Trinity Talks: Beyond the Classroom for Secondary-School Pupils

23 February 2021

Trinity’s postgraduate students and academics are offering supercurricular enrichment to secondary and sixth-form students at state schools as part of a new series launched by the college’s Access team. 

Trinity Talks: Beyond the Classroom will see a college academic or postgraduate deliver an interactive teaching session online, with a mix of topics ranging from the politics of Brexit and the future of plastics to the sequencing of the human genome and Virginia Woolf’s modernism. 

The idea was conceived by one of Trinity’s postgraduate access reps, Rachel Hindmarsh, who says: ‘The postgraduate community often is involved with the undergraduate access initiatives; this year, we really wanted to make our own mark on the exciting work happening throughout college. We wanted to find a way in which we could connect engaged and ambitious students from under-represented backgrounds with postgraduate students, as emerging specialists in their field, who are both committed to the aims of access work and would benefit from extra experience in teaching. 

‘Trinity Talks: Beyond the Classroom taps into this double motivation: we hope that the series of specialised talks will inspire secondary students through a taste of the innovative research the postgraduates are engaged with, and the postgraduates in return will find it inspiring to present their work beyond the university setting!’

Richard Petty, Trinity’s Teacher Engagement & Access Officer working with schools in North-East England, says: ‘We think engaging with super-curricular activity, however general or introductory the resource might be, is always very useful for students. It can help learners think more deeply about subjects in which they are potentially interested in taking further; it can help them discover fascinating new worlds; and of course it’s enjoyable.  
‘At the moment, we are particularly keen to support students’ learning journeys, and we hope that Trinity Talks will provide some extra stimulus to students as they look forward to returning to their school/college in due course.’

The talks will be aimed at secondary-school students with a wide interest range – including those  thinking of potential further study or holding a general curiosity toward the subject.
Trinity’s Access and Outreach team will also provide a brief overview of super-curricular enrichment and how it relates to thinking about higher education. Each session will contain a Q&A for participants with the academic and the Access team. 

The first talk of the series will take place on Thursday 4 March at 4pm, with Eilidh MacFarlane discussing the Brexit divide in British politics.