the final assignment, and there will be the opportunity to look at past examples of these and discuss how this form of assignment can be most effective.

All STEM tutors

Even Trickier Situations: tutorial scenarios for returning tutors

For those tutors with one or more placements under their belt who want to discuss some of the things which can go wrong during tutorials – and how to handle them.  This session will allow returning tutors to reflect on their experience so far and share both the “tricky situations” they have encountered and how they dealt with them.  Then, as a group, we will consider some other possible scenarios and some key principles for facing these, whilst ensuring positive outcomes for our pupils.


How will your tutorials complement pupils’ school education?

Gain an insight into the national curriculum and assessments for pupils studying in England and Wales. Understand how you can relate your course to pupils’ school education and, specifically, develop their metacognitive skills to enhance the impact of The Scholars Programme on their studies and future applications to highly selective universities. This session would be particularly useful for new tutors and those who are less aware of the school context and/or metacognition.

New, Returning, AST

K+ Spotlight Summer School (both sessions)

This elective will provide training for participants in the K+ Spotlight Summer School. It will focus on areas particular to the K+ programme, such as designing a library task and delivering your course over a condensed one-week period.

KCL tutor delivering the K+ Spotlight Summer School (mandatory)

Moving from Didactic to Dialogic

Traditionally, much of the practice in education in the UK has been teacher led and instructional but does this best serve the students’ intellectual and social development? This session is designed to give participants an overview of the theory and principles behind the use of dialogue in the educational context and will have practical tips to take away, as well as an opportunity to practise some techniques discussed.

New, Returning, AST

Overcoming barriers to writing

According to the NHS “it is estimated that up to 1 in every 10 to 20 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia”. Specific Learning Difficulties – such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dysgraphia – are difficulties that individuals have with particular aspects of learning.

Although independent of intellectual ability, Specific Learning Difficulties can mean that pupils find the path to academic achievement requires a lot of additional effort. In this elective we look at tweaks that can be made to your programme and tutorial delivery to ensure these pupils get the most out of your programme.

New, Returning, AST

Sharing your academic journey to inspire pupils

As a Brilliant Club PhD Tutor you act as a role model for young people. But how can you ensure you share your academic journey to best inspire pupils? And how can you encourage productive conversations to take place with your tutorial group about university access?

In this session we will consider and practice approaches for sharing your academic journey with pupils from how you introduce yourself on the Virtual Learning Environment, on the Launch Trip, to the ongoing interactions and conversations you may have as part of tutorials. We will consider ice breaker conversations which will encourage your pupils to share their academic hopes and ambitions with you and how you can use these conversation pro-actively to encourage engagement and learning in tutorials.

New, Returning, AST

Telling Stories that Matter: Blogging with The Brilliant Club (London only)

How do you share the valuable insights into university access, pedagogy and lessons for PhD researchers that you will gain as a Brilliant Club tutor? Can you do this whilst also increasing your public engagement profile? Of course you can – by blogging! In ‘Telling Stories that Matter’, we will discuss different forms of blog posts and how you can use them to effectively communicate your stories and insights. You will learn how you can blog with The Brilliant Club and engage our broad audience and will leave the session with a drafted blog post.

New, Returning, AST

The British Education system

The sessions gives a beginners guide to the British education system. get to grips with the lingo and policy of the Education system in Britain today, ask burning questions and learn how The Brilliant Club work with schools.


Thinking about Thinking – UCL Metacognition Project

How pupils make sense of their own learning is a vital factor in determining their success on The Scholars Programme and beyond.  Pupils’ metacognition is likely to correlate with under-performance at school but research suggests interventions targeting this are particularly positive.  This session, delivering by The Scholars Programme and Monitoring and Evaluation, will equip tutors to deliver an adapted version of The Scholars Programme with metacognition activities embedded to assess their impact on the pupils taking part as part of a pilot run in partnership with UCL.  The session is mandatory for UCL tutors taking part in the POLAR1 Project this term and optional for all other tutors.

UCL tutors delivering in the POLAR1 Project (mandatory), New, AST and returning (optional)

Threshold Concepts (Sheffield only)

In every discipline, there are key ideas, or complexes of ideas, that are vital in conveying concepts to students.  At times, these become so second-nature to us in our specialities that we forget their importance when teaching others. This tutorial will encourage you to think about the one “threshold concept” that is most relevant to your course/perspective, and to consider how you will communicate these clearer and in an accessible way to your young audience.

New, Returning, AST

Tricky Situations in Schools

Schools are busy and complex environments, and your pupils are encountering unfamiliar subject material in an unfamiliar learning environment. Very occasionally, PhD tutors may encounter challenges during their TSP journey, which might be down to logistical challenges in schools, pupil engagement concerns, or totally unexpected issues! This elective supports new PhD tutors to consider situations they might encounter in schools, reflect on their role as ambassadors for the charity, and build a set of key principles and confidence in responding to tricky situations.


Want Talking Heads? (This must be the place)

5 points if you get the rubbish title. Come to “Want Talking Heads?” for an elective with a practical look into ways to get your pupils talking. About what you want them to talk about.

The Scholars Programme offers an amazing opportunity for pupils involved to work in a completely different environment from school where, research shows, teachers tend to talk – even at the best of times – for over 55% of classes. The remaining time, split between 25-35 pupils, doesn’t leave much for meaningful development of oracy skills. On The Scholars Programme pupils move into a class of 6 pupils with all the time in the world to have interesting discussions. However, sometimes it can be difficult to acclimatize to this new university-style learning opportunity and take full advantage.

This session will introduce some research and ideas into developing oracy skills in the classroom, and discuss the importance of getting young people, especially from low achieving or disadvantaged schools, talking. It hopes to help keep awkward silences in the classroom to a minimum, spawn some ideas for setting up discussions and leave you with some Talking Heads songs stuck in your head.

New, Returning, AST

What next? Planning for further impact (London only)

If you are active with or interested in impact projects in universities and communities, this elective session is designed for you. We know that The Brilliant Club works with some of the most exciting and energetic researchers today. This focus group will consider how we can mobilise the PhD community to build a network of like-minded early career researchers and PhD students that launches new collaborations.

Participants will discuss:

  • How can The Brilliant Club support widening participation work outside The Scholars Programme?
  • What other institutions, individuals, and stakeholders should be involved in a network for impact?
  • What should the short-term and long-term goals of this network be?
  • What would be the most effective ways to meet and share ideas?

You do not need to be an experienced tutor to come to this session, but you do need to be engaged with widening participation or impact work. Spaces will be limited to 15 people.

 Working with Small Groups

The Scholars Programme tutorial learning environment is different to teaching 1-1, a whole class or giving a lecture.  This session will give support on how to deliver successful tutorials to groups of 4-6 pupils focussing on areas including: how to structure learning, supporting everyone to participate and make progress and designing activities.  Throughout the session, practical advice and tips will be given to help ensure your tutorials work well for all your pupils.  This session is aimed at new tutors who are unfamiliar with teaching in a small group, tutorial format.



Please click on this link to sign up for your training weekend electives.