We are currently finalising the dates and locations of next summer’s Higher Education Field Academies (HEFAs). Run by the University of Cambridge, HEFA gives academically able, gifted & talented pupils aged 14-17 years old the chance to develop new learning skills and raise their educational confidence and aspirations in order to support them in applying to the best possible university for them.
HEFA in 2013 will be run by a network of beacon schools committed to raising the academic achievement of young people in their area. Beacon Schools are state schools with a commitment to high educational aspirations who promote the HEFA to schools in their area so that learners who will benefit most from HEFA are able to take part. The Beacon School system for HEFA is based on the principle that those best placed to promote the advantages of HEFA to schools are people who believe in and support the scheme themselves. An extensive network of Beacon Schools ensures that schools across a wide region have access to information and individualized encouragement and support when engaging with HEFA.
HEFA is a 3 ½ day course run by the University of Cambridge aiming to raise academic aspirations and confidence amongst the most able state-educated learners. Days 1 & 2 are spent on an historic site working independently in mixed-school groups to complete all stages of one ten new small archaeological excavations, starting with planning and site preparation, progressing to excavation, finds recovery and recording, and culminating in final observations and site restoration. Day 3 is spent in the University of Cambridge attending a structured series of workshops including a subject-related university ‘taster’ lecture, a writing tutorial and sessions on data identification and analysis, including ‘live’ mapping of discoveries in order to reconstruct the development of the site over time. Day 3 also includes a visit to one of the Cambridge Colleges for lunch and a talk about applying to Cambridge. Students spend a half day in school at the end of the course completing their own individual written report which is submitted to the HEFA team for formal assessment, with comments on all aspects of performance subsequently returned to students via their schools.
HEFA provides an invaluable and original opportunity for students to work and think at a higher level and across conventional subject boundaries, while becoming more familiar, positive and confident with the University of Cambridge, its people and its application process. HEFA is suitable for participants in school years 9-12 interested in studying ANY SUBJECT at University (including those still undecided) who have achieved/are considered capable of achieving at least 8+ GCSEs at grades A*-B.
Please see our website here for more information about HEFA and for the list of HEFA dates in 2013, the beacon schools involved and their catchment areas for recruiting partner schools. If your school wants to be involved in a field academy, please contact the HEFA team administrator for further details here.