The Sutton Trust is an educational charity which champions social mobility through programmes, research, and policy influence. The University of Sheffield has partnered with The Sutton Trust to offer its own Sutton Trust Summer school - a six-day academic summer school which is designed to support students from target groups who are underrepresented in higher education.
The summer school provides Year 12 students from across the UK with an opportunity to experience student life at Sheffield through a programme of academic taster sessions, tasks and challenges. These activities make up a sequential curriculum which is underpinned by the Skill Builder framework, allowing students to practise and demonstrate essential skills that develop their academic confidence and self-efficacy.
Participants also spend the week in university accommodation, meeting new people and taking part in social events to get an authentic feel for life at university and the skills required to support their wider life experiences.
To understand the impact of the programme and measure progress in skill building, participants complete Skills Builder Benchmark at the start and end of the invention. The resulting skill scores allow students to celebrate their achievements and identify areas for future development.
Through participating in the Sutton Trust Summer School, students are able to reflect on their own skill set and the importance of skills for academic success, in order to support their personal development and progression to higher education.