Best Practice

Higher education: How we created a culture of belief

The ROAR programme seeks to raise students’ expectations and aspirations for university study. Phil Denton explains more about how it works and how you can set up something similar in your school

A year 8 form tutor was taking their register one wet Wednesday morning in a Wigan comprehensive high school.

She listened as a group of four students were discussing a topic which startled her. With smiles but firm opinions, the group were debating which Russell Group university was the best resourced for science courses. The students were not from any particular group and they had not been set the task of debating the issue.

The discussion was inspired because of the ROAR programme activity that had taken place the previous afternoon. The ROAR programme is aimed at ambitious, middle to high-attaining students who want to progress to elite universities but often are not sure about the decisions they should be taking or the skills that they will require. ROAR stands for Russell Group or Alternative Ready.

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