Experts at The University of Nottingham are part of a flagship new scheme to encourage excellence at academy schools.
The Academy Excellence Awards celebrate academic achievement and are open to all students in years 11, 12 and 13 at academies in England.
The University of Nottingham has joined the scheme as an association partner and will set essay challenges for the 2011 Awards in each of the five categories: English, Humanities, Mathematics, Science and Technology.
The questions in all categories relate to the broad theme of sustainability and are available on the Awards website www.academyexcellenceawards.co.uk. Examples include:
• Energy, Fuels and Food: how can a more sustainable future be secured?
• How should we live our lives, 50 years from now?
• How can your daily journey to the Academy be more sustainable?
Students will be expected to show creativity and imagination when preparing their essay; the University of Nottingham has provided guidance for each subject question. There is also a team award for students who produce the best group project.
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of the University, is on the steering group for the Awards and has involved academic colleagues and the University’s Widening Participation team in developing the essay challenges.
Professor Greenaway said: “Encouraging and inspiring students to aim high and achieve their very best is vital if they are to progress on to higher education and succeed in their future careers.
“The essay challenges my team have set for the Academy Excellence Awards are intended to be broad enough to unlock different approaches, fuel students’ imaginations and offer a refreshing additional challenge. I want to wish all students taking part the very best of luck.”
The number of registrations to take part in the awards is growing by the day, and academy principals are being reminded to nominate one student per subject category and one team for the group award before the February 18 deadline. The closing date for submission of essays is March 31.
Students who progress to the shortlist stage will be invited to an inspirational day at The University of Nottingham on July 6, followed by an awards dinner in the evening where the winners will be announced.
Lord Adonis, Director of the Institute of Government, on behalf of the Academy Excellence Awards steering group, said: “We are delighted that University of Nottingham has come on board to set questions for the first ever round of the Academy Excellence Awards.
“Nottingham’s involvement means that the questions will stretch and challenge the students, providing them with the chance to shine and demonstrate their talents, as well as giving them a taste of the sort of lateral thinking required at higher education level.”
The Awards aim to provide a flagship initiative for the whole academies movement and are backed by an impressive steering group including Andrew Adonis, Director of the Institute of Government and former secretary of state for transport and minister for schools; Anthony McClaran, former chief executive of UCAS and now QAA; Kate Hobhouse, chairman of Fortnum and Mason; Mike Butler, chair of the Independent Academies Association and chief executive of Djanogly City Academy; and Barbara Harrison, independent education advisor and former chief executive of the Girls Day School Trust. The Awards are sponsored by the David Ross Foundation.
For more information, visit www.academyexcellenceawards.co.uk
September 2010 saw the opening of the £24m new building for the Nottingham University Samworth Academy (NUSA), in the Bilborough area of Nottingham. NUSA, which is the successor school to William Sharp Comprehensive, is one of the first in the UK to have direct sponsorship and academic links with a university, and is also backed by businessman and philanthropist David Samworth.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news