Young Hartlepool bright sparks got the chance to taste university life.
A group of the cleverest students from High Tunstall College of Science were chosen to take part in a scheme run by Durham University.
The 12 young people from the Elwick Road school successfully graduated from the Brilliant Club Scholars Programme at the prestigious university.
Year 8 and 9 students were successfully chosen by Laura Ovens, assistant headteacher at the West Park school, to take part in the programme due to their excellent academic performance and ability to be motivated, engaged and undertake research independently.
The focus of the project was for the young people from the town to work with a PhD tutor at the university, looking at anthropology with an arts and humanities focus.
The launch of the project took place at Durham University earlier this year.
All the students were a credit to the collegeLaura Ovens
High Tunstall’s 12 students were involved in two groups of six working with the tutor in a number of university style seminars.
Mrs Ovens, said: “Two of our students, Mollie Cooper and Teagan Winwood, confidently spoke in front of the 200 strong audience of students, parents, teachers, PhD tutors and guests about their learning and read an extract from their final assignment.
“All the students were a credit to the college and themselves at the graduation event.”
After completing the programme all of the students were invited to take part in a graduation ceremony.
The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that exists to widen access to highly selective universities for pupils from disadvantaged areas.
It was founded in 2011 by two inner-city classroom teachers and aims to increase access by recruiting, training and placing doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in schools and sixth form colleges to deliver programmes of university-style tutorials to small groups of pupils.
Through the Scholars Programme, pupils develop the knowledge, skills and ambition that help them to secure places at highly selective universities, such as Durham University.