16-18 Summer School

Our summer school for biologists, aspiring ecologists aged 16-18 and their teachers

A group image of A level school participants 2018 taken at Margam park Discovery centre Andrew Barratt

16-18 Summer School

Malham Tarn FSC centre 22nd-26th July 2019

Donate your inspiring book!

Most of us have a book that inspired us in our ecological careers, we’re asking you to donate a spare copy, an old copy or even a new copy of a book that inspired you. We’ll award your book as a prize to students attending our Summer School for 16-18 year olds in July 2019. All students will identify as from Black, Asian and other minority ethnicities, from low income families or the first generation to consider higher education.

Throughout the week students will be with us at the summer school, they’re up and in the field at 6.30am, in workshops throughout the day and staying up for the bats and moths late into the evening, they’ll spend time talking to ecologists, exploring university choices and career options and will discover how ecology is relevant across so many more areas of their lives than they expected. Students will find the topic that most inspires them, in each session it will be a different student that stands out, impresses their workshop leader with their enthusiasm, questions and insights.  As staff and mentors we get to know the students outside of the workshops, we discover who is always up at dawn for the early morning sessions, who’s still cheerful and refusing to give up on ID ing some species at midnight, we discover who’s lost their fear of being in the field or finally spoken to workshop leader and asked a question.  At the end of the week as their mentors we assign and award the prizes, we recognise their individual talent and interests, they may be academic prizes, they may be about their personal growth and confidence or they may be team leadership, but they are always in celebration of the success they have achieved, often whilst being away from home for the first time, among strangers and working incredibly hard.

If you’re coming to the BES annual meeting you can drop it off at the BES stand and fill in a bookplate so that students will know who gifted them the book and you can suggest what you’d most like the prize to reward.

If you can’t make it to the BES annual meeting, please do get in touch with Karen Devine and we can make alternative arrangements.

We’ll report all donated prizes, who from and to and what they were awarded for in August 2019.

What is it?

The BES 16-18 Summer School is a week long residential field experience for students studying sciences at A-level, Scottish Higher and other similar qualifications.  All travel, catering and accommodation costs for teachers and their students are covered by the BES.  In 2018, The John Spedan Lewis Foundation sponsored clothing, waterproofing and other resources so that students were appropriately kitted out for fieldwork.

It is a unique opportunity for students to work with and learn from world leading researchers and scientists, students are mentored by undergraduates and PhD students to ask all their questions about applying to university, life at university and the breadth of ecological science and applications to career choices.  Teachers are invited to shadow the teaching programme and are offered opportunities to consider how to cascade learning across the school.

Who is it for?

The summer school is open to all schools and colleges and teachers of all career stages to apply, each school can nominate one teacher and up to 5 students to attend.

Students attending the school should be studying sciences and from at least one  community of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicities, low income families or be first in family to consider higher education.  Students should be due to move into their final school year in September 2019.

Please do contact Karen Devine if you wish to register your interest and would like your school to participate in 2019

What happened in 2018

Safeguarding of Students

The BES ensures all staff and mentors supporting the 16-18 summer school have a valid outdoor first aid certificate,  have undertaken safeguarding training and are DBS checked prior to the summer school taking place.

Our safeguarding policies