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London school visit to St Andrews

A group of pupils from a South London school were invited to the University of St Andrews today (Wednesday 11th September) to gain a unique insight into the workings of University research.

The group from Deptford Green School in Lewisham were visiting the University for the first time, having worked with some of the scientists in a joint project this summer.

The link with Deptford Green began when they approached the University’s Head of Psychology, Professor Verity Brown earlier this year to provide academic expertise to an initiative aimed at making science less ‘geeky’. The link-up culminated with ‘The Great Debate’, a joint initiative between the University, Deptford Green and the Lewisham Education Action Zone Initiative, ‘Creating Success’.

Professor Brown arranged for pupils of the school to work with scientists from the University over a six week period and, in June this year, an evening debate on genetic engineering was held in London.

Deptford Green Head Teacher, Keith Ajegbo said: “This was the first time that the school has attempted such an intellectually ambitious project. I was amazed at the quality of debate and the genuine excitement that the children had in participating. The link with St Andrews is really tremendous for the school.”

The collaboration has resulted in the University setting up a ‘compact’ with Deptford Green, which will see it guarantee places to students who meet specified target grades at GCSE and A- Level. This is the first time that St Andrews has extended this type of activity to a school from outside Scotland. The University is in the process of setting up similar compacts with a number of Scottish schools, and pupils from one such school, Viewforth High School in Kirkcaldy, have recently completed a week of study at the University.

Today, the group of 18 Deptford Green pupils, aged 14 to 17, were given tours of the research labs of the Schools of Psychology and Biology. They were also given the opportunity to meet with some of the scientists who helped with ‘The Great Debate’.

Today’s trip was made possible by funding from the University of St Andrews, Deptford Green School and Scot Airways, who subsidised the airfares between London City and Dundee.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: Depford green visit pr 090902 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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